Let’s talk referral programs

Forget Instagram. You can be an Influencer simply by being a brand ambassador for the products you love. All you need is a mobile phone. And, if your phone plan offers the best cell phone coverage from the wireless company with the best unlimited plans (hello, H2O!) you can reap incredible rewards from referral programs offered by the brands you love best.

Let’s talk referral programs

Like lots of people, you probably have certain brands you purchase online and maybe you even have apps you use to shop with as well. But did you know that those brands and sites and apps typically have referral programs that will reward you for suggesting your friends, family members, and/or colleagues shop there as well? They do. Simply by sharing a “referral link” or “referral code,” you can earn extra money, discounts, and even freebies that really add up.

The definition of “Referral Program”

A referral program is a process whereby consumers of a particular product or service or brand are rewarded for encouraging others to use or buy that particular product or service or brand. Essentially, the company involved is asking you to become a brand ambassador for it and for doing so, they’ll reward you with gift cards, discounts, real money, and sometimes free gifts for those who act on your referral.  

For example, the mattress company Casper rewards customers with a $10 gift card to Amazon when a friend they refer purchases a mattress for the first time, and active wear brand Girlfriend Collective gives the referring customer $10 off of their next purchase, and the referred friend gets a free pair of leggings. A great gift if a) you like the brand and b) you like keeping your legs warm in the winter. Live someplace warm? Gift the leggings to a friend who lives in New Hampshire!

Referral programs are an easy way to make a little “fun” money

We know a woman who makes around $150 a month using her referral link from Rakuten (a site and program we’ll talk about in just a moment). As she says, “I use it to pay for manicures or a little something special for myself or someone else I otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy. I call it my ‘fun’ money.”

Fun money is one way to describe it. Passive extra income is another. There’s almost no work involved and because you really like the product or brand you’re referring your friends to, it can really be a lot of fun!

The nuts and bolts

It’s very simple. All you need to do is distribute the referral link or referral code provided to you through your account from whatever brand, site, or app you’re using.

Here’s how:

If the referral code or referral link is sent to you via text or email, you can forward it to friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, you name it. Then, when the recipient of your link uses it to create their own account, you receive whatever reward the program offers.

For example, let’s say you share a referral link you received from Uber with a friend and your friend signs up for an account. In that case, both of you are rewarded with a free ride the next time you need one. It’s not money back, but it is money you don’t have to spend the next time you need to go from point A to point B. (And your friend doesn’t have to spend money either!)

You can also share your referral links or referral codes in your email signature. If you do this, add some text that says, “Start saving with Rakuten! Use my referral link to get $10 just for joining and get cash back on your purchases all year long!” Then of course provide your referral link.

You can also share your referral codes or links on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all excellent platforms for reaching your connections and increasing your rewards. And, if what you’re sharing is a business-related referral program, like web host service Hostinger offers, don’t forget to share it on LinkedIn.

Wondering which websites and apps will pay you for referring your friends and family?

Following are a few websites and apps you can consider joining. Please note that in all instances, you need to open a new account, so if you already have an account, you will not receive the sign up rewards. In addition, anyone you refer has to be new to the site or app as well.

Rakuten: Rakuten touts itself as the “#1 Cashback Shopping Companion.” It has more than 15 million members and has paid them more than $2 billion in cash back. The company gives you a $10 bonus for joining (after you make a $25 purchase within the first 90-days) and it offers cash back at more than 3,500 stores including Target, Sam’s Club, Ulta, Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy, Lowe’s, Macy’s and more.

To accrue your cashback:

1. Shop any of the retailers on the Rakuten site by going first to Rakuten.com.

2. At Rakuten.com, click on the link to the retailer’s site. This allows Rakuten to track your purchase(s) and credit them to your account. You can also do this by using the Rakuten App.

3. With regard to getting the money you’ve saved by shopping through Rakuten, you can request to receive your money via check or PayPal.

Overall: Easy to use and a great selection of retailers to shop from.

Swagbucks: Swagbucks gives you free gift cards for shopping online, playing video games, watching videos, answering surveys, and more. You can redeem Swagbucks points (called SB) for cash via PayPal or gift cards to stores like Amazon and Starbucks. Plus, refer a friend to Swagbucks and get $5 for each one who signs up.

Overall: A little cumbersome to use, but teens like it. And it’s not a bad way for them to earn a little income.

Ibotta: Similar to Rakuten, Ibotta is a shopping app that offers real cashback on everyday purchases from grocery stores and top retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, and more. To shop from your computer, first download the Ibotta browser extension. Then shop the retailer of your choice through the extension so Ibotta can track your purchase(s) and credit them to your account. You get $10 for signing up and $5 for every verified referral, plus another $5 when you spend $15.

Overall: Like Swagbucks, a little cumbersome as you need to download the Ibotta browser extension which can be a little confusing. However, if you have access to a teen it can be done in and you can be earning rewards 30 seconds!

Cash App: Cash App doesn’t reward you for signing up, but you do earn a bonus when your referral uses your referral code to send at least $5 to someone. To receive the bonus, your referral needs to be a new Cash App user, they must enter your referral code when they create their Cash App account, they need to link a debit card or bank account to their Cash App account, and they have to send $5 within 14 days of entering your referral code.

Overall: Straightforward and easy to use. The woman we mentioned earlier uses Cash App to send money to her son who’s a senior in college. She says it’s made life a lot easier.

Getaround: Getaround is a car-sharing app. Car owners enroll their vehicles and make money renting them out to other Getaround users. When you join the app and refer a friend who also joins, you  receive a $20 credit. Should your referral end up listing his or her car with the app, you receive $200.

Overall: Easy to use, and the company has good protections and rules in place for protecting the cars enrolled and those who use them.

H2O Wireless rewards you too: earn enough points for FREE cell service!

The above websites and apps are all great at rewarding customers for their referrals. And, if you didn’t know, H2O Wireless is, too.

When you join H2O Wireless, you can take advantage of our Refer a Friend (RAF) referral program. It enables you to share the H2O love and lower your bill! Share the H2O love with enough friends, and you might not even have a bill.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Spread the Word

Get your unique referral link, then send it to friends and family.

