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Tracfone internet question.


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#1 dontay

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

According to the Tracfone website one can only access Tracfone's own websites for weather, sports, etc. Entering a different url will not work. If anyone has a Tracfone and has experience with what these available sites are like I would appreciate it. I think I figured out that most of the CDMA (Verizon) phones but not all have a C in their model number. But one person on one of these threads has a Samsung even though I didn't see any listed on the Tracfone website. I also think I now understand the conversion from units to minutes when using the internet on a Tracfone.

So far I have the impression that Tracfone is great for saving money if you want to talk and text. If you wish to do online banking it is a non-starter. Is that impression wrong?
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#2 Jane and Paul

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:03 PM

I have a Walmart Straight Talk phone and I think it is the same as a Tracfone. You are right that it's not really any good for the internet. It has limited sports, news and weather. I can check my gmail account also. That's about it.
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#3 dontay

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:36 PM

I have a Walmart Straight Talk phone and I think it is the same as a Tracfone. You are right that it's not really any good for the internet. It has limited sports, news and weather. I can check my gmail account also. That's about it.


Rats!! I thought I was on to something that would work for very small internet usage without an add-on data plan.
Thanks for the info.
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#4 moisheh

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

Straight talk has Android phones with unlimited data, calls and texting. BUT the Droids use the AT&T network and the coverage map is horrible. Not much in the Southwest.

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#5 BrianT

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:29 PM

I have the Straight Talk phone, too, on the Verizon network. The internet is pretty basic. I can check email, check Facebook, check weather, check gas buddy, check mapquest.com, and some basic stuff, even a limited Google search. Some websites it will not work with, and rvnetwork.com is one of the ones I can't check from the phone. It doesn't seem to do well with most forums software. (Is it Java that it can't handle? or Flash? or both? can't remember.)

It does more for me than a plain old talk only phone. But it's nothing like one of the Droids with a good data plan. Then again, I paid about $80 for the phone and pay $30/mo for 1000 min, 1000 texts and 30Mb of data. I don't use all of any of those but sometimes use a good chunk of them.

Oh, and the data end of things runs at 1XRTT only, never 3G. Maybe with the plans using AT&T or Spring and their versions of a smart(er) phone, but not this one.

I wouldn't want to try to use it for anything serious online, especially since we now have a vehicle where I can sit in the passenger seat (while my wife is driving) hooked up to the car's built in inverter with my computer in my lap and the air card plugged in, surfing the net.

:)

Just my experience.


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#6 D&J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:07 PM

We have a Tracfone that is used for a second phone and the internet is not worth the trouble but if you get one of the new ones that have triple minutes it's hard to beat for a regular phone. Our main phone is a old Alltel dumb phone on a old Alltel plan that is hard beat because of price but if anything happens to it they will want a new plan and phone so we will go to a Tracfone to replace it. For internet we use a Verizon MiFi.

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#7 mockturtle

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:51 PM

I recently switched from Verizon to Straight Talk but, as has been noted, very limited internet. Since I've only had it a couple of months and have yet to do any traveling, I'm not sure what kind of coverage I'll have. If, as Moishe has said, the coverage is lousy in the SW, I may have to go back to Verizon.

I manage to find enough WiFi to access the internet every few days or so when I'm not home and I just don't want to pay the kinds of prices Verizon is asking.

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#8 Mike

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:33 AM

I use Net10. They are also owned by Tracphone. I don't have their droid phone, just a regular LG. Same experiences as above.

I am thinking about dropping the aircard for internet and trying to do as mockturtle suggests and grabbing it gratis as I wander around near stores like McDonald's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Starbucks, Denny's, etc. Maybe a little less internet in my life would be a good thing? But does my "eating out/Latte coffee" category of spending go up? Does it matter?
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#9 moisheh

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:21 AM

I did some basic research on Net10 and Straight Talk re Droid phones. There are a number of Android phones available. You can also buy a sim card and use it in cerytain existing customer owned phones. Most of those phones run on AT&T. $45.00 a month gives you so called unlimited voice, data and texting. I have read where they may cut you off if usage is too high! Their newest phone is a Samsung Proclaim that runs on Verizon. I haven't been able to find out too much on this phone as it just came out last month. I wonder whether it has a built in hotspot like my Samsung Nexus. This could be a good option for some RV'rs. The phone is $179.00. There are rumours that Straight Talk will have an I phone by Xmas. If anyone has more info please share.

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#10 dontay

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for all the info. Went back to WalMart this morning and all they carry here is GSM phones that work off the ATT network. Terrible coverage out west. So we will have to look around and sees who else carries them around here. Or maybe pick one up when we get to Cheyenne or Laramie.
Hearing that they can be used to check weather, mapquest, and emails sounds good. That's all we really need as we have wifi about once every two weeks when we go to Laramie to do laundry.
Can you send emails with it or do you use the texting function?
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#11 mockturtle

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for all the info. Went back to WalMart this morning and all they carry here is GSM phones that work off the ATT network. Terrible coverage out west. So we will have to look around and sees who else carries them around here. Or maybe pick one up when we get to Cheyenne or Laramie.
Hearing that they can be used to check weather, mapquest, and emails sounds good. That's all we really need as we have wifi about once every two weeks when we go to Laramie to do laundry.
Can you send emails with it or do you use the texting function?


Both texting and emails. I can both read my email and send email.

