Author Topic: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1  (Read 146924 times)

tj

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #550 on: May 24, 2017, 08:38:35 PM »
@ Daley - any thoughts on this Modem?

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-340Mbps-Spectrum-Cablevision-CM400-1AZNAS ?

It's quite a bit cheaper than the ARRIS mentioned in the guide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #551 on: May 25, 2017, 11:36:29 AM »
@ Daley - any thoughts on this Modem?

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-340Mbps-Spectrum-Cablevision-CM400-1AZNAS ?

It's quite a bit cheaper than the ARRIS mentioned in the guide.

Eh, Netgear can be hit and miss. That model appears to be pretty solid, however, so long as it survives the first year.

The specific modem referenced in the guide's a little longer in the tooth at this point and you know how Amazon listings can be sometimes, but my rule of thumb is Motorola/Arris Surfboard modems, DOCSIS 3.0. Refurbished/used is getting a bit dicier these days, however... not because they won't technically work, but because the cable companies are getting sloppy about MAC address removal on accounts when modems get swapped out and are "making it the user's responsibility" to deactivate it from their account first. This results at times in perfectly functional used modems being useless because the cable company won't let you activate the device's MAC address on your account as it's still registered to the old account despite their clearly already using another modem. Friggin' wasteful and insane.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #552 on: June 14, 2017, 10:46:42 AM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #553 on: June 16, 2017, 11:31:07 AM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer? I'm relatively happy with Ting (I have pretty horrible reception in my office but otherwise few complaints) but I'm seriously considering hopping over to Sprint until next July, and then switching back to Ting or some other MVNO if the landscape has changed dramatically.

Anything I'm missing here? Both our phones are eligible to port over to Sprint, and the total cost is two new SIM cards and a $1.99/mo admin fee. I admit to chasing the bottom line, but saving an average ~$45 Ting bill x12 is nothing to sneeze at.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #554 on: June 16, 2017, 03:53:47 PM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer? I'm relatively happy with Ting (I have pretty horrible reception in my office but otherwise few complaints) but I'm seriously considering hopping over to Sprint until next July, and then switching back to Ting or some other MVNO if the landscape has changed dramatically.

Anything I'm missing here? Both our phones are eligible to port over to Sprint, and the total cost is two new SIM cards and a $1.99/mo admin fee. I admit to chasing the bottom line, but saving an average ~$45 Ting bill x12 is nothing to sneeze at.

I don't know more than you've written here and is posted on the offer page, but I would guess that the danger would be risk of hedonic adaptation and getting addicted to that level of usage and difficulties canceling before your credit card is automatically charged for the successive months.

Quote
A standard $1.99 admin fee, $0.40 regulatory fee and other taxes and fees apply

Requires a Sprint SIM card, eBill and Sprint AutoPay ($5/mo./line discount applied within two invoices)

    If AutoPay is cancelled, you’ll pay $5/mo./line
    If AutoPay and eBill are removed, a $7.99/mo. charge will apply for Account Spending Limit customers
        Your Spending Limit is the monthly maximum amount of spending per phone on your account based on your credit decision
        For accounts with multiple phones, the total spending limit is calculated as the number of phones on the account multiplied by the spending limit per phone

How much would the "other taxes and fees" be?

[Edited to remove mysterious double line.]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 03:09:27 PM by With This Herring »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #555 on: June 18, 2017, 11:27:19 AM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer?
[snip]
Anything I'm missing here?

Read the fine print at the bottom of the page. Relevant below quoted under fair use:

Quote
Req. AutoPay, eBill, and port-in from postpaid carrier.
[snip]
Excl. ports made between Sprint or related entities.

Can't be 100% certain, but I suspect the second part excludes all Sprint MVNOs, postpaid or not. That said, I suspect Sprint might view Ting as a prepaid MVNO given even Ting views itself as somewhat nebulous on the subject depending on where you draw the lines, roaming or not. Businesses aren't in the business of losing money. You can try, but color me skeptical.

That's the benefits of being an optimistic pessimist. When you're proven wrong, it's usually good news. That said...

The first thing that jumps out at me is the complete lack of clarification on whether you're obligated under contract to a hard length of service time even if you bring your own device, and the current general terms and conditions don't help appease that concern.

Always read the contract before you sign. ALWAYS.