Step 2: Sign Them Up

Help your friend select an H2O Wireless Plan.

Step 3: Get Rewarded

Once your friend activates their H2O service, you each get rewarded. From now until October 1, each activated referral earns you and your friend $20 in Refer a Friend (RAF) rewards points. Starting October 2, each activated referral earns you and your friend $20 in RAF rewards points.

RAF FAQs

What is the Refer a Friend Program?

Refer a Friend is the H2O® Wireless referral program in which you and a friend get $20 of H2O points for each activated referral. Starting October 2, each activated referral earns you and your friend $20 in RAF rewards points.

When are H2O points applied to my account?

When the person referred activates their H2O Wireless service your rewards points will be applied. Please note: For Port-Ins, points will be received within 1-5 business days.

Do I get referral points if I just tell a friend about H2O?

No. They need to use your referral link.

How many people can I refer?

You can refer up to 10 people per month, which is a total of 120 referrals per year, for thousands of dollars’ worth of reward points. So many rewards points they might pay for your H2O service!


Say “Yes!” to No Contracts and No Hassles

With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy America’s most reliable 5G network – the same 5G network as those overpriced wireless companies – at significant savings. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at far greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. 

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of your favorite show (you won’t), or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves for a semester in Tibet (you will).

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. Unlimited plans, multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) , PLUS the chance to earn free cell service with Refer a Friend.

Get started now!

What’s a SIM card and what does it do?

To get the best cell phone coverage, you need a SIM card. But what exactly is a SIM card? A woman we know was certain it had something to with The Sims, the video game her kids used to play. It was kind of funny. But still, we had to set her straight.

In the wireless world, SIM stands for subscriber identity module and a SIM card is a small circuit board that enables your cell phone to connect with your wireless carrier’s network. That makes it a pretty important feature of your phone.

What are the functions of a SIM card?

Your SIM card stores the information that enables your wireless provider to recognize it. Otherwise you couldn’t text anyone or post anything. Your phone number is stored on your SIM card along with what are called “authorization keys.” These give your phone authorization to access the data, texting, and other services provided by your cell phone plan. Without a SIM card, your phone could not access and utilize your wireless provider’s network. That would not be a good thing!

Where is the SIM card located?

The SIM card is located on either the right or left side of your phone. To access it, look for what appears to be a tiny hole or indentation. (If your phone is in a phone case, remember to pop it out.) To get to your SIM card you can use what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole and the SIM tray panel will pop open.

What is a dual SIM?

A dual SIM phone means you can put two SIM cards into one phone. This lets you manage two phone numbers, each with their own SIM card, on the same device. This is a neat feature if you want or need to have two phone numbers say, one for business use and one for personal use, and really don’t want to lug around two devices. You can make calls from either number, and receive calls to either number. When making calls, your device will ask you which SIM card you want to use.

SIM cards aren’t “attached” to one phone. Except when they are

In general, you can remove your SIM card and put it in a new phone. You can even take someone else’s SIM card and put it in your phone. But sometimes, certain wireless carriers don’t permit this easy switching. And that’s why it’s important that we discuss locked and unlocked phones.

About unlocked and locked phones

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one. (Like the better, less expensive one we just alluded to.)

How can I tell if my phone is locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. The key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

1.

Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carries names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, pricey wireless providers will work your last nerve.

2.

Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and do the same thing. For those who are more tech savvy, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested your phone be unlocked, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3.

Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

  1. Shut down your phone.
  2. Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card.
  3. Put in the SIM card you borrowed.
  4. Close the SIM tray.
  5. Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM card, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

How does a SIM card function when I travel outside of the United States?

It functions just the way we described it earlier: it allows your wireless provider to recognize your phone number so you can utilize your wireless provider’s network.

However, before traveling out of the United States, check into the roaming fees your provider charges. They can be some pretty big fees which means you might want to obtain a SIM card once you’ve arrived at your destination. Doing so means you’ll pay the same prices as the local citizens do.

It sounds like an unlocked phone and the ability to switch out my SIM card is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  1. If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We think spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  2. If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  3. When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high roaming fees many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.

In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your cell signal is spotty… or because you discovered what may be the best unlimited plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Discover unbeatable savings with H2O Wireless

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of SIM cards and the importance of having an unlocked phone, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to pick the plan that works best for your lifestyle. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy the same 5G network – America’s most reliable network – as those overpriced wireless companies. You know – Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile – the folks who lock your phone and tether you to their plans. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. (Take that, 3G!)

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of Ozark, Selling Sunset, or Bridgerton – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves for a 10 day white water rafting trip down the Colorado River – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans – including unlimited data plans for hotspot – multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts, no hassles, and definitely no locking your phone to our network.

H2O Wireless makes it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshing. different. wireless. See for yourself and get the most out of your phone today!

 

 

eSIM? What’s that?

For the best cell phone coverage, you need either a physical SIM card or an embedded SIM card called eSIM. eSIM is built into your device and allows you to activate a cell phone plan without having to use a physical SIM card. The biggest advantage of eSIM is it’s easier and faster than ever to switch your service to a new carrier. With eSIM you can activate your service instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

In order to use eSIM your existing phone must be both unlocked and eSIM compatible.


Is my phone unlocked? And what’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

It’s tough, not to mention confusing, to keep up with all the terms that surround technology today. Terms like “locked,” and “unlocked” – what do they even mean and how do they pertain to your smartphone?

Don’t worry. We hear you. And we’ve got you.

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in just a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

Why would a wireless company sell locked phones?

Excellent question. Locked phones are usually sold at a significant discount. You, or any consumer, sees an iPhone at a really low price at an AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile store, and think “Wow!  That’s a great deal!” Then you buy it – and pat yourself on the back for saving big time – but you also have to sign a lengthy contract which makes up for the price you paid. These carriers lock your phone so you can’t switch networks, get out of that lengthy contract, or sell your phone until they’ve recouped their loss. And lots of them lock your phone for two to three years. That’s a really long time.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. They key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

1.

Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carrier names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, those pricey wireless providers will have you playing detective all day.

2.

Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and ask to speak to a manager or sales representative. For those who are more tech savvy, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested that they unlock your phone, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3.

Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

  1. Shut down your phone.
  2. Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card which will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.
  3. Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.
  4. Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

My phone is locked. Now what do I do?

If you’d like to unlock your phone – and why wouldn’t you? It’s your phone and you deserve the freedom to make provider and plan choices for yourself – you need to contact your provider. Again, you can visit your carrier’s store or see if there’s assistance on its website, and of course you can call. If you do, be sure to have your account password and IMEI number handy. You can obtain your IMEI number by dialing #06# on your device’s keypad.

It sounds like unlocking my phone is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  • If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We think spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  • If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  • When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.
  • In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your sell signal is spotty… or because you discovered a plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Now that your phone is unlocked, you need to determine if your phone eSIM compatible

Not all phones are compatible with eSIM since it’s such a new technology. Below is a list of compatible phone models.

Compatible iPhone Models:

  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone SE 3rd Gen

 

Benefits of eSIM:

It’s easy to swap to a new carrier as the data on eSIMs can be reprogrammed (or, in some cases, can be downloaded onto another slot on the eSIM). Whereas physical SIM cards cannot be reprogrammed. This means with eSIMs you can more quickly switch to a new carrier.

eSIMs can be activated instantly. In fact, you can activate your eSIM instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

One of the biggest benefits of eSIM is that your phone can have two SIM cards (and thus two phone numbers) on one device. This can be beneficial for someone like a business owner that wants both a personal line as well as a business line and doesn’t want to carry around two phones.

Traveling internationally? If you’ll be out of the U.S. for a bit, eSIM users can simply buy a physical SIM card when they get to their destination and use it together with their usual eSIM card.

eSIMs are improving future devices. Without the need for a SIM tray, it’ll be possible to make thinner, lighter devices (ie: phones, tablets, laptops and wearable tech). Many believe eSIMs are the future, and it’s only a matter of time before physical SIM cards become obsolete.

Discover the freedom of eSIM and unbeatable savings with H2O Wireless

Now that you know easy it is to switch carriers with eSIM, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to pick the plan that works best for your lifestyle. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as those overpriced wireless companies. You know – Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile – the folks who lock your phone and tether you to their plans. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. (Take that, 3G!)

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of Selling Sunset or Bridgerton – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she takes off for 2 month safari – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans – including unlimited data plans for hotspot – multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts, no hassles, and definitely no locking your phone to our network. With H2O Wireless we make it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless. See for yourself today!

 

 

Buying in Bulk: Worth it or Not?

To buy in bulk, or not to buy in bulk? That is the question.

Millions of shoppers swear by buying in bulk and for good reason: it can be a terrific way to save on groceries and household items. Stocking up on canned vegetables and soups, diapers, paper towels, etc., particularly when they’re on sale, can save you a lot of money.

But bulk buying also means paying a lot up front. It also means you need the space to store all the items you purchased which for lots of people is an issue. You may have gotten a great deal on all those napkins, but if you’re forced to store them in your bedroom closet (or under your bed!) well, that might be a problem.

Let’s spend some time now reviewing best practices for buying in bulk, and look at the positives and negatives involved.

Bulk Buying Positives and Negatives

Bulk Buying Positive: It’s pretty common knowledge that bulk buying is better for the environment. There’s less packaging involved in, for example, jumbo size packages of paper towels. They’re still wrapped in plastic, but it’s a lot less plastic than buying several individual rolls or smaller packages. The same applies to things like fabric softener. Buy a few smaller containers, and the earth has a lot more work ahead of it. Buy one jumbo size container and a) you get more of the product and b) the earth has only one plastic jug to deal with.

Bulk Buying Negative: As we mentioned earlier in this post, when you buy in bulk you need the storage space to house all you’ve purchased which can be pretty hard to come by if you live in an apartment or even a small house. Before you set out to save, make sure you’re not costing yourself space you can’t afford to give up.

Bulk Buying Positive: You won’t have to go to the store as frequently. You might even go just once a month or once every six weeks. Goodbye impulse purchases and spending as much money on gas, and hello to more time. That’s a pretty nice trade.

Bulk Buying Negative: Consider the expiration date of the things you plan to buy in bulk. If you’re not sure you’ll go through all the breadcrumbs or peanut butter or packages of Jell-O you’ve stocked up by the expiration date, or by the “best used by” date, don’t stock up. You’ll simply be wasting your money.

Bulk Buying Positive: When you stock up on a particular item or items, it’s almost always less expensive. That’s the main reason consumers buy in bulk. It’s simply less expensive per unit and every time you use the product purchased, you save money.  If you use the peanut butter your kids love every day, even if it only saves you, say 15 cents per use, that’s still a savings of $54.75 over the course of a year.

Bulk Buying Negative:  As we said earlier in this post, buying in bulk is an upfront expense. You go into the store, and you buy it all right then and there. There’s no spreading the purchases out over the course of several shopping trips and, while you might save big time buying a lot of your family’s favorite brand of toothpaste, if it costs you $45 now as opposed to $6 spread out over the course of separate trips to the store, that can be a pain in your pocketbook.

Bulk Buying Positive: You’ve got enough of whatever product you’ve purchased on hand, so you don’t run out. Like we said previously, this results in fewer trips to the store and less opportunity for those impulse purchases (the new issue of O The Oprah Magazine, anyone? How about a new tube of lip gloss?) we’re all pretty tempted to make.

Bulk Buying Negative: You might dip into your supply of that fabric softener or peanut butter too often. You might say, “I bought so much toothpaste, who cares if the kids haven’t squeezed every ounce out of the tube they’re working on now? We have more!” Not a good idea. Act like you do not have a closet full of…whatever. If not, you’ll almost certainly race right through it.

Bulk Buying Positive:  You’re prepared for the worst. If, Heaven forbid, you’re forced to go without power for several days, all that bottled water you bought will come in handy. Not to mention the peanut butter, energy bars, and dried fruit.

