We live in an area of our county that has poor telephone service, poorer cell phone service, no high-speed Internet services other than very expensive and not so fast satellite providers, and no cable TV other than satellite. It’s kind of a communications technology sink-hole.
I’ve been able to improve the quality of our cell phone service by employing all I learned about Yagi beam antennas, preamplifiers, and amplifiers in forty years of amateur radio involvement. I have a Yagi high-gain beam antenna mounted 10′ above the crown of our house’s roof. The beam is mounted on a rotor so I can point it at the cell tower with the strongest signal and in line with the feed cable is a Wilson “signal booster.” The result is a final inside signal strong enough to provide for reliable cell phone calls.
I’ve tried using AT&T as our primary Internet provider but it is just too expensive for what you get. For over a year now we’ve been using ViaSat satellite as our provider and while that’s mostly okay there is a data cap and it’s too expensive to purchase added capacity.
Anyway, I was cruising around YouTube recently and came across a video about a cell phone service called Visible that has zero caps or limits, is owned by Verizon, and can cost as little as $25 a month with no contract. I watched several other videos and decided to spend a few dollars and take a chance. Here’s what I’ve experienced:
- I bought an approved ZTE Blaze7 phone for $49 because I didn’t want to give up any of the AT&T phones were using.
- I got the first month of Visible for free.
- My future cost would have been $40 a month but I set up something called Party Pay and got the monthly cost down to just $25.
- I have unlimited phone and text on the Verizon 4G LTE system.
- The phone is compatible with my earlier described antenna/amplifier system.
- And regarding data, there really is zero caps on the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded. You may, however, experience the occasional slowing down during times of high traffic on the cellular tower.
- The only downer regards the “hot spot” feature. You can use the phone as a hot spot with no cap. But, it only works with one device and only at 5 Mbps. There is a workaround for the number of attached devices but we haven’t gotten to that yet.
- The whole service is handled and set up online and on the two instances I’ve turned to customer service it’s worked fine.
- There is no contract so if you’re not happy you can opt-out at any time.
I think this is going to give us a good back up Internet service that reliable and affordable while also providing one of us a great cell phone to stick in our pocket and always have access to high-speed technologies.
As I learn more I’ll post it and if any of you sign up, let me know about your experiences.