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Old 11-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #41
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Many smartphones have built-in wi-fi hotspot capability - no need to root (my Galaxy S3 has it). Your carrier also needs to allow this feature, as some do not even though the phone has the ability to do so. Some carriers will allow it but only if you pay an additional fee.

Not sure what Ting allows, so check it out before you buy.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:28 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Now I'm really confused. Are some of you telling me that I can use a WiFi-enabled device where there is no WiFi? We'll be in a vacant property for a week.I mean vacant, as in nothing there.
As others have mentioned, check the carrier's coverage map to see if there is service at the property.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:47 AM   #43
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Now I'm really confused. Are some of you telling me that I can use a WiFi-enabled device where there is no WiFi? We'll be in a vacant property for a week. I mean vacant, as in nothing there.
That depends. If you only have WiFi-only devices and no smartphone or tablet or dedicated hotspot with mobile data capabilities, then nope.

However, for example you have a smartphone or tablet with 4G/LTE data capabilities. If the plan from your carrier allows it, you can share internet from your smartphone/tablet to WiFi-only devices such as laptops by enabling the "Personal Hotspot" or "Mobile Hotspot" feature on your smartphone/tablet.

In general, I find data-only plans for tablets to be cheaper than smartphone plans. By the way, if you're going somewhere out of the way, T-Mobile and Sprint don't exactly have the best coverage. Might be safer to stick to AT&T and Verizon.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:51 AM   #44
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I said vacant, not remote. It is an empty property in a development, not some mountaintop.There is no phone, no router, no nothing on the premises. But the major telcos do serve the area.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:53 AM   #45
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I said vacant, not remote. It is an empty property in a development, not some mountaintop.There is no phone, no router, no nothing on the premises. But the major telcos do serve the area.
Then your smartphone should work there, and you should be able to use it as a Wifi hotspot for your tablet.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:55 AM   #46
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I come down on the 'Get a Smart Phone' side.

A. Network is more important than Phone. A great phone on a lousy network is worthless, however, a crappy phone on a great network is still usable. Straight Talk phone can be had on most of the major networks. It just depends on where you tell them your zipcode is.

B. A phone can be a hotspot, but it's not as easy to make a hotspot a phone. Ok Skype and other programs work, but it's not as convenient as a phone. So if you get a hotspot, you will still most likely want to have your phone and end up paying for both.

C. A smart phone is really a mini desktop computer. Combine it with Cloud services such as Google and there is little you can't do on it. I know, not big like a tablet, but you can function. OP talks about a weak not a lifetime decision.

D. Most newer Smart Phones have good cameras!

E. It's neat to be able to be in a store, scan the UPC and see what Amazon charges for a product, or that there is a store three blocks over cheaper.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:01 AM   #47
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Ok that makes more sense. The smartphone uses the paid service, and the tablet functions off the smartphone. I did not know that was possible.
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Then your smartphone should work there, and you should be able to use it as a Wifi hotspot for your tablet.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:07 AM   #48
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Ting uses Sprint's network for CDMA and T-Mobile for GSM. Not a big fan of the Galaxy S3 and S4. Way too bloated. For being flagship devices, I find them to be less responsive and laggier than a cheap Moto G (2012, 1st gen) running stock Android.

If looking for an inexpensive GSM Android smartphone, my recommendation is the Moto G (2015, 3rd gen)
https://ting.com/shop/Motorola-Moto-...w-GSM-External
Second vote for Moto G. Just got this for older son - he loves it and doesn't whine about sluggishness. Pretty cheap for what you get.

I've been on TING for a few years now. I like it. Even with my older son using data like mad (just turned it off on his phone because he blew through 2G in less than 2 weeks.) and younger son texting like mad we're still under $100 for 4 smart phones usage.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:57 AM   #49
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Ok that makes more sense. The smartphone uses the paid service, and the tablet functions off the smartphone. I did not know that was possible.
Yes it is possible, if the service you buy allows you to use them as a hotspot AND if the phone you use can function as a hotspot. Galaxy S3 won't.

So, you know who provides service in your area, and you are interested in an Android phone (assuming ATT is your carrier of choice, second choice is T-Mobile). You need to pick a phone and a plan. Reasonably priced Android or Windows phones are available for less than $100 - but not directly from the carrier. Think Walmart.

In addition, rather than post-paid (you get a bill every month after you used the service), you may want a pre-paid plan (you pay for the month in advance, like Ting among others, if you don't pay the next month, you lose your account and phone number). Less expensive than post-pay, but sometimes limited in terms of roaming when you can't access your carrier's cell tower.