As for why the offer, it's likely happening due to the possibility of a T-Mobile merger and Softbank trying to pump up their Sprint subscription numbers at the last minute to improve their sale price to either T-Mobile or another potential buyer. Sprint's postpaid terms and stealth fees are treacherous in general these days. Why anyone would willingly go under those, even for the promise of a year's worth of "free" service is beyond me, but I'm one of those crazy nutjobs who checks the teeth on a gift horse before taking it. Finally, if the merger talks prove out, I'm not sure I'd personally want to be on the absorbed network end of a merger due to the inevitable technical issues of combining two massively disparate networks and billing systems.

My gut says this is a bad idea, and "free" anything should immediately send up red flags with any semi-rational person, but there are days it doesn't seem like many people care too much for my my more measured and cautious methodologies anymore. If you're brave enough to go back to a postpaid contract with Sprint even despite current circumstances, I wish you well.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 11:38:39 AM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #556 on: June 22, 2017, 06:35:50 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #557 on: June 22, 2017, 07:59:08 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.

I genuinely want to apologize for missing your first post, Travis. I've not been on top of things as well as I'd like to be the past couple weeks. That said, given what you reported, knowing your past history and what you're familiar with versus what's available currently... I'm not sure I would've suggested much different for you than what you settled on. It was a good call.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #558 on: June 22, 2017, 10:19:09 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.

I genuinely want to apologize for missing your first post, Travis. I've not been on top of things as well as I'd like to be the past couple weeks. That said, given what you reported, knowing your past history and what you're familiar with versus what's available currently... I'm not sure I would've suggested much different for you than what you settled on. It was a good call.

No worries. I know you're a busy man and this isn't exactly your full time job.  Hopefully the next week goes by quickly or we don't have any more hiccups on her current phone. It had to be wiped again last night because the phone just randomly turned itself off. Any circumstance that reboots the phone now requires her to do a full wipe and reinstall. That's four times in 10 days now. Each time she reinstalls fewer apps out of frustration.  She thinks it's hilarious that now for the first time she'll have a phone more advanced than mine. 

At this point I've accumulated the Galaxy S3 that I bricked over Christmas, her Galaxy Light that is dying, and I have a Blackberry Z10 that I ended up with due to a hardware change at work.  The Z10 is still functional and might have some resale value, but I don't think I can get much more than scrap for two dead or dying devices.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #559 on: June 23, 2017, 02:27:51 AM »
My mum's still using an ancient Nexus S (running 4.1 Jelly Bean), but because of how the phone's storage is partitioned (of the 16GB, 1GB is reserved for applications and 15GB is dedicated to 'external storage'), she's unable to update any apps (even the standard ones that came with the phone). I've suggested she replace it, but she likes the thing.

Is it worth trying to repartition storage so that apps can be upgraded, or is it time to let it go?

I've even got a spare first-gen Moto G that would do a great job as a replacement for a while.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 02:45:03 AM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #560 on: June 23, 2017, 08:52:53 AM »
There's supposed to be a way to format an SD card so that the phone thinks it's more internal storage, but I haven't tried it yet.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #561 on: June 23, 2017, 09:49:48 AM »
No worries. I know you're a busy man and this isn't exactly your full time job.

Thank you for your understanding. I still can't believe I somehow missed your post and responded to the one right after, though.

Hopefully, you can keep the thing limping along long enough to get the replacement, and that it arrives quickly.



Is it worth trying to repartition storage so that apps can be upgraded, or is it time to let it go?

I've even got a spare first-gen Moto G that would do a great job as a replacement for a while.

Probably not, but there is always the SD card expansion trick Travis mentioned if you want to try. As for the Moto G, excuse the possible battery condition, consider slapping the latest stable build of Resurrection Remix on that sucker first. I've found the old and dying Moto E that my mother used to have perked up a bit more with RR than with Lineage, and eeked out a bit better battery life on the old and tired battery than with the last official build from Lenovo. I suspect given your location, it's the XT1032, if so, you want the Falcon build. You'll have to do a full wipe and factory reset, unlock the bootloader and install TWRP first, though. You can grab the GApps from here (if you install RR 5.8.3, you'll need to go ARM, 7.1 on the GApps build - stick with Pico, Nano, or Micro builds to keep things lean.) It'll be like a whole new phone by the time you're done with it.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #562 on: June 23, 2017, 08:55:56 PM »
There's supposed to be a way to format an SD card so that the phone thinks it's more internal storage, but I haven't tried it yet.

