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Make Free Calls...

Posted on February 06, 2013 | 0 comments

Slash Your Cell Phone Bill: Make Free Calls On Your Smart Phone

By Becky Worley |Upgrade Your Life - 4 hrs ago

Your smartphone costs a fortune in monthly fees. But there are new ways to get unlimited voice calling and significantly decrease the number of cell voice minutes you need. So pull out your smartphone, and we’ll fire up a few tools to potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your cell phone bill this year.

Wi-Fi Calling on Cell Phones Explained
Your cell phone can communicate in four distinct ways: voice calls, texts, data over cell networks, and data over Wi-Fi. What many people don’t realize is that connecting via Wi-Fi doesn’t count at all against your cell phone bill. So how can you exploit this loophole to cut down on your overall cell phone bill?

Making voice calls on your computer over the Internet is nothing new; but you can now combine your cell phone with Wi-Fi to make calls for free on your mobile devices. This could enable you to talk over Wi-Fi and downgrade your cell service to the cheapest plan available – one with fewer voice minutes than you’re currently paying for.

Facebook Calling
Facebook recently announced that iPhone users who have the Facebook Messenger app installed can now make free phone calls to other iPhones users through the app. You’ll be alerted to an incoming call with a Facebook notification rather than with your phone’s ringtone, but if you have a Facebook friend with an iPhone whom you call a lot, this could help you conserve cell minutes.

Skype
Facebook is just the latest in a long line of upstarts taking aim at the established cell service market, like Line2 and Viber, but the biggest player is Skype. Their mobile app lets you make free Skype calls to anyone in the world with a free Skype account. But if you want to call any phone number in the US or Canada, whether or not the person you’re calling has a Skype account, you can pay $3 a month for this unlimited privilege. While $3 a month isn’t free, it could save you more than that on your cell service bill. Calling is simple: just fire up the app and dial the number.

Google Voice
Google offers a comprehensive service called Google Voice. With it, you get one unified phone number that rings on your cell or your landline, plus tons of cool features like transcribing your voicemail – and it makes calls over Wi-Fi. But beware: When you use Google Voice to make calls from your cell phone, it still counts against your cell phone minutes, unless you use an additional app like GrooVe IP or Sipdroid in conjunction with your Google Voice account. This combination will give you completely free Wi-Fi calling that doesn’t count against your minutes.

T-Mobile and Bobsled
T-Mobile has embraced free Wi-Fi calling whole hog. They provide an app called Bobsled to make free calls over Wi-Fi. You can call any US number. It works from any Android or Apple iOS device – not just phones, but computers and tablets as well. Surprisingly, this free service from T-Mobile does not even require you to be a T-Mobile customer; it works with any carrier. As of right now there are over 2 million Bobsled users, and T-Mobile says 95% of them aren’t T-Mobile subscribers For this reason, Bobsled is my number one pick for best way to make free WiFi calls on your smartphone.

But How’s the Quality?
I’ve tested Wi-Fi calling in a number of circumstances, and generally, the quality is pretty good – sometimes I’m aware of a slight delay, and some tinny audio quality, but overall comparable to what I get using my cell phone to make calls in the traditional way. And remember, making calls over Wi-Fi isn’t just about saving a few bucks by downgrading to a cheaper plan. Many people have poor cell reception in the places they use it most – in their own homes or at work – places where they might have an excellent Wi-Fi signal. If this is true for you, you might actually get better quality by making your voice calls using Wi-Fi.

Brad Marshland contributed to this story.

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iPad’s WiFi Issues...

Posted on February 04, 2013 | 0 comments

Get Connected: 7 Ways to Fix Persnickety iPad’s WiFi Issues

On December 28, 2012, Tips & Tricks, by A Girl 
 

The iPad may seem magical, but for many its best (or worst) trick is the ability to make a WiFi signal disappear. If you’re having problems with a wireless iPad then we’ve got a bit of magic of our own. Try these 7 ways to fix your iPad’s wandering WiFi connection.

1. Sometimes, you need to start at the end. Or, “when in doubt, reboot.” You’d be amazed at how many complex step-by-step instructions end with “if that doesn’t work, turn the iPad off and on again.” Remember, the iPad is a computer and it needs to be turned off every once in a while.

Follow these steps to reboot and watch the wonder of WiFi return:

  • Hold down the sleep/wake button until the red slider appears, and drag it to the right to power off.
  • To power on, hold down the button again and let the iPad go through its startup routine.

It’s amazing how often the “last resort” is the right answer. (Note to self: always skip to the end!)

2. Just because you can read on it, doesn’t mean your iPad is a book. Some iPad owners report that when they hold their iPad like a book—so that it is taller than it is wide—their previously-strong WiFi signal gets weaker and that often weaker signal disappear altogether. The moral of the story is if it hurts when you do that, then “don’t do that.” Keep your iPad turned on it’s side for the best wireless connection.

3. Just like my favorite episode of “I love Lucy,” you may need to “El break-o the lease-o.” Apple’s iPad has a well-known issue with DHCP leases. Like a unwelcome houseguest, the device tries to hold onto the Internet address assigned by the DHCP network—without actually renewing its DHCP lease. The network thinks the Internet address is fair game, and issues it to somebody else.

Here’s how to fix WiFi when working over a DHCP network:

  • Tap Settings/General. Under Auto-Lock, select “Never.”
  • If you’re losing the DHCP connection while working, tap the blue arrow next to the network name and “Renew Lease.”
  • When you finish working on the network, don’t lock your screen without either powering off or turning off your WiFi first. To turn off WiFi, go to Settings/WiFi, and set the switch to “Off.”

4. Wear your sunglasses at night. Most power-saving tips will tell you to turn down the screen brightness to preserve battery life, but if you’re losing connectivity don’t do it! Anecdotal evidence has shown that adjusting the brightness to a lower setting seems to lower the WiFi signal too. Other users complain that using auto-brightness is the culprit. In any case, turn your brightness up to the max with auto-brightness off, and you may get a sudden boost to your WiFi signal as well.

5. Protocol power struggle. WEP is a popular encryption protocol, but your iPad is more at home with WPA2. So, if the latter protocol is available on your wireless modem your answer to better-WiFi is: dump the WEP setting.

6. Power struggle part 2. QoS, which determines which devices get priority on your home network, selects from a broad range of bands automatically to connect you to the Internet – unless, of course, you’re on an Apple product like the iPad. Apple doesn’t support QoS, so disable it to increase your chances of better WiFi.

7. Future fixes for current problems. Make sure your iPad software is up-to-date. Apple is aware of the iPad’s WiFi problems and they’ve promised fixes in upcoming software releases. Of course, even if you’re not having wireless issues this keeping your software up-to-date is still a good idea.

 

Source: http://www.girlonapps.com/how-to-fix-ipads-wifi-issues/

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