Start here for overviews of plans and phones: Prepaid Phone News

This site has a comprehensive list of plans by carrier. In addition, he issues a weekly report of phones for sale, which carriers support them, who sells, and for how much. Most phones only work on certain carriers, unless they are unlocked. He has many articles on his site that sort info into easily read tables. It's a great place to start your research.

Then if you are interested in chatter about plans, carriers, and phones, go to HowardForums: Your Mobile Phone Community & Resource

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Old 11-06-2015, 12:35 PM   #50
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Second vote for Moto G. Just got this for older son - he loves it and doesn't whine about sluggishness. Pretty cheap for what you get.

I've been on TING for a few years now. I like it. Even with my older son using data like mad (just turned it off on his phone because he blew through 2G in less than 2 weeks.) and younger son texting like mad we're still under $100 for 4 smart phones usage.
Make that 3 for the Moto G ! (3rd gen) ()

Bought one for my wife who has no clue about smartphones (but uses an Android tablet). She loves it. And it is really just a smaller version of her tablet with a phone grafted into it so there was almost no learning curve for using the operating system and she just downloaded all the same apps she has on her tablet.

It is a fantastic phone for the price as well (C$168.00) It is as good as my Nexus 5.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:36 PM   #51
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I have Ting. Ting is happy to let you use your phone as a WiFi hotspot. Your pay for the data you use, so they don't care how you do it. That makes it easier to use a big screen. Although the S3 should be a usable size.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:38 PM   #52
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I said vacant, not remote. It is an empty property in a development, not some mountaintop.There is no phone, no router, no nothing on the premises. But the major telcos do serve the area.

If you have cable service at home, you may be able to piggy back on public WiFi in that development. Comcast, for instance.

As for tethering your pnc or tablet to a phone, most providers do not allow that. They have other solutions to the problem, requiring more money.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:41 PM   #53
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I have Ting. Ting is happy to let you use your phone as a WiFi hotspot. Your pay for the data you use, so they don't care how you do it. That makes it easier to use a big screen. Although the S3 should be a usable size.

If ting service is good in the area, then that is the solution I'd try.

Going to mickey d or sbux is also viable. Hang out for an hour, meet some folks.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:45 PM   #54
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As for tethering your pnc or tablet to a phone, most providers do not allow that. They have other solutions to the problem, requiring more money.
Mine does allow it. Amethyst, I suggest you list your needs and talk with some Wifi providers to see if they can meet them.

Neat thing I recently discovered: share photos with your friends' devices and show the slideshow on their TV.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:46 PM   #55
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I have a Galaxy S3 and love it. Fast enough to get the job done for the casual user and the battery lasts forever (much better than the past few smartphones I've owned). Camera is decent, gets good signals, lightweight, etc.

I paid $100 almost 2 years ago on ebay. So that link in your OP seems expensive. For reference, I can buy the Galaxy S3 from my provider (freedompop) for $70 right now. My cell and data are free each month too.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:23 PM   #56
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On iphone, go to Settings, personal hotspot...

ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1446837731.140820.jpg
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:00 PM   #57
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Mine does allow it. Amethyst, I suggest you list your needs and talk with some Wifi providers to see if they can meet them.
Did you mean cell phone providers?
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:16 PM   #58
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Yes it is possible, if the service you buy allows you to use them as a hotspot AND if the phone you use can function as a hotspot. Galaxy S3 won't.
I'm really not stalking you but once again your information is in error. Perhaps some models/options of the Galaxy S3 don't have the capability but some definitely do.

I can and do use my Galaxy S3 as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Note the second option on the photo of my phone I attached below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0726.jpg (478.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:16 PM   #59
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I'm using a Moto E second generation LTE phone on Tracfone. I bought the smart phone (AT&T Gophone) for $50 from Best Buy, popped in a Tracfone SIM, and it works well. It will cost me about $6 to $7 a month for my normal phone use. If I need to use more data, it costs $50 for 4GB, that doesn't expire as long as the account is kept active. If I need more SMS texts, it costs $10 for 1000 texts.

I performed data rate tests with a LTE signal, and measured ~25 Mbps down/5 Mbps up. This is on AT&T's network, via Tracfone. If you want to use Verizon's network through Tracfone, you can do the same thing, but Verizon throttles data to ~5 Mbps to MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

One disadvantage is smart phones do not roam when using Tracfone, you only get Verizon's or AT&T's native network.

I find that this type of smart phone service works well for light phone users like me.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #60
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Did you mean cell phone providers?
Yes.
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