Bulk Buying Negative:  Boredom. All that canned tuna and salmon you stocked up on means you’re eating canned tuna and salmon rather frequently. It can get a bit boring, especially for kids. Be aware that even if you’ve stocked up on an item your whole family loves, they can lose their taste for it… and then you’re stuck. Of course you could broker a trade with a friend who also enjoys buying in bulk—some of your peanut butter for some of her or his dried fruit – and that would provide both families with some variety!

So, what are the best items to buy in bulk?

Dry beans, canned goods, diapers, toiletries, beverages that can be stored at room temperature, and household and cleaning supplies, i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, bleach, laundry detergent, etc.

And what items are important to stockpile in case of an emergency?

Peanut butter; nuts and trail mixes; cereal in small packages as they stay fresh longer; granola bars and power bars; dried fruits like apricots and raisins; canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey; canned vegetables; canned soups and chili; dry pasta and pasta sauces; bottled water; sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade; salt, pepper, and sugar; powdered milk.

What items should you not buy in bulk?

Milk, eggs, meat (unless you plan to freeze it, the same thing with chicken), fresh produce, and junk food because, well, it’s junk food.

More super reasons to buy in bulk

Transporting bulk products is more efficient and better for the environment

Bulk products have fewer packaging components so there’s less waste to go into our already overflowing landfills, and they can be packed more tightly onto a truck than individually packed items. Because more can fit on a truck, fewer trucks need to be used. This cuts down on emissions that are harmful to the environment.

It helps you get into a “sustainable” frame of mind

Buying in bulk helps make you aware of how much food waste goes on and how much packaging is being used in everyday products. In short, it makes you more mindful of shopping conscientiously and that’s good for your health, the health of your family, and the health of the planet.  

In short, if you’ve got the storage space and the means to buy food stuffs and household items in bulk, it really is a great way to save money in the long run. And did you know you that you can do the same thing with your cell phone plan? You can.

Get 12 months of cell service for $100

With H2O Wireless’ 12 Month Plan, you purchase service once and you’re done for the year. No worrying about missing a payment or tracking the expense. You simply make a one-time payment of $100 using your credit or debit card, and that’s it. Our 12 Month Plan breaks down to crazy low $8.33 a month, and gives you an entire year of unlimited talk and text, as well as 1GB of high-speed data every month. There are no other payments to make or additional steps to take. Plus there’s no contract, no hidden fees, and if you sign up for Auto Pay, you get a 10% discount so your 12 Month Plan costs you just $90. Think of it as bulk buying for wireless!

Of course if you’re still unsure bulk buying is for you, no worries. We’ve got you covered.

With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy America’s most reliable 5G network – the same 5G network as those overpriced wireless companies – at significant savings. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at far greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. 

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of Never Have I Ever, Euphoria, or Selling Sunset – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves for a 10 day trip to a dude ranch in Wyoming – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans, multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts and no hassles.

Buy your cell service in bulk for just $100, or pick the plan that’s perfect for your lifestyle.

More reasons to love H2O Wireless

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend (RAF) is the H2O Wireless referral program that gives you and a friend H2O points for joining H2O Wireless. Simply refer a friend or family member to H2O Wireless and help them pick a plan. Once your friend activates their H2O service you each get rewarded. From now until October 1, each activated referral earns you and your friend $30 in Refer a Friend (RAF) rewards points. Starting October 2, each activated referral earns you and your friend $20 in RAF rewards points. It’s still a sweet deal, right? And it doesn’t stop there. You can refer up to 10 people per month for thousands of dollars’ worth of rewards points each year. Join H2O Wireless and start racking up Refer a Friend points today!

Connecting You to the World

Each H2O Wireless Monthly Unlimited Plan includes unlimited international talk to 70 Countries (including China and Mexico), unlimited text to any country in the world, and up to $5 international talk credit depending on the plan you select. 

Bring Your Own Phone

Have a phone you love? H2O Wireless makes it easy to bring it with you. Simply join H2O Wireless and, at checkout, choose eSIM. Like a physical SIM card, but without the 3-5 day wait for a physical card to arrive, eSIM enables you to use your new service much faster. In fact, you can activate your service right after checking out. Of course, before you select eSIM, make sure your phone is eSIM compatible by reviewing the list below.

Is my phone eSIM compatible?

eSIM compatible phone models include:

  • iPhone XS series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone SE 2nd gen
  • iPhone 12 series

With H2O Wireless we make it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless.

See for yourself today!

 

 

Data not working on your Android phone? Check your APN settings

Just when you’re completely and utterly dependent upon your phone, when you can’t call your kids or your best friend without it or find the closest Marshalls or Starbucks unless Google Maps is ready and waiting, it gives up the ghost. Simply stops working. Just denies you the data you need right then and there.

We’ve all been there and it’s insanely frustrating. But there are ways to fix the situation. In this post we’ll address data issues on your Android, the importance of checking your APN settings when things go awry, and how to get your phone back in business as quickly as possible.

And APN stands for….?

APN stands for Access Point Name and it refers to the carrier or network your cell phone uses to access or connect to the internet. Under regular circumstances, you don’t need to deal with it. It comes preconfigured by the manufacturer and works its magic behind the scenes. Sometimes, though, things go wrong (like when Google Maps stops helping you get to Starbucks!) and your APN needs to be reset. Here’s how you do so.

Reset your Access Point name

These instructions are simple and easy to follow and they should allow you to reset your Access Point Name quickly and easily.

Go to:

 “Settings -> Network & internet -> Mobile network -> Access Point Names.”

If you have an Android 11 or earlier, tap “Advanced” under “Mobile Networks” and you will see “Access Point Names.”

At this point you should see a list of APNs. In the menu icon, on the top right, click “Reset to default.”

This should do the trick. But if it doesn’t, keep reading. We have other tips up our sleeve.

Additional ways to reset your Access Point Name

Sometimes after an Android software update APN settings can get wonky. If the above solution hasn’t fixed the issue give one of the following methods a try.

1. Enter your APN address manually.

1.Go to your APN list using the method outline above, then tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner.

2.Enter all the APN details for your network. These should be available on your carrier’s website (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.).

3.Save the APN details you’ve just entered, then select them from the APN list on your phone.

