CNET to the Rescue Ep. 25: Mobile device adviceCNET cellphone editor Kent German joins Rescue this week to tell us how to ditch your landline phone and (maybe) your ISP completely. Plus, your mobile questions answered, like: Can I use a Kindle as a hotspot?
Hi everyone I'm -- Italy and welcome to -- it to the rescue our weekly podcast refrigerated truth about tech products and answer your tech questions. This week -- -- joined by special guest Kent German -- well. Who's with us to talk about mobile devices mobile carriers. And if you really love your mobile device minimal -- I can dump your landline services. And just use them a reminder this is our new format every week we're going to have a special guest -- special topic. Josh -- and former cohost with the rest is now covering the Microsoft beat them both these stuff on news.com. What's that dig -- stuff. -- stop him and know. He's like he's being forced to make the change to live the dream that. Josh uses what he likes best you know whether it's you know. Apple product for Android or. Whatever. He's he's he's. Header heterogeneous guy he's got all the stuff all over now he's got like live Microsoft land in -- the -- marks a foolish yes against anyways so with we're gonna have him on the -- and talk about what. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- If you have a tech question Pristina to the rescue on this or any other topic call us with your questions to get an -- which 08774386. X 88. 8774386. X 88. Or send an email to rescue at cnet.com. No question -- to basic next week we'll probably becoming storage technology with a special -- -- -- more about that -- into the show. Our -- can start can't thanks to implement sir absolutely. Com. It is more and more people now are living with Al -- wired telephone without a land line. The -- and their landline and going all -- yeah when I re read -- -- the basement my house. I didn't put -- -- there's I think -- gonna move in there and here for years they ran up a landline down a wireless up. Can you do this now and what -- some tips to. If incorporating everything -- one phone. A multiple -- Yes we can do it now I know -- lot of -- don't think people tend to do when they moved Monday they move and and they don't -- calling get. Get the guy come around to the president announced on land -- in fact take awhile. And actually most people -- -- this is kind of an urban thing as well that -- people are really going them mobile only lifestyles but I am. There are some things you wanna consider choruses. You wanna be able to get good phone service in your house in the market and -- -- They really think about that before they -- then you initiate a phone and all it involve -- -- they think they're gonna make calls and they tested and that you know kitchen in the badger him in the bathroom everywhere you think you're gonna -- the policy -- -- make sure that -- That's really important networks. And then you know you wanna think about if you're gonna if your family of several people and how many phones you can have announced they do you want him people can listen and in the same thing. -- he -- he can't -- party lines anymore and yeah that would be that would be difficult other didn't he do that anymore. You know there are some products out there and about ET -- used to have something like that well actually. -- -- at home services sort of like that where you can actually plug in a land line phone and RX a landline phone so it cortisone or whatever it may be. And then run it through the Wi-Fi cellular service that they set up so anyway we're gonna about it yet but yeah you do wanna think about those things and -- how many phones you want it if you get service -- your house those of the biggest things thing right away but it's definitely possible. So. The big thing of course about. Cutting the cord the phone cord and going all mobile in your home is that the second -- in and out that's one thing. To test the service or maybe you get a couple bars here may -- few -- the other room in the basement Federer. Of course this cell carriers cell towers are outside and they have to punch through your house to give you -- on the the signal. And I degrades -- right. We've been hearing a lot lately. About these things called micro cells -- tell us about those and is that a -- or important. -- product or solution for people who are trying to go. Cordless. Or mobile only in their homes. A they certainly are and anonymous no Microsoft basically like a small cell phone -- just tiny little thing it looks about the size of -- wireless routers. It. About the same size -- same -- And has little antenna on it and it's -- when it does it takes a signal and then just boosts its boosts it team within a particular area so. Most of the carriers offer these. AT&T does Verizon sprint T-Mobile has sort of a variation of it. And they can work in a lot of cases and I mean to me and and our testing we've actually reviewed Sprint's error if there's an -- Perrier. But let's be clear about this now there are signal boosters and there are micro cells now as I understand it the micro cells. -- don't