Google Project Fi – 7 Reasons to Try (And Not to Try) the Service

Project Fi Google

Google is trying to position its own Project Fi as an alternative to already-established phone carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, among others.

The Project Fi carrier comes with a good number of amazing features that you won’t find on these other carriers. In fact, these perks can be utilized by the business-oriented users and not just mainstream consumers. Given that most business people travel a lot, the idea of accessing unlimited messaging in more than 135 countries is just unbeatable. Furthermore, you keep on using the same data you bought while still in the U.S., as long as you are in any of the supported regions across the globe.

Google, known for its simplified and easy-to-use products, has done the same with Project Fi, making sure that everything about billing, which is the most crucial part of any plan, is easy to manage. This carrier has made it easy for those looking to save money from browsing activities thanks to the simplified and flexible data plan on offer.

You will get a list of plans on the many carriers available in the U.S., but Google Project Fi only offers one plan, technically. You are only needed to part with $20 per month and this will earn you unlimited calls and texts while on American soil, but the unlimited texting goes on when abroad. As for calls, you will usually be charged $0.20 per minute, which is still not bad. When data comes in, you need an extra $10 to get 1GB, but the good side of the story is that in case you happen not to use your entire 1G of data, the remaining will be refunded to you. This means in your next billing you will pay less the amount that remained in the previous subscription. There is no other carrier that offers a similar feature on its plan. In the same manner, exceeding the allocated 1GB will attract an overpay of the same amount when paying for your next package.

Google Project Fi recently added group plans that can accommodate up to six SIM cards. For each of the 5 SIM cards added to a plan, there will be a $5 discount on the monthly charges for unlimited calls and texts, however, the data package will still be the same.

Something worth remembering is that not all mobile phones are compatible with Google Project Fi. Only those using the latest Pixel and Pixel XL alongside the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P as well as 2014’s Nexus 6 can enjoy this service.

Google Project Fi

So, why do you need Google Project Fi?

Google Project Fi is not known by many, which makes switching to the carrier some kind of a huge risk. However, here are some really nice reasons as to why you may want to consider making the switch to Project Fi, especially if you run a small business.

Lots of traveling

If you do travel a lot, Google Project Fi is one carrier you need right away. Its services extend to more than 135 countries across the globe. This means that whenever you visit, there is no need of buying a local SIM card in order to send texts or browse the web. There are no additional charges for accessing the same Project Fi services internationally, however, as noted earlier, calls will attract a small fee. It gets even better when calling over Wi-Fi.

Be warned that when abroad, you will most probably be accessing the web through 3G speeds, which could be slightly slow.

You are on a budget

If you are running on a budget, Google Project Fi can help you save money. The carrier will only deduct you for what you use. If you do travel a lot and spend most of your time connected to the internet via Wi-Fi hotspots, be it at home or even in the office, Project Fi will save you some significant money. It comes with a Wi-Fi Assistant feature that enables the handset to switch connectivity from cellular to any available Wi-Fi hotspot, but this will depend on the strength of the latter vs. the former.

You work as a team

Working as a team is part of any business. If you are in such a scenario, Google Project Fi is the best around. It allows up to six people per plan. While the initial account attracts the same $20 per month fee, the other additional lines (up to 5) are charged $15 per month. It is easy to manage the account by tracking the data usage of each member and pay bills at once. Each member can also monitor their own data usage while the manager can cap the data usage of each member.

Google Fi

Why you should stay away from Google Project Fi

With every good thing, there comes a bad side of it. Despite the goodies offered by Google Project Fi, it has its bad side as well. Here are some of the reasons why you should not consider using Project Fi.

Limited coverage

Verizon and AT&T offer some of the best network coverages around the U.S. As for Project Fi, it runs on a group of smaller carriers that include Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile, dynamically switching among the three so as to deliver users with the best connection available in your current location. This, however, means only these three carriers are covered.

In addition to the limited number of carriers that are supported on the Fi platform, the number of devices compatible with the Google Fi SIM card is also limited. You only get to use it on the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and the recent Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

You may end up spending more

As much as Google Project Fi is the ideal carrier when you want to save some money, you may end up spending more, especially if you are a heavy data user. If your monthly usage is, say, 2GB or less, you will have no problem with Project Fi. Wait until you start using more data, for instance, 3GB – your bill rises to $50 per month.

When compared to AT&T and Verizon, for instance, this is $5 more. In addition to being cheaper, you are also guaranteed of a stronger network connection from the two carriers. It gets even better with T-Mobile, which charges $10 less for the same 3GB data package.

Wi-Fi is not your thing

If the places you stay or visit regularly do not have Wi-Fi, you probably depend a lot on cellular data connectivity. If so, stay away from Google Project Fi. This is true because you may end up using more on Project Fi and hence paying more yet the connection strength is not guaranteed all throughout the country. If anything, those who use Wi-Fi a lot are the ones who can benefit a lot from Fi.

Project Fi's Wi-Fi Assistant

Close monitoring

One problem about Google Project Fi is that there are no data caps. In short, it means that in case you go past the 1GB monthly data you paid for, you will keep on accessing the web at the same speeds, but the extra data used will be billed during the next subscription. If you don’t keep an eye on this usage, you may end up using huge volumes of data, which also translates to similarly huge fees. In the end, you may have to pay more than you would for a standard carrier.

The good side of the story is that the Project Fi app has a data monitoring feature that comes in handy in such situations. You will be alerted whenever your planned data limit is approaching, which is a really needed feature.

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5 thoughts on “Google Project Fi – 7 Reasons to Try (And Not to Try) the Service”

  1. One important feature with Google Fi is no contact
    I switched from AT&T in July and am happy with the Fi. The connectivity is not as good as ATT but not bad either. Definitely worth the savings and lack of a contract.

  2. Think of the data pricing as budgeting your data. For each gig of data you spend $10. So if you buy 2 gigs you spend $20. Now, the useful thing is when you don’t use all of your data. Say you only use 1 gig, you’ll be credited $10 on your next bill. Likewise, if you used 1.5 gigs you would be credited $5 on your bill. This way you don’t have to feel like you must use all your data or risk wasting you money.

    On the other hand, if you go over your 2 gigs we set earlier you’ll only be charged for what you use. So if you used 2.5 gigs last month you would be charged your normal $20 on your next bill plus an additional $5 for the extra half gig you used last month.

    Using Wi-Fi is how you’ll keep your data usage (and bill) low. Of course everyone not on an unlimited plan (which usually is not truly “unlimited”) knows this already. Problem is security. People are learning that open Wi-Fi points (those without passwords) are often unsafe however Google Fi will automatically put your connection on a VPN (virtual private network) which is a secure, encrypted connection to the internet so you don’t need to worry about the insecure Wi-Fi network you’re using.

  3. I love Google Fi. I’m not a heavy data user, usually under 1G a month. Most of the time I’m in the vicinity of wireless. With Fi I was able to cut my bill in half or less compared to what I was paying Verizon. I also like that it credits me in money and not data that I won’t likely use anyway. In Vermont I find the coverage to be about the same as I had before.

  4. Project Fi actually has roaming agreements and will roam on ATT and Verizon at no additional charge. Normally this will drop to only 3G data but overall coverage is outstanding.

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