Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Samsung offering free phone repairs to people on the front line of the pandemic, an Earth-like exoplanet, Netflix helping the filmmaking community, and more.
Jeff in Anchorage, Alaska listens on AM 700 KBYR “Alaska Talks Here” asked: “I don’t have Wi-Fi and getting cellular data is kinda slow at my home. Can that be boosted to get reception? And if data can be boosted, will I be able to get streaming that way?”
Jeff, yes it can but your results will vary depending on the signal that’s available right outside your front door.
You can look at signal boosters from companies like weBoost and SureCall, both offer models that would allow you to install a larger and more powerful antenna located somewhere around your property that gets a usable cell signal and hooks into a repeater that lives inside your house (picture a WiFi router, only it puts out cell signal).
The catch is that if you don’t get a good enough signal, these devices won’t create it out of thin air. You need something to be there so it can be boosted.
Prices vary a great deal, you may pay as little as $250 or as much as $1000, we can’t really tell you in particular will pay because it depends on a number of factors including the size of your home, but most home installations are closer to the low end or the middle of that range than to to high end.
Since you mentioned streaming, you should check and make sure that your data plan is streaming-friendly. Some are more so than others, some are ok with you streaming on your phone but not on your hotspot too, so make sure you understand the nuances.
For the most part, modern cellphone plans will slow you down rather than charge you overages when you go over whatever they consider to be “fair use”, but there are exceptions to that rule and checking the fine print before you start streaming may save you some money and some headaches.
If you do stream often, and you don’t want in-home wifi, make sure your cell phone data plan is unlimited because streaming means using up a lot of data. Some plans charge by the gigabyte meaning you might be spending hundreds of dollars only for a few shows when streaming in HD.
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