actually send the phone's signal -- if I'm if I'm on my iPhone terrible covered in my house and I am I connect to a Microsoft in my home. The next step is that micro so it's not gonna send that over the cellular network directly is that right because government broadband. You about Vincent Price yes -- -- you are correct look at it it but it does but it is. Yeah in -- these are different products where you are making. The Wi-Fi calls them and still you know it's still using your -- and this is these these Microsoft you're actually using wireless connections using your -- network but it is. Sending it through wife and -- two times it is sending it through the Internet into the actual -- network. -- -- So it's converting I mean it's not like VoIP like Skype is what parents and user but it essentially is -- is converting my mobile phone call to a voice over IP call but it's it's private to that to the cellular network. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Are there there what I understand about somebody's Mike doesn't there are some restrictions on -- I can't put a micro sell my house and then have a party -- nine people come over and it's all gonna work I mean you have to register your phone's. -- -- on the eighteenth he would use that true and all the micro cell products I'm yes it is -- and is mostly care credit products mystery after you have to. It has built -- your account you'd have to pay some sort of service plan for it so it does register your your particular. Okay now the big thing -- so all -- technical stuff aside. Thought got pool or spotty service in my home panacea that these micro cells and eighteenth he and the steel you know it's fifty -- -- -- -- -- from so this service. But then you keep hearing about people who. Are -- about their. -- cellular service in their home and they end up getting a micro cell for free. He did he get -- -- you know. Students England from his read about this this summer net it had been reported that that AT&T was sending out some letters to people saying well. You're getting and and and it wasn't clear exactly -- nineteen he chose these people -- just said well you're entitled to remind ourselves so you come down get a -- and a and it -- and from what we can tell people actually done this but. There doesn't seem to be a real clear policy honestly how you qualify. An instance like you can say yeah I -- -- You really have to bring their beard AT&T -- distort actor house and since you can't get a single because. You know they can't really tell where there -- gonna see me getting home Odyssey to carry him on screen. That's Huckabee because I'm gonna have to -- -- -- I can't cover my house and travellers sparkle ever here but -- announcement that are dedicated to helping out. Eric you know there's metal plating on the loans -- actually -- get it but. I is easy that you go in and and you make. I've heard from readers and -- -- -- -- he had heard from a couple of readers that said that they just went and they mean their cases have been marketing cellphone service and weren't and they were given free. I just don't from what I can see there's not a real clear policy that AT&T'S using your criteria for it and so therefore -- and yes you're entitled. Naturally the South Africa TSA agents -- elders -- -- the policies -- So we recommend that. You go to the the biggest possible store to to do this or a local. -- You know -- cellular something I don't think it matters and it just depends on your time means people who probably wanna go to -- if you're looking for the carrier provided one you probably wanna go to the carrier's current reseller -- there -- non carrier provided. -- -- there are well that these are -- are more signal boosters -- more. So signal boosters our -- we've heard a lot -- -- -- in a long time ago there was this little sticker she could put in the -- supposedly does that does seem like four or stickers of those are -- don't work network. But there are products out there there's a couple of companies wants -- -- electronics and when one is called I tax and they make signal boosters that we've tested and refused nine -- still in place and really that's something you put it up you plug it in and has an antenna and it works quite well actually. They do run a little expensive on the 225. To 300 dollars maybe a little more arrangement is no sort of as a sort of the year service fee and pains are ongoing contract to buy you said that he paid him -- -- it's. That he do you have to match that to your wireless technology image gets amber it may cover most but the products cover both humane GSM they just do not cover again so if you have a Nextel phone there -- nothing works specifically that it's okay but. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So I -- find that work well welts and actually makes. There they -- -- really started making these for truckers and people were drive mean and rural areas and one step thing with and there are their vehicle and and and they were pretty clunky because they have a lot of wires and yet attached to your cigarette lighter and then -- attach it to the phone in some cases and now they make it's actually wireless connection. Yeah a little bit of trivia there the -- -- maximum legal output out a foot output. On a hand held phone is much less than it is on -- and -- phone which is generally a car phones car -- used to have a thankless. And no one -- three watts versus handset phone I think it's point six -- And to convert that lower watt at the higher -- too much much much better signal but you can't get that. On light. You know the Smartphone -- -- and from. Anyway I'm I'm I was and where. Well you don't really want to it you really wanna keep the amount of wattage going through your skull do a minimum. Yes there's there's a good that is a good idea and any any news by the way an update on that the -- are. With that stars -- stand for. Asked specific absorption -- yet any news on and how the researchers going on whether -- give you brain tumors -- Africa well the last thing. Came out was came out earlier this -- as long awaited static or enter a study is done in twelve countries I think it took a long time it took several years. And there. Recommendation was not are they -- their findings where. Not much different from what we've seen in other studies basically it's -- we have seen in people that used to use a phone for I think it is. Maybe an hour -- day continuously further. Eight years something. They did there was any suggested link between that those users and a higher rate -- brain cancer but then they also looked and they said people -- used it just a little bit. I mean under -- under thirty minutes today and actually a lower. Then -- the general population. So it the findings are very the findings are vary. There is a suggested connection. But we don't know for sure so I don't you know the department is I don't think we're gonna -- revealing answer this question in times okay. So. They've -- the everybody's involved the playing -- question -- I went -- this is. These studies take long time and some of them -- funded by the solar industry so which leads some people believe that. They're not gonna be completely impartial hmm and the SEC actually recently removed from its website. Some recommendations that said. That's had not -- that -- recommendations basically saying to buy a -- on with a lower sorry if you're concerned about this. Government is that -- one time it recently and. So if you do care about this though. Bluetooth headsets are actually solution lower the radiation going into your brain although you haven't had said. Stuck in your ear of the power on a Bluetooth much of it it only -- to reach ten meters thirty feet. That's 2.5 oh look at the on the Bluetooth and I think -- in 2.5 -- -- My lovely -- investment with the that it doesn't make any radiation there it it it's a much much -- it's only thirty feet rather than a few miles hands the power analysts. -- yeah so if you care about that. Move on here so we've talked about cutting the -- built -- -- -- -- -- we talk about cutting according your home with a micro seller booster. That's four. Voice. And what we got -- interest somebody sent us a question here about. Can -- use a sprint WiMax phone as a residential hot spot. Okay it's okay and you basically cut the court here ISP your -- DSL or cable line and use your cellular or mobile service. As your local Internet providers that also -- With a mobile phone. -- technically possible -- And the reason -- you would be accident doing this is it would enable you to pay. Whatever sprint yeah you have your sprint everything plan it's for a while your data earlier on your calls -- -- And then that it would cover your residential Internet use and you just v.s and computers and now that is technically true then there's an extra fee for using Huntsman of course but. That is technically possible but I think in the testing that we've done we've reviewed and we've been in a WiMax area and we use the eagle foraging for instance -- -- them. It wasn't complete reliable it dropped a few times and we noticed that -- download speeds. Download speeds where. About point 923 megabytes make. Me Harry get confused. Megabytes per second some and upload and download speeds are about 3.4 to mom so this little not -- -- -- -- greats. So we're not terrible but not great but think about you're gonna be using this -- all of -- -- -- things you do on your PC did you look at the Internet that you don't do you wait for things doing -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Photos you do things there that you would normally -- -- your -- 88 you know you're gonna be using your phone -- your entire. -- -- entire Internet connections so and our experience it's been a little shaky about hotspots -- plus you've got a cap on most unlimited plans don't you. I -- -- my Comcast provider gives -- -- 250 gigabyte. Cap which I've never come close to even with -- on downloading idea but on a mobile phone your guess what it's -- it's about -- -- the carries it's got two gigs yeah yeah I just like you go over that. I think it's it's certainly possible but I wouldn't recommend that because I. Art in our testing the house by connections -- little shaky and I have really no grounds and hunter and having to back this -- -- but I just feel it's gonna fry your. Elements and it plots isn't it true that I guess maybe this isn't the case on -- on the latest orgy but. If you're on that's TDMA data planned. Their phone. You can't call and -- -- at same time TV's in front of hot button you get calls that's -- that's a concern with fourteen it's not a campaign and actually on a side note from that the Sudanese city to -- me development group actually is rolling out changes -- to be made later next year -- next year that will allow for simultaneously data and voice transmission on every project so. -- our we have questions from readers via email which will be answering right after this -- get so stick with us. All right and we got a bunch of questions for -- content on mobile devices that was sent in. If you want have a question that you would like to answer on next week's topic which is storage it's rescue at cnet.com. Or like I said. Send us a voice -- 8774386688. Or do both. -- -- file pinging out to the rescue team -- -- That's the water quality are right so first question from -- is -- com. Can I use my Kindle three GE as a hot spot for my iPod Touch. Well this makes perfect sense with the Kindle has a three G radio -- it. And it has Wi-Fi. So I ask. RE book reader experts about this and I got the answer kind of expected which is -- not just know. But no way. There's no way Amazon is gonna let you do -- because it may in their in this particular case. They pay for the three G connection and they pay -- so they can sell you books it's not. And maybe do a little bit a web browsing and and downloading on your own but it's it's not a high speed two way connection so. If you want a hot spot a mobile hot spot. Get a MiFi and overdrive or ego or something like Erica yeah. Okay I've -- never think of asking them but that's a very good and I mentioned maybe someone has managed to -- variant there Kindle may be possible. That's gonna you know overdrive actually don't get an overdrive they don't work in -- MiFi we have overdrive here. What a mess. I've made it's that yes I don't know -- you -- that much. Of alright. -- said there are so many Android phones which do you recommend. This is my big complaint about Android is that there -- so many of them out there it seems like a new phone every day they're. Like six on each carrier so give us a rundown can't and can you make a recommendation for commander phones. -- William Carey and you -- carries a really struggling to. Really distinguish their and their Lander alliance that's what you signals -- customized interfaces. If she cease and Sprint's new -- -- feature. That there really trying to make him stand out but we actually -- serious recently added a top 500 pounds less this goes along with their best -- -- -- we'll change this often. But so and I you should work with on each on this because she does mr. Mueller says Robert entry -- I think you'll right now the two questions I would ask yourself -- -- -- is no object because. One factor right now -- -- so many cheaper and repellent and -- hundred dollars but if you're. That's on -- -- that's on a factor. Think about what -- wanna use. And then I would think about it because that -- would really think this physical keyboard versus virtual keyboard. -- very strong opinions about those so but based on those factors there are few I recommend right now we to just look at the T-Mobile G two but -- so that on T-Mobile G two yes and then we liked -- myTouch and -- the -- -- for fourteen at least that's one possibility of port. -- The for sprint is the Samsung epic forgy which came out after the -- about -- works in the WiMax network. Both are nice. And both the -- -- has a physical keyboard the -- and and on Verizon. To write access -- -- to. They are pretty similar then and then Philip Cameron US cellular they have the Samsung mesmerized at just came out that is day. That is part of the galaxy a series. And and HTC desire. And then if you're looking at eighteen TH and -- -- -- right now. Slimmer than the others and seen a couple -- the Motorola flip about recently and threw it right clunker for an assault. -- Yeah well you know the thing about it -- doesn't square -- McManus swivels around. And I like that Nokia compact the it was like the -- adviser to -- that came out last year that your phone. And I I must fix them and -- that's France's guy has on its Arctic is such a the public. Anyway I'm yep that did the twist at it's got a great keyboard is a square shape gives it really remains roomy keyboard but the displays -- this moment it's not good for smart. Okay so it was just a messaging phone -- be perfect. It is but as a Smartphone now if you're trying to browse the web and a 2.5 inch display. -- -- what's what's good anything. I'm right now I would and it's the I was -- an -- to captivate is they're galaxy series. -- -- between the -- which is an instrument I'm. Popular typically that the captivate is where we really like AT&T right now they've just been a little slower on the Android front. Yeah that's a