Using Hotspots on the road


Hi, very new to this and unsure about the Wifi. I have general ideas that, for example, at home, my grandkids can be on Utube Kids all day while on WIFI. I don’t have enough cell for them to use it in my car. But if a McDonalds, or a location has it, I can connect and then thee kids can watch again. Is this correct?
So the question I have is 2 fold. Searching for hotspots will tell me where there are more of these locations, right? But how does it work, while driving? or does it work at all? I understand WIFI signals are short, so driving past won’t hold a signal,??? It doesn’t seem that I am bouncing from signal to signal along the road.
So, the 2nd question is, what is the benefit? besides the obvious of not paying for cell data usage? for mapping?
In other words, playing movies or music isn’t what this is designed for?
Slowly progressing granny… Thanks


Answers are in context above.

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The “Wi-Fi First” capability of the Republic phones is quite helpful not only at home, but on the road. It extends the useful coverage of your phone into places that cell signals are weak or don’t exist. When I travel, I am able to use Wi-Fi in hotels, conference rooms, restaurants and other places. Some hotels have notoriously bad cell coverage but provide free Wi-Fi. And if traveling internationally, no cell service is available on RW, but if you have Wi-Fi your phone may work as if it is in your own home–making and receiving calls and texts (to the U.S.). Bottom line is coverage, and often coverage that you don’t have to pay for.

We’ve actually taken this a step further. My wife and I have the same model RW phones, but one is on the GSM carrier (T-Mobile), and the other on the CDMA carrier (Sprint). When we travel, especially into rural areas, coverage may not be available on one carrier or the other. Since either phone can become a Wi-Fi hotspot for the other phone, we can have both phones working just about everywhere. This recently worked well in a campground that only had Sprint coverage (my wife’s RW phone.) Her phone became the Wi-Fi hotspot for my phone, and both phones worked just fine.

Forget about W-Fi if you are driving. It doesn’t work. However when walking, we find that it works quite well. With Republic 3.0 plans, 1 GB is only $5 more than the zero data plans. Wi-Fi First lets us stay within that 1GB most of the time.


I don’t know what you mean about hot spots for eachother, sorry. Or whether
I have a 3.0. I pay 20 for 1g of data and never go over, but never use it
out of the house, except for maps on occasion.
The point I need cleared up is how to allow my grandkids to watch utube for
short periods. You say you have a lot of memory. How do you have that? Is
memory good for what I want? And how much actual cell data might I use? and
therefore, it cost to allow them to use the phone in the car for say 1/2 hr?
I am aware that calculations and measurements, usages are available in the
phone, LOL but, you are talking to me.

In other words, can it be said, that if I buy another g, as an example, I
can play 2hrs? 4 hrs? Can it be made this simple?

Maybe I don’t want to progress, granny, or wait for my grandkids to show
me, and boy, do they know a lot already!! at age 3!!


Sorry if my message confused you. To your specific point, your grandkids should only watch (download) video on your phone when it is connected to Wi-Fi (the little eyebrow in the upper left corner is solid white, not hollow.) You can easily use up all of your data in an hour or so when watching video on your cellular connection. If your phone has enough storage space, you may be able to use an app such as Google Play to buy or rent video(s) and download them to your phone when it’s on Wi-Fi. Then they could be played back later (like in your car, or on a plane) without using any cellular data. I’m assuming your have Wi-Fi at your home or at a place that’s convenient for you.


Ah ha! Thanks. Now we are getting somewhere. Yikes. My data in an hour!.
So on to your suggestion, how to know if I have enuf storage, how to
download from Google play, and where will it be in my phone to do that.
THAT is the solution all along. Lol
Now I need to figure it.

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You might want to also check out fome of the things that Republic has published over in PWK (Phone, Wallet, Keys) … Tips & Tricks section
Example: Ditch the data - How to use more WiFi on your apps


Sounds like you’re new to the technology. My mom was in the same boat, and I recommended this:

I also recommended that she check her local schools and organizations to see if they offered courses on cell phones and related technology.

WiFi is usually faster and cheaper (typically free) than cell data. Understanding how and when to use WiFi will improve your online experience, and save you money.

Good luck!