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#12 Jane and Paul

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:52 AM

Thanks for all the info. Went back to WalMart this morning and all they carry here is GSM phones that work off the ATT network. Terrible coverage out west. So we will have to look around and sees who else carries them around here. Or maybe pick one up when we get to Cheyenne or Laramie.
Hearing that they can be used to check weather, mapquest, and emails sounds good. That's all we really need as we have wifi about once every two weeks when we go to Laramie to do laundry.
Can you send emails with it or do you use the texting function?


I have been using Straight Talk for about two years. My phone is on the Verizon network and I have never had a problem with coverage. Take a look at what Walmart offers on the internet. The selection is better than what I have seen in their stores. I have the $30 plan. They have a couple of smart phones that I believe are on AT&T's network. They only work on the $45 plan.

To me sending email is useless on this phone. I have used it a couple of times to read an email on my gmail account. I just use the texting feature if I don't want to call.

Edited by Jane and Paul, 15 June 2012 - 05:52 AM.

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#13 moisheh

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:01 AM

In order to get a phone on Verizon you have to enter the correct zip code. I believe that the phone must be a CDMA adn there is a way of identifying the phone on the box. Sorry for not enough info but if you join the Tracfone forum on Yahoo it is a wealth of info: bonus codes, specific phone info, etc. My old dumb phone is on Tracfone via Verizon and it has been great.

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#14 D&J

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:02 AM

Thanks for all the info. Went back to WalMart this morning and all they carry here is GSM phones that work off the ATT network. Terrible coverage out west. So we will have to look around and sees who else carries them around here. Or maybe pick one up when we get to Cheyenne or Laramie.
Hearing that they can be used to check weather, mapquest, and emails sounds good. That's all we really need as we have wifi about once every two weeks when we go to Laramie to do laundry.
Can you send emails with it or do you use the texting function?


Try doing this, go to the Tracfone site, click on phones, at the top put in the zip code for where you will be in Wyoming and it will show you what phones are available in that area. I'm sure it will be on the Verizon network but you will end up with a phone number for that area. If you find one of the phones that are also sold around where you are now just use the Wyoming zip code and it will give you a Wyoming number and the carrier for that area. I would also go with a triple minute phone. We bought a phone when we were in Florida and it wouldn't let us activate it with our homebase zip code so they sent us a phone that would work and we still could activated it from Florida. Tracfone

Edited by D&J, 15 June 2012 - 07:03 AM.

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#15 Glenn West

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

Straight talk now has smart phones Androids on the Sprint, att and Verzion netork. The latest 2 phones are att and Verzion. zte is Att and Proclaim is Verzion.
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#16 tibbar

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

My daughter bought an Android phone while she was visiting to replace her straight talk phone. Worked great here but when she went home she was just outside of the sprint signal area and the phone wouldn't work in her home. Works outside, but not in the house. She threw the box away so can't return it. Never throw away the box :)

#17 mockturtle

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:14 PM

Never throw away the box :)


Yes, one look in my garage will confirm this. ;)

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#18 tibbar

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:28 PM

Yes, one look in my garage will confirm this. ;)


I still have the box and phone from our first cell phone in 2001. Hey, you never know!

#19 Budd

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:13 AM

My daughter bought an Android phone while she was visiting to replace her straight talk phone. Worked great here but when she went home she was just outside of the sprint signal area and the phone wouldn't work in her home. Works outside, but not in the house. She threw the box away so can't return it. Never throw away the box :)


I had the same problem inside my home. I also have broadband in the house on TimeWarner. I called Sprint and kept complaining about no signal inside of my house so they sent me a FemtoCell box (called an AIRAVE ) that effectively gives me a Sprint tower just for inside my home. The version I got is an AIRVANA 3g so all my Sprint phones, dumb or Smart, work fine with full bars. When I leave home, a phone is automatically switched to whatever cell tower is nearby. It took several times of calling and complaining but eventually Sprint provided the femtocell box (Air for free and no monthly charges. The version they are now providing also includes REV A (high speed) connectivity but not 4g, which is OK for my phone use.

As for other phone issues, I have stuck with Sprint's unlimited. 1500 anytime minutes and everything else is unlimited. I also picked up an HTC Incredible (Verizon Android phone) that is very capable. I turn off Verizon connectivity (no plan, anyway) and just use it on Wifi. Everything works so I have a fully functional Smart Phone with NO PLAN. I use the hotspot capability (via FoxFI) on my regular Sprint phone to provide connectivity when I don't have a convenient Wifi AP nearby.

The SmartPhone technologies have advanced so rapidly that many outdated phones are still extremely capable and it's not hard to find one that someone has lying around after they upgraded. These make excellent "grab phones" for the nightstand, sofa end table or kitchen when a Wifi AP is available. I use Google Voice which routes all my calls so I put the Android app on all my phones and when my main # rings, they all do so I can answer the call from any of them. I also have an old HTC ERIS as a handy Google Voice Grab Phone.

The day is already here where one does not need to be tied to a specific Cell phone carrier in order to have service. Anyone can get a capable Android phone with Wifi and without a cell plan and use a Google Voice phone # via a Wifi connection and have full voice/data/Text service.

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#20 LindaH

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:06 AM

Straight talk now has smart phones Androids on the Sprint, att and Verzion netork. The latest 2 phones are att and Verzion. zte is Att and Proclaim is Verzion.

Is "zte" and "Proclaim" the brand of phone?

How do you tell beforehand which network the phone works on? I'd only want one that worked on the Verizon network.

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