Author Topic: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide  (Read 494281 times)

naners

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #500 on: April 19, 2013, 12:24:17 PM »
If anyone is looking for a sim card cutter, I thought I'd try to start an exchange, since it's a single-use (or at least infrequent-use) item.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachian-marketplace/sim-cutter-exchange/

Yes, you can use scissors, but the internet suggested that a cutter was a bit easier. Mine worked pretty well (full details if you decide to request mine).

carolinakaren

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #501 on: April 20, 2013, 01:34:07 PM »
After months of waiting I was finally able to upgrade from an iPhone 3G to the 4. (Both were free when family members upgraded and passed the old ones to me.) This allowed me to begin using the talkatone app with my google voice number.  I ported my regular cellphone number from at&t to pure talk usa and purchased a $10/month plan.  I used to pay over $60/month! The older phone couldn't be used with the app talkatone, so I'm super excited to be able to get unlimited use! This thread and mmm´s article helped me to unlock the phones and find an inexpensive plan. Thanks for all the excellent tech advice!

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #502 on: April 22, 2013, 09:33:22 AM »
This may have already been discussed on the forum, but I can't find it: I'm switching to airvoice and want to take my iphone 4. It is currently running a version of ios5. tech support at airvoice says that text messaging is buggy with IOS6... I'm needing to finish my att unlock on my phone, but in order to complete the unlock I have to restore and update to IOS6.  Is there a way around this? Does anyone have experience running IOS6 with airvoice? thanks

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #503 on: April 23, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »
iPhones are expensive

Not if you don't get any service with it!

I got an iPhone!!!!

I been a "feature" phone luddite all these years - what do I need a computer in my pocket for?  But I found a 3G in one of my hauling runs (where my customers pay me to take away their old junk and find new homes for as much as possible), so I unlocked it and jailbroke it and filled it with my music collection, my favorite youtube videos, a bunch of free ebooks and how to PDFs, got the GPS working (mostly), and set it to sync with my calendar and email and text messages via wifi, downloaded a bunch of free apps, and (to my surprise), unlike most of my random projects, I'm still using the dang thing every single day a couple weeks later!

Totally free (well, no, I spent $1 on one app)
I still use my old (shock resistant, waterproof) flip phone for phone calls, with PagePlus $12 a month plan

KulshanGirl

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #504 on: April 23, 2013, 05:14:15 PM »
I have iOS 6 on an iPhone 4s.  No problems with texting so far, but I don't text very often so who knows.  I have been 100% happy with AirVoice over the last two months.  The first month I only used about $5 of my $10 plan and it rolled right over.  It has been the best decision I've made so far on my mustachian journey.  I also followed MMM's recommendation on FreedomPop to take the place of the data plan, and again, brilliance. 

Edit to add:  I did have significant problems with iOS 6 at first though, the WiFi on the phone was totally messed up after that upgrade. I ended up having to send in the phone to Apple, and it ultimately got replaced under warranty.  I'd probably get that upgrade done and check the WiFi before you sign up for AirVoice, in case you need to send in the phone like I did.  No sense starting the $10 plan if you are without the phone. 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 05:16:50 PM by KulshanGirl »

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #505 on: April 23, 2013, 07:44:08 PM »
If anyone is looking for a sim card cutter, I thought I'd try to start an exchange, since it's a single-use (or at least infrequent-use) item.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachian-marketplace/sim-cutter-exchange/

Yes, you can use scissors, but the internet suggested that a cutter was a bit easier. Mine worked pretty well (full details if you decide to request mine).

Excellent!

Edit: I'll add I've added a link to the thread up at the beginning of the thread here, along with a few other links, mostly for the Verizon iPhone crowd, but a few other resources have been linked as well.



iPhones are expensive

Not if you don't get any service with it!

I got an iPhone!!!!

I been a "feature" phone luddite all these years - what do I need a computer in my pocket for?  But I found a 3G in one of my hauling runs (where my customers pay me to take away their old junk and find new homes for as much as possible), so I unlocked it and jailbroke it and filled it with my music collection, my favorite youtube videos, a bunch of free ebooks and how to PDFs, got the GPS working (mostly), and set it to sync with my calendar and email and text messages via wifi, downloaded a bunch of free apps, and (to my surprise), unlike most of my random projects, I'm still using the dang thing every single day a couple weeks later!

Totally free (well, no, I spent $1 on one app)
I still use my old (shock resistant, waterproof) flip phone for phone calls, with PagePlus $12 a month plan

Quite true, and nice score! You of all people here I worry the least about, but do be cautious of technology creep and addiction with the device anyway. :)



Edit to add:  I did have significant problems with iOS 6 at first though, the WiFi on the phone was totally messed up after that upgrade. I ended up having to send in the phone to Apple, and it ultimately got replaced under warranty.  I'd probably get that upgrade done and check the WiFi before you sign up for AirVoice, in case you need to send in the phone like I did.  No sense starting the $10 plan if you are without the phone. 

I've heard iOS 6 was a bit of a trainwreck on release. Good thing for Jake to be aware of anyway.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 08:25:04 PM by I.P. Daley »

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #506 on: April 23, 2013, 07:54:51 PM »
Update for anyone considering the Android/ARM HTPC/XBMC method of home entertainment for use with Amazon Prime or even purchased/rented Amazon Videos:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/04/23/1615219/the-dark-side-of-amazons-new-pilots

Quote
For ages now, Amazon Instant Video has worked with Android devices supporting Flash and, more importantly to many people (and me) it seems, through an unofficial XBMC plugin. It seemed like Amazon was happily using RTMPE to prevent casual stream interception, at least for content funded by others. But with the release of their new pilots, they enabled "Flash Access," Adobe's DRM that (for now) is actually effective.

This effectively kills access for everyone using GNU/Linux, even with the (officially unsupported) Adobe Flash plugin! The Adobe plugin relies on HAL for some DRM magic, but HAL is unmaintained, deprecated, and was removed from most major distros ages ago. You can't even install it by hand thanks to udev removing a few features HAL relied upon. Naturally, the Adobe Flash plugin is equally unmaintained so there is little hope even for people willing to install a piece of unmaintained software with a history of remotely exploitable security holes, instability, and poor performance.

But it seems the loss of access from XBMC is more widely felt: RMS cultists and pragmatic Windows users alike now suffer equally. And the folks who aren't GNU/Hippies with an anti-cloud-chip-on-their-shoulder might even be suffering more: they've lost access to shows and movies that they purchased.

There are a dozen pages on the XBMC forum of people pretty pissed, hundreds of angry posts on their Facebook wall, lengthy threads on Amazon's official forums. But so far the response from Amazon has simply been: it was never supposed to work, and we've fixed it.

Thanks Amazon, at least you haven't screwed over us x86 Linux desktop users... yet. After the massive changes made to Prime shipping the past couple months making it near worthless with the new $25 minimum for free shipping requirement, only to get it a couple days earlier than Super Saver is delivering at these days, we opted out of renewing last month. Clearly, we haven't lost much now.

NICE!

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #507 on: April 25, 2013, 05:00:02 AM »
IP,

Please help! I just got back from Afghanistan and I'm getting the run around from everyone, please pressure from family/friends to get a callable number.

I went into a cell store (primarily Boost) that sold Virgin phones and plans and she told me she couldn't activate another carrier's phone to Virgin. I have a Sprint EVO 4G. Sprint also gave me the run around on cancelling service when I called.

I just want an easy answer...Where can I take my EVO 4G? Am I better off just cutting the cord to it, trying to hawk it on eBay, and getting another low cost phone?

Thanks

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #508 on: April 25, 2013, 07:03:09 AM »
IP,

Please help! I just got back from Afghanistan and I'm getting the run around from everyone, please pressure from family/friends to get a callable number.

