data plans

Why can't my phone get data?

Episode 1670

Ron from California

Ron has a Yota 3 mobile phone that has an eInk screen on one side, and a regular screen on the other. The result is better battery life. But he hasn't been able to turn on the data for the phone. You should be able to go into the cellular settings under Network and Internet, and enable the data options. It could have been disabled. Also turn on mobile data and roaming. You may need to input the APN settings, which you can find online. 

Should I Get a Cheap Tablet for Streaming?

Alcatel

Episode 1608

John from Mangum, Oklahoma

John wants to know if an Alcatel tablet will be good for streaming video. He can get one for cheap from T-Mobile. Leo says the price may indicate a subsidized two-year contract. And if he's going to do that, AT&T is currently offering a free tablet with a two-year commitment. Stream it from the store to see. If he can get it out the door for that price, it'll also work with MINT, an MVNO that offers T-Mobile service for less. 

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.

Why is my Windows tablet using up all my data in one day?

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Episode 1239

Wes from Columbus, OH

Wes's laptop died after he dropped it last week and he got a Windows Surface tablet. He got it with LTE and found out within a few days that he had used all of his data. Leo says there's got to be an app that is phoning home and eating up data. It could be that his tablet tried to download all of his mail at once. When he first set it up, it likely downloaded updates as well. Windows Threshold is a 3GB update all by itself. And then toss in other apps, and it's likely that's what happened.

How much of a data plan do I need?

Episode 1189

Jack from La Junta, CO

Jack is getting his first smartphone with a data plan. Which plan should he get? Leo says that rule of thumb is, unless he's watching a lot of video, he's probably only going to go through 3-4 GB a month. Is 40GB too much of a plan? Leo says he doesn't know of such a plan and it could be that he's confusing throughput with data caps. He should check the website for their available plans.

What cell phone should I buy?

Episode 1183

Dennis from Las Vegas, NV

Dennis has a really old dial telephone that he still uses and needs to upgrade to a new phone. Leo says don't! It's so old that it's new again. Leo bought one and converted it to a cell phone. But Dennis needs to move to a cell phone anyway. He doesn't want to spend a lot, though. Leo says that if he's willing to sign up for two years, he can get a free phone. The real cost is in the data plan.

Do I need a data plan to use the FLIR thermal imaging attachment on my iPhone?

FLIR One

Episode 1156

Mark from Menasha, WI

Mark has a FLIR attachment for an iPhone 5 that does thermal imaging. Can he use it on a phone without a data plan? Leo says it should work, unless it requires data in the app. But it's worth a try. Gazelle sells used iPhones. He'll probably have to have an iPhone 5 or later though.

(Disclaimer: Gazelle is a sponsor)