Using Wi-Fi To Save Money

Downloading large files and apps or streaming video may not cost you an arm and a leg but it can easily deplete your cell phone plan before you know it. For example, downloading a two-hour video can consume up to 300 megabytes of data.  The good news is… it doesn’t have to impact your cell phone bill.  In this video, I’ll show you how to save your cell phone plan—and significant amounts of money—by connecting to Wi-Fi using your home connection or a public hotspot.

95 Thoughts on "Using Wi-Fi To Save Money"

  1. D White says

    How can I find a hot spot?? I live in wayu out side of a large city. any way I can get wi-fi at my home.

    reply to D

    • Dominic at Consumer Cellular says

      Hello D. White. I'd recommend contacting your internet service provider if you'd like to get WiFi set up at your home. Other than that, many coffee shops and restaurants offer WiFi access for free.

      reply to Dominic

    • michael says

      Hey D White… any McDonalds near you? I'm pretty sure that all of their locations are 'hot spots' now… another place to check out is Starbucks. Once you find one, it's easy to connect – and once you have input the info onto your phone, it should auto detect your phone every future time you go into the location!

      reply to michael

  2. jerome jackson says

    can i connect to wifi with the a177 and how

    reply to jerome

    • Dominic at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Jerome. Thanks for the question. The Samsung A177 is not WiFi capable however, if you're looking for a WiFi-capable cell phone, all of our smartphones offer the ability to connect to WiFi. Thank you.

      reply to Dominic

  3. Jerry Joyce says

    I assume that you can just use the wireless router (WiFi, 802.11 a,b,g,n) in your home for downloading, instead of using the ATT 3G Network that is the default mode. My family is interested in joining Consumer Cellular and this seems like a very good feature.

    Thanks

    reply to Jerry

    • Dominic at Consumer Cellular says

      Hello Jerry. Thanks for the question. Yes, with our smartphones, you may connect to WiFi and do all your downloading while you're on WiFi instead of using the data on your cell phone plan. If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact us at 888-548-6490. Thank you.

      reply to Dominic

      • Curt Burkett says

        Can’t get wi-fi on my android phone. I works well on my iphone 6. Any suggestions?

        reply to Curt

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for reaching out to us, Curt. I took a look at your account, and I’m glad to see that we were able to assist you with this issue and answer your questions. If we can help you with anything else at this time, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we hope you have a great day!

          reply to Ashley

          • Harry Moran says

            Ashley, The shortest wait I have encountered when calling Consumer Cellular customer service is 10 minutes or more. I can’t find an email address for Consumer Cellular customer service either. I have a number of questions as a new customer.

          • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

            Thank you for your feedback, Harry. We apologize for the wait you’ve experienced when you’ve called us. If you like, we can assist you via email instead at Service@ConsumerCellular.com. We look forward to answering any questions you may have, and we appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us. Thanks again, and we look forward to assisting you!

  4. Clyde Bollinger says

    For those folks who have a simple DSL or Cable modem internet connection, the addition of a wireless router is an easy and inexpensive addition to make and can really pay off if you want to use lots of phone data.

    reply to Clyde

  5. marlene says

    I have a flip phone.. what phone would give me internet connection where there is no active wifi

    reply to marlene

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Marlene. Any of our smartphones would be a good option if you would like to access the internet. You can take a look at the options on our Phones page here. And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you!

      reply to Ashley

      • Susan says

        Isn’t the Moto a smart phone? The video said consumer celluler doesn’t support hotspots on it. (tethering)

        reply to Susan

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Good question, Susan. We currently offer tethering support for iPhones and our Ascend Mate 2 Android smartphone. If you have any of those devices, all you need to do is give us a call and we’ll get it setup for you. Using the tethering feature can result in high data usage, so we recommend using an alternate Wi-Fi source whenever possible. Thank you for taking the time to comment today!

          reply to Ashley

  6. Sarah says

    My husband’s family lives on Guam. Is it possible to call Guam using the cell phone on wifi? We are currently with T-Mobile, and we can call Guam from our cell phones on wifi without being charged. But if we can do that with you, we will happily switch!

    reply to Sarah

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Sarah. We don’t currently offer Wi-Fi calling, but calls to Guam are considered to be within the United States. You would not be charged any international calling charges. We can answer any questions you may have about our service, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you so much for reaching out to us.