I went into a cell store (primarily Boost) that sold Virgin phones and plans and she told me she couldn't activate another carrier's phone to Virgin. I have a Sprint EVO 4G. Sprint also gave me the run around on cancelling service when I called.

I just want an easy answer...Where can I take my EVO 4G? Am I better off just cutting the cord to it, trying to hawk it on eBay, and getting another low cost phone?

Thanks

Welcome home, NICE!

Short answer: Ting.

Your Sprint EVO 4G is even on the officially supported device list for them, as long as it has a clean ESN (no outstanding bills with Sprint), you should be able to activate today since you have the phone, and you'll probably pay less for service than you would have with Virgin or Boost... unless you're a data hog, but that's really easy to not do by not using data frivolously.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 07:04:51 AM by I.P. Daley »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #509 on: April 27, 2013, 03:03:53 AM »
IP,

I went with Ting and things are working great. I set everything up around mid-day one day, pushed software/firmware/PRL updates to my phone, then woke up in the morning and everything was working. I can see why people still pay so much for cell service - they first have to think the major companies charge too much, then they have to find out what else is out there (and they probably only know about Boost/Cricket/Virgin), and if they find something like Ting they have to do some light technical stuff (not really, but imagine an old grandpa/grandma having to push a PRL update to a phone). Lots of steps.

Totally worth it, though. My plan should cost me somewhere in the $30s/month, but they say they'll bump you up or credit you, as needed. Have people found this to be the case?

icefr

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #510 on: April 27, 2013, 11:23:13 AM »
IP,

I went with Ting and things are working great. I set everything up around mid-day one day, pushed software/firmware/PRL updates to my phone, then woke up in the morning and everything was working. I can see why people still pay so much for cell service - they first have to think the major companies charge too much, then they have to find out what else is out there (and they probably only know about Boost/Cricket/Virgin), and if they find something like Ting they have to do some light technical stuff (not really, but imagine an old grandpa/grandma having to push a PRL update to a phone). Lots of steps.

Totally worth it, though. My plan should cost me somewhere in the $30s/month, but they say they'll bump you up or credit you, as needed. Have people found this to be the case?

I switched to Ting back in February as part of their ETF payout promotion. At first, I picked specific "plans", but I found the billing to be confusing, so what I do now is my "plans" are all the XS ($0) ones and then they adjust the bill later, so it actually pretty closely resembles postpaid, without the contract.

I'm actually finding that I'm spending much less than I thought I would and I don't use data at all, so my bill this month will be $20+fees. $3 for 100 MB isn't bad though and I'll do that occasionally, e.g. when traveling domestically.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #511 on: April 27, 2013, 02:52:00 PM »
IP,

I went with Ting and things are working great. I set everything up around mid-day one day, pushed software/firmware/PRL updates to my phone, then woke up in the morning and everything was working. I can see why people still pay so much for cell service - they first have to think the major companies charge too much, then they have to find out what else is out there (and they probably only know about Boost/Cricket/Virgin), and if they find something like Ting they have to do some light technical stuff (not really, but imagine an old grandpa/grandma having to push a PRL update to a phone). Lots of steps.

Totally worth it, though. My plan should cost me somewhere in the $30s/month, but they say they'll bump you up or credit you, as needed. Have people found this to be the case?

I switched to Ting back in February as part of their ETF payout promotion. At first, I picked specific "plans", but I found the billing to be confusing, so what I do now is my "plans" are all the XS ($0) ones and then they adjust the bill later, so it actually pretty closely resembles postpaid, without the contract.

I'm actually finding that I'm spending much less than I thought I would and I don't use data at all, so my bill this month will be $20+fees. $3 for 100 MB isn't bad though and I'll do that occasionally, e.g. when traveling domestically.

Thanks for the tips! I noticed that my usage is way lower than I thought and...Check this out...When the resources (mins/texts/MBs) aren't unlimited, I work much harder to conserve them. I make sure I'm on wifi when I'm home, I email when on wifi rather than texting, and I use Skype/Facetime when available instead of calling. I think I'll end up on the "S" "plan" pretty regularly as I'm not a data hog.

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #512 on: April 27, 2013, 09:43:04 PM »
IP,

I went with Ting and things are working great. I set everything up around mid-day one day, pushed software/firmware/PRL updates to my phone, then woke up in the morning and everything was working. I can see why people still pay so much for cell service - they first have to think the major companies charge too much, then they have to find out what else is out there (and they probably only know about Boost/Cricket/Virgin), and if they find something like Ting they have to do some light technical stuff (not really, but imagine an old grandpa/grandma having to push a PRL update to a phone). Lots of steps.

Totally worth it, though. My plan should cost me somewhere in the $30s/month, but they say they'll bump you up or credit you, as needed. Have people found this to be the case?

Even still, most of that stuff only applies to smartphones. Feature phones are pretty much MSL and go. It's amazing how much more difficult people build up the fear of switching carriers than it really is.

Great to hear on the cost, and yes... it works. Plenty of folks 'round here have Ting. In addition to Icefr there, there's also Yolfer, KingCoin, Zoltani, Giggles, and Dudemize just off the top of my head.

Glad to help, though, and even happier to hear you're happy with the move. :)

icefr

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #513 on: April 28, 2013, 03:44:18 PM »
I switched to Ting back in February as part of their ETF payout promotion. At first, I picked specific "plans", but I found the billing to be confusing, so what I do now is my "plans" are all the XS ($0) ones and then they adjust the bill later, so it actually pretty closely resembles postpaid, without the contract.

I'm actually finding that I'm spending much less than I thought I would and I don't use data at all, so my bill this month will be $20+fees. $3 for 100 MB isn't bad though and I'll do that occasionally, e.g. when traveling domestically.

Thanks for the tips! I noticed that my usage is way lower than I thought and...Check this out...When the resources (mins/texts/MBs) aren't unlimited, I work much harder to conserve them. I make sure I'm on wifi when I'm home, I email when on wifi rather than texting, and I use Skype/Facetime when available instead of calling. I think I'll end up on the "S" "plan" pretty regularly as I'm not a data hog.

Definitely!! What I've done is turned mobile data off and then I'll consciously turn it on if I really need it, thinking about the fact that it'll cost me three bucks.

Another tip: make sure wi-fi doesn't turn  off when yo u go to sleep: Settings > Wi-Fi > Menu > Advanced > Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep.
To turn data off: Settings > Mobile data > OFF!
Those two should save you a ton of data usage :)

There's no way I can stay under 100 texts/month, but very little likelihood of going over 1,000, so I don't really worry about it.

PM me if you want a referral link! It'll get you a $25 credit towards your Ting service and something for me too. ($25 should be good for almost a whole month's service!)

mm31

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #514 on: April 29, 2013, 12:47:17 AM »
I've turned off data and wifi on my phone which saves me money and battery life. Also, check out the official Ting app to see how you're doing on usage: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ting.dashboard

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #515 on: April 30, 2013, 12:12:15 AM »
And a great sigh of relief can be heard throughout the Daley household. After weeks of fits and spurts of time writing between other bits of life, researching, testing, consolidating and editing a whopping 5600 word count article labored of love that my wife joked was becoming the Winchester Mystery Mansion of internet blog posts, a post that defied splitting... I present to you my latest marginally definitive technological guide post on VoIP telephony:


Go forth and phone home.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #516 on: April 30, 2013, 07:19:04 AM »
Thanks for getting call me maybe (only in my head it's "VoIP me maybe") stuck in my head early in the morning.  This will be a fun day.  ;)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #517 on: April 30, 2013, 08:13:00 AM »
Thanks for getting call me maybe (only in my head it's "VoIP me maybe") stuck in my head early in the morning.  This will be a fun day.  ;)

How deliciously ironic, since it was your post quoting a linked mashup I'd missed from Kriegsspiel that got that thing wedged back in my brain.

