Home Six Tips for Maintaining Cell Service in Remote Areas Rural areas are notorious for their spotty cell coverage, as towers may be few and far between. In today’s society, where our smartphones have become indispensable tools for handling basic tasks and staying in touch with friends and loved ones, finding ways to stay connected is important. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to boost your cell phone signal when you’re visiting areas where service may be unreliable. The next time you take a trip to the country, try these methods to ensure you stay connected with the folks back home: Signal boosters are devices that can improve coverage in rural areas. For smartphone users who can get a signal only in a few spots in the area they are visiting, this device can help. Signal boosters capture a wireless signal, and then broadcast it over a wider area. For example, if you’re visiting a home in a rural area and can pick up a signal on the front porch but not inside, placing a booster on the porch will likely improve coverage throughout the rest of the home. A personal cell tower will help you obtain a signal. These devices are a little pricey, but will help visitors to rural areas ensure they can get service. Personal towers work by boosting a signal via an Internet connection. The tower will connect directly to a router and work best if placed near a window. Avoiding electronic devices that may interfere with your cell phone signal can also help smartphone users access service in rural areas. Microwaves, baby monitors, and Wi-Fi routers and related devices can generate signals that may interfere with cellular service. If you’re having difficulty getting a signal, moving 10 to 15 feet away from these devices may help. Shopping around for the best local service provider will also help you maintain a good connection in rural areas. Some providers have better coverage than others in certain areas, so if you’re moving to a rural area or plan on an extended visit, it may be worth asking your neighbors which provider they use. Certain areas of buildings may be less conducive to a good signal than others. Basements and stairwells are typically bad for cell signals, while areas near windows or upstairs rooms are better situated for cell service. If you’re visiting a rural area in a foreign country, you’ll need to do more than just find a reliable signal to stay connected with the outside world. Most foreign countries use electrical outlets with different physical configurations and voltage than U.S. outlets, meaning your device cannot charge with its normal charger. To safely charge your smartphone, you’ll need to purchase a step down converter that will convert the 220 volt current commonly used overseas to the 110 volt current used by American electronics. 110220Volts carries voltage converters, voltage transformers, and other electronic devices. For travelers visiting foreign countries, these devices can help ensure they’re able to safely charge their smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Seven Tips to Stay Connected While Traveling Abroad In today’s non-stop society, staying connected is always important, even when you’re on vacation. Travelers to some of the more remote areas of the world may struggle with finding technology allowing them to communicate with the outside, but there are a few gadgets and tricks that can help. Let’s face it. Not being in contact simply isn’t an option. Whether it’s staying on top of projects at work, scheduling doctor’s appointments for your parents or older relatives, or managing your money, being able to connect back home is important when you’re traveling overseas. Try the following devices and methods to communicate with friends and loved ones back in the United States: Step down converters – One of the most important things you can do when traveling abroad is ensuring that you can charge your phone and other electronic devices. Commercial electricity developed differently in many parts of the world than it did in the U.S. As a result, electrical outlets in many countries have a different physical set-up and also operate at a different voltage than American outlets. To charge your device in many countries, you’ll need a device to convert 220 volt current to 110 volt current. Otherwise, you will likely fry your devices when you attempt to charge them. Make calls using Project Fi – Google’s Project Fi allows users to send and make calls via Wi-Fi. The plan is relatively inexpensive and, while it has some limitations, it can come in quite handy abroad. Users can employ Project Fi to make calls in about 120 countries. Purchase a GSM phone – Global System for Mobiles is one of the two major cell phone systems used throughout the world. The other one, Code Division Multiple Access, is widely used in the United States, whereas GSM phones are very popular throughout the rest of the world. GSM phones are a little more adaptable than CDMA phones and may be easier to use overseas. Buy an international calling plan – If you take your regular cell phone with you when traveling abroad, you may be hit with higher charges for using it in another country. Before traveling, consider purchasing a calling plan that won’t charge exorbitant rates for allowing you to use your phone abroad. Purchase a local phone – Buying a temporary cell phone for use in the country where you are visiting will often help you save money on communications costs and ensure you have access to cell service. Temporary phones can be found for reasonable prices in most nations that you will visit, and inquiring ahead of time will help ensure you know whether they’re available and how much they cost. KnowRoaming stickers – KnowRoaming distributes stickers smartphone owners can place on their SIM card that will allow them to connect to local networks in 200 countries. The sticker will only activate when you are traveling abroad and will not affect your phone while you’re in the U.S. Your phone will need to be unlocked if you intend to use KnowRoaming. Make use of Skype – Skype is free, and you can use it from just about any computer with a camera and an Internet connection. If you’re trying to stretch your travel budget and only need sporadic communication with home, just using Skype from your hotel room or a café may be the right choice for you. