Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Low Cost Wireless Providers                              

      Some Useful ItemsPlay Store Apps –  Manage Cell Data Usage with this App

– – Google Google Fi

  • Use this link to signup for Google FI as a new subscriber,
    Fi will credit you and Glenn $20 after you've been active for 30 days.

What is Google Google Fi

Google Fi is a new wireless service that Google is launching to offer mobile service directly to users.

The most innovative aspect of Google Fi is its pricing: Google is charging $20 per month for talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 170+ countries, then an additional $10 per GB of data each month. Google Fi includes unlimited international texts, Wi-Fi tethering to use your phone as a hotspot, and access cellular coverage in 170+ countries. International voice calls when traveling (non-Wi-Fi) $0.20 per minute in most countries. All International Rates Your phone number works in 170+ countries and calls are just a dollar for a 5 minute call ($0.20 a minute).

For example, a plan with 2GB of data costs $40 per month. However, if you don't use all that data, Google will partially refund the money you already paid. So if you only used 1.4 of your 2GB, Google says, you'll get $6 back.

Being a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) means Google essentially licenses network infrastructure from other carriers. Google is making itself the middleman between customers and carriers. So although your Google Fi phone will use T-Mobile, Sprint LTE and US Cellular service, you'll only ever have to deal with Google.

Your device will automatically hop among Sprint, T-Mobile or US Cellular networks and Wi-Fi hotspots depending on which has the best connection. Google counts over a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots in the US as part of its network. When you're connected to Wi-Fi networks, Google encryption keeps you secure, the company says. And you'll transition seamlessly between Wi-Fi and LTE, even in the middle of a call.

Through new technology developed with their partners, Google Fi puts you on the best available network between Wi-Fi and two 4G LTE networks. This means you get access to more cell towers and 4G LTE in more places. Google Fi has partnered with Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular carriers in the US, to launch our service. You can view Fi's US coverage at. 

Phones from Google designed for Fi are packed with your favorite features, from smart cameras to powerful batteries. All of them are built with Google Fi’s unique technology to keep you on the best signal. 

Now you can bring your existing to Google FiCheck compatibility of a phone you already have.

What's included in the Fi Basics?  Fi one simple plan starts with the Fi Basics for $20/month. It includes unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, Wi-Fi tethering to use your phone as a hotspot, and access cellular coverage in 170+ countries. If your data usage at the end of the month is less than your data budget, you'll get a credit for approximately one cent per MB. For example, if your data budget is 2GB and you use 1.265GB, you'll get a $7.35 credit.  Note: My Fi bill is about $30 a month including taxes.

Use this link to signup for Google FI as a new subscriber, Fi will credit you and Glenn $20 after you've been active for 30 days.

Control and Manage Cell Data Usage – Google's Datally App Can Save On Mobile Date Usage

Google has an app that will help you save money by stopping apps from wasting cellular data.

The app, called Datally, is available in the Google Play marketplace. Once installed, the app conducts an audit on the apps you're running on your smartphone to find out what kind of data they're consuming. From there, you can decide on an app-by-app basis how much data they should consume. Datally also features a Data Saver Bubble feature that shows you data usage in real-time. You can use the bubble to block an app from consuming data.

But if you're in a plan like Ting or Google Fi that charges you based on the amount of data you use, Datally could come in handy. It'll help you see which apps are running at any given time, and find out how much data they're using. The ability to turn off app data usage or ratchet it back could save you money. (Play Store)  


– – What is Ting?

Ting is a new mobile phone service that caters to people tired of dealing with complicated billing plans from carriers like AT&T or Verizon. Their slogan is ‘Mobile That Makes Sense’.

Click here for $25 off your first device! 

Ting plans explained video

We have been using this service for a while. It worked everywhere on our driving trip from Florida to Pennsylvania and our recent visit to Portland Oregon. Here is the Coverage map.

Ting is our cell provider, Barbara and I each have a smart phone.  We usually use 1000 minutes, 100 text messages, and 500 Mb of data a month.  The lower costs months are when we used less than 100 Mb data. Here are recent usage bills including tax for two smart phones. 

Jan $43.23, Feb $53.05, Mar $53.05, Apr $42.22, May $42.22, June $42.22, July $42.22, Aug $52.77, Sept $42.19, Oct $42.22, Nov $42.22, Dec $63.91  
May $53.02, Jun $43.02, Jul $52.83, Aug $52.83, Sept $42.83, Oct $43.02, Nov $43.02, Dec $43.02

Saving Money on Your Mobile Phone Bill with Ting

Some people have a bad conception of no-contract phone providers. Ting is post-pay (meaning you pay for the previous months usage). Ting is is an offshoot of a company providing internet services for over twenty years Tucows Inc.

