Friday, February 20, 2015

Whoops - a miscalculation!

This morning, wondering whether there was enough data left on the MiFi pad for today, I checked and saw that the figure I read yesterday as 135 megabytes was not actually true. It was 1.35 gigabytes. In other words, I've been so successful at saving data that I have a ton that's going to expire because it hasn't been used. In the last month I have used 2.5gb on my cellphone and 3gb on my MiFi pad. That tells me an awful lot.

That tells me I could probably get away with 6 or 7 gigabytes on my phone and sod the MiFi pad since my phone can be used as a MiFi pad on its own. So, what to do? The cellphone connection is $50 a month and the MiFi works out at $40 every two months or rather $20 a month. That's a grand total of $70 a month approximately.

Now my communication costs have risen and fallen. A month or two back, I gave T-Mobile as Family Mobile the boot because they claimed to have a service in Pelion that they certainly did if I stood in the pouring rain on the left hand side of the porch with the rain cascading off the roof, straight down the back of my neck. Otherwise, no - pure fiction about a service.

Over time my cellphone costs have gone from $20 every 3 months with Virgin for talk only to $25 a month for talk, text and data albeit spotty service that didn't seem to exist around Christmas each year and data that was so slow I could see my fingernails growing while webpages downloaded. Then I went to Family mobile at $43 a month but again, can't get the service where I go because it's T-Mobile. Thus I went to Straight Talk at $50 a month and that runs on AT&T.

Meanwhile my internet went from none initially to $55 a month to $40 every two months. Thus, the monthly costs have risen and fallen in a very serpentine manner. What I need now is to look again to see how much more money can be saved by combining services. Again, this has to be a pre-pay network. I don't believe in being tied to contracts at all.

The biggest problem, 4 months ago when I dumped Windstream was I had absolutely no idea how much data I used. Windstream wouldn't tell me so I had to suck it and see. With care and elimination of watching YouTube, data usage has dropped dramatically. I expect with further care, it might drop further. Indeed, since Straight Talk gives me unlimited 2G data and 3GB of high-speed data, I'm wondering whether 2G will be good enough for what I do. Heck, all I use 90% of the time is my phone and my tablet. Today is the first day in forever I'm using my macbook. Mind, there's a backstory to that. The screen has a tendency to keep switching off. Until I get it to the Mac gurus in Greenville, I won't know for sure if it's hardware (or as I suspect) software that's the cause.

So, to recap. I'm bloody happy with the MiFi data usage and happy with my lower data costs. I'm not too chuffed about increasing phone bills. I'd much rather pay Virgin $25 a month and get everything but they just don't perform well enough. I can't really go over to Verizon because my phone only works with GSM networks and should it fail then I will simply replace it with either a very cheap talk-only phone now that I have a mifi pad and a tablet or with another GSM mutiband phone.

No comments:

Post a Comment