2. Clear your cache

A good chunk of your phone’s memory is dedicated to what’s called a cache. This is where data for apps and various processes your phone runs is stored for easy, automatic access when called upon.

Sometimes though, errors occur in the cache and mess up your data connection. When this happens you need to clear the cache and to do that you need to access what’s called the recovery screen.

Accessing the recovery screen can vary a bit from phone to phone, but on a typical standard, stock Android device, you should be able to get there by doing the following:

1.Turn your phone off. Then, when you turn it back on, hold down the power and volume buttons until the little droid shows up on your screen.

2.Using the volume buttons, work your way to what’s called “Recovery Mode.” It’s possible you’ll get a message on your screen that says “No command.” If that happens, try holding different combinations of the volume and power buttons. One method that works – according to Android users we’ve spoken with – is to hold the volume button up and the power button at the same time.

3.Once you’ve reached the recovery screen, select “wipe cache partition” by navigating to it using the volume button, then select “wipe cache partition” by using the power button.

Wiping the cache in this manner should only take a couple of seconds. When it’s done, turn the power off of your phone and then turn it back on.

3. Check your network

If methods one and two haven’t helped yet, it’s possible that your data isn’t working because your phone is set to access a network – 3G or 4G – that’s not providing the best coverage.

Do you have a 4G phone? If so, be sure 4G is selected as your network. And if you don’t have a 4G phone, it’s possible your phone is trying to connect to a 4G network. That won’t work simply because the phone isn’t capable of it. So, you need to check your network settings.

That’s easy.

Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile network -> Preferred network type,” then navigate to the network that works best with your phone. If your phone is 4G, set it to 3G/4G Auto. This way it will always seek out and connect to the best possible signal.

4. Return to your device’s default settings

We all love our various apps (GrubHub anyone?), but often they – as well as system updates – cause errors that result in our data not working. When this happens, it’s sometimes best to simply restore all your network settings to their default status. Here’s how to do this:

1.Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Network settings reset.”

2.Click “Reset Settings.” You’ll be asked to confirm the selection, so click “Reset Settings” again.

3. Power down your phone, wait a few seconds, and then restart it.

Remember that when your return your device to its default settings, you will have to reenter your Wi-Fi passwords and pair your Bluetooth devices again. It’s a little bit of a hassle but a small price to pay for having your data connection up and running again.

5. Pop out and switch out your SIM card

If you’re still having data issues with your cell phone, try switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

1.Shut down your phone.

2.Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card. The SIM card will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.

3.Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.

4.Now, turn your phone back on.

Now that your data is working, bring your phone to H2O Wireless and save

Now that your data connection has been restored (and you no longer feel like tossing it out a window out of frustration!), you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to pick the plan that works best for your lifestyle. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as those overpriced wireless companies. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. 

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of Ozark, Selling Sunset, or Bridgerton – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves for a 10 day white water rafting trip down the Colorado River – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans, multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts and no hassles.

More reasons to love H2O Wireless

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend (RAF) is the H2O Wireless referral program that gives you and a friend $20 of H2O points for joining H2O Wireless. Simply refer a friend or family member to H2O Wireless, help them pick a plan and, when they activate their service, you and your friend receive $20 in RAF rewards points that you can apply toward your next refill.

Sweet deal, right? And it doesn’t stop there.

You can refer up to 10 people per month, which is a total of 120 referrals per year, for a total of $2400 points each. Join H2O Wireless and start racking up Refer a Friend points today!

Connecting You to the World

Each H2O Wireless Monthly Unlimited Plan includes unlimited international talk to 70 Countries (including China and Mexico), unlimited text to any country in the world, and up to $5 international talk credit depending on the plan you select. 

Bring Your Own Phone

Have a phone you love? H2O Wireless makes it easy to bring it with you. Simply join H2O Wireless and, at checkout, choose eSIM. Like a physical SIM card, but without the 3-5 day wait for a physical card to arrive, eSIM enables you to use your new service much faster. In fact, you can activate your service right after checking out. Of course, before you select eSIM, make sure your phone is eSIM compatible by reviewing the list below.

Is my phone eSIM compatible?

eSIM compatible phone models include:

iPhone XS series

iPhone XR

iPhone 11 series

iPhone SE 2nd gen

iPhone 12 series

With H2O Wireless we make it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless.

See for yourself and get the most out of your phone (and its rejuvenated data connection) today!

 

You love streaming your favorite shows. Here’s how to use less data doing so

YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime – most people have a subscription at least one of them and, thanks to the pandemic, plenty of people now subscribe to all three. It was a tough two years, spent mostly at home, alone, and in desperate need of entertainment. Music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and I Heart Radio also saw an uptick in subscribers, though not nearly as great as the movie streaming services. It’s like we’ve developed an addiction to being entertained which isn’t really a bad thing.

Though it could do some serious damage to your data.

Now if you have cell phone service with an unlimited data plan, you might not be too concerned about how much data you’re using. But think about it. If you have an unlimited plan with up to 2GB of data or even 10GB of data, once you hit that cap you’re going to care about how much data you’re using and be looking for ways to use less of it.

That’s where this post comes in!

So, how much data does streaming use?

Let’s start by looking at how much data it takes to stream your favorite music service.

Honestly? Streaming music takes a lot less data than streaming video. Having said that though, it’s important to remember that most of us stream music on our smart phones and for a lot longer than we watch movies or videos. We’ve got our music streaming while we’re commuting, running on a treadmill, studying, etc. It all adds up to a lot of time listening via our cell phones – and those typically have a data cap. Sure, it might be a 10GB cap, but still.  

Let’s take a moment to look at what you get in terms of hours with a 2GB, 5GB, or 10GB data plan. Generally speaking:

  • A 2GB data plan will give you: 47 hours of low-quality audio, 28 hours of medium-quality audio, and 17 hours of high-quality audio.
  • A 5GB data will give you: 117 hours of low-quality audio, 70 hours of medium-quality audio, and 42.5 hours of high-quality audio.
  • A 10 GB data plan will give you: 234 hours of low-quality audio, 140 hours of medium-quality audio, and 85 hours of high-quality audio.

Obviously Spotify isn’t going to swallow up all your data that quickly, but listening to music for hours at a clip and on the highest-quality setting will definitely have an impact after a while.