There is, but I believe that only applies to Android 6 and later (this runs 4.1). The thing with this is that it's got 16GB in internal storage and no SD card slot, it's just split in software between 1GB for apps and 15GB for 'external storage'. It's probably fairly straightforward to flash the phone and repartition it so the entirety of the 16GB can be used for apps. However, it's a phone that was released back in around 2010-11, and it's hardware lags behind even cheap phones today, so I'm trying to decide as to whether that's worthwhile :)

Probably not, but there is always the SD card expansion trick Travis mentioned if you want to try. As for the Moto G, excuse the possible battery condition, consider slapping the latest stable build of Resurrection Remix on that sucker first. I've found the old and dying Moto E that my mother used to have perked up a bit more with RR than with Lineage, and eeked out a bit better battery life on the old and tired battery than with the last official build from Lenovo. I suspect given your location, it's the XT1032, if so, you want the Falcon build. You'll have to do a full wipe and factory reset, unlock the bootloader and install TWRP first, though. You can grab the GApps from here (if you install RR 5.8.3, you'll need to go ARM, 7.1 on the GApps build - stick with Pico, Nano, or Micro builds to keep things lean.) It'll be like a whole new phone by the time you're done with it.

I didn't think about reflashing the Moto. It still seems to perform fine (running 5.1), but I guess it'd be nice for it to get a later version of Android. The battery is in pretty good condition as it's only seen light use. If it wasn't for the lack of an SD card slot and poor camera, I'd probably be using it myself.

Close with the model, it's the dual-sim XT1033, not that the dual-sim feature is of any use now when carriers are closing their 2G networks left right and centre.

I'm open to the idea of putting RROS (or some other Android variant) on my current phone, but it doesn't look like there's a build for it. I've got some kooky Australia/NZ only Huawei phone (Y6 Elite) that doesn't even appear in GSMArena, but it's a very close cousin to the 4G variant of the Y5 II, so I might have some luck with a Y5 II ROM. :)

I've had major issues with the limited internal storage space on the Huawei, but it's surprising how much space is freed up when one disables the Google app (I can search within the browser), Chrome (currently running Opera) and Google Play Music (I use Spotify). Even the Uber app was 180MB.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 08:59:57 PM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #563 on: June 29, 2017, 10:26:50 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?  Apparently a couple months ago they shut their doors, but the developers spun off into Lineage OS.  They've only been running for a couple months, so they don't have a build for every device yet.  It confused the hell out of me today because I have a Cyanogen app that appears to still be hosting the last set of stable ROMs.  I did a search on them since their website doesn't work anymore and found on reddit that they're gone and if you want to keep getting updates you'll need to switch to a Lineage ROM. I'm tired of my Galaxy S4's internal storage being full so I was going to root it, but if Cyanogenmod won't be providing updates and Lineage hasn't gotten around to my model yet I may have to wait a little while.

On the bright side, DW's new Ebay Galaxy S5 arrived in the mail today and is set up and functioning. Her old Samsung Lite is now a WiFi-enabled toy for our son.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #564 on: June 29, 2017, 10:40:39 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?

Yup, since the day it imploded. I've also shifted gears myself on third party Android build recommendations now that I've got Android hardware back in the house again for experimentation. Ressurection Remix is a whole lot closer to AOSP with all the nice gravy bits of Kang and the like, really matured, and runs a lot lighter than Lineage/Cyanogen. Not as many devices supported, so still recommend Lineage as they rebuild their own device libraries, but I kind of lean toward RR as a first stop now.

Note my post to Dean a couple posts back. :)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:43:16 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #565 on: June 29, 2017, 11:02:48 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?

Yup, since the day it imploded. I've also shifted gears myself on third party Android build recommendations now that I've got Android hardware back in the house again for experimentation. Ressurection Remix is a whole lot closer to AOSP with all the nice gravy bits of Kang and the like, really matured, and runs a lot lighter than Lineage/Cyanogen. Not as many devices supported, so still recommend Lineage as they rebuild their own device libraries, but I kind of lean toward RR as a first stop now.

Note my post to Dean a couple posts back. :)

I'll take a closer look at RR. Now that I know I can find an S5 on Ebay for half of what I paid in the store for a used S4, I'm leaning towards taking the risk on ROMs again.  It turns out Lineage does have my build, but they way they named it I had to do some digging to see that it's a unified build.  Apparently bootloaders are a problem with a lot of them so I may have to put in some more effort on this one.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #566 on: July 07, 2017, 02:28:59 AM »
I'm tired of my Galaxy S4's internal storage being full so I was going to root it, but if Cyanogenmod won't be providing updates and Lineage hasn't gotten around to my model yet I may have to wait a little while.

