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Thread: Two phones, two kids, too much data to consider...

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    Question Two phones, two kids, too much data to consider...

    My mind is overflowing with research and data points and I'd love people's thoughts.

    Two boys, 9 and 15. We do have our old Galaxy S6's we could give them, but those are still a bit more expensive than I trust them with, considering how often other things are misplaced. No home phone and a cell would allow them to alert me when they miss the bus.

    Priority is call and text, I may limit or cut internet data because they're addicted to technology too much as it is, but I'd love to be able to play PoGo with them on weekends (our current method of tethering tablets s-u-c-k-s) or take advantage of wifi. I really don't want them to have to do old-style texting (like from a flip phone) because I actually want them to message me.

    We have AT&T but I'm worried that adding 2 more lines would be way too expensive with fees in the long run. In the meantime, I want any phone I get to be compatible in case I do want to add them on the plan.

    This is the phone I'm now considering, found on another thread on here. I have been looking at phones for weeks, but this seems closest to my price point and is reviewed way better than other phones I've looked at.
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews...k-at-t/6292036

    I'm looking at Ting for service because I like their support of multiple lines and pooled adjustable billing. But reading through here I'm wondering if FreedomPop might be cheaper yet (with data), especially if I prepay multiple months. Am I missing any other providers that I should consider?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmoreta View Post
    ...This is the phone I'm now considering, found on another thread on here. I have been looking at phones for weeks, but this seems closest to my price point and is reviewed way better than other phones I've looked at.
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews...k-at-t/6292036
    That is an AT&T Prepaid phone. It will work with AT&T, Cricket, and AT&T MVNOs. It will not work with Ting. Ting uses T-Mobile and Sprint.

    Otherwise, is it probably an adequate budget, basic phone. I have a Phoenix 2 and it is perfectly usable, except the camera is mediocre.

    I would not in any way consider Freedompop for phone service to depend on for reliable phone service for my child to contact me. Freedompop is a novelty, toy service. When it works it is fun to play with.

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    Stay away from freedompop if you value your sanity.

    Check out redpocket's ebay plans. Maybe there's a favorable price point. I believe their data is hard capped on most plans. Once it runs out it simply stops. I have one relative on their 1000min/unl txt/1000MB monthly plan. Was $150 during black friday but regular price is $180 IIRC. That's for the year.

    I think that might be a winner.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/14-08-Mo-Re...-/131593551826

    They have other plans too.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/redpocketst...p2047675.l2562

    Be aware, not all plans can be used on all 4 networks.

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    I know your dilemma -- I went through it a few years ago. Since that time I learned i was one of the last to give my kids smartphones, and even then, they got used ones. Two years ago, I saw a bunch of 12-year olds with iPhone 7s; it's a little crazy what (some) parents do these days...

    All that said, one thing you need to accept is that some kids will use every megabyte of data on (what we parents think are) worthless things -- others wont. But having their data hard capped is kind of like taking their breath away - so you will want a plan that has unlimited (but throttled data). Fortunately, those plans that switch to unlimited throttled data after some high speed allowance are available at little additional cost these days.

    Since you're on AT&T now, you know their network works for you. The AT&T prepaid phones (as noted above) will work on the AT&T MVNOs, so that's a benefit if you're looking for inexpensive devices / replacement devices. You can just buy one outright at Best Buy, Target or Walmart and pop your own SIM in.

    So, with all of that in mind, I would suggest H2O Wireless. Their current plan line up includes a plan for $30/month for the first line and $20/month for each additional line, and each line gets its own allocation of 3GB high speed data, then unlimited 2G speed data. Calling/texting is unlimited too. This is prepaid, so you'll simply be setting up 30-day recharges on their site (and you'll save a few bucks if you auto-pay too, which will help defray the taxes which could be $2-5/line depending on where you live).

    Not to sound like a TV infomercial, but if you act now (by the end of February from what I understand), you can buy two one-month $30 plans their site for FREE and they will mail you the SIMs -- all you'll pay is $5 in total for shipping (you can order up to three single free plans). They are just sending you SIM cards with preloaded credit -- you need to activate them on the web site.

    Also, DO NOT BUY THE MULTILINE PLAN NOW (cause it's not free) -- you can put the two, free single lines together and set up auto-pay towards the end of the free month, once you have it running and know everything is working well for them.

    https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainC...page=planMonth


    Down the line, you can also do Red Pocket AT&T, but that's a one-year commitment effectively. I'd suggest seeing how it goes first, then taking it from there.

    One more caveat on H2O -- the "high speed" data is throttled to 8Mbps -- that's plenty for just about anything on a phone, so I merely stating this in the spirit of full disclosure.