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Five Ways Smart Phones Make Your Overseas Vacation Easier Smartphones have become an indispensable part of modern American life, allowing us to manage our finances, find nearby goods and services, make travel arrangements, and much more, no matter where we may be. Our mobile devices’ utility isn’t limited to U.S. shores. Smartphones are just as useful when we travel abroad, and they can prove to be invaluable when navigating through an unfamiliar country, providing several important services. When preparing for an overseas business or vacation trip, be sure to pack your smartphone as well as charging gear that will allow you to use overseas outlets to power up your phone, such as 220 to 110 transformers and converters. Your smartphone can perform many of the same tasks for you overseas as it can in the U.S. Consider these helpful services your device can provide when traveling abroad: Find local restaurants – If you’re looking to check out the local fare, or if you’re just trying to find an American food restaurant for some comfort, your smartphone can help. Search engines and apps can help you find nearby eateries, and review sites can help ensure you choose the right one. Call a cab – Uber is available in more than 500 cities worldwide, providing smartphone users with a quick and easy way to arrange transportation. Local variants of Uber may be available in places where Uber is not. For travelers who want hassle-free access to transportation, taking their smartphones along on their overseas vacation is a must. Changing travel arrangements – If your vacation plans change, or if you need to return home early, you can easily use your smartphone to make arrangements through your airline or travel facilitator. Get informed – Curious about a local custom or nearby historical site? Just use your smartphone to access the Internet and learn all about the object of your interest. Take pictures – Use your smartphone’s camera to take quick and convenient photos and videos of all the sights on your trip. It’s much easier than hauling a camera around. When traveling abroad, it’s important to contact your service provider to obtain an international plan or to buy a temporary international phone. Otherwise you may be hit with exorbitant roaming fees. It’s also important to have proper charging equipment for your devices. Electrical infrastructure developed differently in the U.S. and many other parts of the world, including Europe, and international travelers need to be aware of the differences. Most foreign countries have a different physical configuration and voltage for their electrical outlets and plugs. In order for your devices to safely charge, you’ll need a 220 to 110 converter. These converters fit foreign outlets and also adapt 220 volt current that many overseas nations use into 110 volt current used by American devices. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players, and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Four Reasons Why Smartphones Are a Must-Have for Traveling Abroad While the idea of ditching your electronic tether may seem appealing when you’re vacationing abroad, the reality is that your smartphone can be an invaluable tool and a real lifesaver when you’re traveling in a foreign country. Let’s face it. Smartphones have become absolutely essential to modern life, as they provide a handy connection to information and help. While the temptation of leaving it all behind may be alluring, the truth is that if you leave your device behind, you’ll soon wish you had it. Taking your smartphone and a step down voltage converter to charge it is the right move. Smartphones, of course, are more than just phones. They’re mini-computers that can connect us with a wealth of knowledge and communications tools. Consider these helpful functions smartphones can provide when you are traveling abroad. Translation services – Many smartphones provide translation tools you can use to communicate with people whose language you do not speak. Google can translate written words for you, and there are a number of apps you can download to translate the spoken word. When you’re lost or looking for a bathroom or emergency services, a language barrier is the last thing you want to have to overcome. Weather conditions – With your smartphone, you can download weather apps, or visit weather and news sites to monitor weather conditions in the places you plan to visit. Staying abreast of weather developments will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations and also give you plenty of lead time to make alternate arrangements in case inclement weather is likely to interfere with your original plans. Directions – It’s easy to get lost in an unfamiliar place, especially a place where you may have difficulty asking for directions because of language barriers. Maps and navigation tools available with smartphones can help you avoid getting lost and winding up in potentially dangerous situations. Emergency communication – Should unexpected mishaps occur during your trip abroad, your smartphone can be an invaluable resource for summoning local law enforcement or medical responders. It can also provide you with a lifeline to your friends and loved ones back home, to whom you may need to provide assistance should an unforeseen circumstance develop. If you do intend on traveling abroad with your smartphone, it’s important to take along appropriate charging equipment to ensure the device has adequate power when you need it. Most foreign countries use different electrical outlet configurations and different voltages than those used in the United States. As a result, Americans traveling abroad often need to take along 220 to 110 voltage converters that allow their devices to safely draw power from foreign outlets. Charging your device from a higher-voltage outlet without a converter will damage the device and may even result in a small explosion or fire. That’s why it is absolutely necessary to research overseas outlets and voltages, and purchase appropriate gear before traveling abroad. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Eight Must-Have Tech Gadgets for the Business Travelers To succeed in business, you have to stay connected, even when traveling abroad. Modern telecommunications and computing gear helps businessmen and women stay in touch and stay productive even when they’re a continent away. Step down converters and adapters help them safely use their equipment while traveling. For tech savvy business travelers journeying abroad for vacation or business purposes, these items are must-haves: Laptops – Taking your laptop along with you when you travel abroad helps ensure you have access to important documents and files, and also the applications you need to use them. When traveling abroad, it’s important to keep your laptop in a satchel or backpack with adequate impact protection to avoid damage. USB Drives – About the size of a matchbox and able to store significant amounts of data, USB drives are helpful for business travelers. When traveling, you may not always have Internet access, making getting into cloud storage impossible. A USB drive allows you to store important documents and files, and bring them up on your laptop any time you choose. GSM Cell Phones – Global System for Mobiles cell phones are the industry standard for much of Europe. Buying a GSM phone when traveling abroad is highly recommended, as they are the most compatible with telecommunications companies there. Personal Care Products – Don’t let your grooming go by the wayside just because you’re on vacation. There are a variety of electronic grooming products that can help keep you looking your best, including electric toothbrushes, nose hair trimmers, beard clippers, and more. External Batteries – External batteries you can carry along will help ensure you can keep your device charged even when an electric outlet is unavailable. Compact and easy to carry, external batteries are extremely helpful for long plane, bus, or train rides. Adapters – Electrical outlets are not universal throughout the globe. Many countries have different physical configurations for their electric sockets and plugs. An adapter will allow American electronics to work with these differently-shaped outlets. Converters – Physical differences aren’t the only differences between American electrical outlets and those abroad. Many countries use a higher voltage than U.S. electrical outlets do. A 220 to 110 converter allows Americans to safely use their electronic gear when traveling overseas. Connecting U.S. electronics to a 220-volt outlet is a terrible idea; it will fry the electronics and may result in a fire. Transformers – Converters work well, but they’re not intended for lengthy use. If your device draws a lot of power and will need to be operational for an extended period, a transformer should be in your travel gear. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s wise to find out what type of electrical outlets your host country uses and pack accordingly. A brief Google search can easily fill you in on whether you’ll need an adapter, a converter, or both, to use local electrical connections to charge your devices. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Five Gadgets You Can’t Live Without While Traveling Abroad Even the most exciting vacation abroad is going to have a little downtime, whether it’s a layover at the airport or a lazy Sunday morning at the motel. Electronics can help fill the time and keep the peace between family members who’ve spent several hours on an airplane together. They’re also handy for the demands of our 24/7, 365-day a year work culture. The next time you plan a trip abroad to Europe or more far-flung locations, consider taking these portable electronic devices along for your journey: Tablets – If you’re going to take any device abroad, your tablet probably needs to be No. 1 on the list. The convenience and mobility of tablets make them great vacation gadgets. You can use your tablet to shoot photos and video, and post them to social media or share them with your friends via email. Tablets are also great for downtime, as you can use them to read books or watch movies. Memory Sticks – If you need to use computers for work purposes while abroad, a memory stick can come in handy. Memory sticks come in handy for storing documents, photos, and other information. Cloud-based storage methods may not always be available or advisable abroad, so having a convenient form of data storage that fits in your pocket is always welcome. Smartphones – Smartphones provide many of the advantages offered by tablets, plus they’re smaller and easier to carry. With your smartphone, you can stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues back home. One caveat: Be sure to inquire about charges for overseas roaming before taking your phone abroad. They can often be quite hefty. Purchasing a temporary local smartphone might be advisable. Fitness Trackers – Pedometers and related gear can help you keep track of your steps and other fitness data while you’re traveling abroad. Just because you’re on vacation, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your fitness regimen. External Hard Drives – For business travelers with