Can you use Google Voice over Wi-Fi?

Google Voice is a virtual phone service that provides an alternative phone number for making calls, texting, voicemail, and other standard phone functionalities. This article will explore using Google Voice over Wi-Fi, explaining how to enable Wi-Fi calling, compatible devices, call quality compared to cellular, international calling capabilities, limitations, and troubleshooting tips. The goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of using Google Voice on Wi-Fi networks to help users understand the key features, benefits, and potential issues.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is an internet-based phone and messaging service developed by Google. It was launched in 2009 and offers several key features, including:

Free calls within the U.S. and Canada – Users can make free calls to any number in the U.S. and Canada, even on mobile.

Voicemail transcription – Google Voice automatically transcribes voicemails and sends them to you as text messages or emails.

Single number – Users get one Google Voice number that rings all of their linked numbers, so they don’t have to give out multiple numbers.

SMS and MMS – Google Voice can send and receive text messages as well as photo messages.

Call screening – Users can screen calls by listening in live before deciding whether to answer.

Call recording – All calls can be recorded and saved online on Google Voice.

Online management – Users can access and manage voicemail, text messages, call logs, and settings through the Google Voice website or mobile apps.

Group messaging – Users can send messages to multiple recipients at once.

With its combination of free calling, advanced call and message management, and seamless integration across devices, Google Voice offers a full-featured phone service through the internet.

Using Google Voice on Wi-Fi

One of the main benefits of Google Voice is the ability to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi when the cellular network is unavailable. This allows users to stay connected even without cellular service. According to Google Support, Android users can enable Wi-Fi calling in the Google Voice app by going to Settings > Making and receiving calls and toggling “Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data.”

For iPhone users, Wi-Fi calling is automatically enabled when the Google Voice app detects an active Wi-Fi connection. As long as the user’s iPhone supports Wi-Fi calling capabilities, the app will route calls over Wi-Fi whenever cellular service is poor or unavailable. This provides continuity of calling service even in areas with spotty cellular connectivity like office buildings or remote locations.

Overall, the ability to make Google Voice calls over Wi-Fi expands the coverage and accessibility of the service. Users can stay connected from anywhere they have a stable internet connection, without relying solely on cellular networks. This provides more flexibility and reliability for Google Voice users.

Enabling Wi-Fi Calling

To use Wi-Fi calling with Google Voice, you first need to enable the setting in the app. Here are the steps:

On Android devices:

  • Open the Google Voice app.
  • Tap the menu icon in the top left corner.
  • Go to Settings > Making and receiving calls.
  • Toggle on “Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data.”

On iOS devices:

  • Open the Google Voice app.
  • Tap on your profile icon in the top left.
  • Go to Settings > Calls.
  • Toggle on “Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data.”

On the Google Voice website:

  • Click on the Settings icon.
  • Go to Making and receiving calls.
  • Check the box for “Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data.”

Once this setting is enabled, Google Voice will route calls over Wi-Fi whenever available. Make sure Wi-Fi calling is also enabled on your mobile device. You may need to restart the Google Voice app to apply the changes.

Compatible Devices

In order to use Google Voice over Wi-Fi, your device needs to support Wi-Fi calling. Here are some of the compatible devices and operating systems:

  • Android phones running Android 5.1 Lollipop or higher that support Wi-Fi calling, such as Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Motorola, and OnePlus devices
  • iPhones running iOS 10 or higher
  • Google Pixel and Nexus phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher

In general, most newer Android smartphones from major manufacturers released in the past few years will support Wi-Fi calling as long as you have an up-to-date version of Android. For iPhones, any model from the iPhone 5c and later supports Wi-Fi Calling.

You can check if your Android device supports Wi-Fi calling by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network. On iPhones, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.

Having a device that’s compatible with Wi-Fi calling is necessary to use Google Voice over Wi-Fi. As long as your device meets the requirements, you should be able to make Google Voice calls over Wi-Fi once enabled.

