06/19/2012, 09:19 AM
I've seen this question asked numerous times and I was even one of those struggling with how to do it, so I'm posting a thread which I hope helps others who are trying to figure this out:
I won a Pre3 a few months back in a drawing, and I was super excited, but I couldn't justify the expense of an AT&T phone plan, so when I read about the Straight Talk deal - $45/mo for unlimited talk/text/data - I was excited and cautious. I figured it would be like every other time I've tried to save money and ended up costing myself more time (and usually more money) than I would have otherwise.
To be clear, I've used Straight Talk for a few weeks and haven't had any *major* issues, but I wouldn't call the signal I get the strongest, and I've had complaints from people saying that my calls were breaking up. But I had many of the same issues with my ancient BlackBerry 8830 on Verizon. I have not tried using Straight Talk in rural areas (that's my next test), but throughout the large midwestern city in which I live and in the outlying suburbs it seems to work just fine.
The purchase was kind of a pain in the neck: you have to order your SIM online as they don't sell them in stores and you need to buy an airtime card to activate, but they occasionally offer shipping deals where they'll offer free overnight (they didn't, in my case, so it cost all of $80 for the SIM, the first month's airtime card and the shipping + tax). To make matters worse, I decided to do my activation over the phone rather than using the internet - I sat in queue for 30 minutes before speaking to a representative, the connection wasn't very strong (it may have been my old phone) so I had to repeat myself several times and I was placed on hold for lengthy stretches - oh, and the hold music is really bad. Still, for the price, I can't complain much.
After activation, the telephone line was ready to go, but the data won't work until you modify your APN settings. Here's what I had to do:
1. Click the "phone" icon as if you were making a call. When you click the menu in the top-left, you'll see the following:
2. Click "Preferences and Accounts" and the next screen will appear:
3. You'll have to scroll down until you get to this section:
4. Make sure your data settings match what is shown in step 3's screenshot and then click "Edit Network Settings" to open the screen shown here:
5. Punch in the settings shown in step 4's screenshot and click "change settings," then click "MMS APN" to open the MMS settings:
6. Modify these settings to match what is shown in step 5's screenshot and scroll down to click "Change Settings."
The phone may require a reboot after this, but otherwise, it should work just fine. I've been able to do everything from checking my bank balance at the grocery store to letting my kids watch old episodes of Reading Rainbow on YouTube while I drive to visit family.