It is an insidious ear worm of a tune, isn't it?

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #518 on: April 30, 2013, 08:13:49 AM »
It's still about thirty times better than "Friday" and "My Jeans".

adam

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #519 on: April 30, 2013, 08:34:58 AM »
I am starting to miss my Galaxy Nexus.  The device itself if not so much the data.  I have been reminded of why I wanted to upgrade from the Droid2 in the first place on a somewhat constant basis. 

I thought I could just root it and put cyanogenmod on it, but apparently its a little more difficult after I upgraded on the last OTA update to Android 2.3.4.

:(

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #520 on: April 30, 2013, 09:54:15 AM »
I am starting to miss my Galaxy Nexus.  The device itself if not so much the data.  I have been reminded of why I wanted to upgrade from the Droid2 in the first place on a somewhat constant basis. 

I thought I could just root it and put cyanogenmod on it, but apparently its a little more difficult after I upgraded on the last OTA update to Android 2.3.4.

:(

Adam, this thread over at RootzWiki might be of interest to you.

Quote
New root method for stock 2.3.4 (621/622) found (Droid2, R2D2)

7/25/2012 - Thanks to beh for putting together an EzSBF cd for this! Just burn, boot from CD and follow the directions. It can flash to the stock 621 update for those that want the stock Gingerbread image, then gives you the option to root if you like.

I cannot guarantee safety of hardware, exposure to malware, viruses, terrible internet songs, etc. Use at your own risk, but be aware of what's out there.



It's still about thirty times better than "Friday" and "My Jeans".


GRAAAAANT!



In vaguely related news, I think I've stared at that VoIP post too long. I re-read it this morning and want to just bin and re-write the whole thing. >.<
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 10:01:23 AM by I.P. Daley »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #521 on: April 30, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »
All,

I didn't realize I could use a referral link for Ting to save money for both the person referring me and myself. If anyone switches to Ting, please PM icefr or me for a referral link (~$25 I think).


adam

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #522 on: April 30, 2013, 02:40:24 PM »
Do you think I'll get enough of a performance boost simply rooting and installing a vanilla Gingerbread?  I thought they might have a more recent version of android for the Droid2, but its still just gingerbread, which I already have.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #523 on: April 30, 2013, 03:19:45 PM »
Do you think I'll get enough of a performance boost simply rooting and installing a vanilla Gingerbread?  I thought they might have a more recent version of android for the Droid2, but its still just gingerbread, which I already have.

The problem with most stock Android firmware is in what the carriers and manufacturers do with it. Yes, Motorola is owned by Google, but that doesn't stop them from crapping all over the OS with carrier specific models. If you're serious about nearly wanting to give up on the phone you have anyway, and you're willing to take the risk of rooting it... go ahead and load CM7 (which is based on the 2.3.7 build of Gingerbread - and yes, there's even differences in Gingerbread builds) on that sucker. It may still be Gingerbread-based, but it won't perform anything like your stock firmware.

Research and learn what CM7 has versus what you're running... read other reader reviews on your phone with alternate firmware and see if it's worth giving a shot.

Personally though, if you're near the end of your rope with the device and are reasonably tech savvy anyway, it seems like you have nothing to lose... but do what feels most comfortable for you, it's your phone after all. No shame in running stock, and it can have its own advantages for all its quirks.

Edited again: The only thing I might be cautious of is this bit of news. If it's not a concern for you due to preferred locking methods or whatnot, go with the stable release. Otherwise, consider going with one of the nightlies released after the end of October 2012.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 03:32:53 PM by I.P. Daley »

adam

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #524 on: April 30, 2013, 04:01:22 PM »
The swipe thing is disconcerting, but I can encrypt the Droid like I did the nexus, it requires you to switch to a PIN anyway.  I have put Ice Cream Sandwich on an HP touchpad, so I'm sure I can figure out how to do it on the phone.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #525 on: April 30, 2013, 05:50:46 PM »
FreedomPop issue!  :/  I do have a request for help in with them and I'm waiting to hear back.  But I thought I'd check in here to see if anyone has heard of this.  And by anyone, I mean the Master.  :)

Everything was going along fine, and then suddenly I got redirected to a page in safari.  www.mismatchrealm.com/MismatchSplash.html.  It says this:

ATTENTION:
 
Our records indicate there may already be an account for this device or that the incorrect network provider was selected in the Connection Manager.
 
You will need to select the correct network provider from the list of available networks in the Connection Manager.
 
The Connection Manager is currently looking for any new network providers that may have been recently added. Please wait at least 3 minutes for this update to take place prior to performing the steps outlined below.
 
Note: If you still experience issues obtaining a subscription on your network provider of choice, it may be necessary to install an updated version of your Connection Manager.
 If using the Intel PROSet/Wireless WiMAX Connection Utility:
 
Perform a "Wide Area Scan" to select the correct network provider. "
 
( and there is a big picture here with some signal and whatever ) then it says follow these instruction ???

"
 Select Disconnect to disconnect from the current network provider.
 Select Show Network List or "Show network list" to perform a Wide Area Scan.
 Select Search Networks to search for available networks.
 Select the network to which you are subscribed.
 Select Connect to connect to your subscribed network.
 Refresh or restart your browser to access the internet.
 
Follow the instructions of your connection manager to scan for additional networks:
 
Disconnect from the current network provider.
 Follow the instructions of your connection manager to search for all available networks.
 Select the network to which you are subscribed.
 Follow the instructions of your connection manager to connect to your subscribed network.
 Refresh or restart your browser to access the internet. "
 

So, I've rebooted the Photon from scratch, reset the password, it's all charged.  I've deleted my network settings on the phone, removed the FreedomPop from the list and re-added it, deleted my history and cookies, and everything else I can think of.  It connects just fine, but all of my apps that use data simply do not work, it just keeps thinking and thinking.  And, safari takes me to that page.  The only page that does work is the FreedomPop Device Utility area, which i've been through and tried every section there. 

My home wifi works fine, so I know it's not my phone.  Any ideas?  have you heard of this message before?  I googled it and the only answers I can come up with are people who are actually using their phone as the wifi hotspot.  I'm stumped!

Thanks in advance!

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #526 on: April 30, 2013, 06:22:07 PM »
KulshanGirl, I've not heard or run into anything like that with FreedomPop equipment, but it does sound like there might be account issues with them preventing network access. This could either be a local Clearwire issue or FreedomPop issue (either account balance or provisioning issues or hardware failure or an outage or something), as you can connect to the Photon, and the Photon can serve up its device configuration, but full network access is being denied.

All I can recommend is to hang tight until their support monkeys get back with you.

That said, I'll admit, this is one of the reasons why I'm not rip-roaring about FreedomPop. Between them currently using Clearwire's WiMAX service and their support quality reports being pretty iffy... there's not a whole lot there to love, but I'm also a "free" service skeptic. I know a lot of folks here love it though, YMMV. *shrug*

Hopefully you'll get it straightened out. If they tell you what the cause is, I'd love to hear.

cosmie

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #527 on: April 30, 2013, 06:58:59 PM »
That said, I'll admit, this is one of the reasons why I'm not rip-roaring about FreedomPop. Between them currently using Clearwire's WiMAX service and their support quality reports being pretty iffy... there's not a whole lot there to love, but I'm also a "free" service skeptic. I know a lot of folks here love it though, YMMV. *shrug*
 hear.