It is important to note, Ting does not have their own networks. Instead they lease the use of Sprint's mobile network. If you are considering Ting, ask people you know that use Sprint how their coverage is in the area, this is a key step in deciding if Ting is right for you.

Who is Ting?

Ting is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). The virtual part means the use another company's network, in this case Sprint.

How Can Ting Save Me Money?

Let me start off by saying, that if you are a huge data user, Ting may not be for you. If you are using 1-2 Gigabytes a month or more of data, the price stops being as competitive. However, if your data usage is below that, or you can change your habits to get your data below that (see below), Ting is a good choice.

Ting Says, 98% of people would save money with them. That's because they do mobile differently. They don't believe in locking you into a contract or making you pick a plan. Ting doesn’t charge overages or penalties. Ting is a better way to do mobile.

My tax and local surcharges in Pennsylvania are about $5.

What phone do you use?

You cannot use a mobile phone service without a phone. When you go to a contract carrier, part of the monthly price is paying for your phone. The newest super-nice whiz-bang smartphone is probably $500 or $600 retail, but if you sign up for a new contract it is much cheaper, or even free. You are still paying for the phone, it is just part of your monthly bill, they just do not list it as such. If twenty to twenty-five dollars of your bill goes to the phone, it would be paid off in 2 years. If you keep that phone past the 2 years, your monthly rate does not go down, they keep on charging you.

With Ting, your phone is not subsidized in this way. You have to pay for your phone up-front. Depending on the phone you want, this can be a big expense. However, Ting has some things that can save you money! Ting sell new and refurbished phones. In their forums you will find Ting users selling old phones. You can bring in many T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint phones, if you already have one or can find one. I bought the Nexus 5x from the Google Play Store for $299 and activated it on ting. The N5x is arguably one of the best phones currently available.

Tech Support

Here is another area where Ting shines. No phone trees, no overseas call centers, and almost never any wait. You call Ting with a problem, you get a real, native English speaking human, my experience has been excellent with them. The support personnel know the business, are not following scripts, and get things done.

Email support is just as good, and the forums have friendly people waiting to help you, from other customers to Ting employees. Even a question that is not really a Ting issue (like how to setup Google Voice on your phone), and people will help you and a Ting employee may well jump in to help. Their support is excellent!

Control Your Data Usage here are some ideas.

If you have high data usage, Ting may not be for you. Take a look at your usage, and see what you can do to reduce it. If you have data heavy tasks you perform, can you move them to a time when you are normally on WiFi? We use WiFi at home and work, and make a point to connect at locations we frequent like family and friends homes. When we travel, we always join the hotel and coffee shops… WiFi.

A family members on a different carrier paying $80 a month each and grandfathered into their unlimited data plan. Knowing they might switched phones eventually, and were going to lose the unlimited and have a 1GB cap. They were regularly using 2-3 GB of data a month. A little research found that 90% or more of her data was videos and streaming audio. Simply switching to watching videos on WiFi and using a download and play music service (like Google Play Music $10 a month for 9 devices) dropped their usage to 200-300 MB a month. My wife and I almost never exceed the 500 MB data bucket.

Do a little digging and see if you can change your data consumption habits. If you can do that successfully for a few months, give Ting a call!

In addition, as mentioned before, you can also set yourself hard limits for your account to prevent running your bill up too high. You can also turn off features (voice, incoming text, outgoing text, and data), individually for each phone on your account. So if Junior is texting too much, you can cut it off for his phone. Be advised that while it won't affect the bill if you turn off data (say you grounded a certain someone), they could still get to the internet on WiFi, so it is not a good punishment tool!

Other Ting Advantages

Like most other providers, Ting provides free voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, etc. In addition one service they provide is free WiFi tethering! Most other providers charge an extra $20-$30 a month for this. Ting does not care how many devices you tether to your phone. You pay for the data you use, period.

Links and Referral Program save some money!

First, Ting has a referral program. If you use my referral link, you get $25 off a new device, or $25 of credit if you bring a device or buy used. I get a $25 credit as well. Please use my link and save yourself a few bucks.

Please remember to come back and use $25 off link after looking at the rate calculator!

Use this link to Ting and get $25 off your first device. 

How much data do you use? –  

Use Google Voice voice-mail on your Android device.

  • Set up voicemail on your Google Voice account.