So, what can you do?

Tips to reduce data usage on Spotify

1. For starters, remember that it’s always best to use Spotify via Wi-Fi. If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, go into the app’s Data Saver feature and turn it on. This reduces the amount of data you’ll use by showing you fewer images and reducing the quality of the audio.

Click Home; click Settings; click Data Saver On

While you’re there, turn on Audio-only podcasts as well. This means that when you download a podcast, you won’t also be downloading its video, thus saving you data.

2.If you have Spotify Premium, download the music you like and enjoy it offline. Go into the app’s settings and under Music Quality, switch Download Using Cellular off and only download music when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

3. Again, in the app, look at your Music Quality setting and make the necessary adjustments. The higher the quality setting, the more data you’re using.

4. It’s possible your smart phone has a data saver on it. A Google search on your specific device can help you find it and turn it on.

Moving on to streaming services and how much data they use

Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all use about the same amount of data and, frankly, it’s a lot of data especially if you’re not using Wi-Fi. And, like with music streaming services, movie streaming services and YouTube allow you to adjust the quality of the video from high definition to standard definition.

Let’s take a look at Netflix as its data usage is comparable to that of Amazon Prime and Hulu.

On Netflix:

  • Streaming a standard-definition quality movie or an episode of your favorite show uses 1GB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a high-definition quality movie or an episode of your favorite show uses 3GB of data per hour.
  • And streaming a 4K movie or episode of your favorite show uses 7GB of data per hour.

That’s a lot of data so, again, please be on W-Fi and, if you’re thinking that downloading a movie from Netflix and watching it offline will save your data, it won’t. According to Netflix, it will still consume the same amount.

How does YouTube stack up?

It stacks up pretty closely, actually. In fact, 1GB of data allows you to watch just about 500 minutes of YouTube. You just probably shouldn’t do it all at the same time!

Generally speaking:

  • Streaming a 480p video uses 264MB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a 720p video uses 870 MB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a 1080p video uses 1.65 GB of data per hour.
  • And streaming a 4K video uses 2.7 GB of data per hour.

This doesn’t look like a lot of data is being consumed but let’s face it, people across the world are crazy for YouTube. Makeup tutorials? Yes please! Home improvement advice? Sign me up! And kids love YouTube, too. Watching all those videos can add up to a big drain on your data. So, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at your data usage. Here’s how.

How to check how much data you (and maybe your kids) are using on YouTube

For Android phones:

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network. This will indicate how much data the kids are using in total. You can also go to “App Data Usage” to see how much data the YouTube app is using unto itself.

For iPhones:

Go to Settings > Cellular. Once you’re there, you can see how much data YouTube is using on the device. Under “Current Period” be aware that you might be seeing total data usage from several months because that setting doesn’t refresh itself every month. For a clearer picture of how much data you or your kids are using currently, scroll down and tap “Reset Statistics.”

If you’re a little stunned by the amount of data you or your family’s consuming watching sweet kitten videos or videos of cute puppies celebrating their birthdays with all their puppy pals or, eh hem, makeup tutorials, read on for ways to decrease and limit the amount data they’re using.

1. Embrace the joy of downloading.

If you’re a YouTube Premium customer – and if you or your family is on YouTube regularly it’s worth the expense to become one – you can download videos and watch them offline. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce your data usage.

2. Lower the quality of the videos you’re streaming

The higher the quality of the video, the more data it consumes. Adjust the quality down a notch and you’ll save significantly on your data usage. Here’s how:

In the video player:

Click “More” and it will give you the opportunity to adjust the quality of the videos you watch.

In your YouTube profile:

Log in and you can adjust the video quality for every video you watch. 

3. Stream only while you’re on Wi-Fi!

We mentioned this earlier and it’s worth repeating. Watching YouTube videos via your home’s (or your local library’s or your favorite coffee spot’s) Wi-Fi connection will really help you stop draining away your data. You can also force the issue by going into your YouTube settings, finding the “Play HD on Wi-Fi only” option, and turning it on.

4. Nix autoplay

If you leave your YouTube account open and unattended, it will continue to play videos until you shut it off. To stop this and save some of your data, turn off autoplay. You can do so right from the screen of any video.

5. Say good-bye to cellular streaming

To really conserve your data, you can disable the cellular streaming option. On an Android phone, swipe down on your phone and click Mobile Data. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to disable the cellular streaming. On an iPhone, go into Settings, select Cellular, and then switch Cellular Data to off.

6. Switch off muted playback

As you scroll through the feed of videos you’ve subscribed to, You Tube shows you snippets of those videos. The videos are muted, but they’re still draining your data. Simply go into your YouTube settings and switch the Muted Playback option to off.

That was a lot of information!

Honestly, we could probably talk about data all day. How much you need. How much you’re using. All the ways to cut back. We’ve covered a lot so let’s close with a couple of frequently asked questions you should be able to answer easily.

How many GB of data do you spend watching a 2-hour movie?

On average, watching a 2-hour movie at standard definition quality costs about 2GB of data.

How many GB of data do you spend watching a 1-hour episode of your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu, etc.?

On average, watching a 1-hour show at standard definition quality costs you about 1GB of data.

How many GB of data do you spend streaming over the course of a month?

On average, if you watched 2 episodes of your favorite show in standard definition quality, it would cost you about 60GB of data per month.

On average, if you streamed two hours of music at medium quality each day, it would cost you about 4.3GB of data per month.

Now that you’re a data genius, switch to H2O Wireless for data plans that are too

Now that you’ve got the whole data thing down, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to pick the plan that works best for your lifestyle. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as those overpriced wireless companies. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. 

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of your favorite Netflix or Hulu show – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves a whirlwind trip to London and Paris – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans, multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts and no hassles

More reasons to love H2O Wireless

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend (RAF) is the H2O Wireless referral program that gives you and a friend $20 of H2O points for joining H2O Wireless. Simply refer a friend or family member to H2O Wireless, help them pick a plan and, when they activate their service, you and your friend receive $20 in RAF rewards points that you can apply toward your next refill.

Sweet deal, right? And it doesn’t stop there.

