When driving, patchy cell coverage is a drag. Music, GPS and calls just won’t go through. Here’s a quick guide to boosting your service no matter where the road takes you.
How about some advice from a travel pro if you’d rather fly to your destination? You can see which flights include the most legroom with the right tools. I tell all my tall friends about this trick. Tap or click here for the secret – it’s #5 on the list.
If you’re going on a long trip, spending time at a seasonal home, or elsewhere, here’s a smart way to save money: put your cable and internet on hold. Yes, you can and retain many benefits of your service.
Here’s why canceling isn’t your best option
When you’re going on an extended trip, there’s no reason to pay for internet service at home. You might think undo and re-enable is the way to go. It’s a bad idea.
• You will often face cancellation fees.
• Canceling your service is frustrating and time consuming. You’ll likely be bombarded with questions about why you’re canceling and offers to keep you. And once you’re done with everything, you’ll need to take the time to return the hardware to your supplier.
• You will often have to pay an activation fee to reactivate your previous service or sign up with a new one.
• Service recovery also takes time. You will need to set up your plan, payment, and equipment.
The good news is that many Internet search providers and cable/satellite providers allow you to pause your service, which is much more convenient.
Below, I’ve gathered information on some of the biggest providers in the country. If you don’t see yours, check their website or call them.
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Xfinity Seasonal amenities plan lets you put your TV, Internet and voice services on hold while you’re away. You retain your equipment, phone number, and Comcast.net email address, which you can still access during suspension.
If you upgrade to Seasonal Internet Access, you’ll still be able to control your smart home devices while you’re away. There are no reconnect fees and you won’t need a service call when you return.
Xfinity charges $8 per month to pause your TV, Internet, or voice services. If you want to keep your Internet connection, Seasonal Internet Access costs $29.95. The length of time you can activate the Seasonal Amenities Plan varies by region, from three to nine months.
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If you are using Spectrum, use the Seasonal status ability to suspend TV, Internet and voice services for a monthly fee. You can do this for two to nine months.
You keep your phone number, email address, voicemail, Spectrum receiver, and any other TV, Internet, or voice equipment. You will still be able to access your Spectrum.net account to pay your bill online and check your email, voicemail, and account status, but you will not have internet access for the duration of your seasonal status. . Your services will resume without a visit from a technician when you return home.
You will either need to provide a forwarding address for billing purposes or sign up for autopay to sign up for seasonal status. You can place your account in seasonal status once every 12 months.
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Cox Seasonal Program lets you pause your services and keep all your gear starting at $9.99 per month. There are no reconnect fees or technical visits needed to get you back up and running like the other options.
You can suspend your services for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of nine consecutive months. You can schedule up to two intakes per year, with a 30-day break between breaks.
AT&T Vacation Lockout allows you to pause your Internet service, phone or U-verse TV service. If you put all three on hold, you’ll still have access to your email credentials to use AT&T’s Wi-Fi network while you’re away. You will keep your number and will be able to receive calls and access voicemail.
AT&T charges $7 per month for each service you put on hold. You can use Vacation Hold twice a year for two to nine months.
An important safety warning
If you have a home security camera or other surveillance devices connected to the house, make sure you can still access them before suspending your account. Some plans have this option while others do not. Check with your ISP to make sure your home is protected while you’re away.
Take the road ? Here are smart steps to protect your home from intruders.
PODCAST CHOICE: Smart burritos, fridges and dressings
Pay attention to these telltale signs that your hard drive is fading. Additionally, inventors are working on smart refrigerators, high-tech burrito tape, and smart bandages. In a few simple steps, I will also tell you how to stop your ex from appearing in your photo memories.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.
Discover all the latest technologies on the Kim Komando show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.