I've been running an unofficial LineageOS build on my S4 since May.  Runs like a dream.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s4/i9505-orig-develop/jdcteam-optimized-cyanogenmod-14-0-t3479888

tj

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #567 on: July 09, 2017, 11:07:28 AM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #568 on: July 09, 2017, 11:23:06 AM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

Two things:

1) The thread you linked, check the dates: 2014-Jun-26. Nettalk is still clearly in business and functioning.

2) Nettalk was really only the go-to for people attracted to things like MagicJack or the free tier of Ooma as a less awful option, and were unwilling to spend a couple extra sheckels a month on something like PhonePower or VOIPo and/or pay for a year or two of service in advance, which both offer pre-configured ATA devices or let you bring your own. That said, PhonePower's pre-configured ATA devices are currently only available for pick-up at Fry's Electronics. Down at the cheap end, there's also OBiTALK these days, but it falls into the same category of service as Nettalk as far as features, service quality and support. Not terrible, but not great.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #569 on: July 10, 2017, 09:47:49 PM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

Two things:

1) The thread you linked, check the dates: 2014-Jun-26. Nettalk is still clearly in business and functioning.

2) Nettalk was really only the go-to for people attracted to things like MagicJack or the free tier of Ooma as a less awful option, and were unwilling to spend a couple extra sheckels a month on something like PhonePower or VOIPo and/or pay for a year or two of service in advance, which both offer pre-configured ATA devices or let you bring your own. That said, PhonePower's pre-configured ATA devices are currently only available for pick-up at Fry's Electronics. Down at the cheap end, there's also OBiTALK these days, but it falls into the same category of service as Nettalk as far as features, service quality and support. Not terrible, but not great.
Perhaps not quite plug and play, but I set up voip.ms yesterday and it was pretty easy and seems to work well. Nice BYOD and cheap. Used a simple Cisco ATA for $40. Just follow a wiki, fill in the config page and it works. If you can do ikea furniture you can do it..

I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #570 on: July 11, 2017, 08:35:10 PM »
This may be in here somewhere. I wanted to ask what people's recommendations are for figuring out what internet speed you're actually getting at your house.

My roommates and I are starting the re-negotiations with Xfinity (there's 5 of us in the house), and are trying to figure out if we should lower our stated Mbps. I just googled and used beta.speedtest.net...is this a legitimate way of going about this, or is there more to it than that?

It showed download speeds very much in line with the max Mbps we are subscribed for, which slightly surprised me because of Daley's 'potholes"...Pothole #1 – oversubscribing and data throttling, Pothole #2 – data metering, and Pothole #2-A

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #571 on: July 11, 2017, 08:43:28 PM »
I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

That's good news for those of us who get a fixed monthly amount of money for cell service through work. Until now the only options outside of the Big 4 were Consumer Cellular and Google FI.



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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #572 on: July 11, 2017, 10:37:56 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #573 on: July 12, 2017, 08:19:00 AM »
It showed download speeds very much in line with the max Mbps we are subscribed for, which slightly surprised me because of Daley's 'potholes"...Pothole #1 – oversubscribing and data throttling, Pothole #2 – data metering, and Pothole #2-A

That is the downside of speed testing websites. ISPs can "optimize" for performance on those domains, thus reporting your actual capped speeds instead of your real-world throughput. Great for diagnosing line problems, but not for getting real world speed numbers.

If you really want to tax the system and see what your best case real world download speeds look like, download a Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft's website between 6-9pm local time when all your neighbors are screwing around on Netflix after work. Ultimately, you're only paying for the data speed from your ISPs local node to your house. Beyond that, you're at the mercy of server and backbone congestion and you may or may not actually get those speeds.



I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

How is this different than buying a phone on a credit card or through Swappa with Paypal Credit and taking your sweet time repaying it? >.>
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #574 on: July 12, 2017, 10:50:36 AM »
I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

How is this different than buying a phone on a credit card or through Swappa with Paypal Credit and taking your sweet time repaying it? >.>
It's purely because my employer requires a receipt of my "phone bill" for reimbursement and I've taken that as meaning they want a single receipt, not an explanation of how I paid upfront and would like to get reimbursed $50 at a time. But I suppose I could ask what for their exact policy.