You can refer up to 10 people per month, which is a total of 120 referrals per year, for a total of $2400 points each. Join H2O Wireless and start racking up Refer a Friend points today!

Bring Your Own Phone

Have a phone you love? H2O Wireless makes it easy to bring it with you. Simply join H2O Wireless and, at checkout, choose eSIM. Like a physical SIM card, but without the 3-5 day wait for a physical card to arrive, eSIM enables you to use your new service much faster. In fact, you can activate your service right after checking out. Of course, before you select eSIM, make sure your phone is eSIM compatible by reviewing the list below.

Is my phone eSIM compatible?

eSIM compatible phone models include:

iPhone XS series

iPhone XR

iPhone 11 series

iPhone SE 2nd gen

iPhone 12 series

With H2O Wireless we make it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless.

Get the phone plan and the data that meets your needs. Now!

 

 

 

 

Discover the freedom of an unlocked phone

What’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone? And does “jailbroken” refer to a cell phone that’s been behind bars?

It’s tough, not to mention confusing, to keep up with all the terms that surround technology today. Terms like “locked,” “unlocked,” and “jailbroken” – what do they even mean and how do they pertain to your smartphone?

Don’t worry. We hear you. And we’ve got you.

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in just a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

Now what you need to know about a jailbroken phone is that it’s not the same as an unlocked phone and anyone who tries to tell you so is utterly incorrect. Jailbreaking a phone means messing around with its software and possibly installing a different operating system or tweaking the device so that, for example, apps that come loaded onto your phone that typically cannot be deleted, are deleted or hidden. It might sound like if you jailbreak a phone it would result in unlocking it, but it doesn’t. A jailbroken phone is still connected to its particular carrier. Don’t be fooled by someone offering to sell you a jailbroken phone and claiming, “It’s just like an unlocked phone!” It isn’t. Even if you buy that phone you’ll still have to unlock it.

Why would a wireless company sell locked phones?

Excellent question. Locked phones are usually sold at a significant discount. You, or any consumer, sees an iPhone at a really low price at an AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile store, and think “Wow!  That’s a great deal!” Then you buy it – and pat yourself on the back for saving big time – but you also have to sign a lengthy contract which makes up for the price you paid. These carriers lock your phone so you can’t switch networks, get out of that lengthy contract, or sell your phone until they’ve recouped their loss. And lots of them lock your phone for two to three years. That’s a really long time.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. They key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

1. Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carrier names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, those pricey wireless providers will have you playing detective all day.

2. Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and ask to speak to a manager or sales representative. For those who are more tech savvy, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested that they unlock your phone, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3. Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

Shut down your phone.

Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card.

The SIM card will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.

Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.

Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

My phone is locked. Now what do I do?

If you’d like to unlock your phone – and why wouldn’t you? It’s your phone and you deserve the freedom to make provider and plan choices for yourself – you need to contact your provider. Again, you can visit your carrier’s store or see if there’s assistance on its website, and of course you can call. If you do, be sure to have your account password and IMEI number handy. You can obtain your IMEI number by dialing #06# on your device’s keypad.

It sounds like unlocking my phone is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  1. If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  2. If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  3. When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.

In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your sell signal is spotty… or because you discovered a plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Discover the freedom of an unlocked phone AND unbeatable savings with H2O Wireless

Now that your phone is unlocked, you’ve got the freedom to say “Yes” to unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you’ve got the freedom to pick the plan that works best for your lifestyle. For as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay – you can enjoy the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as those overpriced wireless companies. You know – Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile – the folks who lock your phone and tether you to their plans. Today’s 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is far more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. (Take that, 3G!)

What does the 5G network and its incredible speed mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss the next episode of Ozark, Selling Sunset, or Bridgerton – you won’t, or connect with your best friend before he or she leaves for a 10 day white water rafting trip down the Colorado River – you will.

Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can bring your (unlocked!) phone and keep your phone number or choose from a great selection of the latest iPhones and Androids. And, if you’d like to get a 5G phone, H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And a wide variety of plans that include unlimited plans, multi-line plans, pay as you go plans, tablet plans, and our brand new 12 month plan (for as little as $8.33 a month!) you can’t go wrong. Plus, there’s no contracts, no hassles, and definitely no locking your phone to our network. With H2O Wireless we make it easy and budget friendly to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless. See for yourself and get the most out of your unlocked phone today!

 

5G. 4G. 3G. What’s the difference and why should I care?

It’s everywhere: the announcements of the 3G shutdown, talk of 4G, and the new, improved – will someone please explain to me what it is! – 5G. Ads on television and radio. Ads in magazines. Ads flooding your social media feeds. Ads everywhere and none of them explaining:

what 5G is

why poor 3G has to be shutdown

and where 4G fits in

It’s enough to make you want to crawl under a rock and not come out until someone sounds the all clear.

Well, consider the “all clear!” sounded. Right here, right now, we’re going to take the mystery out of all this G business. And believe it or not, it’s simple.

For starters, we’re going to break down 4G and 5G. We’ll circle back to poor old 3G later. Because by then its situation will be crystal clear.

Let’s address the G business first

Because really, what is all of this G stuff?

G stands for generation of mobile communication. 5G is the fifth generation, 4G was the fourth generation, and 3G was the third generation. (I know, I said we’d address 3G later, but this tidbit you need to know now.) Each new generation is an improvement in mobile communication speed and other factors over the last. Having said that it should come as no surprise that….

5G is faster than 4G

Of course it is. But 5G has a lot more going for it than just that. Among other pluses, 5G also offers better bandwidth than 4G. Bandwidth is the amount of data, say, photos of your kids, that can be transmitted over a network connection. And coupled with superior latency, which is the speed with which your photos of your kids can be uploaded to social media or texted to parents and friends, 5G trumps 4G every time. In fact, 5G will at some point be one hundred times faster than 4G.

Poor 4G. Can’t you just feel it going the way of the Macarena like sweet 3G?

Even though 4G can transmit those sweet smiling faces you adore in just 50 milliseconds, 5G – at some point soon – will be able to do so in 1 millisecond. 1 millisecond! It takes longer to blink your eyes!