Just FYI, they're also now on Sprint's 3G CDMA network. Not necessarily the best, but better than just the WiMAX. They're also allowing free swaps of their WiMAX-only hotspots with WiMAX/3G, which bodes will for when they integrate with Sprint's LTE network.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #528 on: May 01, 2013, 02:58:40 PM »
I still haven't heard back from FreedomPop (surprise!) but ... I have solved the problem. On. My. OWN.  ME!  That's right.  *struts about*

Okay, it was pretty much dumb luck.  Instead of rebooting the photon by the "holding the button for 15 seconds" method, I rebooted it from afar using the device manager site.  It did the exact same thing by all accounts, lights blinked the same colors and patterns, had to redo passwords, etc.  I also did "forget this device" on my iPhone, and reset the network settings and then re-connected.  I did all of this before mind you, so I am assuming that rebooting from afar was the ticket.

I am still a huge fan of this thing. 

Edited for update:  I can stop strutting, it seems.  Just heard from FreedomPop and there was a glitch in their system that they've fixed.  So, all of my technical wizardry (snort) was for naught.  Ah well.  Now I know a lot more about my device though, so that is good.

 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 03:40:01 PM by KulshanGirl »

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #529 on: May 01, 2013, 10:32:54 PM »
You have (or want) an iPhone, and you desire to spend less money... but how?

Preface

Before we start, as for iPhones in general... if you're thinking about (re)investing in one for whatever reason, read this post. If you still insist on or can justify using one of the most expensive and least mustachian smartphones on the market instead of saving some money or selling the thing, let's get started!

AT&T iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S models

If your AT&T iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S has not been carrier unlocked (easy to find out - if you put in any SIM card other than an AT&T one and there's no Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network setting or you receive an error message, it's carrier locked), you'll need to do that. Fortunately, it's relatively cheap and easy to unlock if need be. AT&T will carrier unlock for free on request with active customers if the phone is over two years old or the ETF has been paid, but the unlocking service is also available through Ebay for around $4-5. If you do pay someone through Ebay, use common sense when selecting someone offering the service, and keep in mind that this is still very legal to do just so long as the phone in question was clearly purchased before the end of January 2013 due to changes in DMCA law. These phones may have data speed issues on T-Mobile MVNOs in most markets due to lack of AWS 1700/2100MHz band support, but more on that under Carrier Options.

If you're looking to buy an iPhone and don't have one yet, re-read this post. If you're still convinced you want to buy one, these are the models that you'll likely want to get either used or refurbished, excluding the 3G model due to its full end of life status and lack of iOS updates in nearly three years. The 3GS is technically end of life as well, but is still receiving iOS feature and security updates from Apple for the time being. You can usually find refurbished 3GS models with new batteries and a short refurb warranty for under $200 without working too hard looking on Ebay and Amazon, and used through Ebay or Craigslist for this model will be cheaper still. Just be sure to look for it being carrier unlocked (saves you a step) and having a clean IMEI (no outstanding ETF or listed stolen with AT&T). The prices just go up from that point, the newer the model.

You can technically buy any currently available iPhone 4/4S/5 from Apple directly brand new, outright and factory carrier unlocked, but prices start at $450, and $450 can buy four new carrier unlocked pentaband Nokia Asha 311 phones. Just something to keep in mind.

Sprint & Verizon iPhone 4/4S models

If you're dealing with a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4/4S model, you're SOL as Verizon and Sprint are CDMA carriers, aren't compatible with any AT&T or T-Mobile's GSM networks and their related MVNOs, and the only Verizon MVNO being Page Plus doesn't officially support the iPhone, and the same can be said for the Sprint iPhones and the related Sprint MVNOs Ting and EcoMobile. If you do have a Verizon model, talk with TheDude. He can give you advice to make it happen with Verizon 4/4S models with Page Plus only if you feel comfortable with the risks involved, but understand that you'll be in breach of contract with Page Plus doing so and could get service yanked without warning.

If you insist on using an iPhone on the CDMA end, and specifically on a Sprint MVNO, you can buy iPhones through Virgin Mobile.

Although the 4S models have GSM network chipsets and SIM slots, both Sprint and Verizon have carrier locked these phones to only use the European/Asian 900/1800MHz GSM bands, and carrier unlocking from them will only let you use the phone abroad. There might be ways around this to use North American GSM SIM cards, but it involves doing very technical things. You're on your own.

If you're stuck with one of these CDMA iPhone models and you insist on both continuing to use an iPhone and want a cheaper GSM MVNO plan, then you're just going to have to sell and re-invest in one of the AT&T 3GS/4/4S models listed above. Before selling your phone, wipe everything by doing a factory reset. Do NOT sell your handset back to Apple for store credit, it's store credit and not cash, and you'll get even less than the cash many "we buy your phone" outfits you see advertising on late night TV will pay out for the same hardware. Better still? If its in good shape and the ESN is clean (ETF fees paid if any), sell it yourself on Craigslist or Ebay.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Verizon iPhone 5 models

First, we'll start with Verizon model of the iPhone 5: this phone cannot be sneaked onto the Page Plus network like the 4/4S models due to the presence of the LTE network chipset. However, due to LTE bandwidth agreement deals between Verizon and the FTC, GSM support is fully unlocked for global GSM 850/900/1800/1900 frequencies from the manufacturer. This means that you can choose any GSM MVNO you like for service with the phone without doing anything but paying off your ETF if you have one and trying to cut down your SIM card to the 4FF nano-SIM size without damaging it. This model phone will also have the same data speed issues on T-Mobile MVNOs as the AT&T 3G/3GS/4/4S models due to lack of AWS 1700/2100MHz band support.

Next, we'll address the AT&T models: the earlier revisions of this model (A1428) appear to still have the same data speed issues on T-Mobile MVNOs as the AT&T 3G/3GS/4/4S models mentioned above due to lack of AWS 1700/2100MHz band support, and it cannot be corrected through firmware updates. More current models from AT&T might have full T-Mobile AWS support, if serial numbers end with the right four digits. You'll still need to get it carrier unlocked from AT&T first before proceeding if it isn't already before you can hack down an MVNO SIM card and take it elsewhere. Hooray for ETF fees and contracts!

Third up, we'll address the T-Mobile model: this one's going to support whatever cut down SIM card you can throw at it after you pay the phone off with T-Mobile to ensure they don't blacklist your IMEI internally and with AT&T, and not have any quirky data speed restriction issues with other T-Mobile MVNOs. Until then, you may think you don't have a contract on your phone service, but you do anyway. ETF by any other name...

Finally, we'll address the Sprint iPhone 5: sorry chum, you're stuck where you are with the same problems as the Sprint 4/4S models. That said, you might be able to pay off your ETF and switch plans over to Sprint's new As You Go service, which has a marginally less terrible $70/month smartphone plan which may or may not be cheaper than what you're already paying. Otherwise, you're going to need to do the same thing as the advice given for the CDMA 4/4S models above if you want to keep using an iPhone but want to switch to a cheaper MVNO plan.

GSM MVNO Carrier Options

For your GSM carrier unlocked iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S/5 model handsets, in addition to Airvoice Wireless being an option on the AT&T GSM network end, there's also Platinumtel and GoSmart Mobile on the T-Mobile GSM network to consider (those are the three best GSM carriers for most people's needs - both price and support). However, you'll be limited to EDGE/2G data speeds on any T-Mobile MVNO in most cities for the immediate future with your iPhone due to GSM data network band incompatibilities between AT&T and T-Mobile's GSM networks, specifically due to the lack of AWS 1700/2100MHz band support (excluding the T-Mobile iPhone 5). That said, EDGE/2G speeds are still plenty fast for text, e-mail and leisurely web surfing and this network incompatibility is changing. Also, don't forget about WiFi hotspots and FreedomPop or NetZero if you're inclined. In addition to all the linked providers, there's a plethora of other GSM MVNOs on both the AT&T and T-Mobile network like Consumer Cellular, H2O Wireless, PureTalk USA, Red Pocket, and Walmart Family Mobile. Research if none of the linked providers suit your needs, and if data speeds are that important to you through your primary carrier everywhere you go (including more rural areas), stick with an AT&T MVNO (Airvoice, Consumer Cellular, H2O, PureTalk, Red Pocket, etc.).