      reply to Ashley

      • Ian says

        When will you start offering Wi-Fi calling? I came from T-Mobile about three-and-a-half months ago, and Wi-Fi calling was a great thing to have when I wanted to save a few minutes.

        reply to Ian

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for asking, Ian. At this time, we do not offer Wi-Fi calling, but we are continuously looking for new ways to serve our customers. If we do add this feature in the future, we will be sure to let our customers know. We appreciate the feedback, and thank you again for posting.

          reply to Ashley

          • Marilyn Wagner says

            I would sure like to be able to use WIFI as most of my friends with other service do. I am a senior and have to budget very close.

          • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

            Wi-Fi is a great tool for everyone, Marilyn. We recommend keeping Wi-Fi turned on at all times, so it’s one less thing to remember. Then save the information for networks you use often, such as stores, cafes and friends’ houses, and you’ll start saving data from your plan. If we can walk you through connecting with Wi-Fi, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we’ll be happy to help you. Thank you for posting today!

    • David Tanner says

      What is the most reasonable cellular that I can use wi fi on?

      reply to David

  7. pat says

    Just got Moto G phone 2 days ago, and still setting it up and adding my call list. My data is almost gone. How can that be so soon?

    reply to pat

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the question, Pat. When you get a new phone, it will often install updates for all of your apps. Try using the phone on Wi-Fi, which will allow you to install the updates without using any data from your plan. You can even turn the data access off if that works best for you. We can help you find ways to minimize your data usage, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. We’re happy to help! Thank you again for reaching out to us.

      reply to Ashley

  8. Texsputin says

    Some great info here, thanks. My question is ‘Can you use the Consumer Cellular phone as a hotspot for your table or PC? A sort of reverse tethering?
    Thanks!

    reply to Texsputin

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question! We do offer tethering capabilities on some of our our Android devices, as well as with an iPhone. It is something we need to enable on our end, and we do caution our customers about using it as it can result in unexpected data charges. We appreciate you taking the time to comment, and we hope you have a nice day!

      reply to Ashley

      • tim blackwell says

        is there an extra charge for opening up the hotspot on a android phone on Consumer Cell?

        reply to tim

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for asking, Tim. There is no charge to enable your hotspot, but it does use a large amount of data from your plan. We encourage customers to use tethering sparingly as not to have unexpected data usage on their bill. We appreciate your post!

          reply to Ashley

  9. Bob McCann says

    I have Consumer Cellular service and a MOTO G (2nd gen) phone. I will be doing some extensive traveling in the western US and would like my phone to be a mobile hot spot. How do i do that..or do I need another model of phone?

    reply to Bob

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Bob. We do support tethering, or using a Hot Spot feature on some of our Android devices as long as they have that capability. I’ve forwarded your question on to our customer support team, and they will be contacting you shortly to talk about the options that may work best for you. Thanks again for taking time to reach out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

    • Bill says

      I have the same Moto G phone and would like to use it as a hot spot. What was the answer to your question?

      reply to Bill

      • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

        Thank you for commenting, Bill. In general, tethering capabilities are only available for devices that can connect to an LTE signal. We’re happy to look at your phone and see if this is an option. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we’ll be ready to assist you. Thanks again for reaching out to us!

        reply to Ashley

  10. j c epple says

    I am interested in consumer cellular services relating to the internet services. I want to drop my cable internet and my land line services with local company. Will it be possible to use your companies available services to accomplish this in a economical easy way and would the speed be reasonable?
    Another question: If one wants to have the most current i- phone, like a Samsung Android, can it be purchased at one of your sears/target outlets?

    reply to j

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, JC. We don’t currently offer data plans that would allow you to replace your internet services. We do have a wireless home phone base, which you can use to replace your landline. It can also be taken with you wherever you go, making it convenient for travel. You can learn more about it here on our website. We do offer the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at our Target locations, and you would be able to use either of them as a hotspot if needed. We encourage our customers to use the hotspot function sparingly, as it can result in high data usage and unexpected overages. If you have any questions about using our services, we would be happy to answer them for you at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us!

      reply to Ashley

  11. Susan says

    I know not to make phone calls when out of the country. What about making a hotspot to get wifi for a tablet? Is there an issue with that?

