Author Topic: Google FI  (Read 2792 times)

Rdy2Fire

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Google FI
« on: September 18, 2019, 08:09:01 AM »
This isn't really an ask but more an FYI..

Not sure if anyone has used Google Fi but I just started using it last week as I wanted to get it for an international trip so I didn't have to get a new SIM in every country. So far domestically (US) it's awesome; time will tell on the international side

For those unaware it's $20 unlimited calling/text and then $10 per GB but the charging max's out at 6GB. It's 4G LTE throughout the US biggie backing off of T-Mobile and Sprint mainly and they claim it works in 170 countries. Anyway, don't know about the rest of you but that seems like a great deal if it works everywhere so I put my verizon on hold and may permanently switch. Just know folks are always looking to save, here's a referral link, if anyone cares https://g.co/fi/r/HPPH9N and they will send you a free SIM or you can buy one $10 at bestbuy and then google gives you a $10 credit (which is what I did)

YK-Phil

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 09:09:30 AM »
Very good information that confirms what many travelers have recommended. I am also on a multi-country road trip through the Americas and need good connectivity at all times. Getting a local SIM card in each country is likely the cheapest option, but Google FI seems to be the easiest one.

2sk22

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 09:10:44 AM »
I have also been reading about some really bad customer service problems. This are great as long as it all works but good luck trying to fix problems: https://jasonatwood.io/archives/1881

dodojojo

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 09:11:39 AM »
Do they still have phone restrictions?  That's what prevented me from signing on with them.  The international part is great, I used to have similar deal with T-Mobile.  It was great to show up in a country and just have the phone connect.  I stayed too long with T-Mobile due to this perk.  But finally I moved to a MVNO because paying $55 monthly and using less than 500 mb monthly was really wasteful. 

I'm now with Xfinity at about $18 monthly but no international roaming, unless I want to pay additional costs ($100/gb of data).

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 12:24:07 PM »
Very good information that confirms what many travelers have recommended. I am also on a multi-country road trip through the Americas and need good connectivity at all times. Getting a local SIM card in each country is likely the cheapest option, but Google FI seems to be the easiest one.

Right easy was what I was seeking and although not as cheap as a SIM in each place still cheaper then roaming on a major carrier, assuming it works :)


I have also been reading about some really bad customer service problems. This are great as long as it all works but good luck trying to fix problems: https://jasonatwood.io/archives/1881

I will check that link out, I have contacted them twice via email and they got back to me within a few hours each time. Again the true test is whole traveling does it do what I need


** I read that link and wow, I will still give it a shot at least for the international piece. With that said I have run into and am dealing with something similar with my cable company they are a monopoly and makes that google fi experience seem like nothing. Sadly corporations just don't care about retaining people's business anymore

Do they still have phone restrictions?  That's what prevented me from signing on with them.  The international part is great, I used to have similar deal with T-Mobile.  It was great to show up in a country and just have the phone connect.  I stayed too long with T-Mobile due to this perk.  But finally I moved to a MVNO because paying $55 monthly and using less than 500 mb monthly was really wasteful. 

I'm now with Xfinity at about $18 monthly but no international roaming, unless I want to pay additional costs ($100/gb of data).

I think there are still a few but works with almost every android (Samsung, Motorola, etc) and Apple so I think it's a pretty small list. I think they also claim Imessage on apple isn't supported but I read people saying it works fine
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 12:37:25 PM by Rdy2Fire »

FINate

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 12:35:43 PM »
We switched from Republic Wireless to Fi a few months ago. Very pleased with Fi so far -- better reception, less expensive for us for two people, and access to some nice Google specific features such as spam call filtering/screening and built in VPN. International is a nice bonus, though we haven't needed it yet.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 02:24:22 PM »
I've been using Google FI from the earliest days (Aug 2015) when you had to get an invite. I love them.

I've used them abroad (India, Italy) and it has worked well.

Only negative is that you need to use one of their phones, which will be Android. If you only like iPhones, this is not for you.

cangelosibrown

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 02:58:09 PM »
You need one of their phones to register with the service, but any phone seems to work fine once you're registered. I've used it for years and didn't notice any difference when I stopped using a google phone ( the voicemail doesn't work as well, but they text voicemails anyway.)