    FYI, the current promotion also includes doubled high speed data for the first couple of months. Personally, I think they will likely up the 3GB to something higher on a permanent basis, and this is a test trial for them. it may not be to 6GB, but 5GB is getting to be the sweet spot in the $30/month prepaid market...

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    You could use the Howard Forums PROMO code to get 75% off your first month from Pure TalkUSA. The code is HOFO75.

    Two $20 plans with Pure Talk would be $36 plus taxes. Comes with 500MBs and unlimited 128KPS after the high speed data is used.

    Pure Talk has U.S. based customer service based in Atlanta, GA.

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    Just to throw in my 2˘, I've used both H2O and PureTalk and been very pleased with both. I joined the AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) for one reason only: to get that great low-end deal with PureTalk offering, if memory serves me, 400 voice minutes, 500 texts and 400MB of data all for $10/mo plus tax. And I don't believe there is a minimum age to join AMAC, but you would have to confirm that with them. There are several other benefits of membership, but I never use them. I later ported my number to H2O paygo, but I recouped my AMAC $19 membership fee within a couple months.

    Oh, and if you need to hear it again, avoid Freedompop.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

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    The best cellphone plans for children are PAYG plans like Lycamobile with no monthly bills. They should have a smartphone, but limit their data use to WIFI only.

    The main priority is making and receiving calls to and from parents and relatives.

    Unless your household income is $200,000+, I see no reason to give any child any unlimited data plans.

    Sent from my LM-Q710.FG using HoFo mobile app

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    I used AT&T and Freedompop. AT&T - not the cheapest but good quality for that price. Freedompop - one big no. Now I am thinking about H2O because of the comments above.
    Check online reviews before buying your new gadget: https://www.pissedconsumer.com/categ...t-gadgets.html

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    Two phones, two kids, too much data to consider...

    Cricket is a at&t mvno so one of these plans will work depending on your budget.

    If you have 4 line and under including you, you can always get 4 lines unlimited everything for $100 month taxes included.

    https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans


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    Crazy idea, but maybe in a "so crazy it just might work" sorry of way...

    T-Mobile offers a $10/month prepaid tablet plan with zero minutes, zero texts, 2GB of full speed data and unlimited throttled (128kbps) data. Although made for tablets, hotspots, etc., it works fine in phones too.

    Google Voice/Hangouts can be used for voice and text (voice, in my experience, isn't 100% reliable with Google Voice, but SMS is solid, and 9 and 15 year olds aren't going to use voice much anyway.)

    The 2GB soft cap will prevent data "abuse" - once the 2GB runs out, "fun" high bandwidth stuff like video streaming becomes difficult/impossible, but you can still do Google lookups, (or homework!)

    Another catch of course, is that you'd need unlocked phones, or cheap/used T-Mo phones.



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    Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
    Crazy idea, but maybe in a "so crazy it just might work" sorry of way...

    T-Mobile offers a $10/month prepaid tablet plan with zero minutes, zero texts, 2GB of full speed data and unlimited throttled (128kbps) data. Although made for tablets, hotspots, etc., it works fine in phones too.

    Google Voice/Hangouts can be used for voice and text (voice, in my experience, isn't 100% reliable with Google Voice, but SMS is solid, and 9 and 15 year olds aren't going to use voice much anyway.)

    The 2GB soft cap will prevent data "abuse" - once the 2GB runs out, "fun" high bandwidth stuff like video streaming becomes difficult/impossible, but you can still do Google lookups, (or homework!)

    Another catch of course, is that you'd need unlocked phones, or cheap/used T-Mo phones.



    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    Or just buy the Freedom Pop $49.99 annual plan but gives you 1gb data. Much better than $10 a month.

    Sent from my LM-X410.FGN using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by munkala View Post
    Or just buy the Freedom Pop $49.99 annual plan but gives you 1gb data. Much better than $10 a month.

    Sent from my LM-X410.FGN using HoFo mobile app
    True, except FreedomPop has a hard cap. After the 1GB is used each month, you have no data left at all. T-Mo employs a soft cap- after the 2GB high speed data is used, you still have unlimited throttled data for the rest of the month.

    Rather than go the FreedomPop route, one might consider their evil twin Unreal Mobile (a similar VoIP-based service from the same company) instead. For $10/month you get 1GB high speed data and unlimited throttled data, but on AT&T's network rather than T-Mo's. They don't offer the $50/12-month prepaid option like FreedomPop, but Best buy currently has the 3-month starter SIMs for the 1GB/$10/month plan on sale for $15.99.



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    Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
    Crazy idea, but maybe in a "so crazy it just might work" sorry of way...

