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Old 08-03-2017, 06:48 PM   #29
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In Ontario, Virgin works for me.

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Old 08-03-2017, 07:17 PM   #30
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Hey, a bit of a story for benefit. I had AT&T phone service first through Straight Talk then through Cricket because they allowed use of phone hot spotting. I did that for camping. Additionally I have a Sprint hotspot device 4G. After fighting with the phone speed (iPhone on Cricket) I was disgusted and thought about going back to StraightTalk. I used my Sprint hot spot to get my work done but at a higher cost for data. They do not throttle the speed from the get go like Cricket does regardless of usage. They use Verizon, T Mobile and AT&T networks BUT no tethering or hot spot usage.

I decided to test my Cricket AT&T phone speed against my dad's Verizon same phone at home. His service was EIGHT TIMES faster than mine. That next week Verizon started a new prepaid program called U, that allows tethering for no extra charge AND unlimited talk and text with data carry over. I switched to Verizon with the M plan with 5GB data. The speed is excellent. With the carry over, I have presently 9.96GB of data. The prepaid is good as that way you do not pay all that additional tax that is tacked on to a regular account.

So, make sure whoever you go with does not throttle the service off the bat. Hot spotting your phone is about as fast as a dedicated device so that option is great. (I read a PC mag test on phone versus hot spot and repeat the result here.

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Old 08-04-2017, 08:15 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
my planned route to Salem, OR next year for the WBCCI International Rally.
SALEM?! oh BOY!! that's just north of me.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:39 PM   #32
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VERIZON please and thankyou

I've not had a landline for 17 years.
Verizon is the 4th provider I've used for cell service.
[disclaimer: I have *very* limited experience anywhere east of Chicago.]

I notice no one's said how MUCH they pay through which provider for what level of service. Here's what I get for 75 bucks a month with Verizon:

Unlimited phone calls 24/7
Unlimited texts (including photos) 24/7
No roaming (what's roaming?)
Paid roadside assistance 24/7 nationwide
4 GB data per month
iPhone loss/damage insurance
--- all the above is for TWO iPhones, one for me and one for my daughter.

Again, I can't speak for the eastern U.S., but anywhere west of Chicago since 2006, I've traveled pretty much every state and all kindsa remote mountain/desert spots and always had a stiff signal on my iPhone with Verizon.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:49 PM   #33
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Verizon is not afraid to charge a stiff bill.

We pay $175 for 8GB of data with monthly carry over, unlimited domestic calls including roaming in US, unlimited text (with images), and have two iPhones, three iPads and a MiFi modem. The 24GB data plan we had would add another $70 with data carry over.

The new unlimited data is over a $100 more expensive.

I have been with Verizon since 1988.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:54 PM   #34
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Last time I moved (4 years ago) and last month (June) in Arizona, I needed to use my iPhone as a hotspot. I have worked online since 1996 and can't be futzing back and forth to a Starbucks or something.

With an iPhone and a MacBookPro, you just tap Hotspot on the iPhone, turn "on" and then click Wi-Fi on the laptop and click "connect" and there you are online. (With mine, four or five other nearby people or devices can connect over your phone hotspot, too; though I've not tried it I would guess it dogs down your speed?)

No, I was not streaming movies. I was, however, emailing monster attachments back and forth with clients (I are a editor and book designer) and the connection on the phone hotspot didn't exhibit any noticeable diff in speed from my office in Oregon.

Arguments welcome.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:28 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by tjplus View Post
We're looking for opinions on the best cell phone and hotspot plans from your experiences. Currently, we have Sprint and are finding out there are many dead spots.
We use Tracfone for the cell provider, type of phone you have determines the carrier. We each have an LG L22C phone, which uses Verizon. I've been with Tracfone since the 90s, been very pleased with the service. We are not heavy cell users, but data is another story.

Tracfone data is expensive and the Tracfone phones don't let you use it as a hotspot. I wouldn't anyway because of the cost. Instead, I got a couple of Verizon Ellipsis Jetpacks, $50 each. Put it in your pocket and you have data wherever you go, with a signal of course.

We travel mostly in the central to eastern US. We've had very good luck with Verizon. Tracfone is 'pay as you go' so you just buy what you need, although they have monthly plans too. I figure it costs us about $15 a month for each of our cells; talk and text. The Jetpack is also 'pay as you go', so if we don't need it, we don't buy it, but she uses about a gig a month. $35 will get you 2 gb of data with Verizon, good for 2 months.

Tracfone is always rollover, what you buy is yours, as long as you keep the phone active. Verizon Jetpack is good for up to 2-3 months before expiring, depending on how much you buy (no rollover). My wife does Pokémon Go, so she burns through the data. When she's out I can just swap my SIM card with hers. AT&T had a similar hotspot device but cost twice as much and very limited number of pay as you go plans.

From mid 2014 until this past June I was supporting software for a company and using my laptop for 4-8 hours a day, 5 day week. I never had an issue with Verizon, except for the time we were camped among dense trees. (I had to put the Jetpack on a 10' foot pole to get a good signal. )

So if we're voting, I vote Verizon, Tracfone and Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack.

Rich & Yvonne
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:11 PM   #36
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I notice no one's said how MUCH they pay through which provider for what level of service. Here's what I get for 75 bucks a month with Verizon...
I would suggest a prepaid account every time due to lower taxes. You get the same features of a Verizon standard account- I was told, but you have buy your own phone. The phone subsidy is what you pay for along with higher taxes on a standard account. I pay $53.40 total with the only limit as Data at 5GB with the Verizon U M plan, but the data carry-over makes it so I have more than that. As I shared, I basically have a 10GB data limit right now.

StraightTalk is about $47 a month total with no hot spot capability but no throttling, at least initially. They use AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. I believe it is the best choice if you do not care about hot spot usage or data limits over 6GB. It is hard to beat for phone-only use.

Cricket is throttled immediately for all data.

Verizon Prepaid or StraightTalk Prepaid depending on need.

My backup is a Internet On the Go from Walmart on a Sprint 4G network. It's the one that the data never expires and there is no monthly account fee. The only catch is that you have to fire it up and use it at least once every 60 days or you will lose your data balance. The parent company is Tracphone. In essence, you only pay for the device and the data. it has been a lifesaver a few times on the road.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:30 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
iPhone and Verizon ... "the only way to fly" As your main phone.

A pre paid flip phone with ATT as a back up.
Same for us. Verizon iPhone and ATT backup
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:41 PM   #38
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Switched from Sprint to Verizon

We were Sprint customers for over a decade. After experiencing coverage, speed and roaming issues one too many times since we started full-timing, we started asking around and Verizon was the resounding response that we got back. We switched to Verizon and doubled our data from what we had with Sprint for about the same cost and we now also get to carry over unused data to the next month which is very handy.

Verizon is easy to deal with as well which can save you lots of time vs. the wait time at crowded stores. You can increase/decrease your data plan from month to month as your needs change. We recently switched to the unlimited plan so we could get coverage in Canada. When we get back to the states, we can switch back to the plan we had before. All of this can be done on-line which is very handy. Their data alerts keep you posted on excessive data usage to help you avoid penalties.

Since we've switched to Verizon, we've rarely had issues and always surprise ourselves with where we can get service. We'll probably start doing the hotspot thing if we decide to stay on their unlimited data plan which they don't throttle back until you exceed 20GB per month.

Verizon may not be the best, but from our experience full-timing all over the U.S. and some of Canada, you can't go wrong.

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