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Re: Weak signal, texting alternatives?
I had this same issue and Verizon's network extender solved it all for me. I have a first or second gen unit that only does voice, the new units do voice and data, which if you have WiFi may not be an issue for you. Meanwhile, I paid about the same price as the new units that do more. The advantages to the network extender are it offers GPS location, so if you call 911 it routes your calls to the local authorities and gives them your location, units can handle up to 4 devices and you can set priority devices so the most important phones don't get pushed out, and it's a one time cost to buy the unit. Granted the cose may seem kind of high at $229 but if you're going to stay with Big Red it's really not that much. I've had mine for over 6 years with no issues. The down side is that it works through your internet, so if the power goes out or you loose internet you loose use of the device, and it only works as long as you have a Verizon account.
As for SMS/MMS over WiFi most of the apps I've seen want to give you a new number or get you to sign up. If that's something you wouldn't mind then there are a ton of them on Google Play. Some also offer calling plans. Search SMS WiFi at the Play Store.