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the clarification, Susan. In order for your phone to use data, it needs to access the towers, which can result in high usage fees. Some customers have had success using a SIM card from the country they are traveling to, and using it while they are there. These can often be purchased in the airport or other location on arrival. You would just need to be sure that your device was unlocked before you travel. Thanks again for reaching out to us!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Susan says

    OH, meant to say I’m not a consumer cellular customer yet, I’m investigating providers, but you’re a strong contender

    reply to Susan

  13. Richard says

    You don’t list any mobile hotspots (no phone just data) that can be purchased. I’m currently using a T-Mobile USB Rocket Hotspot for my computer. I would get a data only plan that suits my needs. If I put in one or your SIM cards, would that work on your network?

    reply to Richard

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Good question, Richard! At this time, we don’t offer any hotspot devices or data plans, but you are welcome to try one of our SIM cards if your computer or tablet has that capability. We do recommend that you use it with caution as it can result in high data usage. We appreciate your suggestion, and I’ve forwarded your comments on to our product development team. If we can answer any questions for you about our plans or services, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to answer them for you. Thank you for commenting today!

      reply to Ashley

  14. Ron says

    Never thought to ask I have an unlocked At&t galaxy s4 I’am a consumer cellular user, want to know if I am being charged extra for using wifi on my cell, also have wifi on my pc??

    reply to Ron

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great question, Ron. We don’t charge you for using Wi-Fi, in fact, it’s a great way to conserve data and save money! When you use Wi-Fi, your phone won’t use data from your plan. If we can answer any questions you may have about Wi-Fi or your data plan, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we’ll be happy to help. Thank you for commenting!

      reply to Ashley

  15. Kate says

    I see above that back in March you didn’t offer wifi calling – what’s the status on that now? We have just switched to AT&T phones after years with Verizon and are very disappointed with the signal at our home and even in our neighborhood in spite of the fact that we are in a “great coverage area”.
    Wifi calling would go a long wait to ease that nagging feeling that we shouldn’t have left Verizon.

    reply to Kate

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Kate. At this time, we don’t offer Wi-Fi calling, but we are happy to take a look at your phones and troubleshoot your service issues. We may be able to send some updates and new settings to your phones. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we’ll be happy to assist you. We appreciate your suggestion, and I’ve forwarded your comments regarding Wi-Fi calling on to our management team. Thank you for posting today, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  16. Len says

    Also hoping for Wi-Fi calling. Thought we had it.

    reply to Len

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for any confusion, Len. We don’t currently provide Wi-Fi calling, but if that should change, we will be sure to notify our customers. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our plans or any other features, so give us a call at 888-345-5509 if we can help you in any way. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  17. david says

    when will consumer cellular have phone calls via wifi?

    reply to david

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for commenting, David. At this point, we don’t have Wi-Fi calling available, but if at some point we add that as an option, we will be sure to let our customers know. We update our customers through various channels such as this blog, our newsletter, our social media pages and the My Account section of our site. Thank you for taking the time to post today, and if we can assist you with anything at this time, please give us a call at 888-345-5509. We hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  18. Peter says

    Another cheer for WiFi calling! The capability is baked into the new iPhones – and AT&T, Sprint and T-mobile are already supporting it. Consumer Cellular could get a lot of customers who are dissatisfied with Verizon service but lack coverage from these other providers! No need to reply, but please pass it along within the CC.

    reply to Peter

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the suggestion, Peter. I’ve passed your comments on to our management team, and we appreciate you sharing them. We always appreciate hearing new ideas from our customers! Thanks again for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  19. Jeff G says

    I was with T-mobile and very disappointed, although they offered wifi calling… Now back with CC. AT&T also offers wifi calling. Come on CC.. Step it up please! This will save you $$ too!

    reply to Jeff

  20. Julia says

    Another user hoping for wifi calling to be enabled soon!

    reply to Julia

  21. Tom says

    Another vote for wifi calling – my basement has no cell coverage and that is where I have my home office. Sprinting up the stairs is getting old!
    I’d like to just get a statement from CC to say if they plan on supporting it – and a target date Q2 2016, etc

    That will help me make a decision on if I need to stay or go.

