Our Free Online Newspaper Classifieds are an Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Print Newspaper Classified Advertising. I’ve tried an assortment of options over the years, but recently switched my primary cell phone coverage to Google’s Project Fi, and oh my goodness — this is a game changer! My go-to system over the years has been to carry a portable MiFi device, along with a pre-paid SIM card. I tested T-Mobile’s international plan when it first debuted in 2014, and had mixed thoughts.
And then I took a trip to Alaska in March to see the start of the Iditarod and the Northern Lights. I would probably have written it off, but there were enough things we wanted to see that I didn’t want to be tethered to hotel wifi.
And that’s when I decided to leave Sprint, because my life is complicated enough without having to deal with a phone company that’s stuck in 1958. A few days later I was having dinner with Zach from TPG, who suggested Google’s Project Fi as an option. Turns out Google Fi is an awesome option for folks who travel internationally with any frequency. It’s probably a solid option for everyone else as well, but the other domestic US carriers aren’t as horrible for people who don’t travel, so Fi is less of a no-brainer. For this Millennial, Project Fi’s pricing is so delightfully obvious as to make every other cell phone provider obnoxious. Your international data comes out of a separate bucket (though it really doesn’t matter, because it’s all $10 per GB, it’s just tracked differently). If you have a fabulous bundled family plan and don’t travel internationally very frequently, you may still come out ahead with a traditional carrier.
In our house, we were spending ~$135 a month for our joint Sprint plan, plus the costs of whatever pre-paid SIM cards we were picking up on our international travels. This process was so simple, and infinitely less annoying than schlepping to a strip mall to watch teenagers wait on hold. The sign up process was linked to my google account, and it took just a few moments to select options.
My one complaint with the initial process is that both Nexus phones arrived at our house with the batteries completely dead. It’s annoying to have to wait for the phone to charge to activate the new service, and this is definitely something that can be improved. Otherwise everything was easy though, down to Project Fi including a branded paperclip to open the phone with ease. I have been tethering my phone to my laptop for years (thanks, Sprint super-unlimited data plan!), and that’s something I really didn’t want to give up. I make good use of the 30+ minutes between boarding and door closing, so didn’t want to lose that productive time, and there are just some things you still need a computer for versus a phone. Google Fi supports using your phone as a hotspot without any additional subscriptions — just enable the service on your phone, set up your network, and voila!
You can’t use your phone as a hotspot internationally at this point, but most Android users probably know a few ways around that. In addition to the SIM card needed to make your phone work on the Project Fi network, Google will send you up to 8 data-only SIMs, which can be used in a variety of devices. Extra SIMs are also a great option for international travel — you can either share them with other people in the group that have unlocked international phones, or put one in a MiFi that the group can then access. If you’re traveling internationally, any data used will come out of your international data bucket.
Project Fi allows speeds up to 256kbps, which is still not going to be amazing for heavy uploads and downloads, but is totally fine for what most of us use our phones for. Changing countries is simple as well — walking across the border from San Diego to Tijuana (trip report on that coming soon), my phone switched automatically, which was impressive. In practice… as long as your phone is unlocked you should be able to access the T-Mobile network domestically, and the international coverage uses the T-Mobile band anyways. You can (officially) use the data-only SIM cards in a variety of products, so data shouldn’t be a problem regardless. Hopefully everyone is charging their cell phone bill to an Ink card for 5x points, and the 8000+ Ultimate Rewards points I was earning off my cell phone bill each year certainly took some of the sting out of my Sprint plan.