But thanks for the swappa mention, that site looks great.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #575 on: July 12, 2017, 02:28:07 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #576 on: July 12, 2017, 02:57:26 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

There is no fixed monthly cost. It's half a cent per minute to US landlines or cells, the international rates are also listed at their site.

https://www.localphone.com/prices

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #577 on: July 13, 2017, 06:30:30 AM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

There is no fixed monthly cost. It's half a cent per minute to US landlines or cells, the international rates are also listed at their site.

https://www.localphone.com/prices

interesting, but localphone does not support 911 calls at all. So won't works as an emergency phone. In any case that would only save the 85 cents/month cost of voip.ms (not the $1.5 911 gov fees), so not a huge deal.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 09:11:33 AM by Scandium »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #578 on: July 29, 2017, 10:22:04 PM »
A fellow forumite passed along the following message to me earlier regarding Cricket Wireless.

Quote
Hey,

I just wanted to pass on a tip I learned today regarding customer service/troubleshooting with Cricket Wireless; I didn't want to start a new thread, but thought if you thought it was beneficial to other forum members, you could integrate it into your guide.

Basically, after a week of working with the customer reps in the store, via phone, and online (via their website chat option) I finally had our problem solved via the Facebook chat in about ~30 minutes. There was an issue porting over our second phone after a store rep started, but did not cancel or finish porting it over (they didn't have the less expensive phone that my wife wanted in stock and tried to up sell to the iPhone 6..) So, their system thought we needed to complete activation, but wouldn't let us order a phone to complete the activation. I was told by multiple reps through multiple sources that it would be, "fixed today or tomorrow by noon" every day this last week. I finally was able to speak with a manager, who admitted that they have no idea on the timeline.

Out of frustration with the cricket adds on my Facebook, I messaged them to tell them how poor my experience was, and within a few minutes it was fixed. I have previously spent 5+ hours this week with phone, chat, and store reps without anything being done. So, hopefully others can skip the hassle and try the Facebook messaging system with cricket first.

Yes, you've read that right. The advice passed on in regard to how to resolve a service issue with Cricket? Fight with them futilely for a week and then shame them in social media to get the problem resolved.

Folks, nobody should have to resort to publicly shaming their mobile carrier into action to resolve a technical issue. It is issues and stories like this that lead me to warn others off of using Cricket in the first place and go with smaller MVNOs that have better service and support. If you don't want to listen to me because I refuse to use Cricket, listen to what's being said by those who are using Cricket.

This is a cautionary tale, not a solution. Value your money and your patronage more than this next time you choose a mobile carrier.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:26:26 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #579 on: July 30, 2017, 08:00:41 AM »
A fellow forumite passed along the following message to me earlier regarding Cricket Wireless.

Quote
Hey,

I just wanted to pass on a tip I learned today regarding customer service/troubleshooting with Cricket Wireless; I didn't want to start a new thread, but thought if you thought it was beneficial to other forum members, you could integrate it into your guide.

Basically, after a week of working with the customer reps in the store, via phone, and online (via their website chat option) I finally had our problem solved via the Facebook chat in about ~30 minutes. There was an issue porting over our second phone after a store rep started, but did not cancel or finish porting it over (they didn't have the less expensive phone that my wife wanted in stock and tried to up sell to the iPhone 6..) So, their system thought we needed to complete activation, but wouldn't let us order a phone to complete the activation. I was told by multiple reps through multiple sources that it would be, "fixed today or tomorrow by noon" every day this last week. I finally was able to speak with a manager, who admitted that they have no idea on the timeline.

Out of frustration with the cricket adds on my Facebook, I messaged them to tell them how poor my experience was, and within a few minutes it was fixed. I have previously spent 5+ hours this week with phone, chat, and store reps without anything being done. So, hopefully others can skip the hassle and try the Facebook messaging system with cricket first.

Yes, you've read that right. The advice passed on in regard to how to resolve a service issue with Cricket? Fight with them futilely for a week and then shame them in social media to get the problem resolved.

Folks, nobody should have to resort to publicly shaming their mobile carrier into action to resolve a technical issue. It is issues and stories like this that lead me to warn others off of using Cricket in the first place and go with smaller MVNOs that have better service and support. If you don't want to listen to me because I refuse to use Cricket, listen to what's being said by those who are using Cricket.

This is a cautionary tale, not a solution. Value your money and your patronage more than this next time you choose a mobile carrier.


Not defending the earlier stupidity, but he says he messaged them (private) not that he posted about it, so there was no shaming.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #580 on: July 30, 2017, 01:00:06 PM »
Not defending the earlier stupidity, but he says he messaged them (private) not that he posted about it, so there was no shaming.

Perhaps semantics, but given the nature of many posts on the Cricket Facebook page these days...
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.