    reply to Tom

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We appreciate your suggestion, Tom. I’ve passed your comments on to our management team for consideration, and we really appreciate your suggestion. It’s very helpful for us to hear about new features or additions that our customers would find useful or valuable. Thank you for taking the time to post today, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  22. Lyle says

    Another vote for wifi calling – would be very useful.

    reply to Lyle

  23. Breanna says

    I also vote for wifi calling. AT&T has it and it’s awesome. I just hope that consumer cellular will enable it on the next update on Apple.

    reply to Breanna

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We appreciate the suggestion, Breanna! I’ve passed your idea on to our management team, and if this option should become available, we’ll be sure to let you know. Thank you for commenting!

      reply to Ashley

  24. Gwen says

    We have been with Consumer Cellular for a long time and have loved it. Recently moved to an interior condo and can only get cell coverage in one area of one room. Unless we can get wifi calling or a booster, we are going to be forced to switch carriers,and we have always loved consumer celluar. Any hope for a fix soon???

    reply to Gwen

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for letting us know about this, Gwen. I was able to take a look at your account, and I see that Julia, our customer account advisor, was able to send you new SIM cards to alleviate this problem. If that doesn’t resolve the coverage issue or if we can assist you with anything else, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We’re glad to hear that you love our service, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that continues!

      reply to Ashley

  25. Dan S says

    I just got CC service for an IPhone 6, and was disappointed to see that WIFI calling isn’t supported. I had called the CC support number before signing up and specifically asked if you could do WIFI calling, and he said yes. So I was misled, and I’m not happy. I hope you can add it soon. It was the only thing that made TMobile usable.

    reply to Dan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for any miscommunication, Dan. At this time, we don’t offer Wi-Fi calling, but if that should change, we will be sure to let our customers know here on our blog and on our other social channels. I’ve forwarded your feedback to our management team and we appreciate the suggestion. If we can assist you with anything else or answer any questions, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to assist you. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

    • Hank Trotter says

      I am using an iPhone 5s and it uses wifi. I keep the cellular off except when I leave the house. I just bought my wife the Moto G and it is ready to go back to the store.

      reply to Hank

      • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

        Thank you for sharing your experience, Hank. We’re sorry to hear that the Moto G isn’t a good fit for your wife, but we do have iPhones with EasyPay available if that would be better. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 if you would like to get started. We appreciate you commenting today!

        reply to Ashley

  26. Butch says

    Hopefully this hasn’t been addresses above – I have the Ascend Mate 2 through CC. I’m moving and wonder if I upgrade my data plan significantly, could I use my phone as a hotspot for my tablet. (No wifi where I’m moving to.)

    reply to Butch

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Good question, Butch. You can use your Ascend Mate 2 to tether internet to your laptop. We just need you to call us at 888-345-5509 and we can activate that for you. Please be mindful that tethering can use a lot of data from your plan, so it should be used sparingly. Thank you for asking, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  27. Josue says

    WiFi calling PLEASE!

    reply to Josue

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the suggestion, Josue! If that feature becomes available, we will be sure to let you know here on the blog. We appreciate you taking the time to post today!

      reply to Ashley

  28. David says

    Another vote for WiFi calling, PLEASE. Are you giving it any consideration?

    reply to David

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the Wi-Fi vote, David! Our management team is always looking for ways to better serve our customers, but we don’t have any new announcements at this time. If we do add that feature, we will be sure to let you know here on the blog. We appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      reply to Ashley

  29. Inez Williams says

    ok I have a new I phone from consumer cellular, I have my old phone do I have to place my sims card into the new phone and will this access my wifi network with consumer cellular

    reply to Inez

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Inez. I took a look at your account, and it looks like your new iPhone is ready to go without you needing to swap out the SIM card. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 to activate it, and we’ll take care of the rest. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

  30. Phil says

    Any update on wifi calling? I would love to switch to Consumer Cellular, but I bearly get coverage at my house. If you had wifi calling, I wouls switch in a minute.

    reply to Phil

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Phil. We don’t have any new updates to announce, but we appreciate you taking the time to check in! We’ll be sure to make any announcements about adding new features or changing our plans here on the blog. Thanks again for posting, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  31. Rick Nagle says

    WiFi calling, please!! It is especially useful when cell service is not available, but WiFi is.

