Monthly Archives: April 2013

Types Of Wireless Data Plans

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By David

In these days of ever advancing technology, it seems like we use our cell phones for accessing data often times even more than we talk on them. This is especially the case for smartphones which are built almost exclusively to take advantage of all the new options available to consumers through their wireless data plans. If you are looking to start using these new features you will first want to know what kind of wireless data plans are available.

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Pay Per Plans

These are your most basic types of wireless data plans and they typically come with a basic cell phone plan by default. If you do not have a data plan or service attached to your monthly cell phone plan, than more than likely, you currently have a “pay per” plan. These types of plans simply require that you pay a predefined amount for each MB of data you use through the cellular network. These plans are great for those that almost never use data, as the cost for one or two MB of data over the course of a month is far less than that of a 500 MB plan. These plans are also helpful for those that do almost all their data streaming through a Wi-Fi connection, as this generally does not incur data charges and thus makes having a plan unnecessary. Still, if you use a great deal of data outside of a Wi-Fi area this is going to be a costly plan to have.

Limited Data Plans

Limited wireless data plans are those that cost a certain amount each month in exchange for the use of up to a predetermined number of MB each month. These plans are typically less expensive than a “pay per” plan if you use a fair amount of data outside of a Wi-Fi area. There are different levels to limited wireless data plans that will be predetermined by what your company wishes to offer. Often times, they will be available in increments of 500 MB, with each higher level costing just a little bit more. There is a limit to how high a limited data plan will go however. Once the price of the next level would be equal to or greater than the carrier’s unlimited plan, nothing is offered higher as it is just smart to go for the unlimited plan at that point.

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Unlimited Data Plans

Unlike the limited wireless data plans, an unlimited plan will not restrict the amount of data you use on your phone. These plans are great if your data use is simply through the roof and you use it all the time for most everything regardless of where you are. These plans are usually expensive, but worth it if you need the data, and they typically have a limit placed on speed. For the first several GB you will be able to get the fastest speeds, but the connection speed will be reduced after that.

Now that you know about data plans, you can decide which type is best for you.

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Ways To Send A Text To A Phone

By David

If you are trying to send some sort of text information to someone and all they have is a phone, it can be important to know how you can go about sending a text to a phone. Thankfully, there are a few different methods for doing this that are pretty easy, and just as convenient, depending on what type of information you are trying to send.

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Use your phone

The easiest and probably the most familiar method of sending a text to a phone is by using your own mobile phone. To do this, just access your texting application, select the “compose” button, pick your recipient, and enter your message. Using this method, you can also include picture, sound, and video files to help get your message across. It is important to note that with this method, normal texting rates will apply, so make sure you have got the extra domestic messages available before you commit to sending a message this way.

Use your email

Assuming of course that the intended recipient has an email account linked to their phone, another great method for sending a text to a phone is through your email account. Using email will allow you to send the message from either your phone or your computer, whichever is more convenient at the time, and it allows you to include files of any variety — though file size limits may apply. To do this, simply login to your email account either on your phone or your computer, select the intended recipient from your contacts or enter their address manually, enter a subject and your message, attach any files you wish to include, and send the message off. It should arrive within minutes and is an easy way to transfer files from your computer to your phone and vice versa.

Use an application

If you want to try a method for sending a text to a phone aside from those presented above, there are many types of applications that will allow you to send text messages to a phone from either another phone or from your computer. These applications come in two main types; VoIP and instant messenger. Using a VoIP application, you will be able to send a text message from your phone or your computer to someone else’s phone using their phone number, but from your computer. However, you may not be able to include files with the text message depending on the application you use. The other type of application is the instant messenger which will allow you to send a text message from a phone or computer to another phone through the application, though the recipient must also have the application in order for this method to work. The advantage of the Instant messenger is that it will allow picture, audio, and video files to be transferred through it as well.

Now that you are aware of the methods for sending a text to a phone, figuring out the best method for your particular situation should not be too difficult.

How To Send A Text Online

By David

With the high level of inter-connectivity in our modern society, it is no surprise that our technology has become more connected as well. Systems that used to be independent like phones and computers are now highly interrelated entities. This allows users to benefit in a number of ways including being able to send a text online.