As Airvoice is an AT&T MVNO (and this applies to any AT&T MVNO), the unlocking step can be done after activating with them if need be as the SIM card will still work in AT&T locked phones for calls and basic SMS messaging, just not for data. You're not so lucky with T-Mobile MVNOs, however, as you will need the iPhone carrier unlocked first before any form of use.

Setup

If the phone is a 3G/3GS model, the default 2FF mini-SIM from Airvoice/Platinumtel/GoSmart/etc. will fit in the phone without modification. If it's a 4/4S model, you'll need to hack the SIM down to 3FF micro-SIM size. If it's a 5 model, you'll need to hack down to the 4FF nano-SIM size. There's plenty of instructions online for cutting yourself, or there's a thread here passing around a SIM punch. You can also frequently find pre-cut micro-SIM and nano-SIM cards for the MVNO of your choice on Ebay. More on SIM card sizes here.

As for number porting and activation with your new MVNO carrier, the thing to remember is to NOT just activate the SIM card, but to fill out their number porting form instead (Airvoice form - Platinumtel form - GoSmart instructions). It's pretty self-explanatory, and if you have troubles, call customer support for assistance. If you're not porting your number over, ignore this step and just activate the new account.

Once that's done, you're certain the phone is carrier unlocked, your number is ported, the SIM is active, and the phone is working... just follow the instructions on setting up data and MMS on the phone (Airvoice instructions - Platinumtel instructions - GoSmart instructions).

Congratulations, you're now saving some money on service for your iconic consumerist moneypit!

You can thank me here.


Updated May 2, 2013 to flesh out purchasing and selling options for various models, and correct a couple details.
Updated August 21, 2013 to reflect the data price reductions in recent AT&T MVNO providers.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:40:24 AM by I.P. Daley »

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #530 on: May 01, 2013, 10:36:27 PM »
The Miscellaneous Resources section has been added and expanded at post seven of this thread. It's mostly for cellphone users so far, but the most important link is to the post made for iPhone users one post above.

thepokercab

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #531 on: May 02, 2013, 01:33:15 AM »
Thanks Daley for posting this!  My wife and I are recent converts to the mustachian way of life, which means that we currently have some bills that make no sense.  A big one is the albatross of a verizon contract we are currently in.  Unfortunately we both love our iphones- but have another 18 months remaining on our contract, and at $165 a month- will end up shelling out another $2,970.  Ouch..  Whats's even worse is that, over the last 6 months we have averaged in data, text and minutes, around $17.00 in PTEL rates.  Yikes..

I think i might have a solution though- but would love some feedback if folks have any: 

Step 1: Purchase new, unlocked iphones from Apple.  The iphone 4s is running at $549.00  x 2= $1098. 

Step 2: Purchase $4.99 sim card from PTel.  (we've got coverage here!)

Step 3: Cancel the current contract by porting our existing numbers to Ptel.  I've talked to a Verizon rep and it looks like we can do this for around $500.00 TOTAL for both of our iphones. 

Step 4: Activate new iphones on PTel.

Step 5: Sell used verizon phones (Apple's buyback program is offering $150 for each) 

By my math we'd end up spending $1098+$500+$365(18 months of average Ptel usage) minus $300 (selling old iphones) for a grand total of $1663.  This in comparison to the $165 per month over 18 months ($2,970) that we will pay if we stay on our verizon contract. 

Does this seem to make sense?  I know we could just ditch the iphones, but we're not quite there yet :)   

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #532 on: May 02, 2013, 07:30:47 AM »
Cbrillaz-

First, if you're using your iPhones so little that you're only looking at about $17 a month of P'tel Real PayGo a month COMBINED for your usage levels, you're clearly not that attached to your little hedonic adaptation machines... despite your rationality on spending to switch saying otherwise, which honestly deserves a massive face punch itself for being willing to spend $1600 today to save $1400 over the next 18 months. That may include the ETF and it may have a positive ROI, but it's still bananas because you're sinking over $1500 worth of your money into keeping devices that appear to not get used more than a handful of hours a month and that humans can easily live without! I linked it in the post above, but I'm linking it again: READ THIS, and then seriously consider a feature phone with push e-mail and a keyboard or keypad for under $100 new, especially if you have even a plug nickel's worth of debt left.

If you still can't detach from Apple's cloying tentacles and a used iPod touch for around the house isn't enough for your iOS withdrawls, my best suggestion would be to buy already unlocked used/refurbished with a clean IMEI from someone other than Apple and sell your Verizon handsets yourself after doing a factory reset on them and the ETF is paid off giving you a clean ESN. Heck, if you're talking Verizon 4S models, you could easily get way more than $150 a pop in Apple Store credit (which is not hard cash) just selling to those "we buy your used phone" companies, who are lowballing you themselves to cover refurb costs and profit reselling!

You'll spend far less than $1100 on your replacement handsets and you'll get far more than $300 in store credit back for your old ones, and won't inspire me to shake you like a British nanny. Don't get me wrong, I'd still want to shake you... just not as hard. ;)

Look on Amazon or Ebay. I know you can easily get a used and unlocked 3GS with at least a 30-90 day refurb warranty and new battery for around $200.

As for savings calculations on investment, use this tool.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 07:47:54 AM by I.P. Daley »

thepokercab

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #533 on: May 02, 2013, 02:57:27 PM »
Thanks..  this makes perfect sense and you are of course right.  My wife and I reflected, and its time to ditch the iPhones! 

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #534 on: May 03, 2013, 09:25:55 AM »
Thanks..  this makes perfect sense and you are of course right.  My wife and I reflected, and its time to ditch the iPhones!

Excellent news! Glad to hear and be of sound advice, Cbrillaz. :)

Related, this particular news snippet floated through my newsfeeds this morning, and instantly thought it should be linked here: Smartphones 'as addictive as cocaine'

the fixer

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #535 on: May 03, 2013, 11:26:49 AM »
Hey I.P. Daley,

Reading your "Are iPhones worth it?" post linked above got me to get more serious about minimizing the distracting stuff from my smartphone. Android devices can still be incredibly useful for the variety of apps available (offline GPS nav, topos, and for me climbing guides with the Mountain Project app) but we all need to take responsibility to rein in on the useless distractions. I went through and wiped a bunch of dumb apps off my phone and only kept the stuff with practical value, things like: shopping list, notepad, clinometer, avalanche forecasts, GPS, and Mountain Project. No more wasting my time playing games!

Thanks!

thepokercab

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #536 on: May 03, 2013, 11:31:25 AM »
Thanks for the link I.P. Daley. 

It's really fascinating..  when my wife and I talked yesterday about getting rid of my iphones she got really emotional about it, and so did I.  We then couldn't believe how emotionally attached we were to these random objects.  I think at that moment we both realized how much control the iphones we're exerting over our lives and that was all the more reason to ditch them. 

dahlink

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #537 on: May 03, 2013, 10:19:32 PM »
Hey I.P.,

  I also checked out your post questioning if iphones are worth it.  I think they are if you buy and use correctly and would like to layout my case for consideration.  i have also had positive experience with pageplus as "The Dude" (who I assume abides) stated.  Case for the iphone aside, what used feature phones do you recommend if you have any?  The nokia N95 and sony ericsson c905 look nice, but range from affordable to still pricey on ebay. 

 (Warning:  This may have become a TLDR situation.  Also, likely riddled with spelling and grammar errors.)