If you have a generous family plan with another carrier, or don’t travel much, this might not be as lucrative for you, but it’s certainly worth doing the math. Tiffany Funk is a passionate traveler who splits her time between California and Italy (when she’s not traveling elsewhere!) Her posts offer a different perspective on earning miles, tricks for balancing multiple household accounts, and break down the basics of redeeming miles for aspirational travel -- whatever those aspirations may be! Mentioned this before but Google Voice phone number, Hangouts VoIP dialer, and local SIM have worked amazing for me. You do need a Nexus phone to activate service, but 6X is sold below-market to new customers.
Somehow, maybe due to the topic or writing style, after a couple lines I realised this must be written by Tiffany, not Lucky!
Also, you’ll have to configure APN manually (h2g2) once using the sim on your phone (I just swam my primary sim out on my main [unlocked] phone when traveling).
The Fi SIM does work in other phones for data (at least), so you could always throw it in another phone if your Nexus broke. If you do use this as your primary service, sure, ability to use both Sprint and Tmobile is potentially worthwhile. I think this is a great solution but if you have an iPhone (like I do) you are stuck with t-mobile.
TMobile seems like a good idea for intl data, especially if one is using it mostly for messages, Facebook messenger, etc. As an authorized agent of cell phone services, we will provide a full refund within 10 days.
The Environment Agency has confirmed that a plan is being developed to deal with any future flooding in Otley.
It comes after local MP Greg Mulholland led a meeting with Floods Minister Rory Stewart last month. On Boxing Day, the River Wharfe rose to triple its usual height, with homes and businesses being affected. A letter sent to Mr Mulholland says that the Environment Agency will be working with flood groups in Otley to support the development of the plan and recruitment of flood wardens.
It goes on to explain that a newsletter will provide updates as work around the plan progresses.
Airedale Cricket Club has secured £5,000 to help repair damage caused by flooding over Christmas. Police say 16-year-old Beth Gawthrope, from the Richmond area, has been found safe and well. Police in North Yorkshire are hunting 55-year-old Barry Gibson who has breached the terms of his licence. National: A Land Rover boss who smashed his 4x4 into a car during a road rage chase, paralysing two sisters, has been jailed for four and a half years. World: A new species of boa constrictor with silver scales has been discovered on a remote Caribbean island.
Showbiz: Elton John and Vladimir Putin will not meet to discuss gay rights in Russia when the singer visits Moscow this month, because their schedules do not match. Harrogate District: A day of free entertainment has been organised in the city to mark the national 'Love Your Local Market' campaign. Being able to have unlimited location flexibility is pretty awesome, but that only works if I can jump on to a stable internet connection at short notice.
This can be a bit annoying to set up (as you have to research which provider offers the best data plan in the country you’re visiting, know where to buy or reload the card, etc.), but after six years of traveling this way I had a pretty good system and selection of SIM cards to choose from. Sprint promised coverage in Alaska (which seems reasonable, given I’ve had decent service in Hawaii and Puerto Rico), but there was nothing.
I’m married to an engineer, so I’d had an invite to Google’s new service sitting in my inbox for a year, but hadn’t really looked into the program. There have been so many months where I’ve been abroad for three or more weeks, using a foreign SIM card for all my mobile data needs, but have diligently paid $100+ to my US cell phone provider to maintain my service. For singles, and even most couples, you can probably save a significant amount of money with Project Fi — especially if you travel.
I had previously linked my Sprint number to my Google Voice account, so there were a few extra steps I had to do to get everything sorted out, but in general it only took about ten minutes to activate everything and port my number over. T-Mobile only promises 2G, and advertises “standard speeds as approximately 128 Kbps.” That’s better than a poke in the eye, but isn’t exactly speedy.


Otherwise, Project Fi has always found the right network when I’ve turned off airplane mode in a new country. This isn’t a big perk for me, honestly, as I have a pretty solid system with Skype and Hangouts, but it’s nice to have the option. Coming from a lifetime of HTC phones, the base-model Nexus feels like it might be manufactured by PlaySkool. I know people who are using iPhones or other Android products with no issue, but YMMV with the phone itself working. That meant giving up the unlimited plan we’d had with Sprint, but when we looked at how much data we were actually using we were definitely overpaying.
Our Sprint plan was purchased in 2007, and was thus a *steal* in 2011, but wasn’t really competitive now anyway. If you somehow don’t end up traveling within 90 days, pay for a day of service, then pause again. There are close to 75MM iPhone users in the US so Google has to decide if they want to grab those or try to convert them to Android.
Sure, you don’t get voice calls through the regular app but I was always using Hangouts or my pbx app anyway.
But you can resell the 6X for same $200 or so it costs to buy it, after you activate service. So assuming you pause service on day 1, your month 1 bill will be $30+tax and your month 2 bill will be -($30+tax).
I also experienced 2mpbs there as well, but sometimes as slow as 700k (much better than Google Fi’s 256k speed).
It is crucial that we take the necessary preparations to deal with any future flooding that may hit Otley or the surrounding areas. It was certainly better than nothing, but not a compelling enough alternative for me to switch from my tried-and-true pre-paid SIM option.
You don’t have to decide in advance, and you’ll either be billed or refunded based on where you set your defaults.
The international coverage has been great, and I can’t imagine going back to a traditional phone plan.
This even included a drive from Oslo to Stockholm through the countryside with unmarked roads. In every country besides China my data speeds were 4G (per the phone) and not noticeably slower than they are at home in LA. I also had a generous grandfathered plan from Sprint that I’d had since I bought my first smartphone in 2007, and while Sprint is pretty horrible, the price was compelling. Local SIM cards are almost always cheap and fast (Usually LTE, but even fast 3G well over 256kbps). Also I can receive and reply to text messages on my computer via Hangouts which is way easier.
Best part = data is unlimited (although there is a 5GB cap on 4G LTE, but streaming music and videos are excluded from that cap).
I travel internallationally for work frequently so in the past I had phones with dual sims.
In China I mainly only got 2G speeds, but overall don’t feel the need to switch to Fi. Now, I just charge the cost of our subscription to my monthly work expenditure and don’t have to worry about connectivity where-ever we travel, including AK! True, you pay for data even if you don’t use it, but the family plan we have makes the total cost for service actually cheaper than Fi would be if I only paid for data I actually used. We have a great variety of unique and useful items for sale by our sellers in all 50 states. One problem Project Fi could run into, and this happened to me, is if you break your phone mid trip. I broke my phone before boarding a flight for a 2 month trip where I was jumping around constantly.



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