Thanks. Pinning down my need rights now to how to download, say a
movie,while home, then play it in the car on wifi. Using what? Memory?
Storage? Same thing?. Because God knows if I have to sing all the way we
are going somewhere. I’ll be buying a new device as mine was chucked out a
window. Lol.
Ps. I LOVE ALL the tips, helps available and all the friendly people.
But can someone just tell me how to download? As in step 1
Step 2

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If you download a video to your phone, you won’t need WiFi to play. The video is on your phone. Can you download a full-length video? Probably. It will consume the phone’s internal storage., so it depends on how large the video is, and how much free storage you have.

For purposes of downloading, your “storage” is the same as the “memory” spec on your phone…typically 16, 32, 64GB.

We could go on and on here with tips. However, I suggest that you find someone ( neighbor, relative, friend) that can show you, step-by-step, how to do this. I think you will understand better if you see it for yourself.

If you are using something like Netflix or YouTube to download, they should have tutorials on their process.

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Hi @susanc.2ew3lg

Internal storage or memory is how much information your phone can accept, usually in increments of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, etc. Most phones these days, but not all, can also utilize External memory, using small data chips, commonly referred to as SD cards, and usually used to store media files…(Photos, Video, Music, etc.).

It would be most helpful to know which device(phone) you are using, so we can help with specific step-by-step instructions along with recommendations on where/how to download media to your phone.

Hang around this forum long enough and we will turn you into a smartphone expert…(you wouldn’t be the first, lol).

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Just for further clarification, I will use this analogy.

Think of water.

At my home, I can fill a 1 Liter bottle of water(WiFi data) for free, (or at negligible cost) and take it with me. I could also stop at a store and purchase a 1 Liter bottle of water(Cellular data) at a significant price increase.

Hope this helps to get your mind wrapped around the terminology we are using, and what it means in layman’s terms.

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But what if I really want a Pint of water? :slight_smile:


I would prefer a Diet Dr. Pepper.


Hi @susanc.2ew3lg

Another place to get in-person help with your smartphone is your local library. Many local libraries now offer classes or one-on-one help with using a smartphone. They may also have an app you can install on your phone so you can get download books. Some also have music, TV shows and movies that can be downloaded. These are things you “check out” from the library and get automatically returned when the load period ends.

There are many services that offer movies you can download so really step 1 is figure out which service you want to use. Most are not free. Netflix is one, Hulu is another. If you are an Amazon Prime customer they have movies and shows too. Please be aware that if you search for services that claim to be free, they may enticing you into adding an app to your phone that will then do things to your phone that you don’t want. Just remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch so please, be careful. I have spent a fair amount of time and other people’s money cleaning up devices where someone thought they were going to watch something for free.

Google Play store is already on your phone. They also have movies & shows you can buy or rent.

When you are figuring out which service to use, be sure to understand how that service downloads movies to your phone. Each service is different .

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Wow! such help. Thank you ceedee and c1tobor for specifics.
Let me clarify and explain that at the moment I am 6-8 wks non weight
bearing after ankle surgery, so I cannot, go to the library, or classes or
any outbound sources for help. Lest any of you think, “Why is she asking

I have a moto G.4 with 16… I do have Google Play. I do not need a full
length movie. Both my 3 yr. old grandgirls are consumed with UTube Kids,
and easily watch the same clip over and over, so technically needing too
much space at this time isn’t the issue.
And to think, this device is a phone! ceedee’s comment that once downloaded
a movie doesn’t need WIFI, and is IN the phone, is where my head is in
actuality. Just understanding that comfortably is awesome. Well, maybe not,
so if I ever do this and have a cartoon in my phone, not needing WIFI as
ceedee says, how does it play in the car? and is it using anything?. As for
the other advise, I try to stay with known entities, and do read the fine
prints. Maybe the kids will play red car/blue car when we go out eventually.


The video is a media file, stored on your phone. Open the file, and press the play (right arrow) button. No network resources need after you download.

Not all YouTube videos are downloadable. However, if you’re connected to WiFi, there will be no charges for watching over the network.



If you would be willing to provide us the name of your local library, I would be willing to do some research to see if they offer an e-book service and what else might be available.

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Oh, they do, and will be discharged from surgeon this week, so I WILL be
able to take advantage. Thanks for all the help. Really.

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