Wi-Fi vs Cellular Call Quality

When comparing call quality over Wi-Fi versus cellular data with Google Voice, experiences can vary. Some users report finding better call quality over Wi-Fi, likely due to it providing a more stable data connection. However, Wi-Fi call quality can suffer from network congestion issues more than cellular. Google Voice may also prioritize cellular quality at times.

According to one Reddit user, calls made over Wi-Fi using Google Voice can sound “choppy,” while cellular calls sound much clearer. They recommend using cellular data for calls whenever possible for optimal quality.

On Google Voice’s official support forums, users discuss finding Wi-Fi call quality inferior to cellular in many cases. However, quality issues over Wi-Fi may come down to individual network setups. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, call quality can match or potentially exceed cellular.

Overall, experiences are mixed regarding whether Wi-Fi or cellular data provides better call quality on Google Voice. Cellular may have an edge in reliability, but Wi-Fi can match it given optimal networking conditions. Checking call quality over each and adjusting settings accordingly can help maximize voice call performance.

International Calling

One of the biggest benefits of using Google Voice over Wi-Fi for international calls is the potential cost savings compared to traditional cellular international calling. According to Google Voice’s calling rates page, calls to many international destinations are free when dialing from the US, including Canada, Mexico, UK, France and Germany. For most other countries, Google Voice international calling rates can be as low as $0.01 per minute.

This represents significant savings compared to cellular carrier international calling rates which can be $1 per minute or higher in some cases. For example, a one hour call to the UK would cost nothing on Google Voice over Wi-Fi but could cost upwards of $60 using traditional cellular international calling.

By enabling Wi-Fi calling in the Google Voice app and connecting to a stable Wi-Fi network, users can avoid cellular carrier per minute charges and take advantage of Google Voice’s low international calling rates. This makes Google Voice over Wi-Fi an affordable way to call friends and family abroad.


While using Google Voice over Wi-Fi can be convenient, there are some limitations to be aware of:

Dependence on Wi-Fi availability – To make calls over Wi-Fi, you need to be connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. If you move out of Wi-Fi range, the call will drop.[1]

International calling rates – Although Google Voice Wi-Fi calling is free for domestic calls, international calls may incur charges from your mobile carrier.[2]

Incompatible devices – Google Voice’s Wi-Fi calling feature only works on certain Android devices. iPhones and other unsupported devices cannot make VoIP calls through the Google Voice app.[3]

Call quality – Wi-Fi calling quality can suffer from network congestion and connectivity issues compared to traditional cellular calls.

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Calling Issues

If you experience problems with Wi-Fi calling on Google Voice, here are some tips to troubleshoot:

Make sure Wi-Fi calling is enabled in your phone’s settings. On Android, go to Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi calling. On iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Calling.

Check for any updates to the Google Voice or Google Fi apps. Install the latest versions which may contain fixes for Wi-Fi calling bugs.

Toggle airplane mode on and off to force the phone to reconnect to Wi-Fi calling. Airplane mode disables all radios before turning Wi-Fi calling back on.

Turn off Wi-Fi and use mobile data to test if calling works normally. This verifies whether the issue is specific to Wi-Fi calling.

In the Google Voice app, re-add your linked number associated with Wi-Fi calling. Go to Settings > Devices and numbers > This device.

On iPhones, enable Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice specifically under Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > Call Using.

Reset network settings on your phone to clear any problematic configurations. On Android go to Settings > System > Reset options. On iPhone go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Contact Google Fi or Google Voice support for further troubleshooting. They can check your account status and connection quality.


In summary, Google Voice can be used over Wi-Fi, providing an alternative to traditional cellular calls. By enabling Wi-Fi calling on a compatible Android device, Google Voice users can place and receive calls over Wi-Fi networks rather than relying solely on cellular connectivity.

The main benefits of using Google Voice over Wi-Fi include improved call quality in areas with poor cellular reception, the ability to seamlessly transition calls between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, and free international calling to many countries. While using Google Voice on Wi-Fi has some limitations, like emergency call restrictions, it can serve as a useful way to make calls without using cellular minutes.

In conclusion, with the proper setup and compatible device, Google Voice is a viable option for making calls over Wi-Fi networks rather than just over cellular networks.

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