I’ll try to explain based on my experience:

1) Buy used and don’t buy anything after the iPhone 4.  I prefer ebay now.  The buyer protection is actually good.  Protection for sellers is another issue.  If you're going to buy a CDMA (verizon or sprint) you need to make sure the phone has a good or clean ESN and that it is not on contract.  If it is not listed just ask the seller.  IF they claim it to be good and clean and it turns out wrong, just file a buyer protection claim.  Ebay will refund you as soon as you ship.  Anyways, I look at the completed listings ( and now the sold listings) to get an idea of how low of a price is reasonable.  I use a sniping service (google ebay sniping) called gixen.com which allows me to bid on multiple actions at the last min, and if I do win it cancels any remaining bids in that group.  It is a really powerful way to buy on ebay.  Another thing to look for is the buy it now listings.  Many times sellers will want to sell quickly and put their listing far below market price.  I believe you can set alerts for this as well.  I got my iphone 4s (2 iphone 4 not 4S’s) from ebay.  The first was a in “new other” condition before I learned about sniping and the second was used but it looked flawless in the ad pics and was.  The former cost me about 310 after shipping at the beginning of 2012.  The later cost me 151 after shipping.  Both of these were the Verizon iPhone 4 8gb models one black one white.  I might of been able to get the first phone for less but at the time it was still a really competitive price as a buy it now.

2) Activate on an MVNO.   As with IPs guide any cellphone should be used on one of the cheap MVNO alternatives.  Of course there is a lot of valid controversy with the iPhone and page plus.  I will give my experience on activating 2 iphones on page plus.  I was already a page plus customer before activation.  I had a palm pre 2 and my girlfriend had a htc rhyme both on pageplus.  I took a risk knowing that they do not officially support the iphone on their network.  I called them up, told them I had a new phone and would like to change to it.  When the CS rep looked up the ESN they saw that it was an iphone and informed me that they do not support the iphone on their network officially.  I asked when they would be allowed and she could not say, but then offered to activate it with the caveat that Verizon may at anytime block my ESN.  I got pretty lucky and my heart skipped a beat.  Fortunately, I have not been blocked.  Eventually, my girlfriend got a little jealous of the iPhone as its camera was better than the rhymes and the all around operation is smoother.  I looked up more information online about iphone activations on page plus to see if anything has changed.  As far as the legal stuff, I.P. has already covered that the terms and conditions are clearly against iphones on page plus.  However, as far as their actual operations went, iphone 4 activations were okay, but not 4S and now way on iphone 5.  So I snagged that later iphone 4 on ebay and took this to the test.  I used page plus’s live chat support after loging in to my accoutn.  Told the CS rep i got a “new to me” iphone 4 and wanted to port over th GFs rhyme phone number and activate.  The response was basically, “okay, just give me the ESN and the number. Okay, it should be programing and then reboot” it did.  then the CS rep had me make a phone call to verify operation.  Done and painless with no begging or sweet talk.  I may have just gotten really lucky but am not sure.  While this is a gamble, do understand that you are only risking the cost of reselling the iphone if page plus does not activate.  However, if they do activate your iphone, you are at a greater risk of monetary loss if verizon does one day block your esn.  Removing the block is up to verizon which might not happen and then you’d have to sell with a bad ESN or deal with flashing and all that mess.  If you can accept these terms and risks you may be able to score an iphone 4 for a reasonably frugal price and operate it on Verizon’s network via page plus if that is the network with the greatest coverage in your area.  If Verizon is not the best carrier in your area, find out which is and use them.  Regardless of iphone or not.  But that is already covered in the guide.

Step 3) Choosing a plan.  I started out on “the 35 plan” then went to “the 12”.  Now I’m on the $80 prepaid for a year.  You’ll have to buy this from a dealer, not pageplus directly.  I used callingmart.com because there was a promo code on howardforums.com to save ma 5%.  Cost came down to about 76 range.  Anyways  about 6.34 per month if I make it the whole year.  After 3 months i'm at about 67 bucks left.  The GF is still on the 12 plan so about 19 per month.

Step 4)  Use it as a tool, not as a commitment to enslave yourself to facebook, twitter, angry birds or whatever.  If you like having your phone go off all the time with notifications and things every min, do yourself a favor and stop.  My GFs cricket phone was that way and it was extremely annoying and unromantic.  So what examples do i have of using it as a tool?  Mobile check deposits, as a document scanner, radio, workout tracker, reminders, evernote (for your getting things done lists), mint.com to track your finances, selling on ebay easier, borrow books from you library via the overdrive app.  And many more apps.  I am even learning about apps that you can use to make some extra money on the side from taking pictures of receipts.  Some of these apps are more streamlined that using a PC.  The ebay mobile app makes selling on ebay a breeze.  I don’t send money via papal but I hear the app is really easy while the computer is ambiguous. 
Another great thing about the iphone/ipod system is that everyone in the world wants to make accessories for them, and they almost are always compatible with your iphone 30pin iphone.  Now that the iphone 5 has a different connection there are some blowout sales in addition to the second hand used market.  I got a speaker dock on a cheap woot.com sale and did splurge on a kickstarter.com elevation dock.  After having a webOS touchstone charger I needed something close to it on my iphone.  Fortunately it should sell close to what i paid for when that time comes.

Step 5) don’t drop your iphone 4 lol.  Okay, really though, buy some protection.  This is where a feature phone truly shines IMO.  If I drop it I don’t have my phones life flashing before my eyes.  There is no morning after pill for an iphone 4 drop and shatter.  Even the cheapo cases on ebay offer a good protection on the first few drops until the case breaks.  You could buy a warranty from squaretrade (they have an app) also, i think ebay will let you add a squaretrade warranty on your purchase.  I did not buy it so cannot attest to its quality personally. 

Thats about it.  I just wanted to make a small case for the iphone under specific conditions, which turned out to be rather long.  Using this method of purchase and use, a feature phone appears to be a similar price point considering the utility and resale value the phone.  I considered an iOS device ipod or ipad paired with feature phones but it would be about the same or even more expensive base on my first guestimations. 


Sri C.

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Re: Communications & Tech - ISPs, VoIP, Cell
« Reply #538 on: May 04, 2013, 01:59:15 PM »
Internet Service Providers (what you do and don't need)
Others like AT&T refuse to give third party DSL providers access to dry-loop installations forcing you to have a local only land line phone turned on with them for $20+ a month before you can subscribe to DSLExtreme where you can save $15 a month on their DSL service over AT&T's for the same price, making AT&T's dry-loop DSL the only and cheapest DSL option for your area at $40+taxes and regulatory fees.

AT&T metered rate local is only $15 (they make it very hard to find, but its there)
+ Sonic.net DSL at $14.95 (no additional taxes or fees)
=$30 total

$30 is cheaper than AT&T dryloop of $40+

Bonus: slightly less of my money goes to AT&T

Sonic.net charges a $6.50/mo modem lease fee that is mandatory
In irvine, the AT&T metered rate local is $18 AND you forgot the various fees that the FCC makes you pay.

Your "$30 total" now looks more like "$30 + $15 total" and for $40/mo I get 15Mbps Cox cable with free Docsis 3 router

I am not pickigng up on you, but I have been spending a lot of time on finding an affordable plan (I have not found anything cheaper than $30/mo so far and I am still looking) and wanted to set the facts straight.

Daley

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #539 on: May 05, 2013, 07:09:54 PM »
The Fixer, Cbrillaz... thank you for the kind words, your statements both have humbled me greatly. If you'd be so kind, I'd love to have you share your comments as replies in the blog post as well. That article sees a huge amount of traffic, and I think it would be encouraging for other readers who have never even heard of the MMM community to see positive outcomes and conclusions from the advice provided. The same goes for anyone else.