5G also offers stronger connectivity, better coverage, and more reliability. That means your calls go through no matter where you’re calling from, or where you’re calling to. And that’s not all.

5G is also capable of handling hundreds of thousands of people being on their cell phones at the exact same time with far fewer disruptions in service. In geek speak, this is known as network density, and 5G’s is huge in comparison to 4G. To put it in layman’s terms – with 4G, if you’re at a pro sports game or concert and try to send photos or texts, your smartphone probably runs more slowly than usual due to the number of other people doing the same thing at the same time in the same place with their smartphones.

With 5G you can forget those slow speeds, dropped calls and lousy connections. Great right? Of course you’ll also never again be able to tell your boss or the neighbor who drives you nuts, “You’re breaking up! I’ll call you as soon as I get reception!”

Hmm. Maybe we need to rethink this 5G business.

To be clear, we actually have a little more time before we need to ditch those white lies. Why? Because most places have yet to install 5G towers. Only about one hundred cities in this country have 5G towers at this point, while 4G towers are almost everywhere.

5G though is a huge deal for wireless companies and, more importantly, people who count on their smartphones to stay connected with their kids and friends, and who want to be able to call for help when their car breaks down in the middle of the night, on a dark road, in some little town they find themselves lost in.

Sorry. One of us has been watching far too much Virgin River. But you get my point.

5G is the pinnacle. Which is why 3G has to go bye-bye to make room for this incredible new technology.

But more about 3G… in a minute.

Right now, let’s delve deeper into the differences between 5G and 4G. You know you want to geek out and get into the nitty gritty.

The nitty gritty

So 5G is stronger, faster, so reliable it scales skyscrapers like Spiderman never could and in fact can blow right through walls and buildings. Honestly, it’s like the action hero of mobile communication.

But how does it actually work?

All mobile communication works by sending information over the air. 5G does as well,  but at much higher, much cleaner frequencies. This means those photos of your kids, trip to the beach, new car, new haircut, new puppy, are transmitted faster than ever before.

5G’s with the band. Actually, 3 bands

Remember how we mentioned that bandwidth is the amount of data, say, photos of your kids, that can be transmitted over a network connection? 5G actually has three bands – a high band, a low band, and a mid-band. That’s another one of the reasons it’s better than 4G. As you can probably guess, the different bands operate at different speeds. The high band operates fastest, the low band operates slowest (relatively speaking; it’s still incredibly fast), and the mid-band operates at a speed between those two. Now here’s what’s cool about that. At some point, each band could be dedicated to a different user group. One for consumers, one for businesses, and the third for…. a variety of industries, or security measures, or… who knows? There are so many options and opportunities for 5G to improve our lives.

And, along those lines...

5G can be sliced and diced for further flexibility

Along with the three different bands, 5G networks can be used as separate networks. This is called network slicing. (Now we’re really geeking out but it’s kind of cool. I think.) The result of this capability is that each separate network can be used for a different purpose and a different form of mobile communication. 4G could never provide this kind of flexibility and the opportunities for new mobile communication improvements and advancements that come with it.

So, 5G will replace 4G, right?

At some point, yes. But not in the near future. As we mentioned, 4G is more available, and 5G is pretty much still in the starting block. For the time being, both networks will be utilized which is fine as most phones are 4G and 5G compatible.

How can I be sure my phone is 4G or 5G compatible?

You can check the box or manual, which should be accurate, but for safety’s sake, I’d go Google. I did, and was promptly informed that my iPhone 11 Pro Max is, sadly, not 5G compatible.

So I guess I need a 5G phone to get 5G, right? 

Exactly. You also need to be in an area where 5G is available. If you’re with H2O Wireless, you’re in luck as we operate on America’s most reliable 5G network. Visit our coverage map and type in your zip code, hit enter, and in seconds you can see if you live in a 5G area.

As we’ve already mentioned, the 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. This means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your third-grader before he or she takes off on a school field trip – you will.

Now what if, like me, you need a 5G phone? H2O Wireless has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12 mini, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And plans that start at just $20 a month. That’s right. With H2O Wireless’ Unlimited Plans, you can stay connected to your kids, friends, work, your whole world, for as little as $20 month – or $18 a month if you enroll in auto pay. That’s a great price for a plan that gives you unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data. Plus, with H2O Wireless, you can also choose bring your phone and keep your phone number. Just make sure your network’s not about to be phased out.

But… back to 5G. Or more accurately, the fate of 3G. Because I promised I’d cover that and I keep my promises.

So what happened to poor old 3G?

In general, 3G networks simply became outdated. And specifically, they became too slow. Really slow. As that happened, they began draining cell phone batteries faster and faster. The 3G network simply couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of thousands of cell phone users sending data over it. It wasn’t powerful enough, although it was a lot faster than 2G (as in second generation mobile communication because geeking out about this stuff is what it’s all about). Each generation of this technology gets bigger, better, faster, and more reliable. 3G, like 2G before it, got put out to pasture to make room first for 4G networks and now 5G networks.

Hold on, let me clarify that: 3G is getting put out to pasture. And it should be there by end the end of this year.

Wait. I thought 3G was already shutdown.

Not yet. Some 3G networks were shut down early this year, some are shutting down now, over the summer, and others will shut down by the end of 2022. This means that, if you haven’t done so already, you need to check with your wireless provider to see if the 3G shutdown will impact you and when. If it turns out that you will be impacted, it’s time to take action. Once the 3G shutdown is complete, you’ll be unable to call for emergency assistance or call and text those children you love so much. I don’t know about you, but the latter part of that sentence is the one that worries me most!

We’re sure you love your 3G phone, but it’s time to say “See ya!” and stroll confidently into the future. And we’ve got some terrific phone plans and phones that can help you do just that.

Hold on a sec. Are they going to get rid of 4G too?

The short answer is no. The long answer is also no. 4G has at least ten to fifteen good years ahead of it. All you need to be attuned to right now is the 3G shutdown and the fact that if your current phone is 3G and your wireless company is on a 3G network, you need to get that situation “sorted,” as the Brits like to say.

Let H2O Wireless help you do just that. Check out our phone plans and phones now!