Saturday, August 29, 2015

Getting More Cellular Coverage From Your Home Wi-Fi

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There’s a tiny secret in the world of Xfinity that many users have no clue about. In fact, many users are providing it to others and have no idea that they are responsible for a pretty amazing service by doing so. The little piece of amazingness is called XfinityWiFi and it’s probably one of the best kept secrets to Xfinity users, ever…

Sure, Comcast and Xfinity take a beating in the press for their terrible customer service antics, but when they are the only game in town, you have to try and find the positives where you can. Their Xfinity Wi-Fi service is one such great benefit, and it couldn’t be much more simple in concept. With millions of customers all over the US, Comcast/Xfinity as the ability to blanket much of the country in Wi-Fi signal without much work. By sending customers those Xfintity wireless routers, they also are sending out mini-hotspots for users everywhere to mooch off of. Now before you panic, your box isn’t letting other people into your network, ok?

The way the Xfinity service works is that your wireless network is secured to you buy a password, which you should keep an eye on and change often if you aren’t doing so already. Once you’ve plugged in that router though, everyone begins to benefit from a ‘side door’ connection on that router. The boxes transmit a secondary signal called XfinityWiFi that registered users can log in to and borrow some internet from when then are on the road or even at a buddy’s house. From the looks of the Xfinity WiFi App, coverage is pretty solid in most areas as well.  There’s not much more to it than that, but here’s where it gets fantastic. Once you sign in from your device, your credentials are good on all the Xfinity hotspots. That means no remembering to log in each time and offloading a ton of what used to be cellular data directly to the Xfinity network.

It’s not all roses for the Xfinity service though. If you are just in range of the box, but not close enough for a good signal, you will find areas where your data basically locks up until you get closer to it. It also works the same when you leave on box to move to another. You will have times where it is frustrating, but the overall savings of your data plan will easily outweigh the minor issues you might encounter.

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The Xfinity Wi-Fi service is free to those with Xfinity Home Internet services. For non-Xfinity customers, you can purchase passes ranging from an hour to a full month. Pricing is from $2.95 an hour to $55.95 a month. Additional details are available from the link below.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Verizon To End Device Subsidies Starting August 13th


Saving money on the best network in the US is great, but when something touted as a money saving plan ends up costing users more, it’s a tough pill to swallow. In the most competitive market that wireless has ever seen, simplicity makes it nice for some, but a lower bill is becoming more and more the measure of value to many users. Beginning with T-Mobile, all four major US carriers now have a payment or lease program for getting on to their network. This move prompted many to take advantage of the BYOD programs and save anywhere from $10-$30 a month on their bills. Verizon’s EDGE program was one such deal, and beginning August 13th, it might be the only option for some that want to ride Big Red’s network going forward.

Next week, Verizon will be launching their new lineup of plans, beginning the era of subsidy-less devices on their network for the first time ever. The new plans will be just $20 for unlimited talk and text with any device. You can then add your choice of data plans in a 1GB ($30 a month), 3GB ($45 a month), 6GB ($60 a month) or 12GB ($80 a month). This would mean a monthly cost for a family of four on the 6GB plan would reach $170 after taxes and fees. On top of that, you will now either pay full retail for handsets at the time of signing up, or pay anywhere from $10-$35 a month to buy one over a period of time from Verizon. This brings the monthly bill for that same family of iPhone users to over $300 a month for four basic lines with 6GB of shared data.

While carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile continue to offer users deals that can’t be beat, Verizon is trying to woo customers with new simplistic plans that just won’t save anyone much money. Even Verizon’s own prepaid plans are a better deal than the new  post-paid offerings. While it’s nice to see Verizon dropping the contracts, the move is not going to work in everyone’s favor. For those that are running an unlimited plan, or even those that managed to hit the 30GB for $120 deal that Verizon offered last year, the new plans will not be a money saver.

For those that still need the Verizon network, we recommend checking out Red Pocket Mobile and their CDMAV plans. For as little as $20 a month, you can get started on the Verizon nationwide network. Of course, with the volley of plans coming from other MVNO’s out there, it’s still hard to pass up on deals like Republic Wireless and FreedomPop. If you need a more traditional cell plan, check out the offerings from PTel Mobile and GIV Mobile. Both of these T-Mobile MVNO’s offer unlimited talk, text and data from $25 a month.