captivate splitting up -- course has the iPhone yes so and and by the way to get a slightly off topic here so I'm confused -- -- forget it on iPhone. -- think it's coming to Verizon. I feel like an imbalance since there are signs are pointing to -- Any other carries a mandatory -- and good Android phone. It if you actually cricket just came out with a couple hundred phones as well and not bad they have the Q. And keep he has there it's not anymore. It's the -- for cricket which is pretty reasonable under -- on the cheap and well it's not but it you can get a fifty dollar all Internet on data plan all day -- -- -- -- Talk and which strategy that we -- yes while so if you're in it it crickets in your area and you're looking for a cheaper plan you will pay more for the phone because there's no. Rebates would come in contrast -- -- sign a contract but the service plan is preaching. I'm -- are right we -- cook a call from a question from Johnson and planning at Disneyland driving vacation considering renting -- -- for a week. We have cards with this family three iPod touches and a laptop we would like have Wi-Fi in the car from Tucson and in the park. I've never used my -- help the -- to the set up it is easy and one of the time consuming second what do I rent. I did a little looking around and found -- -- he serves is not good in the partner -- considering a Verizon or virgin might by 2200. But are there others are are there any recommendations. And last not least I was hoping to keep the cost about 5200 dollars I was looking at date passed wireless stock -- -- not sure what to look for and a good rental. I'm also -- considered to buying a virgin -- Advice for picking your Internet on the road. The you know I haven't used -- for personally. -- collapses yesterday and I'm his positive about it. I think that like the planet that we lifted -- -- agree with about. With that it was we can be about eighty dollars yes so we look I I'd never heard -- -- wireless for organ and assuming John you're not -- shill for day -- wireless thanks for keeping us up with the site because. This looks like a pretty cool thing so you can get out the the rate varies. Depending on for how long your renting the device and I don't know they have a data cap or what. But you -- they -- wireless and you sign -- for -- thing and they send you might find them we don't that they people in the box they give union sent back to them. And it was looking for his Tripp -- -- estimated ten days that's about. Yeah there you are the prices it's 41 to three days it's you know ten dollars -- day. For ten days it's eight dollars today so across the mate but what the deal in -- could do this. I also think that didn't -- probably has Wi-Fi in the park. Product paper I don't know yeah actually but them. But for the road when your on the road and -- trying to keep the little rugrats are occupied with right the backseat and -- like the MiFi in the car. I think -- from -- -- it in action yeah I used yet used to -- card. On the road one time and it was it was -- working really well and an. Expert even better yet. We got calls from people who were doing -- speaking of travelling. Jeremiah said I'm traveling from San Francisco to the UK for two weeks and -- might unlock and Nexus One to work in London and France. I'm hoping to use Google Voice for calls and use my -- one has a hot spot for my laptop. Any -- and recommendations on what I should -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You can do actually and I get this question on especially as the summer approaches when people -- gonna summer vacation -- I think if you're going to be traveling. And you want es phone you -- use your phone you unused data. There you can always go to a local carrier in the country you're traveling and I've done us a few times and always -- no problems so you go to the UK. You look you walk into a carrier's store ideally be Vodafone orange and I actually put some links on lamb to the site that you can see all the different options. And you can. Basically will give you. What you -- circuit because it could be -- could be data for certain amount of time. And then of course you have will have a UK numbers he would keep that in mind so anybody calling you from the US dial you can number. But if you're using Google Voice and you've got a data plan. And an unlocked Android phone then you're golden there you go this is makes -- wanna throw my iPhone out the window of that. You know it's -- I think it whenever when I was looking over these orange had one of the better ones that's the way oranges structured and this is a -- that are act operates in -- -- well and operates and actually quite a few countries and 38 countries in the world and I'm. And they have a few plants where they break it out to and they -- out by. -- sim cards -- -- the -- are named after animals so. There's a Dalton sent them which gets Internet use and tax and then if you just wanted. Cause there are photos calls in Texas in the -- the canaries have. But anyway I will put these -- on and the dolphin text seemed like a -- good way to go I you do have to elements