Facetime Tips (Without Data or WiFi, Total Data Usage, iPad) | Technology articles from Purplepedia (2023)

FaceTime is a popular app among iOS users since it offers a convenient way for individuals to communicate from different regions via audio or video calls. This concerns users as to whether using this app is possible without data.

So, can you FaceTime without data? FaceTime will default to your Wi-Fi for audio and video calls if you lack a cellular connection, meaning you can use FaceTime without data if you have a working Wi-Fi connection. You can also select this option by manually turning off your data and turning on Wi-Fi for FaceTime calls to save on your data plan. The good news is that FaceTime will not use your cellular minutes for the calls. Thus, if you use it via Wi-Fi, it will not cost you anything apart from the subscription you pay your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and not Apple.

Knowing whether you can FaceTime without data is ideal for making a smart decision on your internet payment plans. Like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, FaceTime is a free service, enabling users to video and audio calls. Knowing whether you can use this service without data is ideal, especially if you are a frequent traveler, to ensure you connect with friends and family.

FaceTime, a video calling service from Apple, can use cellular data or Wi-Fi. Without data, you can still FaceTime as long as you have an active Wi-Fi connection. If you use Mac, you can enjoy FaceTime via Ethernet connection since this device features this capability.

All you should do is connect to your router via Ethernet, and you will not need Wi-Fi or cellular data. Thus, if you lack an ISP that can connect to your home via fiber, satellite, cable, or phone line, then you cannot use FaceTime since Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or cellular data only offer the means to deliver your internet connection.

If you want to FaceTime conveniently via cellular data, you will need to pay for a good plan, which is costly. Using a limited data plan will limit your conversations via FaceTime depending on whether you audio or video call often. In the long run, using FaceTime via cellular data is expensive.

Thus, if you have access to Wi-Fi, turn off your cellular data to prevent its use during your FaceTime calls. This way, this app will default to your Wi-Fi during calls. To turn off your cellular data and prevent FaceTime from using it, navigate to the Settings app and tap Cellular. Next, scroll down until you find the FaceTime app and toggle it off.

Does FaceTime Use a Lot of Data?

FaceTime will not use your voice minutes but your data, just like similar apps during voice and video calls. You can either use mobile data or Wi-Fi for FaceTime but it is advisable to use Wi-Fi as much as possible if your area is covered to save on data charges.

The amount of data FaceTime uses is dependent on your device and your cellular network speed. On average, this app will use up to 5-10MB per minute over Wi-Fi and 2-20 MB over a cellular network.

Thus, depending on your cellular data plan, you can calculate how long your monthly subscription will last. If you are using FaceTime for calls talking to friends and family, it is advisable to use Wi-Fi, as the call is likely to be longer and consume a lot of data.

If you use FaceTime for short calls ranging from five to thirty minutes, this may not drain your data, especially if you are on a limited plan. Therefore, you can attribute your data use to other social media apps and games in this case.

Also to note is that FaceTime audio will consume less data than video, which is why it is more advisable to FaceTime video call via Wi-Fi than cellular data. The only way to prevent data use is to switch to a Wi-Fi connection, given that it is unlimited. This way, there will be no accidental use in case your Wi-Fi fails, as FaceTime will not switch to your data as a supplement.

While you may be concerned that your FaceTime usage exceeds the expected average usage, it is possible to track data use to ensure you remain within your limits. Tracking FaceTime data use requires some manual tweaks.

Your iPhone generally tracks data use for you but will not reset these figures monthly. Thus, what you will eventually have will represent your data use since you bought your phone or activated your current data plan.

To track your data use monthly or weekly, navigate to the Settings app on your phone and tap Cellular. While in this section, you will see your total data use in the current period and how much each of your apps uses. Thus, to find out how much FaceTime uses, scroll downwards on your list of apps.

The information you will get here will probably reflect the total data you have used since you bought your phone. In this case, you should reset to tell how much data you use every month or week.

To do this, scroll to the bottom of this window and tap Reset Statistics. While there is no duration as to how often you should reset your FaceTime app statistics, it is advisable to do this once a month. This way, you will get a correct figure of the cellular data for easy planning into the new month.

You may also want to know how much data you spend per call on FaceTime. To do this, open the app on your phone and tap “Recents” in the phone app to see your call history. If you use an iPad, the app will display your call history.

You can click the “i” adjacent to the call you want to check. You will see how much data this call consumed if you were on cellular data next to the timestamp. Another alternative to reduce your data use on FaceTime is turning on the Low Power Mode.

To do this, navigate to the Settings app and select Wi-Fi. Next to your Wi-Fi connection, tap on the “I” button, then turn on Low Power Mode. However, this method features disadvantages such as increased lagging during FaceTime calls hence not recommended.

Can FaceTime Without Wi-Fi?

