cellphones

How Can I Extend the Range of My Cell Signal?

Galaxy S7

Episode 1640

Gary (Dr. Bird) from Laguna Niguel, California

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. 

Is there a hybrid satellite/cell phone?

Iridium Company

Episode 1625

Dr. Bird from Laguna Nigel, CA

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.

Are Cell Towers Harmful?

Cell Tower

Episode 1617

Theresa from Westminster, CO

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.

How can I get more data while on the road?

Episode 1560

Tracey from Irvine, CA

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.

Would keeping my phone in Airplane Mode expose me to less radiation?

Person with cell phone

Episode 1478

Veronica from Aptos, CA

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.

Should I use Wi-Fi calling with my mobile phone?

iPhone Wi-Fi Calling

Episode 1476

Neil from Phoenix, AZ

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.

How can I use my phone to track my things?

Episode 1344

Scott from Hisperia, CA

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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