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Email

One of the oldest and most tried and true ways to send a text online is through the use of your email. Most people these days have an email account, and many have that email attached to their mobile phone allowing them to receive updates and messages without ever needing to sit down at a computer. This allows others who prefer to use a computer or perhaps do not have a phone to continue to communicate effectively with those that do. The disadvantage of this method is that it requires the recipient to have their email attached to their phone in order to receive the message on their mobile device.

Instant Messenger

Another widely used method to send a text online is through the use of an instant messenger application installed on your computer and/or phone. Originally, these programs allowed users to communicate in real-time via text messages through their computers. Now, these programs have developed in terms of functionality and complexity, allowing users to text, talk, and even video chat with their contacts from either their computer or their mobile device. The one disadvantage to this method is that in order to make it work, both parties must have the program installed on either or both their phones and their computers. Still, for keeping in touch with close friends and family, it is hard to find a better option.

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VoIP Application

One of the newest methods available to cellular users to send a text online is the voice over IP or VoIP application. These applications include an online account as well, and offer things like calling and texting through your data plan. There are also other features such as call forwarding and a single voicemail box for all your phones. Using one of these applications, it is possible to send and receive text messages to and from a phone through your online account. This allows those without a phone to continue texting as though they had a phone without any issues. The major advantage of these programs over the other potential methods to send a text online is that it does not require participation from the recipient to work. This means that those you intend to message will not have to furnish additional information to you or download and install any apps. These programs simply use your contact’s phone number to send a text to them like normal.

Now that you are familiar with the primary ways to send a text online, you can decide which method is going to work the best for you and your social groups, implement it, and start messaging back and forth right away.

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How To Send A Text Message

By David

If you are a brand new cell phone user or just taking your first steps into the world of texting, you may be unsure as to where to begin. To help you get started, here is a short and simple three-step guide to show ways to send a text message.

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Open the texting app

Before you can learn how to send a text message, you will have to locate and open the texting application. Do not worry too much as this application is preloaded onto every phone and is typically available from the home screen. You will want to take a look at your phone’s home screen and see if there are any applications that look like an open envelope. If you find you have two different ones that simply means you have an email application as well. Of the two, the one that is yellow is the one you want to select. Just scroll to it using your phone’s direction keys and hit select or for a touchscreen phone just touch the icon to open the application. Once the application is open, find the button that says “compose” (sometimes in the menu) and select it to open a new text window.

Choose the recipients

The next step in learning how to send a text message is to choose the people you want to send the message to and enter their information. If you have the intended recipients as contacts on your phone, you should be able to simply enter their names and select them from a dropdown list that will appear listing all those from your contacts that you might be thinking of based on the first few letters you enter. If this is the case, just select their name and you are ready to go. If they are not in your contact list, you can enter their phone number manually and can usually save this information to your contacts after you have sent the message.

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Typing your message

The final step to learning how to send a text message is to compose your message and send it. This is done in the large dialog box located below the dialog box where you entered the recipient’s information. Simply select this box and begin typing your message using the keypad (if using T9) or your keyboard (if your phone has a physical or touchscreen keyboard). Getting the hang of using your cell phone’s text input method takes a little getting used to, but once you get going, you will be amazed how quickly you can type messages. Once you have entered your message, you are ready to send it. Take a look at the screen and locate the “send” button. Simply select or tap that button, and your message will be sent to your intended recipient.

Now that you have learned how to send a text message you can start texting all your friends and family about anything and everything, helping you stay in touch without requiring long drawn out and often times lengthy conversations.

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How To Avoid Prepaid International Roaming

By David

Most cell phone owners have heard of roaming charges at one point or another. Even when using a prepaid or no contract plan, you still incur these additional charges anytime you use your phone outside of your carrier’s native coverage area. This also applies to using your phone while overseas, potentially resulting in significant prepaid international roaming charges that rapidly deplete your account.

