Verizon

Can I just put my SIM into my new Samsung Galaxy S9?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Episode 1545

Patrick from California

Patrick bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 at Best Buy for Black Friday. Can he just drop his SIM card in or does he have to get it activated? Leo says he should just be able to drop his existing SIM into it and get started. Leo says that the FCC doesn't like carrier locks if the carrier isn't subsidizing the phone. So all he'll have to do is call the carrier and ask them to unlock it, if he needs to. But if he's a Verizon customer, it shouldn't be locked at all, and since he's not switching carriers, it should work if it uses the same SIM.

How can I use a mesh router on Verizon?

Episode 1520

Tony from California

Tony bought a new MESH router to use with his Verizon fiber optic internet connection. Leo says that Verizon uses a router/modem, so you'll need to change settings to bridge mode, so it can send the signal on to your new mesh router. Doctor Mom in the chatroom says you can put your Verizon modem into bridge mode, but you will lose some functions. It's just a matter if you can live with it.

Should I switch my mobile provider?

Meter

Episode 1510

Jerry from Tri Cities

Jerry is a long time Verizon customer and is wondering if he should change to an unlimited plan from Spectrum for $45 a month. Leo says he'll have to look at the fine print because nobody really offers unlimited anymore without throttling down the speeds after a set amount. So like after 5GB of hotspotting, or 20GB of data, it'll get throttled down to 2G or 3G speeds. And the only real change, since Spectrum uses Verizon, is customer service. It's a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or reseller.

What smartphone should I buy?

Motorola Moto G6

Episode 1493

Rick from Phelan, CA

Rick's wife wants a new phone with a larger screen. What should she get? It doesn't have to be the latest model. Leo says that the best budget Android phone is the Motorola Moto G5 Plus. The screens are better and the cameras are really good. She should make sure he gets a US GSM model that is compatible with her carrier (Verizon in this case). She shouldn't have to pay more than $200, especially on Amazon.

Is my data private on Yahoo?

Episode 1485

Mary from Temecula

Mary heard that Yahoo's new owner, Verizon, can read her email. Is that true? Leo says yes. It can read your email, photos, files, etc. in order to do facial recognition, offer targeted ads, etc. Leo says that Verizon's never been big on privacy. So it's not a surprise. Worse, they'll also be looking into other personal information. So you have to think about whether you want to agree to that or go with an alternative. Leo recommends Google.

What's the best government subsidized phone?

Woman on cell phone

Episode 1472

Marla from La Crescenta, CA

Marla wants to know which free government phone has the best reception. The idea behind the so-called "Obama phone" is that everyone needs a mobile phone and the government subsidizes phones for those who can't afford it. But unfortunately, nobody really tests for reception anymore because there's so much congestion out there.

Verizon is the ideal choice for cell coverage in Los Angeles. It will give Marla the best coverage. And Verizon offers Universal LifeLine service here.