Hey I.P.,

  I also checked out your post questioning if iphones are worth it.  I think they are if you buy and use correctly and would like to layout my case for consideration.  i have also had positive experience with pageplus as "The Dude" (who I assume abides) stated.  Case for the iphone aside, what used feature phones do you recommend if you have any?  The nokia N95 and sony ericsson c905 look nice, but range from affordable to still pricey on ebay.

-snip-

Thats about it.  I just wanted to make a small case for the iphone under specific conditions, which turned out to be rather long.  Using this method of purchase and use, a feature phone appears to be a similar price point considering the utility and resale value the phone.  I considered an iOS device ipod or ipad paired with feature phones but it would be about the same or even more expensive base on my first guestimations.

Well, as I said in that very article, there are cases where one might be able to legitimately justify the purchase of an iPhone, and your rather elaborate explanation trying to defend it shows one such possible situation under the right cost analysis. That said, many of the tools you still use the iPhone for specifically are not necessarily tools that are much more than utilities of convenience for many, wholly necessary tools needed by most at all let alone as a mobile tool, or most importantly exclusive to the iOS platform or the phone form factor.

As to the question of what used feature phones I might recommend? I'm speaking mostly to the GSM customers with this as Nokia never put out Symbian devices for the CDMA market, but the best go-to for the money devices in my humble opinion are phones like the Nokia E63/71/72/73 running Symbian S60 or the Nokia C3-00 or XpressMusic running Symbian S40. As you can tell, I have a certain fondness for the candybar/qwerty form factor... but that comes from a conclusion that if you need more than just a telephone and do regular text input, you need a keyboard. Other than the N95, there's also the N82 that might be in better line with what you desire feature and price-wise. The problem is, these all go in price cycles and you just need to time your purchase or have a pile of options with the features you want. The missus and I finally picked up her e63 just this last week finally after weeks of searching for a good S60 device as she needs Exchange server support. Across the board, all of the models with 3.5mm headphone jacks were running consistently around $100+ on Ebay right after we got serious about buying, and then suddenly the E63's fell back down and we scored a swank model that had been babied with a shorter usage life with the box, accessories, car charger, manuals and the whole nine for $70 shipped as a buy it now that had gone untouched for days.

In general, though, I don't think you can go much wrong with nearly any used Nokia handset no matter what features you're looking for on the fully dumb phone to more advanced feature phone model scale. Same with Samsung and LG for the better part, but Sony Ericsson seems a bit more hit-and-miss, longer term durability wise. It just comes down to features and taste in input methods and knowing what to look for.



Sonic.net charges a $6.50/mo modem lease fee that is mandatory
In irvine, the AT&T metered rate local is $18 AND you forgot the various fees that the FCC makes you pay.

Your "$30 total" now looks more like "$30 + $15 total" and for $40/mo I get 15Mbps Cox cable with free Docsis 3 router

I am not pickigng up on you, but I have been spending a lot of time on finding an affordable plan (I have not found anything cheaper than $30/mo so far and I am still looking) and wanted to set the facts straight.

To be fair to Bakari and defend his post, a lot has changed on the end of Sonic.net and their offerings in the past year with the deployment of Fusion and mostly abandoning traditional DSL services in the state since that was posted. Also, taxes and fees with landlines in California can vary to a surprisingly wide degree from municipality to municipality, and even exchange to exchange. His price arrangement for new users still holds true in many parts of Northern California for the most part in AT&T exchanges with this arrangement combined with DSLExtreme give or take a couple bucks.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 07:22:38 PM by I.P. Daley »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #540 on: May 07, 2013, 12:07:07 AM »
I.P., first, thank you for all your time and effort on this site and yours, truly, a gift.
second, I still have a question. sorry.

So, back about November, I transferred both my and my husband's cell to airvoice. I have him on the pay as you go, and its great. He averages less than 5$ a month. Perfect. I initially tried the 10$ plan, but was unable to get more than two weeks out of the 10$. I dont have a landline, and I have two people who live in other states that I have 30m-60m phone calls a with once a week or two.

So I switched to the airvoice 35$ unlimited, which also got me some data. 100mb a month. Turns out that I was able to really not use any data. even when I did use some, it was 25mb or less a month.

So I think that if I had a phone at home, I could go back to the 10/ mo plan with a add on data for emergency use. Im a stay at home mom, I homeschool my kids, and we are often out and about all day and occasionally, data availability is very important. I bought the sygic ap so Im set for maps. (also hard to find a free wifi spot at the park or in other random places)

My dad sent me a magic jack he wasnt using. I had tried their free trial with the magic jack plus, the phone calls worked fine. I sent that free trial one back because my dad was sending me his. the one I have now is  an older version, so you have to plug it into the computer to use it.

I see from your article that you dont recommend Magic Jack. Even if I only buy a year service, its 30$ (5 years is 100) but I dont feel like buying 5 years up front.

I did the test using the link in your article, and looks like its a-ok.

Would you still recommend that I get VOIPo for 175$/2 yrs (current offer, althou it says only good for two hours)

Im still fuzzy on if I get VOIPo can I still do the thing where I can make all my phone jacks "live" or is that only if I buy a another ATA thing. (ugh. this language is hard to understand!)

(eta: read your article a few more times and now understand that making all the jacks "live" is a re-wiring thing, not an ata thing.)

If I can do VOIP (magic jack or otherwise) I can save 20-25$ / month on my cell phone (less the cost of VOIP) (ETA: VOIPo is 149/2 yrs then 149/yr, so in the 3rd year Id only be saving 5-10$ a month from the 35$ current amount) still a savings tho)

If I think about it a little more, VOIPo seems better because of the better services. Magic Jack doesnt offer as much  (call logs, etc)

Do you think its worth it to get VOIPo over using Magic Jack, is my sum-up question.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 01:11:52 AM by startingfromthestart »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #541 on: May 07, 2013, 12:10:01 AM »
I should add that preMMM our cell bill was 120$ a month and my children routinely used 2-4 GB amonth on streaming on my iphone.

At first I thought there was no way I could live w/o data. But since I turned it off and use wifi and have to manually turn data back on, Ive been surprised at how little I do really use it. Major changes. ALso, my kids have survived without netflix or youtube in the car. LOL

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #542 on: May 07, 2013, 01:21:01 AM »
Do you think its worth it to get VOIPo over using Magic Jack, is my sum-up question.

Thank you!

Definitely, yes. Anything will be better than MagicJack. If VOIPo's too rich for your blood and you're angling for a cheaper service and didn't entirely find MagicJack's quality wholly offensive, check out Nettalk. Their Nettalk Duo can be had for around $45 (also available through the Shopping Hut - and yes, I do feel dirty linking that here), $30 a year after the first year, and it's a stand-alone ATA like the MagicJack Plus is. Added bonuses, better quality and Nettalk has real customer support unlike the alternative. Both do have call logs, though. Just be sure you don't have a router on the problem list if you do go Nettalk.

I think keeping things short and sweet for your deployment is the way to go. As such, don't try to wire your whole house up no matter who you go with... that's more an option better reserved for the propellerheads like myself.  If you don't have one already, pick up a DECT 6.0 multi-wireless-handset kit from Vtech like the CS64x9 series handsets. $60 will get you four phones to stick around the house without rewiring things. If you need fewer, buy the two handset model. Not the most mustachian, but you're trading money for simplicity in deployment.

I should add that preMMM our cell bill was 120$ a month and my children routinely used 2-4 GB amonth on streaming on my iphone.