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Do not use your phone

If you find that you just can’t stand leaving your phone at home, one of the easiest ways to avoid prepaid international roaming charges is to just not use your phone while you are abroad. This may seem a little extreme, but consider if you will that your $100 account balance could be eaten up with a 20 minute phone conversation or by trying to access more than 1 10th of a MB of data, and you can see why this could be necessary. To make extra certain your phone is not using data in the background without your knowledge, make sure you keep it on airplane mode anytime you are not using it or just remove the SIM card altogether.

Use a local SIM

One option that will allow you to keep using your phone as usual, but will help you avoid those prepaid international roaming charges, is the local SIM option. To try this one, you will need to have an unlocked phone that can communicate via a number of signals. Once you are at your destination, take your phone to a local cellular store and purchase a SIM card for a prepaid plan that is based locally. The new SIM will be set up to use the local towers as though they are domestic towers, allowing you to use you phone as normal, though international rates will still apply when calling home. The best part is: Once you are done with the new SIM and heading back home, you can keep it as a reminder or your world travels, for a future trip, or just toss it as prepaid plans generally cancel automatically after a certain time period of inactivity.

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Use Wi-Fi hot spots

The final option that will allow you to use your phone while abroad without incurring prepaid international roaming charges is to use the Wi-Fi data and calling options available on most phones. These options allow you to stream data and make calls using the signal from a Wi-Fi area and its internet connection instead of the wireless network. The reason you would want to do this is that most of the time using these options is free which is great if you have a tight budget, and any calls or data use done in a Wi-Fi area through an internet connection are considered “in network” for purposes of determining roaming fees. While this may still use plan minutes, result in international calling rates, or cost something for the internet usage, it is going to be cheaper than the roaming fees would be.

Now you know about prepaid international roaming and how to avoid the associated fees.

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Things You Should Know About Overseas Roaming Charges

By David

As a cell phone user, you have likely heard of and probably even experienced roaming charges at some point in your life. However, if you have never been overseas with your phone, you may not be aware of overseas roaming charges which tend to be significantly higher (sometimes up to $5 a minute) than domestic roaming charges. Thankfully, there are a few ways to avoid these charges and potentially save a good deal of money.

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Do not make calls

While it may seem on the extreme end of the reaction scale, simply not using or not even taking you phone with you on a trip is the simplest way to avoid incurring overseas roaming charges. With these charges standing at $5 a minute or $1 per kilobyte of data (1 1,000 of a MB) or worse it is easy to see why this is a good option. If you are just not able to implement the other solutions or just do not want to take the chance of them not working, being out of touch for a couple weeks could be preferable to the often thousand dollar or more phone bills that could otherwise result. To make certain your phone is not using background data without your knowledge, be sure to keep it in airplane mode or remove the SIM card.

Use a local SIM card

One thing you could do, assuming your phone is unlocked, is to simply remove your SIM card and get a new local SIM card to use while you are overseas. Since you do not have to buy a new phone, there is no need to sign up for a contract of any sort, and you can even get a SIM for a prepaid plan so you will not have to cancel the plan when you leave the country. This will allow you to use all your phone’s features as usual without paying the exorbitantly high overseas roaming charges. Best of all, when you head home, just switch the SIMs and you are all set. You can even keep the foreign SIM as a memento or for a return trip or just toss it as a prepaid plan will typically eventually cancel itself.

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Take advantage of Wi-Fi calling

Most modern smartphones will allow you to do what is called Wi-Fi calling which will typically allow you to make calls and use data over a Wi-Fi signal instead of the network often free of charge.  Even if it still uses plan minutes, all Wi-Fi hot spots that are connected to the internet are considered “in network” for the purposes of determining roaming charges, allowing you to use your phone as you normally would without incurring overseas roaming charges. If you are calling home, international rates may still apply, and sometimes the internet access will not be free to use, but these additional costs are going to be far less than the fees otherwise incurred.

Now that you are more familiar with overseas roaming charges and how to avoid them, you can take your phone abroad without too much impact on your wallet.

Click here to compare low cost cell phone plans. Free phone with activation. All major carriers.

How To Start Saving Money

By David

It can be difficult to get started saving money back for the future, especially when you are already dealing with a tight budget. However, it is important to get started as soon as you can. You never can tell when something will come up, and you are going to need to have some extra money saved in order to deal with it without falling back on credit cards. Below, is a simple three-step guide on how to start saving money.

