Otterbox for the iPhone 4

If someone asked me earlier in the year if I knew what an Otterbox was I would have told them no. Some of my friends on Facebook had been talking about having an Otterbox for their phone but it still didn’t clue me in as to what in the world they were talking about. Eventually I did some research, mainly going to Ebay and finding out exactly what an Otterbox was.

So when it was time for my full upgrade with Verizon, I chose to purchase the iPhone 4. The Salesman recommended the Otterbox as it is supposed to protect the phone as it is made out of glass. Even though I was purchasing insurance I decided it would be a good thing to invest in an Otterbox.

Three months after purchasing it I am very disappointed in it. The only two great things about the Otterbox is that one time I did accidentally drop the phone in a parking lot the Otterbox did its job and protected it. I have also been around a lot of water: theme parks, the beach, swimming pools and having the Otterbox made it to where I could still use the phone while it had some protection.

What I am most disappointed about is that the rubber cover around the shell no longer fits and the part that covers/protects the charger port is now hanging by a thin piece of the rubber. As a matter of fact, that part has never fit properly since the Otterbox was installed at the Verizon store.

If I were to rate the Otterbox on a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 4. I expected something I paid $50 for to last longer than three months. It definitely does its job by protecting, especially if the phone falls, I just believe the overall quality of the rubber part is not up to par.

Apple iPhone 4

Back in May I became eligible for a full upgrade through Verizon. For months I had been teetering back and forth even thinking I may just wait and continue using my Droid 2. My biggest issue had been that the apps I really wanted to have were not available on the Droid. Another issue was that most of the stores I had shopped in always had some accessory that was fitted for the iPhone. In the end, the full upgrade price snagged me.

Talking with the salesman at the Verizon store I told him I was not sure if I wanted the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S. After asking him a few questions and upon his recommendation I chose the iPhone 4. Since I also own an iPad it was not too hard to learn how to navigate the phone.

It’s been almost four months since I purchased the iPhone 4. I would say the greatest pet peeve I have about the phone is that the autocorrect is annoying. My teenage daughter was able to turn it off for me before my sanity went out the door. The one thing I really like about the phone is the voicemail. Unlike the Droid 2 where I had to dig and dig and dig to get to a certain message all I have to do is go to the page where people have left a voice mail, click on their name and Voila!

Also, I do like having the option of choosing separate ringtones for each contact as well as for calling and texting. And as far as battery life goes most days I only have to plug it in to charge at night. Between myself and my three kids we are usually playing games, getting on the internet or listening to music. Charging it doesn’t take that long anyways.

If any of my friends, family or even a stranger came up and asked me if I would recommend the iPhone 4 I would say yes. Battery life is great, it functions very well and it takes great pictures!

Goodbye Hughesnet; hello Verizon MiFI

Goodbye Hughesnet; hello Verizon MiFI

While there are a lot of great things about living in the country like letting the dog run free and having 4×4 trails in the back yard, having access to high speed internet is not among them.

I am about a mile from the end of the Charter cable run and several miles from the nearest DSL capable phone line. For years the only option I had was Directway. Directway eventually evolved into Hughesnet.

The satellite internet seemed really cool at first. Connection speeds were much faster than dial up. And it was also more reliable. It was always on and I never had to worry about busy signals when trying to connect the modem. The savings of dropping AOL and the extra phone line pretty much paid for the Satellite service at first.

However over the years the price went up and the service went down. First they added download limits. And they did not tell anyone, they just secretly started limited speeds if you went over a certain amount. It took some folks in a broadband forum to figure it out and write a program so you could monitor your download sand not go over the limit and be penalized for going over.

In the past few months, the system has become virtually unusable as the connection speeds during peak use times are unbearably slow. The system works fine during the day and late at night; but from 4pm to 10 pm it is useless.

I reluctantly tested the Verizon 3g connection at our house. Cell phone coverage is pretty good there but not perfect. I suspected the data transfer would be spotty at best. However, I was surprised at the speed of two different devices I tested. They worked great and got better signal than my phone.

So, I finally cancelled the Hughesnet service and got the Verizon MiFi 3g. 4g had just come out but it was much more expensive for the device so I decided to just get the 3g.

The box arrived by FedEx and was very easy to set up. All I had to do was connect using the wireless card in my laptop computer. I have not run any actual speed tests but the feel is much faster. I can actually play Car Town on Facebook. That was next to impossible on the satellite.

The trouble came about when I tried to connect it to the desktop computer. The USB connection simply refused to install. I saw in some forums that others were having similar issues using XP like I was. I decided to just stop fighting it and use a wireless connection for the desk top as well.

The trouble was, I needed a wireless device for the desktop. See the next post for how I modified my Linksys router to connect to the MiFi.