Author Topic: internet/cable/phone service  (Read 1885 times)

Tenlha

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internet/cable/phone service
« on: January 28, 2016, 12:03:01 PM »
Hi everyone. I need some help with internet/cable/phone service. It is for an older relative who is disabled and soon to be on a fixed income.

Cutting the cable is not an option for various reasons beyond my control. However, she mainly watches the History Channel, and Big Bang Theory, so I guess that's basic cable.

She has an iPhone 6 now, which she needs to keep, because some of the apps help with her issues. I don't have a smart phone and know nothing about them, but someone mentioned to me that you can only go to certain carriers with them, unless you have some kind of high dollar phone that can go to any provider. I'm certain she doesn't have that. Her phone works with Verizon now.

The internet needs to be fast enough for her to play MMORPGs like WoW. I don't have any idea how fast that would be.

I'm really at a loss here. I've tried to read up on it, like the technical guide link, but I can't match it to what she needs. Can anyone help? We live in a large metropolitan area, so there are lots of options for providers. Almost too many choices!

jeromedawg

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Re: internet/cable/phone service
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 12:36:07 PM »
Hi everyone. I need some help with internet/cable/phone service. It is for an older relative who is disabled and soon to be on a fixed income.

Cutting the cable is not an option for various reasons beyond my control. However, she mainly watches the History Channel, and Big Bang Theory, so I guess that's basic cable.

She has an iPhone 6 now, which she needs to keep, because some of the apps help with her issues. I don't have a smart phone and know nothing about them, but someone mentioned to me that you can only go to certain carriers with them, unless you have some kind of high dollar phone that can go to any provider. I'm certain she doesn't have that. Her phone works with Verizon now.

The internet needs to be fast enough for her to play MMORPGs like WoW. I don't have any idea how fast that would be.

I'm really at a loss here. I've tried to read up on it, like the technical guide link, but I can't match it to what she needs. Can anyone help? We live in a large metropolitan area, so there are lots of options for providers. Almost too many choices!

http://www.history.com/videos ? And a lot of tv shows are available online. Esp if you have Apple TV or a similar device.

With her iPhone 6 and being on VZW, I'm pretty sure she could go over to PagePlus Cellular (assuming she doesn't drain data, which shouldn't be a problem if she's at home most of the time using the internet connection via wifi). You can get an $80 prepaid pin from Callingmart or have her on the $30 per month plan (no contract) which affords unlimited talk/text and 1gb of data. If she's at home all the time, you could argue that she needs no data and can get her some $80 prepaid pins. Or she could even use Google Hangouts for free without burning up her minutes and save even more.

And as far as internet speeds, it doesn't sound like it needs to be crazy according to what people have posted here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3342095963 and http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4081811116

Sounds like patches and updates are the bottleneck.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 12:39:28 PM by jplee3 »

Daley

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Re: internet/cable/phone service
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 01:29:49 PM »
Have you read the unabridged guide yet? It goes over pretty much everything you're after in better detail than the forum version.

For specifics on the situation...

1) TV, specifically the History Channel. Unless you can get a basic cable package with locals and History plus basic internet access for under $65/month (not introductory priced), you might be better served with a basic internet connection, rabbit ears (or attic areal - check TV Fool to see what's needed), a Roku, and a Sling TV subscription.

2) For internet, though WoW patches can be massive, they download in the background via peer to peer. With most gaming, speed doesn't matter that much, latency does - even dial-up provides enough bandwidth for most games. Considering you can stream HD video with 7Mbps, and the high end of SD streaming video at 480p is still plenty watchable itself at 2.5Mbps... TOAST.net, if she's in an AT&T Uverse area, offers 6Mbps VDSL service for a $50 install, only a one year contract and a flat monthly rate of $38/month that isn't a discounted introductory. If she's willing to sacrifice HD video and go with the History Channel streamed in SD, their (unlisted) VDSL 3Mbps package is $32/month. Also check out Earthlink cable internet prices if she's in a Comcast or Time Warner area.

3) Phone. The iPhone 6 with Verizon is carrier unlocked, and can be taken to any Verizon LTE capable, AT&T or T-Mobile MVNO. If coverage is a concern switching networks, AT&T would be a safer bet. Regarding MVNOs specifically, if she doesn't use the phone for many calls texts and data, Consumer Cellular would be a good option as they're one of the only good AT&T MVNOs that are blessed by Apple to support data and MMS on the iPhone, especially if she's with AARP as she can get an additional discount. There's cheaper AT&T MVNOs with "unlimited" talk and text plans at $20/month, but they don't support MMS on iPhone, and data settings are a bother to set and reset and reset and reset with every software upgrade. Do her a favor and keep her away from Straight Talk, NET10, Tracfone, Page Plus, and Total Wireless... if you've ever dealt with their customer support, you'd understand why. You want something that works, first off, and has good support and billing, second. To keep data usage to the minimum needed, make sure software and OS updates are restricted to update over WiFi only, and disable mobile data access on all unnecessary mobile apps.

If TOAST.net VDSL is an option that's used, and you decide to bring a "home phone" back in to keep mobile minute usage low, mind that the AT&T modem/router/WiFi equipment does a right nice job of blocking VoIP (surprise surprise) - as such, you'll need to find directions to put the model of modem/router they send out into full bypass mode and stick a proper router in behind to fix that.

Done right, you should be able to get her set up for around $75-80 a month tops, and it's possible to get even lower depending on the options locally.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 01:37:42 PM by I.P. Daley »

HipGnosis

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Re: internet/cable/phone service
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 01:49:50 PM »
I'm actually going thru this transition right now (it's a bit of a process).
Time Warner cable is the cheapest for most cities.  Since she's alone and not streaming HD, the lowest cost plan should work.  Bundle it with their basic cable-TV.   Make sure the router has WiFi.
I'm already on PagePlus.  Which uses the Verizon network / phones.
Teach her (and write down?) how to use the phone on WiFi at home.  And when/how to switch to cellular data.

jeromedawg

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Re: internet/cable/phone service
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 01:52:31 PM »
I agree that PagePlus' customer service isn't all that. But it's not half-bad, especially if you're willing to handle the reloading and logistics on behalf of someone who may not want to deal with all that (but wants something cheap). For example, we setup an account for my in-laws who are so completely tech-illiterate that they have no business using smartphones (yet they do because all their friends have smartphones, so they would feel deprived... getting them smartphones was more out of pity than anything). Anyway, they certainly wouldn't be able to reload the minutes themselves. That said, my wife and I check in on their accounts and it really takes little time between buying more pins for them or checking to see how low they are (and they'll usually just call us if they get the warnings that they're low, asking if we can reload them). It's a pretty easy process and we haven't had any major issues - I haven't had to contact customer support that often, and when I do it's really not that bad (using chat especially). So if you're willing to put in even a little bit of footwork, this is definitely not a bad option. I can't speak to other MVNOs.