big data storage needs, external hard drives fit the bill. These devices can store large pieces of data, giving travelers the option of large and secure portable data storage. Of course, if you’re going to be taking your electronics abroad, you’re going to need a way to charge them. Electrical outlets in many foreign countries are not compatible with U.S. electronics. In some instances, the number or size of plugs differ from country to country. In other cases, there may be differences in the voltage used in one country compared to another. Adapters and converters help bridge the gap, allowing safe usage of American electronics overseas. Step down converters allow U.S. devices to safely draw power from outlets that use higher voltages than American outlets. Adapters make it easy for U.S. plugs to fit outlets configured for local electronics. When traveling overseas, be sure to find out relevant information about the country’s electrical outlets and voltages where you are visiting, so you can get an adapter and a 220 to 100 converter if necessary. 110220Volts sells adapters and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Converters Make Charging Your Devices Overseas Easy Being able to connect using our mobile devices and laptops is important, even when we’re traveling overseas. The differing physical configurations and voltage requirements of electrical outlets in different countries can be a little worrisome to travelers, but there’s a quick and easy fix. 220 to 110 converters are easy to use and carry, and ensure that your electronics work safely overseas. Many first-time overseas travelers are surprised to learn that electrical outlets are not standard throughout the world. The physical configurations of electrical outlets can vary, meaning that the plug for an American device simply won’t fit into electrical outlets in some countries. That’s not the only difference, however. Electrical outlets may vary in voltage from country to country. Here in the U.S., most of South and Latin America, and Japan, electrical outlets and devices are designed to work at 110 to 120 volts. In most of the rest of the world, however, the standard voltage is 220 volts. Using electronics designed in the U.S. with European or other electrical outlets with higher voltages will fry the electronics and may even result in a fire. Adapters can help American electronics interact with foreign outlets that have different physical configurations. Step down voltage converters will ensure higher voltages don’t destroy U.S. electronics when they’re used overseas. With the help of adapters and converters, travelers can: Stay connected. We’re all incredibly dependent on our electronic devices to communicate with our friends, loved ones, and business associates. Taking an overseas holiday or business trip shouldn’t cut you out of the loop. With adapters and converters, you can keep your devices charged so you can stay connected. Avoid having to rent or borrow electronic gear in the countries they are visiting. Adapters and converters allow you to bring your electronics from home, and use them safely and avoid often exorbitant costs of renting a phone or computer overseas. Take charging equipment anywhere. Adapters and converters are small enough to fit in most book bags, purses, or satchels. Their small size makes them easy to take on flights or on public transportation wherever you may visit. Plug-in just about anywhere. Converters and adapters make charging easy. Just plug the adapter or converter into an outlet at a restaurant, shop, or wherever you may be, and then plug in your device. It’s just that easy. When preparing to travel overseas, take the time to find out what type of electrical outlets the country you’re visiting uses, and also determine the voltage used. Then shop for the adapter and/or converter that you need. You can also buy 220 to 110 transformers, which are more durable devices intended for extended charging use. With the right gear, you’ll be able to enjoy your electronics abroad without having to worry about damaging them. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players, and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Five Reasons Why Small Adapters Are a Must-Have for Traveling Abroad Because we’re all so reliant on our laptops, mobile phones, wearable tech, and other devices, being suddenly cut off from them comes as a huge shock. That’s why ensuring that you’re able to charge your devices no matter where you are is so important to travelers. Many people who are traveling abroad, particularly first-time travelers, either forget or do not know that electrical outlets in many foreign countries are very different than U.S. outlets. For starters, the outlets and plugs may be shaped differently, making U.S. electronics physically incompatible without an adapter. Voltages and frequencies may be different, too, also requiring a specialized adapter. Fortunately, there are products that can accommodate U.S. electronic products. 110 to 220 converters and transformers can help U.S. residents visiting other countries safely and effectively charge the devices they need to learn more about where they’re visiting or to stay connected back home. Consider these advantages of taking a converter with you when traveling overseas: Damage to devices. When you plug a device designed just to handle 110 volts into a 220 volt outlet, the result is often a fried device. By using proper voltage adapters, you can ensure your devices safely charge while you’re visiting overseas. Modern electronics aren’t cheap, so take the steps necessary to protect yours. Voltage converters keep you safe. Plugging American electronics designed for 110 volts into a 220 volt outlet can result in fire. Using voltage converters helps keep you safe from electronics-related fires. Stay connected. There are few things as disconcerting as being cut