Best thing about the service though -- unlimited data sims (I think they recently started capping you at 5 or so). My wife just uses a data sim and a google voice number. So we only pay $20 a month + data (we don't use much) combined. Plus I can give data sims to family members when they're going abroad.

I've probably used it in 30 countries and never had an issue. It used to occasionally take a few hours to start working when you land in a new country, but I haven't had that issue in a couple years.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 03:17:54 PM »

Only negative is that you need to use one of their phones, which will be Android. If you only like iPhones, this is not for you.

No longer the case they have been testing Apple for a while and it works but you can check phones here  https://fi.google.com/compatibility



You need one of their phones to register with the service, but any phone seems to work fine once you're registered. I've used it for years and didn't notice any difference when I stopped using a google phone ( the voicemail doesn't work as well, but they text voicemails anyway.)

Best thing about the service though -- unlimited data sims (I think they recently started capping you at 5 or so). My wife just uses a data sim and a google voice number. So we only pay $20 a month + data (we don't use much) combined. Plus I can give data sims to family members when they're going abroad.

I've probably used it in 30 countries and never had an issue. It used to occasionally take a few hours to start working when you land in a new country, but I haven't had that issue in a couple years.

I actually registered everything online then just popped the SIM in and it worked... Glad to read no issues in 30 countries :)

Botany Bae

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 03:41:40 PM »
We've been on Fi for a few years, since it was still the beta version "project fi." Four phones on the service. We live somewhere where it is quite common to bounce onto Canadian towers. Fi, at the time at least, was the only reliable service that allowed this with full texting and calling capabilities without charging an arm and a leg. Sprint said they offered it on our old business account, but we never had luck getting service when on Canadian towers.

I've used customer service only for a couple of billing issues and one tech issue. The billing and tech teams are wonderful. It was always handled quickly, politely, and to my satisfaction. We have never ordered a phone through them, so I cannot attest to the customer service of the sales team.  Even with the "deals," I found you could get a refurbed phone elsewhere for much less. Having the latest and greatest phone is not important to anyone in our household, so using older pixels is fine. Most phones can now be used on Fi, including Apple products.

 


thesis

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2019, 08:37:57 AM »
I too have been using Google FI back since it was called Project FI. A friend told me about it, so I based my first smart phone purchase around it, and have had good experiences. Personally, I hate the idea of being locked in to one vendor, so buying an unlocked phone compatible with Google FI makes me happy. I love not having dumb contracts and paperwork to fill out. Google FI kept the paperwork to a minimum.

The phones that are compatible are expanding, which is great news. I think there was one android phone you could get for $200. The newer Pixels are stupid expensive, it's like they jacked the price up because people think phones are better when the price is high *eye roll*. As more phones become compatible, I think Google FI will be a serious win for a lot of people. Not using much data, I pay ~$35 per month. This of course ignores the startup cost of buying a phone, but I prefer to worry about that myself and pay monthly for service.

cchrissyy

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 09:18:28 AM »
I switched last fall when they started allowing the iPhone.  they mailed me a sim which i simply put into my existing iphone and it worked immediately.

there is an existing thread for referral codes here
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachian-marketplace/project-fi-referral-thread

MatthewK

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2019, 05:13:05 PM »
We got a FI sim for our week in Canada. Worked without any problem on our drive from Michigan to Montreal going the Canadian route through Sarnia with a stop in Niagara, used google maps the entire way and never lost connectivity.

 The only reason we didn't stay with FI is because Red Pocket is a better deal for me in the states...they don't offer international service.

RunningMan3

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 08:20:17 AM »
I've been using Google Fi since the beta program (Project Fi) for about 3 years now. I am very happy with the service. The cost is not going to be the cheapest plan you can purchase but the features of Project Fi set it set itself apart from other carriers. Yes, it's $10/GB, buy you are only paying for the data you use. So if you only use 500GB you are only paying $5 for your data usage. You get three carriers (TMobile, Sprint, and US Cellular) and your phone will automatically switch to the the provider with the better signal if your using a supported phone. I also like how my phone will automatically connect to WiFi in known hot spots such as a hospital or popular restaurant chain for example. The built in VPN will automatically turn on when connected to the public WiFi. It just a little feature that helps use less data that other carriers don't have. I'm always using less than 1GB of data and my monthly bill is around $30 including taxes and service fees. Then throw in the international features and the free data sims that you can put in any mobile device. As mentioned above they do support iPhone's now, but it's still in beta. No WiFi calling and no visual voicemail with iPhones I believe. If you want a cheap provider for iPhone's, then look into MintMobile as it supports iPhones and WiFi calling.