    reply to Rick

  32. Lezlie says

    Wi-fi calling please – have no idea why Consumer Cellular does not offer.

    reply to Lezlie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s great feedback, Lezlie! At this time, we don’t have Wi-Fi calling available for all of our customers, but if that should change, we will be happy to announce it here on the blog! Thank you for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a nice day!

      reply to Ashley

  33. Ian Swinton says

    Wi-Fi Calling is a must. Please add this feature ASAP. Or we may have to consider moving.

    reply to Ian

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We appreciate the feedback, Ian. I’ve passed it on to our management team, so thank you for taking the time to tell us about this. We’re always looking to make our service better, and suggestions from customers like yourself help us do just that! If we can assist you with anything, or answer any questions you may have, please feel free to give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you again for posting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  34. Philip says

    Your lack of WiFi calling and inaccurate customer service information are serious issues that won’t go away. Thank you for appreciating the feedback.

    reply to Philip

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We certainly appreciate the feedback, Phillip. I’ve requested that a supervisor get in contact with you to answer your questions about Wi-Fi calling. If we can assist you with anything else at this time, we’re happy to do so at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  35. Kelly says

    Is there a way you can internet service to tablets? I want to get my internet service provider altogether because it costs an arm and leg. Thank you.

    reply to Kelly

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Kelly. You could use our SIM card with your tablet, which would use data from your plan to allow you to access the internet. This may be a great option for you, and adding a line to your current plan is just an additional $10 a month. We’re happy to help you get started at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!

      reply to Ashley

  36. Chris Miller says

    I have wifi at home but for some reason my Mac won’t connect but my phone will. Can I set my iPhone up as a personal hotspot and connect to the wifi through the phone for my Mac?

    reply to Chris

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Chris. While your iPhone may have the option to work as a personal hotspot, that feature will use cellular data instead of your home Wi-Fi. We would recommend checking with the Apple Store to further investigate why your Mac won’t connect to your Wi-Fi network. You could use the hotspot feature when you need it, but it could result in higher data usage than expected. We’re happy to discuss this with you further at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  37. Les says

    Another vote to get Wi-Fi calling added to CC. Like others have experienced, I’ve been in locations where there is no cell signal but there is Wi-Fi.

    reply to Les

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Les! We appreciate your feedback, and we are happy to discuss this with you further at 888-345-5509. Suggestions from our customers are always appreciated, so thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. We hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  38. Pete says

    I can’t get a decent signal anywhere I live and may have to get a new carrier.

    reply to Pete

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting today, Pete. If you’re experiencing issues with coverage, we may be able to send some updates to your device or try a new SIM card to resolve the problem. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to troubleshoot and discuss the options available to you. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we look forward to speaking with you!

      reply to Ashley

  39. Joel says

    I really like CC and especially its customer service. I get very weak or no cell signal at my house and could really benefit from wifi calling on my three CC lines. Please consider this feature soon. I’ve seen mention in previous responses of a different SIM or software which could help with a weak signal in the meantime. Is this real?

    reply to Joel

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Joel! We are happy to take a look at your area and make sure you’re getting the best coverage possible. Sometimes a new SIM card or an update sent to your device can resolve these types of issues. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we can discuss the options available to you. We appreciate you taking the time to comment, and we look forward to assisting you soon!

      reply to Ashley

  40. Stewart says

    I switched one of the phones to an iPhone SE, and now have Wi-Fi calling with that phone.

    I think the techs at Target need to have more training. They did not know that an iPhone and the T-Mobile network are required to have Wi-Fi calling enabled.

    All is working fine now, but it was an exasperating experience.

    reply to Stewart

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Stewart. I’m happy to pass that feedback on to our retail partners. We’re glad to hear that your phone is working properly, and if we can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  41. thomas clark says

    help me get me connected to wifi on cell phone

    reply to thomas

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We can absolutely help you with that, Thomas! Just follow these steps. First, tap the Apps icon on your home screen, then select the Settings app. Next, select Wi-Fi, then slide the “Off” button to the right to enable it. In a few seconds, you’ll see a list of networks below that are available. Locate your Wi-Fi network, then tap it to connect. You may need to enter a password if the network is locked. Once the password is entered, tap Connect. You’ll know you’re connected when the Wi-Fi icon appears at the top of your screen. If you run into any issues, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

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