Posts Tagged ‘ Data

On A Budget? Use Cell Phones Smarter

If you’re on a buget, a new fancy-pants smartphone may not be in the cards for you—or is it?? Here’s three ways to make owning a cell phone more affordable:

  1. Start with what you buy. Used cell phones are almost as good as new, and often gently used. You can get last years iPhone 4S (if the iPhone 5 finally releases this year) for a fraction of the price. Just check reputable used cell phone dealers, and remember that certain trade-in chains have HORRIBLE reviews.
  2. Only use cell phones when you’re at a wireless hub (at home, work, a coffee shop, book store, etc.). iPhones are already designed to look for the nearest smart phone hub, but it’s a smart way to use Android phones, too! It saves money on that data plan, especially if you’re not on Sprint.
  3. Make calls using data. Minutes can be the most expensive part of using cell phones, (so can crazy texting), but it may be cheaper to just use data—and free WiFi—for everything, including calls. (I recommend downloading Google plus and using hangouts to video call your friends!).
  4. Secret fourth step: make sure to get CASH for that used cell phone! Even if it’s an older model, it may be worth something, and you’re keeping it out of a landfill!

Say Goodbye To Unexpected Fees With Unlocked Cell Phones

Your data plan lets you use cell phones like mini computers, but did you know that when you travel (especially abroad) your data plan can rack up thousands of dollars in fees as your phone roams?

Unlocked cell phones are one good way to avoid this. Simply buy a prepaid plan in the country or region you’re visiting, temporarily trade SIM cards, and let everyone know what phone number you’re using.

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone, trading SIM cards may not work since the phone is “locked” against other service providers.

Alternatively, you can buy a phone card for the region’s phone company and use it with your unlocked cell phone.

If you’re going to be on vacation, you can always just turn your phone off. Data roaming charges can rack up fees, even if you never actually use the phone.

If you don’t want to change plans with unlocked cell phones, contact your service provider and see if they have any special offers for roaming, or arrange to have them turn off service if you hit your data or minutes cap while roaming (bit of advice: get it in writing!).

What are other ways to avoid fees while travelling?

More Reason For The Flexibility Of Unlocked Cell Phones

Now Google's Turning Your Phone Into A Credit Card

Most people already appreciate that unlocked cell phones help you switch carriers more easily. You can buy unlocked cell phones cheaply online (no fees or contracts), and then you can switch carriers, if, say, they change policies and limit data to 2GB/month!

But a new assortment of data shows that there may be other concerns when choosing a carrier, or deciding when to leave one using your unlocked cell phone.

It turns out, carriers store different amounts of information about you for different periods of time. Verizon seems to be the worst offender, actually storing the content of text messages, and keep IP data the longest.

T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint all keep data for differing lengths of time. If you’re concerned, make sure you have unlocked cell phones so that you can change to the best carrier for your needs/preferences, and since unlocked cell phones = jail broken cell phones usually, if there’s ever an app (like Tor for phones or something) that can help ensure privacy, it probably won’t be available in official app stores so best have unlocked cell phones!

What tips do you have for ensuring privacy when using cell phones? How do you adapt unlocked cell phones to enhance your privacy? Share your cell phone tips in the comments!

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