Author Topic: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.  (Read 2751 times)

MoonShadow

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Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« on: December 15, 2015, 12:24:42 PM »
I'm considering getting a cell phone for my teenaged son (face punch me later, okay?) and wanted the opinions of those who have tried the now several choices for wifi-fi first, cell service as backup type companies.  I'm leaning towards Republic Wireless, but I've heard as much good as bad.  Bear in mind, that he has never had a cell phone before, so he won't miss the better experiences with the major service providers anyway.

mozar

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 06:21:52 PM »
I've heard good things about republic wireless. There are pros and cons with them all and he'll learn to get around the limitations. My concern would be that he would run up the bill if he's not paying for it. If you insist on paying you should consider an unlimited plan like on virgin mobile.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 06:36:13 PM »
Republic's new rate structure seems to be less appealing than it once was. It now seems like a knock-off of Project Fi's pricing, with a cheaper base talk/text rate and a higher per-GB rate for data. Project Fi seems like a nice plan with regard to reliability since it runs on two cell networks and works internationally for no extra charge, but the $20 base charge is somewhat on the high side and it only works with a few newer phones. Perhaps revisit that it a year or two when you can get a used phone that works with it.

If you're looking for something cheap and reliability isn't the hugest concern, check out FreedomPop. I have one of their WiFi hotspots, and it's good enough that I have never really felt like paying for cellular data.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 06:38:31 PM by seattlecyclone »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 06:45:10 PM »
The problem with Republic Wireless is that you can only use their phones, which can't be moved to another carrier if you decide to leave Republic. Unlocked phones are a far better bet because you can change carriers based on your circumstances.

Check out IP Daley's guide. I wouldn't bother with a WiFi provider, calls over a mobile network are so cheap nowadays.

Any estimate on minutes /messages/megabytes? Which network works best where you live?

Airvoice?

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 06:46:47 PM by alsoknownasDean »

MoonShadow

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 07:45:42 PM »
I looked into FreedomPop, and I just get the feeling that it's a bait & switch kind of con.

shadowmoss

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 11:02:00 AM »
* shadowmoss chimes in with 'Consumer Cellular' as /me always does.

$10/mo per device (phone line)  The rest is pay as you go.  Check a couple of days before the end of the service month and adjust accordingly.  Change levels whenever you want.  Data and voice are different, so if you talk a lot and don't data, that's fine, if other wise that's fine also.  Can also be shared with several folks on same plan. 

Not totally related, but Mom wants internet again on her home computer, but doesn't want to pay $60/mo which is the cheapest we can find.  Consumer Cellular has a personal wifi device that costs $80 and can share the data plan with the phone(s).  I'm thinking she will get the device from me (along with the wifi adapter for her computer) for Christmas.  She just wants to Skype with family, so I figure it will be about $20/mo extra on the plan.

acroy

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 11:27:47 AM »
Pay as you go through Ptel
Give him $10/mo (or something) and that'll encourage him to use it carefully!!

seattlecyclone

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Re: Best low-cost wifi-fi & cell service for my son.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 11:28:30 AM »
I looked into FreedomPop, and I just get the feeling that it's a bait & switch kind of con.

They do kind of seem that way, don't they? When you sign up they'll try to opt you into a bunch of extra services by saying they're FREE* and making the opt-out link very small. Their business model does rely on a certain percentage of customers buying these monthly add-ons and/or paying for data above and beyond the free quota. However if you do click all the right buttons it really is free (no asterisk needed, no chance of surprise charges). I have been using their service for more than a year and do not hesitate to recommend it for people who want some data access but don't want to pay a lot.

* for the first month, $9.99/month afterward