Verizon

What are my options for rural internet access?

Episode 1428

Lucas from Santa Barbara, CA
Network cable

Lucas does a lot of video streaming and gaming, but he's moving to a rural area and will have to find new high speed internet. What can he do? Leo says that rural internet access is a real issue here and Leo doesn't believe the FCC cares enough to make it happen. Satellite isn't the answer because it's got terrible latency and bandwidth caps. That being said, the best satellite provider is WildBlue's Exede. It's that or dialup.

Why can't my Pixel make phone calls?

Episode 1399

Naomi from Denver, CO
Google Pixel

Naomi bought a Google Pixel as her first smartphone. It takes great pictures, but she couldn't make a phone call unless she cleared the cache and rebooted. It was very frustrating. Leo says that there's clearly something wrong with Naomi's phone since it shouldn't do that. She can't get any help except through the online chat feature. She also got the wrong replacement phone. Leo says she'll have to go to where she bought it and have them replace it with the right model. Only the place she bought it can fix it.

What's the best carrier in LA?

Episode 1377

Rob from Santa Monica, CA
Cell Phone Tower

Rob wants to know who best provider is for the iPhone in Los Angeles? Leo says that in a huge metropolitan area like LA, he'll have his pick of the litter. He shouldn't trust the carrier coverage maps, as they are too optimistic. There are third party sites like OpenSignal.com that will give an independent assessment. T-Mobile and Sprint are also good, but they have dead pockets in the suburbs. AT&T and Verizon are best in LA.

Can I use my Google Fi phone on Verizon?

Episode 1377

Robert from Laguna Hills, CA
Google Pixel

Robert signed up for Google Fi and bought a new Google Pixel phone, but Google is having issues activating his account. Leo says that's disappointing, especially when they don't know what the problem is. Leo says it's a good system and Robert shouldn't give up on it yet.

Can he use it on Verizon until it does? Leo says yes. He should just ask them for a SIM and he'll be able to use it. It shouldn't add any software overlays, but it may download some apps. He'll be able to uninstall them, though.

ISPs Promise That User Data Is Safe in Spite of New Privacy Rules

Episode 1376

URL

It may not be an April Fool's Joke, but it sounds like one. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have moved to assure customers that while Congress has officially passed a law stripping privacy protections from internet users, their data will not be sold and they won't be spying on customers. This begs the question — why did they need the law passed in the first place?

Should I switch to Google Fi?

Episode 1375

Bob from New Mexico
Google Pixel

Bob is grandfathered in to unlimited data with Verizon, but he's thinking about leaving to go with Google Fi. Would it be worth it? Leo says that unlimited has a few caveats. It may be unlimited, but it could slow down dramatically after a few GBs. Google Fi takes connectivity from Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, picking the best one. It really comes down to how well the services work in his area. If Verizon is better, then he's better off staying with it.

Should I get a Google Pixel with Verizon?

Episode 1350

Rick from Torrance, CA
Google Pixel

Rick wants to know about the new Google Pixel. He wants to leave Verizon but they're working overtime to lure him back. What he wants to know is if the Pixel from Verizon is the same as the Google version. Leo says that he used a Verizon Pixel with a T-Mobile SIM and it was functionally the same. Verizon may hold up updates, though. Google Fi may have that same problem because you have to use Verizon's network with it.

How can I get my data from Verizon?

Louis from Michigan

Episode 1346

Louis is having an issue with his cellphone after he dropped it, so he decided to go with a prepaid version. All of his data is in the Verizon cloud and they won't let him retrieve it. Leo says that's because he's no longer a customer. Samsung has a backup system, as does Google. So he should be able to go through them. It's terrible that Verizon won't give him back his personal data. It's likely though that Verizon has dumped his data by now.