of the -- aren't hang on a second. While you're looking at the pricing. Make note here that thanks to -- that in PA Google Voice. May not work in Europe. There are hacks though. So. Them. Well maybe -- go to international. It does not working Europe according to people in the chat room well that's -- -- are right now. US focus show here. Are you were sending out -- for everything else have a little earlier the data needs. Yes so. So for instance if you put down. He got it if you locked in -- -- you can do this online nine I don't know specifically dual citizen to US address of some things that we have to find out that you don't always do this when you get there. I you can get aid dolphins them a sim plus which is has -- 330 pound top up so. And with the or the 900 dollars and where you go and two items an Illinois man like fifties something I'm. That is say. Unlimited free tax plus preeminent. -- And of course this will give -- and I don't I had to predicted that deep down on the details to find out exactly but this will give you a certain amount so -- you you know maybe fifteen minute you know. 500 makes whatever it is and then once -- -- you just have to get more. And so the process is pretty easy and but that I've used this in Australia I've used this in Hong Kong abuses in the UK and a couple places opinion of with the local number forward gonna get a local number and the local numbers great of course if you're traveling. If your friends that live in those places you want to call them written as you're not dialing and now finally. And then a year if you're travelling with people they can get the same to you can text each other let's -- up here the only thing is when you come back to the US. You well of course the you've seen. In a long distance but. If someone wants to call you from the US take yours amount popular in -- pop and you use your US and and -- comic. Alright so we're doing a Northrop effectively the chat room if you want a global number and you don't wanna spend a fortune and your world traveler. If while. Google Voice remains on. No unconnected in Europe -- -- you could use Skype mobile although. Then you have to buy the Skype service. Anybody -- -- and -- -- who travels the world US and Europe preferably those are two main -- -- countries although there are. -- -- once upon a -- -- Give us your advice on how to management that the universal world phone without spending nine dollars a minute let us know. Are right. Now there's the other direction we got a call from somebody says what about people coming from overseas. To the US can use my Vodafone in my our phone here in the US and have all the services -- back home. You can. Certainly get -- consuming your services to dispute and of course -- expensive roaming rates and pretty expensive rates -- -- -- phone overseas. They wanna think about that McCain do the same think I walk into making. And -- him -- have -- at a friend's who came in from Australia he -- to T-Mobile store Murray TT actually. He had a phone I hit -- -- A much foam popped it and have -- make calls to the -- -- so. I'm here he didn't need and and particularly -- this case but it is possibly start the things are getting better in the realm of universal music and well -- if you're traveling to one option to you. You can always pay for overseas rates from your US carriers and it's expensive -- -- there -- companies is come on call cellular abroad where you can. They -- that you get a phone from them. It has usually UK number you can take it wherever you want. And you get discounted rates for people calling -- and -- were used it once it works pretty well it's convenient if you're traveling. Inning and -- every country every country your visiting the country code of course yeah right so. It makes it easier than stopping long going to France for two days on -- stopping get a you know. Preferences and then I'm going to champion it and sentiment is this guy he's here but there companies like once solely -- -- use them. They also -- a lot of iPhone costs mean but they also -- dual sim card. Which are great option for people to overseas -- can use your US and and you locals. I would. In addition to checking out all that stuff when -- people if well what you know really look into Skype yeah yeah it's. Did you you pay for. Called the touch local phone networks and as per -- and overseas they're not it's noticeable. But it will be less than using like your eighteen people on without via. The global roaming agreement and making a call from. You know -- -- -- or are right can't thank you so much for joining us are. Turn up on if you have more questions about this or other topics especially that's stored versions are a couple for next week we're gonna have. -- no on where if you -- your question about. Raid SSDs and are they really -- VD fragment stuff like that. Network storage you name it sent to rescue at cnet.com. Or call it into 8774386. X 88. We will be focusing on storage next week. Check it out and remember you can follow me at rate on Twitter all the latest news. Can turn Kelly thank producing things around watching. The on the.