Alice's iPhone 7 will change its signal from 1 bar to 5 bars even when she's not moving. What's the deal? Leo says that Alice's iPhone has a weak signal where she's located. Also, antenna signals can be attenuated depending on how she holds her phone, but it's likely she's just in a bad area for cell reception. But Leo says that since she also has the problem elsewhere, it may be a physical issue. And since Alice has had that phone for a few years, it may be time to get a new phone. One way to verify is to put a SIM card in from another carrier. If the problem persists, it's the phone.
Dr. Bird spends a lot of time in remote areas photographing birds. Dr. Bird wants to know how he can attach an antenna to his Samsung Galaxy S7 so he can make a better cellular connection. Rich suggests looking at products from WeBoost. They can work for extending the cellular range. But if he's out in the middle of nowhere, he won't be guaranteed a signal where cellular coverage doesn't exist. That's where satellite phones come into play.
Dr. Bird wants to know if there's a hybrid digital/satellite phone that will use satellite when in remote areas, and regular cells when he's in town. The Marines use those. Leo says that there are three satellite companies including IRIDIUM, Inmarsat, and Globalstar. So you choose your network and then choose your phones. The Thuraya X5 is supposed to be the world's first hybrid phone that does both. It's Android.
Theresa has been hearing about 5G and recently found out they're getting a new cell tower in her neighborhood. Is living near a cell tower safe? Leo says absolutely, there's no real issue with radiation: it's a myth. It's also really small, and the energy of radiation decreases exponentially as it gets farther away from the tower. So there's no need to worry. But the big challenge of 5G is that it requires more towers. The real evidence is, that it's harmless. Think about how often you hold a cellphone to your head: there's simply not enough energy to do any damage.
Rick hears that Wifi and cellphones can cause cancer due to radiation. Leo says that there is a lot of disinformation out there and fearmongering. Radiation from these sources exist, but they diminish rapidly with distance. There no known issue with WiFi or Cellphone waves... not even high power electrical lines.
Tracey's husband has retired and they've bought a travel trailer to see the sights. But they quickly surpass their data caps on their mobile devices and is looking for an alternative. Leo says that you can buy a larger data plan. It really comes down to how much data you need from month to month. Part of Tracey's problem is she has three kids who are also on the plan. So they blow through 22 GB is days. Using a satellite dish is possible, but you have to aim it every time you stop, the gear is expensive, and the caps are small and slow. But Exceed by Wild Blue is the best.
Joe's mom tends to lose her cordless phone around the house. He's created a device to log into it remotely to turn the phone off so it's not giving a busy signal. Leo says that's a brilliant solution. But it turns the phone completely off. Leo says an easier solution is to get his mom a backup cell phone that he an call whenever it happens.
Veronica wants to know if keeping her phone in Airplane Mode will expose her to less radiation. Leo says yes, it would. Can she also use Wi-Fi calling? Leo says it's better, but there's no evidence that it will or won't be harmful. The radiation would come from the cell phone radio, not the Wi-Fi. Using headphones instead of putting her phone up to her ear is also better.
Neil traded up his iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone X, and he wants to know if Wi-Fi calling is a good idea. Should he turn it on? Leo says that the cell carriers would like him to use it if they support it. It doesn't use their towers, eliminating congestion, and they can still charge him for usage. Would it be of any benefit to Neil? Leo says not really. Quality will vary and if he has a poor connection, that could be an issue.
Scott uses a Windows phone and he can't use a device tracker. So he's looking to get an Android phone to use for it. Would that work without a cell network? Leo says that since it uses bluetooth, it wouldn't need one. Any bluetooth device that runs iOS or Android software will work, but it's limited to about 100 feet. Check out Gear Eye - http://www.doddlenews.com/blogs/kickstarter-geareye-makes-easier-indies-...
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