5 handy Google Fi features you shouldn’t forget

Got Fi? Google’s unusual wireless service may have shifted its name from Project Fi to Google Fi a while back, but its core proposition has remained relatively constant since the start: Pay only for the data you use, and avoid all the traditional carrier shenanigans.

For the right kind of person, especially among those of us on Android, Fi can be a real cost-cutter and hassle-saver. And aside from its most prominently promoted perks — the seamless network-switching, the public Wi-Fi use, the fee-free roaming and hotspot capabilities, and so on — Fi has some pretty interesting out-of-the-way options that can really elevate your experience.

Whether you’re new to Fi or a Project Fi/Google Fi veteran, take a few minutes to think through these handy hidden features and see if any might be useful to you. They’re all there and just waiting to be embraced — and generally speaking, they won’t cost you an extra dime to use.

Google Fi feature No. 1: Free data-only SIMs

One of Google Fi’s most valuable and broadly untapped benefits is the service’s free data-only SIM program. If you open up the Fi website or app and select “Manage plan,” you’ll see an unassuming option labeled “Add data-only SIM.”

Click or tap that, and Fi will walk you through the steps to add a data-only SIM to your account. Google will create it, activate it, and even ship it to you for the oh-so-affordable price of $0.

What then? Why bother? Well, lemme tell ya, you curious caribou: With that data-only SIM, you can effectively turn any other device — be it a laptop or tablet with a SIM card slot or even just a dusty old phone — into an extension of your main Fi service, provided it’s compatible with Fi’s networks. Just pop that sucker in wherever you want, and the device will instantly be online and ready for your use. All you’ll pay is your same standard $10 per gigabyte rate (or not even that, if you’re using one of Fi’s newer unlimited plans). And equally important, if you don’t use any data in a given month, you won’t pay anything; unlike with most other carriers, there are no silly surcharges or fees simply for the “privilege” of having an add-on device.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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