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Thread: Using Mobile Internet as Home Internet

  1. #1
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    Question Using Mobile Internet as Home Internet

    I'm interested in using mobile internet for my home internet service. The only option at my particular location is mobile internet or dialup - not even satellite works. I'm very confused on how to go about doing this and was hoping someone here might know.

    If I'm understanding it correctly, I could, for example, purchase a $30 phone from Page Plus and get the $40 a month unlimited plan. From there I somehow need to tether it to my desktop computer. Is that basically how that works?

    I actually need something that is easy, basic, and cheap. I don't care if I end up with 2G speeds for half the month because anything is better than dialup. I'm getting 46k speeds on a good day with an average of 40k. My understanding is that some cell companies reduce speeds to 64k, and that's ok with me. It's still better than 40-46k.

    The only unlimited plans I can find are about $40+ per month and seem to lock you into a 2 year contract. $40 is a bit much for me right now, is there anything cheaper? With being on dialup it's hard to look up this info. The big name cell phone companies have overbloated websites that I have trouble accessing. I have to go over to a relative's house to use their satellite internet connection and after 4 pm, the speed often drops to less than 28k.

    So does anyone know of a company that offers unlimited data for under $40 a month? I'd like to be able to buy the cell phone in new condition for $40 or less.

    So many companies have all these hidden charges that it gets confusing. One of the big named companies had a decent looking plan, but after reading the fine print, it looked a lot more expensive than I thought.

  2. #2
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    This is $20 higher than your price target, but it will work.

    https://www.cricketwireless.com/hotspot

    They're on AT&T's network, so even though you're rural, it should still work.

    If you cannot get AT&T's network in your location, then Verizon will be what you need, and that's going to cost a little bit more. Although there are some cheap ways to do it if you don't care about speed at all.

  3. #3
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    https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhone...00&tether=true

    What carriers work in your location and how much high speed data do you want?

    Cricket and AT&T Prepaid throttle data to 128 Kbps after the high speed data is used. Others throttle to 64 Kbps.

    The current "hack" for this sort of thing is a ZTE Mobley device ($100) and an AT&T Connected Car unlimited* plan for $20 a month. The Mobley is intended to plug in a car OBD port. You can get an indoor power supply for ~$25. There is no way to know how long AT&T is going to let us get away with this or jack the price.

    I get 3-5 Mbps with mine at home in a marginal signal area. The fastest I have seen was 23 Mbps. 2 Mbps is enough to do anything I want to do, including streaming video with a Roku. 2 Mbps could be rough if several people are trying to use it simultaneously, especially for video streams.

    The Mobley device is available intermittently on the AT&T web site.

    *Data speed is subject to deprioritization after ~22 GB in a month. In a rural area, this is less likely to happen unless all your neighbors get one.

    Good luck

  4. #4
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    Will you be using the phone for calling and texting in addition to tethering to your PC? If not, maybe you should consider a mobile hotspot. Where I work we use a mifi hotspot at trade shows, craft fairs, community days and other remote locations. We don't use it that often so we only purchase 1 GB for $20 monthly. It runs on the Verizon network so our internet is only as reliable as the VZW signal, which is normally good. Ours was purchased through Selectel, but there are other companies that sell the device and monthly plans.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

  5. #5
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    If you have any neighbors or friends you can trust, you could get a mobile hotspot added on a Verizon plan.

    Really would be nice if they'd offer practical home internet in rural areas. Throttled down, maybe 5 megs, 100gb cap. Where I am there are less than a couple hundred houses or so per tower plus a handful of vehicles passing by at a time. Their "best" standalone home option is their LTE installed, 10gb for $60.

    I'm also in a rural area, luckily there's a regional carrier that I can get service through, I'm grandfathered on a high cap plan they no longer offer, average around 2.5 down. Verizon and US Cellular are my only options, no ATT, Sprint, TMobile, etc. I require a cell signal booster to get a usable signal in the house. One satellite company has been full and closed for years, the other overstuffed, until their new upgrade. But satellite is last resort. No DSL, cable, or WISP here. Dialup was discontinued too. It was capped by hours monthly, frequent disconnects out here with the poor lines, 28.8 max.

  6. #6
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    If Sprint works in your area, PCS for people has great rates. Their current hot spot offering is crap as it doesn't run off of powerline mains, and needs the battery. A work around is to use an analog timer to charge 85% of the time.

    Sent from my ZTE B2017G using HoFo mobile app
    Sent from my HTC One X+

  7. #7
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    Older thread, but I don't know if you've found an answer yet.

    How old are you and does t-mobile work in your location?

    Tmobile has a plan available that you have to be over 55 to sign up for. One line for $50, two lines for $60, all taxes included. Only one person needs to be over 55 to get the 2 line plan, so if you know someone else who needs service you could split a two line plan with them and be looking at $30 a month each.

    Unlimited calling, text and data. Tethering/hot spot is allowed but throttled to 512kbps, I've been able to stream SD video over the hotspot connection.

    No contract, but you do have to use auto-pay or else it's $5 more a month per line.

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