Q&A: Is there a surcharge for using a phone with Wi-Fi instead of 4G?

Question from Debby G.:  A couple of months ago I bought my first smartphone.

I absolutely love it, but I got a huge bill yesterday because they said I went over my monthly data allotment by several gigabytes.

I do watch a lot of videos every day, but I didn’t realize it would cause me to be charged extra.

My daughter said I need to use Wi-Fi instead of 4G but I don’t want to get hit with a big bill for that too.

My daughter said using Wi-Fi is free, but I want to be sure since I can’t afford another huge bill.

So will I be charged extra if I use Wi-Fi to watch my videos?

Rick’s answer:  Your daughter is right Debby. Switching your phone over to Wi-Fi whenever possible will help prevent you from exceeding your monthly data limit.

Unless you have a satellite Internet connection or some other Internet plan with a ridiculously low monthly data limit you won’t go over your data allotment with that service either.

In general, there’s no charge for data that’s sent or received via Wi-Fi unless the entity providing the Wi-Fi service (typically some hotels, restaurants and other public venues) charges a fee for using their wireless network.

In a nutshell, using the Wi-Fi signal from your own wireless router and/or free public Wi-Fi connections should allow you to watch your streaming videos without having to pay anything extra.