Living in a very rural area had doubts as to whether or not I'd get reception. Set up next to window as recommended, no signal. Lifted device up about 18 in and noticed the blue device lights indicated strong signal, cool! Solution was to mount 18 inches above desk next to window for very strong signal.
Second potential problem: my old phone company. Originally had planned on porting existing number, and my phone company refused to let Straight talk folks have permission to port my number, even though I still had existing landline account active and had given permission for this change of service. Called Straight talk folks helpline, and asked if going with a new number would allow a work around to get activated, they said "yes".
So, unwilling to allow my soon to be cancelled very expensive landline company to further impede my attempt to get a new method of landline up and running, chose to go with a new phone number. The cordial folks at straight talk spent about a half hour changing the nature of my new account to go with new number rather than further attempting to port old number, and activated my new phone and number while on the phone with them.
Voila, new phone number, new phone service up and running, in spite of former landline company trying to prevent this. Old phone company was charging me 27.95 for landline, and another 25 dollars on top of that in subscriber charges, surcharge charges, surcharge recovery charges, taxes, and other charges disguised to appear to be some sort of federal charges. Straight talk is 15 dollars a month, and 1.55 extra to cover ALL actual federal charges, taxes, state taxes, 911 service charges, and recovery charges. So, why did my old phone company charge 24 dollars more for what cost them 1.55? MMMMMMNnnn. Old phone company "gave" me 30 min of long distance "free" for around 50 dollars a month, 600.00+ a year, and straight talk costs 16.55 a month for unlimited long distance, local and includes all federal and state taxes and charges. 198.60 for a year compared to 600.00 plus a year, I like the unlimited calling for 198.60 a year better.
Yes, could've gone with voip for cheaper, but since my old landline company is my dsl server and the only one available in the area, if that went down there would be no way to make any calls, emergency or otherwise. I went with Straight talk to have a phone (have no cell phone) for occasional calls w/no worries about astronomical long distance charges, and to have communications available in the event of no dsl service. This system is not dependent on having an internet connection, and is to replace a landline. My landline service jacked up my service another 20 dollars last month without notice or apparent reason, and that was my inspiration to finally dump my phone service with them. They got too greedy, and tried to make the billing charges appear as if they were "federal" charges, which they weren't, only .68 cents of the extra 20 plus in charges were actual federal taxes/charges.
Very pleased with this alternative. And if Straight talk doesn't work in your area, you can return it at your local Walmart for refund. So, no risk. Great way to stop being gouged by your local telephone company.