    T-Mobile offers a $10/month prepaid tablet plan with zero minutes, zero texts, 2GB of full speed data and unlimited throttled (128kbps) data. Although made for tablets, hotspots, etc., it works fine in phones too.

    Google Voice/Hangouts can be used for voice and text (voice, in my experience, isn't 100% reliable with Google Voice, but SMS is solid, and 9 and 15 year olds aren't going to use voice much anyway.)

    The 2GB soft cap will prevent data "abuse" - once the 2GB runs out, "fun" high bandwidth stuff like video streaming becomes difficult/impossible, but you can still do Google lookups, (or homework!)

    Another catch of course, is that you'd need unlocked phones, or cheap/used T-Mo phones.
    Quote Originally Posted by munkala View Post
    Or just buy the Freedom Pop $49.99 annual plan but gives you 1gb data. Much better than $10 a month.
    I have been 100% VoIP for my cellular service since March, 2017, and for my home phone since October, 2015, using a GV #.

    For my cellular service, I use GV # + Hangouts, primarily with FP AT&T LTE SIMs on their free plan, but when the maximum free data was reduced to 250MB/mo/SIM, I bought the FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan for $33.99 from Best Buy eBay when it was on sale and there was an eBay coupon. It comes with a phone # with UT&T over zero rated data if you choose to use the FP Messaging app, but I use it for data only, since I've been using my primary GV # for my primary phone # since 2009. I also have a 2GB/mo LTE T-Mobile SIM, similar to the one mentioned above, for supplemental data and for LTE data in Canada and Mexico.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, what's been suggested by the two posters above does work.

    When my kids were the age of the OP's kids, if that FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan would have been available, I would have used it for them. That $33.99 annual price I paid will probably not be a regular deal, but it's fairly often on sale from Best Buy for $44.99, and sometimes it's even $39.99. Since that FP plan comes with a phone # with UT&T over zero rated data if you choose to use the FP Messaging app, there's really no reason to get GV+Hangouts involved in the mix unless there's already a GV # in use, or there's some other good reason to use one.

    Actually, I just checked, and FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan IS on sale for $39.99 right now. $3.33/mo for this service is a really good deal!
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/freedom...?skuId=6187400
    AND/OR
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/FreedomPop-...-/192530921373

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I have been 100% VoIP for my cellular service since March, 2017, and for my home phone since October, 2015, using a GV #.

    For my cellular service, I use GV # + Hangouts, primarily with FP AT&T LTE SIMs on their free plan, but when the maximum free data was reduced to 250MB/mo/SIM, I bought the FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan for $33.99 from Best Buy eBay when it was on sale and there was an eBay coupon. It comes with a phone # with UT&T over zero rated data if you choose to use the FP Messaging app, but I use it for data only, since I've been using my primary GV # for my primary phone # since 2009. I also have a 2GB/mo LTE T-Mobile SIM, similar to the one mentioned above, for supplemental data and for LTE data in Canada and Mexico.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, what's been suggested by the two posters above does work.

    When my kids were the age of the OP's kids, if that FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan would have been available, I would have used it for them. That $33.99 annual price I paid will probably not be a regular deal, but it's fairly often on sale from Best Buy for $44.99, and sometimes it's even $39.99. Since that FP plan comes with a phone # with UT&T over zero rated data if you choose to use the FP Messaging app, there's really no reason to get GV+Hangouts involved in the mix unless there's already a GV # in use, or there's some other good reason to use one.

    Actually, I just checked, and FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo $49.99 (regular price) annual plan IS on sale for $39.99 right now. $3.33/mo for this service is a really good deal!
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/freedom...?skuId=6187400
    AND/OR
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/FreedomPop-...-/192530921373
    Thanks for the tip on the sale. I'd probably grab a few 1-year SIMs for just-in-case scenarios (like backup for my T-Mo service on summer road trips, or "burner" phone for Craigslist listings), but I've already got a handful of the 3-month FP SIMs from Target's $9 sale last fall.



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    Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the sale. I'd probably grab a few 1-year SIMs for just-in-case scenarios (like backup for my T-Mo service on summer road trips, or "burner" phone for Craigslist listings), but I've already got a handful of the 3-month FP SIMs from Target's $9 sale last fall.
    Yeah, I'm definitely tempted to get another FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo annual plan, too, because the $39.99 price is good. But I do already have one in waiting that I got for $33.99, and it probably wouldn't be smart to get another one at this point.

    Now, if the FP AT&T LTE 1GB/mo 3 month SIMs were to go back on sale for $9, I might be tempted to get a couple to have available for international visitors to use!

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