Off Topic: Zello for Cell Phones is not an Actual Walkie-Talkie, and Still Needs Internet Connectivity to Work

Note: This article is off-topic. That is, it is not about family history, DNA, or any related topics. However, if you are somewhere near the eastern seaboard of the United States this week, this is information you probably need to know.

From the Apple Insider web site:

With Hurricane Dorian approaching the coast of Florida, word is again spreading about “push to talk” iPhone app Zello. However, downloaders should be aware that the app requires not only a solid internet connection, it also needs connectivity to Zello’s servers to function.

According to Zello’s CEO in 2017, the “walkie-talkie” app saw a 20-fold increase in usage during the Houston rescue situation following a hurricane, and was in use by the “Cajun Navy” as well as some first responders.

As a reminder, Zello uses some form of voice-over-IP (VOIP) to function. It does not utilize the now-shuttered PTT network commonly used on Nextel devices. As such, a reliable Wi-Fi or wireless [cellular] connection is needed on both ends. Additionally, the Zello servers need to be fully operational and not overburdened.

AppleInsider isn’t saying that you shouldn’t install the app, because you absolutely should if you’re in the path of the hurricane. However, we are saying that you shouldn’t rely on it as your only means of communication in the event of a crisis resulting in massive destruction of infrastructure.

You can read the full article at:

Also, I have written before about Zello. Go to to see my past articles about Zello.


Part of the reason it worked so well in Houston was because Skynet made its microwave fixed wireless technology available to 911 and other agencies when their regular internet was down for days. The microwave technology only went down for short periods of time in total electrical failures before their tower generators kicked in or an occasional generator issue. We had the microwave based internet and it was far more dependable in the rural area than other services.


Thanks for posting! But I want say that Walkie Talkies are really required while organizing fun events. They help in effectively communicating and updating all when events are occurring at a big scale. Confused with the walkie-talkie ranges we contacted with and seriously they were so helpful and gave us the desired product after knowing our needs at best prices.


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