How to Use WhatsApp Internationally

by Jacob Andrew

Developed by former Yahoo employees, WhatsApp enables text and voice messaging over your phone’s data connection. By forcing the information through WhatsApp servers, you are able to avoid SMS charges. Such charges can be significant in foreign countries. Using WhatApps in another country simply involves forcing your phone or similar device to use Wi-Fi instead of local cellular connections.

1

Turn off your cellular connection. For most phones, go into the settings menu and turn off the cellular data setting. For more information on doing this in Windows, iOS and Android phones, see the links under “Resources.”

2

Connect your phone to a compatible Wi-Fi network. Throughout the world, Wi-Fi uses a signaling standard that is compatible with virtually all smartphones.

3

Open WhatsApp and use as you normally would. WhatsApp will use the only available connection, Wi-Fi, to complete your conversations.

Tips

  • When traveling abroad, it is wise to set your status to something that informs your WhatsApp contacts that you won’t answer with the same immediacy you would when using your domestic mobile data account. The company recommends, “I am currently roaming abroad, will reply when I am on Wi-Fi.”
  • If you’re going to be in one international location for a while, you can also purchase a local smartphone and load WhatsApp on to that phone. This enables you to use cellular data without incurring data roaming charges.
  • When first connecting to Wi-Fi, open your smartphone's browser and attempt to connect to Google or another simple website. Some Wi-Fi hotspots have a captive mode that prevents your connection from completing until you agree to terms. You can agree to these terms only when redirected within a browser. If you have not agreed to these terms, WhatsApp will not work.

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About the Author

Jacob Andrew previously worked as an A+ and CCNA-certified technology specialist. After receiving his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, he turned his focus towards writing about travel, politics and current technology.

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