Shameless Google Fi referral link:https://g.co/fi/r/057699
***You will receive a $20 credit on your service if use the referral link.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2019, 08:53:17 AM »
Glad to read lots of success with Google FI.. As I think I said originally I will see how it works when traveling internationally (sounds like everyone hasn't had an issue) and decide whether to keep it or not. I guess if a few people use my link it will cut my costs too lol..

KBCB

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2019, 08:57:38 AM »
I use FI and had a problem getting a phone a while back when they had super limited selections that were super pricey. Other than that service has been great and I still go with them.

MatthewK

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2019, 05:37:55 PM »
I am considering getting Google FI with an iPhone 6S. I live in Canada (Ontario, specifically). Does Google offer FI in Canada? Thanks in advance!

I thought I read somewhere , perhaps someone posted here?, that no. Sounds like your big three there have a lock down on any competitors. I think someone said if you can use an address in the states than you could pull it off??

I'm sure someone with far more knowledge on this than me will chime in shortly.

GreenEggs

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 06:04:51 AM »
I need to look into Google FI.  Can I keep my current phone number?

OtherJen

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 07:22:52 AM »
I need to look into Google FI.  Can I keep my current phone number?

Yes. Husband and I had no problems keeping our numbers when we switched more than 3 years ago.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2019, 08:40:07 PM »
I am considering getting Google FI with an iPhone 6S. I live in Canada (Ontario, specifically). Does Google offer FI in Canada? Thanks in advance!

I thought I read somewhere , perhaps someone posted here?, that no. Sounds like your big three there have a lock down on any competitors. I think someone said if you can use an address in the states than you could pull it off??

I'm sure someone with far more knowledge on this than me will chime in shortly.

I believe I read that you have to be US Based to have Google Fi but I could be wrong.. There are FAQs at the bottom of the page, maybe it says more  https://g.co/fi/r/HPPH9N

YK-Phil

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2019, 08:47:38 AM »
I am considering getting Google FI with an iPhone 6S. I live in Canada (Ontario, specifically). Does Google offer FI in Canada? Thanks in advance!

I thought I read somewhere , perhaps someone posted here?, that no. Sounds like your big three there have a lock down on any competitors. I think someone said if you can use an address in the states than you could pull it off??

I'm sure someone with far more knowledge on this than me will chime in shortly.

I believe I read that you have to be US Based to have Google Fi but I could be wrong.. There are FAQs at the bottom of the page, maybe it says more  https://g.co/fi/r/HPPH9N

I could not find the information in the FAQs but when I tried to sign up with my Canadian address and postal code, I could not go past the address, and i got this reply: Unfortunately, FI isn't available in this area yet...I guess if you have access to an address in the USA to sign up and receive the SIM, it should work. As I don't, I couldn't go further.

specialkayme

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2019, 02:23:09 PM »
Is it possible to try Google Fi for only a month or so and see how it works?

I'm grandfathered into an old Verizon plan that they don't offer anymore. I pay about $125/m for two phones with 6 gigs (I typically use about 1 GB, my wife uses 4-5 a month). Switching to Fi would save me about $30/m, but if the coverage is bad (or the integration of my wife's iPhone doesn't work well) and I need to go back to Verizon, I'll no longer be grandfathered in which could be an issue, and my bill may jump.

dodojojo

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2019, 04:35:20 PM »
Is it possible to try Google Fi for only a month or so and see how it works?

I'm grandfathered into an old Verizon plan that they don't offer anymore. I pay about $125/m for two phones with 6 gigs (I typically use about 1 GB, my wife uses 4-5 a month). Switching to Fi would save me about $30/m, but if the coverage is bad (or the integration of my wife's iPhone doesn't work well) and I need to go back to Verizon, I'll no longer be grandfathered in which could be an issue, and my bill may jump.

If Google FI doesn't work for you, do you have to go back to Verizon?  There are lower-cost MVNOs you can try if Google FI doesn't pan out.  For example, I'm with Xfinity Mobile which works off of Verizon's system and I pay less than $20 monthly for 1gb of data. 

specialkayme

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2019, 06:54:59 PM »
If Google FI doesn't work for you, do you have to go back to Verizon?  There are lower-cost MVNOs you can try if Google FI doesn't pan out.  For example, I'm with Xfinity Mobile which works off of Verizon's system and I pay less than $20 monthly for 1gb of data.