Your iPhone or iPad features different apps, most of which use cellular data to run. Using these apps on Wi-Fi saves your cellular data, which is why preventing cellular data use is a good idea. However, if you do not have Wi-Fi access, you may be wondering whether you can still FaceTime.

FaceTime is not restricted to Wi-Fi only, and you can use it over cellular data if you have a 3G or 4G connection. Generally, you will not notice any difference when using FaceTime over cellular data compared to Wi-Fi, except that you will incur an extra cost. However, if you are using an unlimited data plan, you need not worry about your time on FaceTime calls.

FaceTime always prioritizes Wi-Fi over data and will use it if you have both connections, leaving your data untouched. However, if stuck in a Wi-Fi no-zone area, you can enable cellular data to enjoy FaceTime. If you surpass your data limit, you can disable cellular data and revert to Wi-Fi after finding a place with this connection.

To enable cellular data for FaceTime calls on your iPad or iPhone, tap on the settings app, then proceed to the Cellular icon in the dropdown menu. While on the cellular screen, scroll down to the Cellular Data section and locate FaceTime on the list of apps. To turn on cellular data, move the slider to the right, and you can now use cellular data to make and receive FaceTime calls.

If you are in a Wi-Fi access area and your phone keeps connecting, you may want to disable Wi-Fi to prevent it from disrupting your calls. To disable Wi-Fi, navigate to the home screen and swipe up or down depending on the device you are using.

Next, tap on the Wi-Fi icon and toggle it off. If you get to a Wi-Fi area, or you want to continue using Wi-Fi, turn off your cellular data by moving the slider to the left and enabling your Wi-Fi connection. Since FaceTime calls use a lot of data, you can save these calls for Wi-Fi unless you are using unlimited data.

Can You Use FaceTime on iPad With Wi-Fi Only?

An iPad has many outstanding features, including making FaceTime audio and video calls. The large screen adds sauce to the calls by making the other party seem almost present with you. Read on to understand whether you can use this device with Wi-Fi only to FaceTime.

If you use a Wi-Fi-only model iPad, you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi for FaceTime calls. Thus, if you are in a location without Wi-Fi, all your apps relying on the internet to work will not. Such an iPad cannot use cellular data as it lacks the components that allow the cellular data service to run successfully.

When using the FaceTime app on the iPad, you need not set anything special as the app comes already installed on your device. However, you may scroll left and right without finding this app, in which case, parental settings may have locked it.

To unlock FaceTime, tap on the Settings app, Screen Time, then Content & Privacy Restrictions. You will receive a prompt to enter your password to allow FaceTime usage. You can then tap on the FaceTime app icon on your iPad to launch it.

Once you confirm FaceTime is working on your iPad, you can call your friends or family. To do this, tap on the plus sign at the top of the menu and start typing the name of the individual you intend to call.

Their name should be in your contact list, but you can also type in their phone number. With all the contacts in your phone, you can tap the audio or video button to make a call. The person on the other end will receive an alert of your call and accept or reject it. If the person accepts your call, you will be connected through an audio or video chat.

In the video chat, you will see through the other party’s iPad screen, and they will see yours. For an audio call, you will communicate without seeing each other. If you want to start a group call, hit the blue plus button and before pressing the call button, enter the phone number or email of the person you want to add. A single FaceTime session can accommodate up to thirty-two people.

While iPads mostly rely on Wi-Fi for internet connection, some feature cellular data services and function like regular cell phones. You will pay an extra purchase fee and a monthly fee for these services if you want such.

Also, these iPads feature a monthly data transfer limit. With a higher transfer limit, you will pay a higher monthly fee. Exceeding your transfer limit attracts overage charges, which can be very expensive.

Luckily, you can switch to Wi-Fi on these devices. While this will not change your monthly cellular data service charges, it will prevent you from surpassing your transfer limit, especially if you spend a lot of time on FaceTime calls.

Thus, this option is suitable if you want to use your iPad as a phone or are away from a Wi-Fi connection, especially if you are a frequent traveler. Besides this, it is advisable to use your iPad over Wi-Fi to save on data charges.

Wrap Up

FaceTime will always default to Wi-Fi as long as it is available for audio and video calls. You can also select this option manually to save on data use. The amount of data the app will use is dependent on your device and cellular network speed. Thus, you can make relevant calculations and settle for a suitable data plan based on your monthly consumption.

With a 3G or 4G connection, you can FaceTime on cellular data without noticing any differences in functionality apart from the extra data cost. If using a Wi-Fi-only model iPad, you will rely fully on Wi-Fi for connection, as this iPad lacks components that allow cellular data services to run.

Finally, given that you can use both Wi-Fi and cellular data for FaceTime, the decision is yours, depending on your location and availability of these services. Even then, Wi-Fi remains the most convenient and cost-effective method of making calls on FaceTime.

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