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Reduce your expenses

Though it seems obvious, reducing your expenses is the first and most vital step in learning how to saving money. It is pretty easy overall. Just look at your budget and find places where you can trim it just a little. Maybe you do not need cable after all, or perhaps slower internet is something you could live with. Better still, why not cancel the landline and just use your cell phone? There are many ways to cut back on expenses that do not even involve sacrificing too much about the way you live. However you choose to trim your budget, take that savings and commit to saving it back for those emergency situations or even for retirement.

Increase your income

As you learn how to start saving money, it is going to become obvious that increasing your income is going to be one of the most beneficial ways to start. This could involve asking for a raise at work, picking up a second job, or finding a way to make some extra money from home. Whatever route you end up taking, you can save a portion or all of that additional income because you already know that you are making ends meet without it. This is a great way to build up an emergency fund very quickly and can even eventually translate into some sort of investment, allowing you to use the money you have made to make you more money without much additional effort on your part.

Click here to compare money-saving offers and save hundreds on credit cards, cell phones, long distance, Internet, insurance, mortgages, and much more. Free comparison tools.

Invest what you save

Once you have built up a healthy savings, you may wish to start looking at possible investments to put some of it into. While some investments do carry some level of risk like stocks, others like certificate of deposits are FDIC insured and thus care very little risk of loss or none if you are investing less than the maximum they insure. The thing to watch out for with investments is that often times, it takes a little time to exchange your investment tools for cash and thus you will want to be sure you keep enough back in case of an emergency, so you can avoid the high interest rates associated with relying on a credit card for such situations. At the very least, be sure to keep your savings in a savings account to reap the modest interest earned from merely allowing it to sit there.

Now that you are aware of a few strategies to start saving for emergencies and the future, see if you can make them work for you.

Click here to compare money-saving offers and save hundreds on credit cards, cell phones, long distance, Internet, insurance, mortgages, and much more. Free comparison tools.

Free Text Message Methods

By David

With the ever rising price of cell phone usage, many people are looking for ways that they can cut back even if only a little. One way to do this is by figuring out free text message methods, so that you can drop the texting service from your phone bill and save a little bit of money.

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Email

The first free text message method we should look at is email. Email has been used to send messages between computers and phones for years and does so entirely through your data connection, so there is no need to have a texting service attached to your plan. This method of texting is a great way to stay in touch with those whose email addresses you already have in your contacts, and for sending files between phones and computers. The downside to this method is that you will need the person’s email address in order to communicate with them. Still email is a great, widely available option for securing free texting.

Instant Messengers

Another great entry into the arena of free text message methods is the use of an instant messenger application on your phone. These programs were initially developed to allow real-time text communications between two computers. As technology has advanced, so too has the instant messenger. Many messengers are now being able to include multiple people in the conversation at once, send and receive files, place phone calls to other users, and even allow for video chat. When cell phones began using applications to enhance their functionality, instant messengers were among the first on board with the idea, and providers developed mobile versions for their programs. Now, you can use these apps to communicate via text messages to anyone on your contact list. The limitation with this method, like with email, is that you will need to have them as a contact, and they will need to have the app installed themselves in order to communicate.

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VoIP Applications

In recent years, a new free text message technique has emerged as a front runner in allowing cellular customers to send and receive text messages completely free of charge. This method is the VoIP application. Using these applications you can not only make calls through your data plan instead of using your plan minutes, but you can also send text messages through your data plan. Because text messages are so small in terms of their file size, the data required for sending and receiving them will have a negligible effect on your data plan (typically 1 MB a month or less). The great advantage of these applications over the other free text message techniques is the fact they can function using phone numbers, allowing you to send and receive text messages as normal without requiring your friends to download and install a new app on their phone.

Now that you know what free text message methods are available to you, you can choose your favorite and start texting.

Click here to compare cell phone plans. Free phone with activation. All major carriers.

