A quick guide to the ins and outs of Google’s new service offering
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Project Fi, it’s an extremely affordable cell phone service that brings you unlimited voice and text with Wi-Fi tethering for only $20 per month. The cost of data usage is based on how much you use with each gigabyte running $10. Another great feature is that Project Fi automatically connects to all available Wi-Fi networks.
Google has a large database of reliable networks and you will automatically be switched to one of them, lowering your data usage and ultimately saving you money. All data is automatically encrypted whenever you’re on a public Wi-Fi so your data is always secure. Your calls will flow uninterrupted as you move from Wi-Fi to cellular. Another huge benefit is that Google credits any bandwidth that you don’t use. Contracts are month-to-month with no long-term commitment.
An unusual benefit is International roaming. While you’re in one of Fi’s 120+ supported countries your phone will work the same way it does at home.
Lastly, you can also get a data-only SIM that connects to your Fi account allowing you to use the same data at the same rate without the need to open another account.
Sounds Great, Right?
There is a catch. With Project Fi you’re locked into using one of Google’s Nexus phones of which there are only two to choose from: The Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. So, if you love your iPhone or a Samsung model, you’re stuck.
Beyond the extremely limited phone selection, Project Fi’s cellular network leaves a lot to be desired. Project Fi relies on using Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular’s wireless networks. As you talk on your cell phone, your wireless network will switch between these three networks based on the quality of your cellular signal and your location. Unfortunately, these three carriers are known to have the most limited reception among all of the major wireless networks.
Is Fi Right for you?
If you aren’t in an area that offers Fi’s public Wi-Fi, this may not be a viable alternative. You also need to consider Sprint and T-Mobile’s coverage where you live or spend a great deal of time. If you do have limited cellular reception through Sprint and T-Mobile, you might also consider a one-time purchase of a cellular signal booster. Cell phone boosters typically work with all carriers and can significantly improve your cellular reception — making dropped and missed calls a thing of the past. If you feel this is a viable solution strategy, go to: www.surecall.com. We offer a line of cellular signal boosters that can improve your cell phone signal at home, at work or even in your car.