off from your normal methods of communication and information access when you’re in a foreign country. Keeping your devices charged gives you a critical lifeline to your friends and loved ones back home. Convenient and easy. Voltage adapters are small and fit in your pocket or purse. They can be easily used at hotels and restaurants, or on planes and trains with electrical outlets. Transformers are a little bigger and clunkier, but these will fit in your luggage and can be used in your hotel room for continuous electronics charging. Inexpensive. Purchasing a converter is cheaper than purchasing temporary devices for use overseas or replacing items damaged by improper voltage. When traveling abroad, be sure to find out what voltage and frequency electronics they use, and also be aware of how plugs and outlets are configured. The nations of the world have a wide variety of plugs and sockets, so don’t assume all foreign countries use the same standard. Also, check your electronics to see with what voltages and frequencies they are compatible. Armed with this knowledge, you can get the right voltage converter or other adapter you need to accommodate your device while traveling abroad. 110220Volts sells adapters and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players, and much more. For help, or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. CHAPTER 1: How do I select the correct voltage converter? There are three easy step anyone can follow to determine the most appropriate voltage converter for his/her needs: Before you choose a voltage converter you need to determine the voltage. Usually the voltage is either 110 volts or 220 volts. Determining your voltage is easy as know your geographical location. Since most North America uses 110 volts while most of the rest world including Europe, Asia, Africa or South America uses 220 volts. With the knowledge of volts present all that is remaining is knowing the amount of watts. Most genuine products have should have a label or within the product’s manual there should be information clearly explaining the amount of watts needed for your product. The labels are mostly located on the back of the items Selecting correct voltage converter IMPORTANT NOTE: Watts may be abbreviated as W on your appliance. However if you can’t find Watts or W on the label of your appliance, then you may be able to find Amps, also known as amperage or A. This can be converted to Watts in order to select the correct converter If the information is only represented amps use this simple equation (amps x volts = watts) e.g. 10 amps x 100 volts = 1000 Watts Identify whether you need a step up or step down voltage convertor? – with the knowledge of volts and watts you need to find out if you need a step up or a step down converter. we highly recommended you buy a converter with a certain percentage higher wattage capability especially when using motorized equipment such as kitchen appliances We recommend you double the wattage. (Ex. If your product says 1,100 Watts, then should purchase a converter made for at least2, 200 watts.) All other electronics: We recommend a converter with a 30% higher wattage capability. This is important because in doing so, you greatly minimize your chances of overloading the converter, all the while making sure you get your money’s worth because this will help to extend the life of your voltage converter , transformer, or regulator. With all that knowledge now may a choice on which voltage converter, transformer or regulator best suits your needs from: 1. Step down Voltage Converters : Made for electronic items that use 110 volts to Converts a 220 volts power source down to 110 volts. Step up Voltage Converters: Made for electronic items that use 220 volts to operate. Converts a 110 volts power source up to 220 volts to operate. Deluxe Voltage Converters : This performs both functions. Made for 110 or 220 voltage electronic items. Can both Step Down and Step Up and also will work as a Voltage Regulator simultaneously. Step down Voltage converters Step up Voltage converter s Deluxe Voltage converter s General Rules for Appliance Voltage Compatibility Whenever you travel to a foreign country or order an electrical or electronic product on the Internet, it is extremely important to understand your appliance’s voltage before use. Without all of the information you need ahead of time, even something as simple as plugging in a charging cable to a wall outlet can fry your device or start a fire. Follow these three general rules for voltage compatibility to ensure safety no matter where you are. Buy an Adapter Plug – Especially if you are traveling from the United States to another country, you will likely need an adapter plug in order to use your appliance or electronic device. As we’ve covered in other blog posts, there are a variety of outlet plug types, depending on the country or region of the world, so you will need an adapter that works in your location. Know the Required Voltage – The first step is to check the required voltage for your appliance before plugging in. Depending on where you purchased the item, it will be made for 110 volts (North America) or 220-240 volts (most of the rest of the world). The input voltage information can be found on the appliance itself or its power adapter. Shop for Voltage Converters – Voltage converters help ensure that you can safely use products around the world. For example, you will need a converter if your appliance is made in America and you want to use it in England, and vice versa. By knowing the type of adapter plug you need and the right converter to use for your product, you will be able to avoid risks and have appliances that are compatible with power sources around the world. Learn more about what you need when you travel or move to another country by calling Overseas Best Buy (110220volts.com) at 800-827-9978.