At the TING Dashboard, use the following settings allow Google Voice to intercept your voicemails. 

  • Unchecked box in front of "Call Forwarding can be set on phone".
  • Check the box in front of, Forward 'Busy Signal' calls to this number (type in your GV number without spaces).
  • Check the box in front of,  Forward 'No Answer' calls to this number (type in your GV number without spaces).

At this point you are done.
I've tested my configuration. Seems to be working properly. I'm getting updates through the GV app, alerts to text and email and transcription appears to be working as well.  

Some Useful Items

These items work with Nexus 5X amd 6P 

  • Car Charger 4.8A/24W 2-Port Rapid USB $7.99 sold by Amazon
  • Charging Cable USB Type-C 3.1 to USB 2.0 A  for Nexus 5X/6P (3.3ft) Sale:$6.95 sold by Amazon
  • Charging Cable Type C , 2 Pack [3.3ft & 6.6ft] Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X $9.99 sold by Amazon
  • Wall Charger 24W 2.4A Dual USB Foldable Plug, LED indicator for Nexus $9.99 sold by Amazon
  • Power Bank 6600mah with 2.4Amp Output 6.6 oz $23.99 sold by Amazon
  • Receptacle Duplex 4.8A Ultra High Speed, Smart USB Ports, 24W, 15A  $20.69  sold by Amazon   
  • Nexus 5X Case – Fintie Premium PU Leather Protective Wallet Case Cover $9.99  sold by Amazon 
  • Voltage and Current Meter USB Charger Doctor – In-line – $7.50   sold by Adafruit 

Some Android apps I find beneficial, download from the Play Store.

  • Google Voice – Google Voice offers functionality—such as voicemail archiving and transcription, customized voicemail greetings. Anyone with a Gmail account can sign up for Google Voice at
  • Hangouts Dialer – Now call any phone number in the world from your Hangouts app using your data connection. Download and install the Hangouts Dialer to activate phone calling functionality in the Hangouts app.
  • GlassWire – Data Usage Management – Instantly ee which apps are wasting your data, acting suspiciously, slowing your phone’s Internet speed, or causing you to go over your carrier data limits. GlassWire makes it easy to keep track of your mobile carrier data usage and WiFi Internet activity.
  • Ting – by Ting, Inc – The Ting app lets you take control your Ting account on your Android phone or tablet.
  • Android Device Manager – Ever misplaced or lost your phone? Android Device Manager locates lost devices and helps you keep your device—and the data inside it—safe and secure. 
  • YoWindow Weather – YoWindow is a unique new weather app. The magic of YoWindow is a living landscape that reflects your actual weather. For instance, if it's raining – it rains in YoWindow. The sunset and the sunrise in YoWindow happens at exactly the same time as in real life. This is my favorite weather app! Glenn
  • Pocket Casts – A podcast manager that is full featured, beautiful and simple to use. 
  • Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team – Scan barcodes on products then look up prices and reviews. You can also scan Data Matrix and QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, etc.
  • GasBuddy – Find Cheap Gas
  • Key Ring – Reward Cards & Coupon by Mobestream Media – Never carry plastic or paper loyalty, membership, library cards or coupons again.
  • Authy – brings the future of strong authentication to the convenience of your Android device.The Authy app generates secure 2 step verification tokens on your device. It help’s you protect your account from hackers and hijackers by adding an additional layer of security.

I also use these apps some cost a few $.


– Authy – (
– Barcode Scanner – (
– Bring! – (
– Business Ringtones – (
– Device Manager – (
– Docs – (
– Flightradar24 Free – (
– FlyoverGPS – (
– – (
– GasBuddy – (
– Google Voice – (
– Ham Radio Tools – (
– HamtClock – (
– Hangouts Dialer – (
– ICE: In Case of Emergency – (
– Key Ring – (
– LastPass – (
– List My Apps – (
– Microsoft account – (
– My Data Manager – (
– My Paid Apps – (
– Network Discovery – (
– Office Mobile – (
– OneDrive – (
– PaperKarma – (
– Pedometer – (
– Phone Silencer – (
– Phone Silencer – (
– Picasa Tool – (
– Picasa Tool Premium License – (
– Pocket Casts – (
– Rain Alarm OSM Pro – (
– Security – (
– Sheets – (
– SkEye – (
– Speedtest – (
– Sunrise – (
– Ting – (
– TuneIn Radio – (
– WeatherBug Elite – (
– Wifi Analyzer – (
– WiFi Manager – (
– YoWindow – (

List made using List My Apps – (

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