At first I thought there was no way I could live w/o data. But since I turned it off and use wifi and have to manually turn data back on, Ive been surprised at how little I do really use it. Major changes. ALso, my kids have survived without netflix or youtube in the car. LOL

All excellent news! I'm delighted to hear that you've been able to save so much already. :)

Best of luck, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask here or in PM.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #543 on: May 07, 2013, 03:11:49 PM »
Hello I.P. Daley, and thank you for this extremely informative and educational thread.

I will be graduating college in less than two weeks and will need to get a new cell phone and plan (I currently have an ancient Android phone that is failing) as a young professional. It seems that these days having a data plan actually benefits job performance, as I can read work email easily without being at a computer, allowing me to be more responsive and prepared when I enter the office, and allowing me to think about what needs to get done during my commute. I'm used to Android so I prefer it, but I'm open to switching if it makes sense.

What do you recommend as a low cost plan that includes a basic data plan, texting, and a reasonable amount of minutes? I also have to buy a phone, and I'm a bit weary of two year contracts as I'm just getting started. AT&T might be coming out with prepaid all-in-one plans, which could be attractive to me since my family is on AT&T.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I'll be working in Dallas, TX

Thanks!
ThinSlicer
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:15:38 PM by ThinSlicer »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #544 on: May 07, 2013, 03:27:41 PM »
Where will you be reading all this work email? At home or work you should have WiFi connectivity. If it's on your commute, unless you're taking the bus or carpooling I think we'd all prefer you drive safely and not read email while driving or biking.

If you have a legitimate need to get work email from some other location check out FreedomPop, it should work in a big city like Dallas.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #545 on: May 07, 2013, 03:40:24 PM »
Where will you be reading all this work email? At home or work you should have WiFi connectivity. If it's on your commute, unless you're taking the bus or carpooling I think we'd all prefer you drive safely and not read email while driving or biking.

If you have a legitimate need to get work email from some other location check out FreedomPop, it should work in a big city like Dallas.

I go to great lengths to NOT have permanent access to work email outside of work.  My take on it is: if they want me to read/reply to everything 24x7, they can buy the data plan and the smart phone.  For me it's a leash, not a bonus.

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #546 on: May 07, 2013, 06:17:43 PM »
ThinSlicer, listen to the wisdom shared by both Spork and The Fixer. Don't be a corporate slave, and certainly don't do it at your personal expense if it must be done (both money and personal safety).

That said, stay away from dealing directly with the big carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon) and go with an MVNO. If you're needing a mobile phone with email access, you don't need an Android smartphone, you need a business communications device. Data for emails doesn't need to be fast or a lot, either. This helps cut down a lot on requirements and overhead.

The things to look for with a phone will be WiFi support and push email, possibly MS Exchange support. If you're cool rocking an older Symbian S60 device, the E63, E71, E72 and E73 can all be had for under $100 off Ebay with some careful shopping. My wife's only had her E63 now for under a week and considers it the best portable communications tool she's used over the years... it was $70, and so well taken care of it we almost thought it was new. If you want something a bit newer, consider something like the E5. You can get 'em new and carrier unlocked for around $200 if you shop around. The Finns know how to design a good business phone, even despite Stephen Elop... and if you're partially getting a phone for the benefit of your employer, get a phone that screams savvy business professional, not Joe Sixpack's company time eating portable toy.

On the mobile phone package, it depends on expected actual usage numbers. Pay as you go is always going to be your cheapest option if you keep your usage low. With that, if you need data, you're always going to find cheaper data with T-Mobile MVNOs over AT&T MVNOs. In your region, T-Mobile's network has excellent DFW and surrounding area coverage, but not much as far as the Texas sticks. Also, don't be afraid of 2G/EDGE data speeds. If you need to wander off the beaten path, going the AT&T network route might be better. Clearly, check coverage maps before buying anything. The three big carriers I'll recommend are the same that have been said time and again for GSM coverage (and for good reason): Airvoice (AT&T MVNO), Platinumtel (T-Mobile MVNO), and GoSmart (owned by T-Mobile) if you need a flat "unlimited" package.

Going this route, you could easily get an excellent phone for no more than $200 out of pocket, and not need to spend more than $35 a month for your phone plan.

If you still insist on going Android, buy used/refurbished and pretty much any model under $200 that supports CyanogenMod should be plenty for your needs, and even sub-$100 Androids like the LG Optimus One should be plenty running a clean Android build like CMod. Heck, you can pick up a Nexus One for $150 off Amazon without even trying. That said, seriously consider the Nokia route, I haven't regretted for a moment the decision of choosing a business phone for my mobile business communicator and abandoning that Android toy I had last (Samsung Intercept). If you're still unsure of that route with straight research and find yourself in the OKC area before you need to invest in hardware, give me a holler.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 06:20:40 PM by I.P. Daley »

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #547 on: May 08, 2013, 12:36:13 PM »
@I.P. Daley: To be honest, I would feel like an old fogey showing up to my first professional job out of college with a Nokia phone. I honestly believe a phone is becoming part of one's professional wardrobe, so it should at least be something modern. On the other hand, I agree that these smart phones are often toys and time wasters, but I have found myself using them to enhance my productivity by editing Google Docs, using the GPS, checking and responding to email (personal for now), and by using the calculator, timers, alarm clock, etc. Perhaps I need a face punch, but I do want to at least fit in and look the part of a young professional, and I believe it could potentially benefit me career-wise.

@the fixer: don't worry, I'm not texting and driving! I am looking into using the bus/train system where I could check work email on the way to work. FreedomPop could be a good solution.

@spork: I think it may be acceptable to have that attitude about work after being on the job for a few years, but when it is my first job our of college I believe working hard and being responsive will pay off in future promotions and compensation increases. Right now I cannot easily switch jobs as I have no track record to stand on.

Current thoughts: I'm thinking that maybe I should buy a Nexus 4 8gb ($299) and use the PayGo plan from PTel for talk/text. Pair that with a FreedomPop device for data and I should have a good solution, right?

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #548 on: May 08, 2013, 12:40:39 PM »
You could look on craigslist for a one or two generation old smartphone and not look like an old fogey -- two generations is like 18 months!

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Re: Communications & Tech - The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide
« Reply #549 on: May 08, 2013, 02:47:07 PM »
@I.P. Daley: To be honest, I would feel like an old fogey showing up to my first professional job out of college with a Nokia phone. I honestly believe a phone is becoming part of one's professional wardrobe, so it should at least be something modern. On the other hand, I agree that these smart phones are often toys and time wasters, but I have found myself using them to enhance my productivity by editing Google Docs, using the GPS, checking and responding to email (personal for now), and by using the calculator, timers, alarm clock, etc. Perhaps I need a face punch, but I do want to at least fit in and look the part of a young professional, and I believe it could potentially benefit me career-wise.

-snip-

Current thoughts: I'm thinking that maybe I should buy a Nexus 4 8gb ($299) and use the PayGo plan from PTel for talk/text. Pair that with a FreedomPop device for data and I should have a good solution, right?

Dude, I've got to be honest here. It's great that you're looking at cheap plans, but it doesn't sound like you're wanting advice on a handset so much as permission to spend more money than you need to for incredibly shallow and cosmetic reasons. With the exception of programming jobs involving development of software for mobile phones, you aren't going to be interviewed, selected and hold a job based on your cell phone's make and model. These are all self-perception problems, not reality. The only people who are going to give a crap about what phone you use are yourself and people who invest their self-worth in things, and there's only one person in that list you should listen to unless he's playing the same sucker's game. Don't shop for social cache, status, or aesthetics... shop for cost, usable interface, functionality, and durability.

...and if you're genuinely in a line of work where a fargin' cellphone is treated like your slacks, there may be bigger problems looming to your professional life than you may realize.

That said, you could always play it off as an ironic techno-hipster thing... if you roll in there wearing skinny ties and one of these stupid things, they'll probably never question your choice for a minute.