Chip needs a router compatible with Verizon FIOS. He's about to get his rate raised and wants to dump his modem/router to save money. The chatroom says he'll only need to use the Verizon hardware if he is also subscribing to the TV service. So he can request a FIOS modem only, and then use his own router. Any router will work if he's just using data.
Patrick bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 at Best Buy for Black Friday. Can he just drop his SIM card in or does he have to get it activated? Leo says he should just be able to drop his existing SIM into it and get started. Leo says that the FCC doesn't like carrier locks if the carrier isn't subsidizing the phone. So all he'll have to do is call the carrier and ask them to unlock it, if he needs to. But if he's a Verizon customer, it shouldn't be locked at all, and since he's not switching carriers, it should work if it uses the same SIM.
BJ wants to know if he needs to reinstall the OS on his tablet in order to change the carrier for it. Leo says no, and since BJ's tablet is with Verizon, he can just replace the SIM card with another. If it doesn't work, he can go to Verizon and ask them to unlock it. They have to unlock it by FCC mandate. He shouldn't need to unlock it, though.
Tony bought a new MESH router to use with his Verizon fiber optic internet connection. Leo says that Verizon uses a router/modem, so you'll need to change settings to bridge mode, so it can send the signal on to your new mesh router. Doctor Mom in the chatroom says you can put your Verizon modem into bridge mode, but you will lose some functions. It's just a matter if you can live with it.
Jerry is a long time Verizon customer and is wondering if he should change to an unlimited plan from Spectrum for $45 a month. Leo says he'll have to look at the fine print because nobody really offers unlimited anymore without throttling down the speeds after a set amount. So like after 5GB of hotspotting, or 20GB of data, it'll get throttled down to 2G or 3G speeds. And the only real change, since Spectrum uses Verizon, is customer service. It's a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or reseller.
Rick's wife wants a new phone with a larger screen. What should she get? It doesn't have to be the latest model. Leo says that the best budget Android phone is the Motorola Moto G5 Plus. The screens are better and the cameras are really good. She should make sure he gets a US GSM model that is compatible with her carrier (Verizon in this case). She shouldn't have to pay more than $200, especially on Amazon.
Mary heard that Yahoo's new owner, Verizon, can read her email. Is that true? Leo says yes. It can read your email, photos, files, etc. in order to do facial recognition, offer targeted ads, etc. Leo says that Verizon's never been big on privacy. So it's not a surprise. Worse, they'll also be looking into other personal information. So you have to think about whether you want to agree to that or go with an alternative. Leo recommends Google.
Marla wants to know which free government phone has the best reception. The idea behind the so-called "Obama phone" is that everyone needs a mobile phone and the government subsidizes phones for those who can't afford it. But unfortunately, nobody really tests for reception anymore because there's so much congestion out there.
Verizon is the ideal choice for cell coverage in Los Angeles. It will give Marla the best coverage. And Verizon offers Universal LifeLine service here.
Mark's son is about to be stationed in Japan and wants to know if he can bring his phone along. Leo says that he can, but he'll need to get the phone unlocked so he can use a local carrier. There may be issues with radio frequencies, though. He should check out the website prepaidwithdata.wikia.com to learn about what carriers and phones are best.
Rick switched to Google Fi and now the other carriers are offering unlimited. Should he go back? Leo says that Fi wasn't designed to be competitive, just transparent. So if he has a family plan and needs unlimited, then Fi isn't really practical. If he's getting a better deal with Verizon, Leo says that is likely a good move then. But he should remember that Google Fi is riding on three different carriers, so it offers him a wider reach in terms of signal and connectivity.