Any H team members using StraightTalk, Simple Mobile, Tracfone, etc... ?

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by Gilthanis, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    TracFone owns multiple prepaid cell phone providers. As mentioned in the title, they own StraightTalk, Simple Mobile, Net10, Safe Link, Total Wireless, Telcel America, Page Plus Cellular, GoSmart Mobile, and Walmart Family Mobile.

    You may be asking why I am asking. Well, I was wondering how many people here that actually use one of these carriers have ever thought about ordering their monthly service plan (the card to activate a month of service) online and choosing to pick up one of the "free" cell phones when they do it. Now before you go stating that the intention is for new customers, that isn't outlined anywhere that I have seen online. You can order phones without ever activating them and pay whatever their going cost is for them. You can bundle the free phones with the prepaid cards when they have discounted promos at times to get your service even cheaper. But, has anyone considered picking up a "free" phone each month for simply paying what they would normally pay for a month of service? I know some will say this is gaming the system. It may be. It may not be. But this is H and we aren't judging...lol. So, in theory someone that legitimately uses their monthly service could pick up 12 phones a year (they typically have free shipping) and basically just put them to work DC'ing for the team.

    I for example use Straight Talk. So, does my wife. So, unless they track my orders and decide to cancel them or what not, I could in theory pick up 24 phones a year. Right now they have a couple options on their site that are quad core phones. So, even if I burned them up, there is no financial loss to me on the investment. Has anyone else considered doing this or has done this at some point?

    I currently have about ~24 phones around that do DC and other things. The biggest limitation is having several devices plugged into outlets at all times. I've tried to avoid getting powered USB hubs, but may have to start using them. Many home routers don't like more than ~30 devices on the wifi, but my router claims to support over 200. Since the ARM devices tend to be more efficient devices it may be worth migrating a large portion of my farm over to my phARM.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. My mom uses TracFone. She's on a plan where any minutes she buys triple.
    She doesn't use her phone a lot. So it winds up being cheaper in the long run than any plan.
     
    Gilthanis likes this.
  3. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    But have you or she ever picked up one of the free phones while adding the plans? My point here is that it in theory is free hardware team members could dedicate to DC'ing and not have to worry about if it died. By itself, it isn't going to win any races, but in large quantities, they are very efficient and can put up some results. There is usually 2 things that keep people from using their Android devices. 1. unimpressive scoring numbers so they cannot brag much on them. 2. Fear of the device burning up.
     
  4. Nope.

    And my mom has enough problems with technology as it is.
     
  5. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,705
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    I've been using Straight Talk and Total Wireless for years. Never went with the free phones though, always purchased something a bit nicer. I haven't had any real complaints about the service, and now on total Wireless, using 4 phones split with my in-laws, is the cheapest plan I can get. Unlimted talk, text, and ~20 GB of LTE data, which I don't use much anyway, for about $25 per line.
     
  6. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Yeah...I still use my Galaxy S6. However, if I buy a month of service card (a "plan") I can still toss one of the free cell phones on the order. I don't actually have to activate the phone. So, just because I order the phone doesn't mean I have to switch to it at all. That is where the "playing the system" part comes in.
     
  7. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
  8. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
  9. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Messages:
    21,904
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    What kind of account do you need to get this?

    edit
    Nevermind, I see you have to order some sort of plan for new members. Cheapest would be a 2GB plan for $35 1-Month.

    I've been thinking about getting a second phone for work. So what I think I might do is get a plan with Straight Talk for my work phone. Upgrade my existing phone I have with Verizon to something newer and use my old phone (LG V20) on the Straight Talk plan. So each time I buy a new month worth of service with Straight Talk I can get a free phone.

    Sound plausible?
     
    travanx likes this.
  10. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Very plausible. At least until they decide to cut you off. lol That is essentially what I'm doing. Using the same phone I have for almost 2 years and picking up the free one with each months "service plan" purchase.

    Just look up the specs on the "freebie" you pick up. Try to get the Quad cores (or better if they happen to show up) and try to get those that have 1GB+ ram (yes there are some with a meager 512mb) and 8GB+ Internal memory (some still have only 4GB and can cause issues with not having space). If you ever pick up an Octo, you will most likely find it not happy keeping the charge good enough or the battery getting too hot feeding all of them. So, on Octos, I typically limit them to 4 cores anyways.

