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Thread: Need Hotspot advice

  1. #1
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    Need Hotspot advice

    When it comes to Smartphones, I am totally dumb.

    On top of that, I have easy access to the Internet only on Tuesdays till 8 pm [EST] at the Library so I may not be able to see your answers soon - if any.


    I do NOT need a phone for calling - I have 2 TF dumb phones with a lot of minutes I will never get to use.

    One year ago, we had a family emergency and I bought a Straight Talk hot spot. It was unvaluable then.

    Now, it is too expensive and it works so-so most of the times. Never more than 2 bars, and not all day every day.

    Plus, I use 5GB [$40] in about 3 weeks, rarely 4.

    The best I have done costs me about $55 a month.
    NO movie or music download.


    I read most of the recent threads talking about hotspot from cell phone, but I admit a lot of the vocabulary is too specific & over my head [a foreigner in the States for 40 years ! But I now seem to NOT learn new technical stuff too easily ]

    So, please : can I get advice ?

    recap:

    _ I don't need to make calls, just use as hotspot for 2 laptops.

    _ we have no real income, so $60 a month will be top. And a phone as cheap as possible.

    No contract as I may be going home [France] in 1 to 3 years.

    _ I know that ATT & Verizon service work in the boonies where I live & travel. So Cricket is OK too.


    _ U.S. Cellular:
    at home, on the line between between good & fair.
    But NEEDS to be reliable for taking credit card payment [Square] and 2 places where I "work" one weekend each: "Partner Coverage - Strength Varies". So, it's out.

    _ T-mobile: no good at home

    _ Sprint map shows me only the Southern border of my zip code & no good where I need it.


    We need at least 10G a month and don't care too much about drop of speed after that - until last year we had only dial-up.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    I use boost $30 3 GB unlimited hotspot and then throttled to 128 kbps. I use about 10 GB hotspot a month on my Windows laptop. It is slow when throttled but OK for browsing and I can even watch youtube at the slow 144p setting.

    So instead of getting 10 GB you might do OK with less high speed as long as it has unlimited throttled at 128 kbps for the rest of the month.

    AT&T and Verizon cost more so out of the two Verizon cost more.

    Cricket charges $10 extra for hotspot so I think AT&T prepaid is better for hotspot.

    AT&T prepaid has $30 1 GB plan. It says after 1 GB it is throttled to 128 kbps.
    Also AT&T prepaid has $40 8 GB plan.

    So I am thinking you might do OK with the AT&T prepaid $30 1 GB plan and if that does not work good for you then you can upgrade to the $40 8 GB.

    There might be a MVNO that is cheaper so someone else might have a better idea.

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    i use an at&t data pass meant for use in an iPad. cost is $29.99/month for unlimited data

    i currently have it in an unlocked smartphone(that i can tether from) but it also works in dedicated hotspot devices.

    the is not officially support or technically allowed in the TOS but it has worked for me and others well.

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    Thanks for all these suggestions.

    I will run these by a professional geek friend who will explain all this to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    I use boost $30 3 GB unlimited hotspot and then throttled to 128 kbps. I use about 10 GB hotspot a month on my Windows laptop. It is slow when throttled but OK for browsing and I can even watch youtube at the slow 144p setting.

    So instead of getting 10 GB you might do OK with less high speed as long as it has unlimited throttled at 128 kbps for the rest of the month.

    AT&T and Verizon cost more so out of the two Verizon cost more.

    Cricket charges $10 extra for hotspot so I think AT&T prepaid is better for hotspot.

    AT&T prepaid has $30 1 GB plan. It says after 1 GB it is throttled to 128 kbps.
    Also AT&T prepaid has $40 8 GB plan.

    So I am thinking you might do OK with the AT&T prepaid $30 1 GB plan and if that does not work good for you then you can upgrade to the $40 8 GB.

    There might be a MVNO that is cheaper so someone else might have a better idea.
    I checked Boost coverage: no good for me

    I will then be looking at ATT $40 and for the first time in my life I will have to shop for a phone that I won't use

    [I always had free new or refurb phones from TF for at least 10 years - new experience !]