No, I don't have to go back to Verizon. But options are somewhat limited when you need great coverage, low cost, no commitments, allows my wife to use about 5 GB a month, and allows both my wife and I to transport our phones (Pixel 2 and iPhone). For example, Spectrum (Xfinitiy) doesn't support Pixel phones, so I'd have to buy a new phone if I went with them (which I don't really think makes sense to trash a perfectly good phone). Beyond that there aren't many great options, and Ting starts to get a little pricey when you start using data.

OtherJen

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2019, 07:01:03 PM »
Is it possible to try Google Fi for only a month or so and see how it works?

I'm grandfathered into an old Verizon plan that they don't offer anymore. I pay about $125/m for two phones with 6 gigs (I typically use about 1 GB, my wife uses 4-5 a month). Switching to Fi would save me about $30/m, but if the coverage is bad (or the integration of my wife's iPhone doesn't work well) and I need to go back to Verizon, I'll no longer be grandfathered in which could be an issue, and my bill may jump.

I don't see why not. You don't sign a contract for a defined period of service. Does your area receive good Sprint and T-mobile coverage? That information will determine whether it's worth it for you to try Fi service.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 08:52:56 PM »
Is it possible to try Google Fi for only a month or so and see how it works?

I'm grandfathered into an old Verizon plan that they don't offer anymore. I pay about $125/m for two phones with 6 gigs (I typically use about 1 GB, my wife uses 4-5 a month). Switching to Fi would save me about $30/m, but if the coverage is bad (or the integration of my wife's iPhone doesn't work well) and I need to go back to Verizon, I'll no longer be grandfathered in which could be an issue, and my bill may jump.

Yes.. there is a caveat though.. if you want to port your number I think you would lose your plan, if you're willing to try a new number (what i did) then you can put your verizon account on hold which is $10 a month (RIDICULOUS) try google fi and if you like it and decide to leave verizon then port the number.


specialkayme

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2019, 07:39:13 AM »
Does your area receive good Sprint and T-mobile coverage?

Coverage maps show some considerable gaps in coverage in areas surrounding me, but its tough to tell how accurate the maps really are. About 5 years ago I would always get coverage when friends or co-workers on Sprint couldn't, but everyone's been investing in infrastructure since then so that means about nothing.

Yes.. there is a caveat though.. if you want to port your number I think you would lose your plan, if you're willing to try a new number (what i did) then you can put your verizon account on hold which is $10 a month (RIDICULOUS) try google fi and if you like it and decide to leave verizon then port the number.

Ah, tough. Both my wife and I use our numbers for our side businesses (her more than me, but still). So I don't think that would work.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2019, 01:40:55 PM »
Does your area receive good Sprint and T-mobile coverage?

Coverage maps show some considerable gaps in coverage in areas surrounding me, but its tough to tell how accurate the maps really are. About 5 years ago I would always get coverage when friends or co-workers on Sprint couldn't, but everyone's been investing in infrastructure since then so that means about nothing.

Yes.. there is a caveat though.. if you want to port your number I think you would lose your plan, if you're willing to try a new number (what i did) then you can put your verizon account on hold which is $10 a month (RIDICULOUS) try google fi and if you like it and decide to leave verizon then port the number.

Ah, tough. Both my wife and I use our numbers for our side businesses (her more than me, but still). So I don't think that would work.

Maybe port one, leave one, so one of you is testing it and then if it's great port the other, if not drop FI and port it back to verizon.. Just a thought

Or maybe leave verizon active for a month but forward your verizon number to google fi number. Again just an idea

specialkayme

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Re: Google FI
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2019, 02:52:36 PM »
Or maybe leave verizon active for a month but forward your verizon number to google fi number. Again just an idea

I would need two cell phones for this though, wouldn't I? One active under Verizon's number, and one active under google fi's number, correct?

Still not a bad idea though. Especially if I can pick up an old smartphone for cheap ($10 or so), use it as my "verizon phone" and move my pixel to google fi, try it for a month or two, then port the number over if it works good. I don't use much data (maybe a gig in a month), so it would only run me about $30 extra a month to figure it all out.