Benefits Of The Consumer Cellular Market

By David

Many times, it is often the case that the latest and greatest technologies are only available to the very rich with the connections to get ahold of early prototypes. While this is the case for cell phones as well, there is still a great deal to be had from the consumer cellular market.

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Wireless Global Communication

What was once only a dream is now a reality. Through the use of consumer cellular electronics, people can talk with one another over vast distances as though they were standing right next to each other and accomplish this task without the use of any wires what so ever. This incredible technology, once available only to the wealthy, is now open for use to the average consumer.

High Quality Micro Camera

Sometimes it seems like you cannot even find a cell phone that does not include some kind of camera by default. In fact, cameras have become so commonplace in consumer cellular electronics that many phones and other cellular devices actually have more than one. As the market has developed, these cameras have gotten smaller and have been more and more capable of taking high quality digital photos. At one time, such technology was only being made available to government agencies for use in covert operations. However, now these awesome devices are available to modern consumers at a price that is not going to break a person’s piggy bank. When combined with a cell phones ability to communicate wirelessly around the world in real-time, these devices can actually allow for video communication across the globe, meaning you can always reach your friends and family for some face to face communication.

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Global Positioning System (GPS)

Nowadays, we are all familiar with the concept of GPS and a little bit about how it works, but it was not that long ago that the technology was available for use only by the military. Once the technology was made available to the public, it was still very pricy for a handheld unit and so typically was only purchased by the wealthy or by those who owned businesses that could benefit from it (like fishermen). It was then introduced as a car navigation system and finally the price became low enough for companies to begin including GPS into their consumer cellular devices like cell phones. Now, using this remarkable technology, we can navigate through the streets of even the most complex unfamiliar cities with a device that fits comfortably in our hands. This reduction in the cost of GPS technology and its wide availability at this point have even developed into new hobbies such as Geocaching which is like a high-tech treasure hunt using your GPS unit to get you close and your senses to zero in on the prize.

Although consumer cellular technology has come a long way in recent years and made many remarkable strides, it still has plenty of room to grow and change as new technologies and better versions of old ones are made available to the average consumer.

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How To Go About Comparing Wireless Carriers

By David

If you have been attempting to find the right cell phone service for yourself or your family, then you have likely found that comparing wireless carriers is far more challenging than it might seem. While it does take a bit of upfront knowledge to make a fair comparison, once you have that knowledge, the task becomes much simpler. As this is the case, we have created a simple three-step guide to take you through the process.

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Coverage Area

Your first task in comparing wireless carriers is to take a look at each company’s coverage area being sure to look at only their native coverage area (towers they own themselves) and not their native plus their roaming coverage area (towers they own and towers they rent). This is important because if you are covered by roaming towers, you will end up incurring extra fees that you should not have to be paying. It is better to go with a company that covers your home, job, and the places you frequent for leisure and entertainment with their own towers, than to use one renting those towers, as you will receive the same level of service, but without the unfortunate roaming fees. Eliminate any companies that do not cover the vital areas of your life from your list of potential carriers and head to the next step.

Plans & Services

To continue comparing wireless carriers, you will want to next take a look at the remaining companies and see what plans they offer. Decide what features and services are important for you to have and choose a plan from each company that meets those needs for the lowest possible cost. Keep in mind that some companies will offer basic plans that you can add services to in order to create a plan that is specific to your needs. These types of plans can be cheaper than the premade bundles in cases where you use a great deal of one or two services, but almost none of the others, allowing you to only pay for the things you need and nothing that you do not. If however you use a fair amount of everything, you may find that a bundle is the best option for you. Once you have determined the best plan for each company, head on to the last step.

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Compare Cost

In order to finish comparing wireless carriers, you will need to take a look at the plans you created in the second step and determine which has the lowest price. At this point, having determined that you are indeed covered by native towers and having built or selected a plan that has everything you need, you do not worry about those things. Simply choose the one with the best price. If two or more plans have the same cost, it is typically best to go with the one that has some sort of advantage in features or even just better reviews.

Now that you know how to go about comparing wireless carriers, you can determine which carrier will give you what you need for less.

Click here to compare cell phone plans. All major carriers. Free phone with activation on select plans. Easy comparison tools.