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyrobby View Post
    i use an at&t data pass meant for use in an iPad. cost is $29.99/month for unlimited data

    i currently have it in an unlocked smartphone(that i can tether from) but it also works in dedicated hotspot devices.

    the is not officially support or technically allowed in the TOS but it has worked for me and others well.
    I was going to mention the AT&T $30 Unlimited DataConnect Pass Plan for Tablets.

    Don't you need a tablet IMEI to activate the service? If so, an ATT Android tablet can be had for less than $100 and it will tether on its own without switching the SIM to a phone.

    I have a LG G Pad 8 (V495). It was $100 New a couple of years ago off eBay. It is a great value, but not the fastest thing around for apps. The data speed is ok fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by femuse View Post
    I checked Boost coverage: no good for me

    I will then be looking at ATT $40 and for the first time in my life I will have to shop for a phone that I won't use

    [I always had free new or refurb phones from TF for at least 10 years - new experience !]
    If you go with ATT prepaid rather than the $30 unlimited tablet plan (and a tablet), take a look at:

    https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/201...ek-may-27.html

    There are several ATT prepaid phones for free or 99 cents. It doesn't take a high end phone to tether. I run tethering ok fine on an old 2012 LG Viper that is dog slow for apps.

  9. #9
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    << https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/201...ek-may-27.html >>

    Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.

  10. #10
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    Sorry: I'll get it right.

    You were right.

    It modified when I copied it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    I was going to mention the AT&T $30 Unlimited DataConnect Pass Plan for Tablets.

    Don't you need a tablet IMEI to activate the service? If so, an ATT Android tablet can be had for less than $100 and it will tether on its own without switching the SIM to a phone.

    I have a LG G Pad 8 (V495). It was $100 New a couple of years ago off eBay. It is a great value, but not the fastest thing around for apps. The data speed is ok fine.
    all you need to do is enter an eligible IMEI on the activation page, you do not need to ever actually put the SIM in the device.

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    "Limits: 1 device per 30 day prepaid plan."
    From that I understand that creating a hotspot on the "Unlimited DataConnect Pass Plan for Tablets" is not permitted.
    Since you have to activate it manually every month, it is an easy way for them to kick you out of the plan.

  13. #13
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    OP here.

    As suggested, I will go for now with the AT&T prepaid $30 1 GB plan


    The way I understand it :

    if I go right away with the $40 8 GB , I will be paying $50 for the first month, and $40 when enrolled in autopay.

    That way, I will see if I want to upgrade to the $40 8 GB later on.
    -------------------------
    I need a phone [just to use for hotspot]:

    a friend is sending us a Galaxy Note 3 that he was using on T-Mobil.

    He thinks that should work.

    Any input please ?

    Do I need a new sim ?

    Thanks in advance

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by femuse View Post
    OP here.

    As suggested, I will go for now with the AT&T prepaid $30 1 GB plan


    The way I understand it :

    if I go right away with the $40 8 GB , I will be paying $50 for the first month, and $40 when enrolled in autopay.

    That way, I will see if I want to upgrade to the $40 8 GB later on.
    -------------------------
    I need a phone [just to use for hotspot]:

    a friend is sending us a Galaxy Note 3 that he was using on T-Mobil.

    He thinks that should work.

    Any input please ?

    Do I need a new sim ?

    Thanks in advance
    how would that better than the 5GB for $40 with you straighttalk hotspot?

    seems you are switching to something 4 times more expensive

    i see how the 8gb for $40 would be cheaper but 1GB for $30.00 ?

    why not try the dataconnect pass(iPad/tablet) option

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    I forgot about the autopay discount.

    So the 1 GB plan cost $35 but $30 with autopay.

    And the 8 GB plan cost $50 but $40 with autopay.

    I think you should be able to get by OK with the 1 GB $30/$35 plan because you get unlimited throttled 128 kbps hotspot. It is not fast but should work OK for web browsing.

    Also note that I never used AT&T so I am only assuming that you do get unlimited 128 kbps hotspot because that is what it sounds like on their website.

    Like I said on boost I use 7 GB a month on throttled 128 kbps hotspot. I get 3 GB at high speed and go through that in about the first week. So I use a total of about 10 GB a month almost all on hotspot. I also watch youtube at 144p but it does pause sometimes.

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