    For BOINC, most of these are Android v4+ anyways. And I'm getting mostly Android 5+ now. Just keep an eye on Android v6 as they started to muck with CPU intensive apps where you have to tweak your settings in the OS a little more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  11. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Got the Avion up and running WCG today. 4 more cores for the cause.
     
  12. FNtastic

    FNtastic [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,419
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Hypothetically... What if we aren't a customer? Could we sign up for a new account and get the phone?
     
  13. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Messages:
    21,904
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Yes. This deal is for new members.
     
    FNtastic likes this.
  14. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    You would still have to buy the month of service card to do it. So, as long as you are buying the month of service each time, then yes you could do it.
    I'm not a new member but am still doing it. Signing up for an account requires you to have a phone and a month of service card in hand.
     
  15. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
  16. ChelseaOilman

    ChelseaOilman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,498
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Do these phones come already activated or come with a card you can activate at a later date?
     
  17. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Basically, you get the card (like buying from the store) and the phone is not activated. So, you can use the card on a phone service you already have and toss the free phone in a box if you want. How ST and the others do it is that you set up the phone service when activating the phone you purchase and you apply the card at the time of activation. If you already have a phone with them, you can just transfer your phone to it. If you just want to use the free phone as a wifi device...like I am doing you may also just do that. So, since I already use ST service and I'm already buying the monthly plans....I can toss on a free phone with it and their system doesn't require you to be a new customer setting up service to order it.
     
  18. ChelseaOilman

    ChelseaOilman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,498
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    My situation is I was on StraightTalk a year ago. I'm currently half way through an AT&T 2 year contract. AT&T and T-Mobile are the only providers that have cell towers near my CO and TX homes. Since StraightTalk doesn't allow tethering and I wanted to get a new phone I signed up with AT&T and got the BOGO deal on Galaxy S8+ phones and their best plan that gives me 10GB/month tethering on each phone. I've exceeded the limit and didn't get throttled. Maybe because I'm using rural towers. The plan is expensive but I saved $30/month on my satellite plan in TX by choosing a smaller data cap. When the contract ends I'll probably go back to StraightTalk again. It worked well in the past.

    So, can I get the free phone each month with StraightTalk and just stockpile the 1 month cards until I'm ready to use them in a year? And can I use the free phones by connecting to WiFi to DC with them without activating the plan cards?
     
  19. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
  20. ChelseaOilman

    ChelseaOilman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,498
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Anything worth getting this month?
     
  21. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    I ordered two more of the Rebels but they were refurbed.
     
  22. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    I ordered 2 more refurbed Rebels. Was hoping that they would have the Samsung On5's again but they didn't come up as an option. Maybe Black Friday deals will have some nice options..
     
  23. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Messages:
    18,830
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    About time to post a pic of all these phones working away :)
     
  24. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Yeah...I've been debating on a way to get them all in one place and manageable without looking half assed and ghetto. Thinking maybe getting a 4x8 sheet of plywood and gluing a 4x8 sheet of tub surround material on it. then making some small shelves to support the phones. This way I could write on the board with dry erase markers and then drill holes to accommodate the wiring to go through and be hidden. Then maybe line the back of it with the power strips and USB hubs. However, time is not something I have a lot of these days...lol.
     
  25. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    20181027_153809.jpg 20181027_153750.jpg 20181027_153742.jpg 20181027_153505.jpg 20181027_153441.jpg ] 20181027_153407.jpg 20181027_153322.jpg 20181027_153306.jpg 20181027_153020.jpg 20181027_153014.jpg 20181027_153006.jpg

    3 or 4 more at work. 1 at my folks house. The kids just took 2 from me as well.

    Then I have a hand full that are too old to run anything anymore and are no longer supported. A hand full of iPhones that are too old to run the only iOS DC app I can find. And I have a box of died in the line of duty devices. Then there is a drawer I keep phones that no longer work because of their batteries bloating and the cost of a battery is more than what I'm paying for new phones....
     

    Attached Files:

    travanx likes this.
  26. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Forgot one..lol
    20181027_162417.jpg
     
    travanx likes this.
  27. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    travanx likes this.
  28. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    I bought a couple more Avion's. Had another one of my older quads die due to battery bloat.
     
  29. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

    Messages:
    7,841
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    img_20190607_201246.jpg IMG_20190607_184144.jpg Starting to migrate my devices all to one spot in the house.
     
    motqalden likes this.