Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Cheapest way to test Visible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0

    Cheapest way to test Visible

    Is there a list of phones or anything specific that details how to get a phone that bypasses the 1 device hotspot limitation on Visible?

    I've got a situation where I'm needing Internet - 5mbps will probably work, as long as it's consistent - but I really need that access on 2 maybe 3 devices.

    I'm not entirely sure Visible will work, but I'd be open to testing it... I just don't really want to put a lot of money into it in case it doesn't work.

    Ideally, I'd like a cheap phone - I'm not actually going to use it for a phone, I'm just going to use the hotspot feature - that will allow hotspot and allow 2 devices that would allow me to test the viability of using Visible for this project.

    Where I'm wanting to use this project has 0 Internet options - it's either cellular (AT&T or Verizon, there is no T-Mobile or Sprint signal) or satellite.

    I really come more from the AT&T side of things. AT&T and their MVNOs don't seem to have as many hoops you have to jump through to get a phone that will work on their network. Any AT&T branded or locked phone will work on any AT&T service (although... tethering may not work). With AT&T and their MVNOs - like say Cricket Wireless - you can go to Wal-Mart and buy any AT&T Prepaid GoPhone, pop a Cricket sim in there and it'll work. You can't do the same thing with a Wal-Mart Verizon Prepaid phone and a Visible sim, can you? Likewise, it's not as easy to insure that a phone you purchase off of eBay will work with Visible or any of the Verizon networks.

    I'm fine with buying a Visible sim (how much do those cost?) and paying $40 for a month of service to try, I just don't really want to buy a $300 phone and then find out it won't work for this project. It looks like Visible has a ZTE Blade A7 on their site for $90 - I guess I could run with that, but it'll only allow one device on the hotspot. But I guess it'd tell me whether it works or not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,370
    Device(s)
    OnePlus 7T, Apple iPhone 6S, Apple iPad 3 (VZW variant)
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile, Verizon Prepaid, Total Wireless (Verizon), FreedomPop (AT&T)
    Feedback Score
    0
    You could look into buying a cheap travel router and using the phone's USB out (or if the router offers a hotspot/AP mode) for a better option with said cheap phone. I found a couple for under $50, so that should still be within your price range. Presuming that the Visible device can do USB tethering (I can't confirm with that device, but likely should).
    Also, the router option would let you change devices and providers easily. Say you don't like Visible, you could switch back to AT&T, T-Mobile, different MVNO, etc and still be able to use the travel router as a middleman.

    iOS seems to allow five connections (just checked Visible-specifc iOS carrier bundles to confirm). You might find a cheap unlocked or Verizon-locked iPhone somewhere as another option.

    I remember reading most phones having up to five device slots for hotspot, even though Visible says they restrict them.

    Note: this may be against Visible terms of use, but I don't think I have read of people having problems.

    Sent from my HD1905 using Tapatalk
    My common forum nick: GenesisDH.

    R.I.P. Circuit City

    We are the Bor... the new AT&T: Your World, Assimilated.

    1000th post: Sept. 29th, 2008, 17:42 CDT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    853
    Feedback Score
    0
    An IPhone can connect 5. Android only 1. A travel router is the answer with Android.

    Sent from my SM-T720 using HoFo mobile app

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,774
    Feedback Score
    0
    Something like this will show only 1 connection to Visible but can be used to connect a few devices. Right now it's on sale with clipped coupon for $15 FS w/Prime.

    RAVPower Filehub, Travel Router N300, Hotspot WiFi Devices, WiFi Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, DLNA NAS Sharing Media Streamer - HooToo TripMate Nano Update Version

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08229WM...v_ov_lig_dp_it


    I'm trying not to buy it cause I don't need it now but I could in the future if I end up trying Visible. LOL
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

    Red Pocket (AT&T) UTT 5GB exp 09.27.20
    Good2Go (AT&T) UTT recurring {12*26} $13.38 otd/mo
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.11.21
    Tello x2 (Sprint) $5 1-use/3mo no exp by 07.08.20

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Haas_Dave View Post
    iOS seems to allow five connections (just checked Visible-specifc iOS carrier bundles to confirm). You might find a cheap unlocked or Verizon-locked iPhone somewhere as another option.
    That's the thing though... I'm a bit leary of buying just any iPhone off ebay, because who knows if it'll work on Visible?

    I figure buying a phone directly from Visible is the best way to insure that it'll work on Visible.

    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    RAVPower Filehub, Travel Router N300, Hotspot WiFi Devices, WiFi Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, DLNA NAS Sharing Media Streamer - HooToo TripMate Nano Update Version

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08229WM...v_ov_lig_dp_it
    Does anyone know if the ZTE Blade A7 or ZTE Blade A3 that visible sells will do USB tethering with this? Those are two options that cost right at $100. Ideally I'd like to get something closer to the $50 to $70 range, but beggars can't be choosers all the time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    Is there a list of phones or anything specific that details how to get a phone that bypasses the 1 device hotspot limitation on Visible?
    The list of phones that Visible will activate is at:
    https://www.visible.com/help/compatible

    That does not say which ones will allow more than one connection to the hotspot. I can say from personal experience that the Moto E6 from Visible and a generic unlocked Moto G7 Power (from Best Buy) only allow 1 device connection. This is not the normal behavior from the G7. Visible must have pushed something (carrier profile?) to it to enforce their limit.

    They are very picky with what phones they will activate or allow to operate. I tried my SIM in my generic unlocked Moto G6. It did not work at all. They know what device the SIM is in by the IMEI that is sent when you connect to a cell.

    I've got a situation where I'm needing Internet - 5mbps will probably work, as long as it's consistent - but I really need that access on 2 maybe 3 devices.
    I started with Visible about two weeks ago. I have done a fair bit of speed testing to evaluate the service. Speeds are all over the place from one minute to the next in the same location. Yesterday I got 3 Mbps down, 0.45 up with 77 ms jitter, and 20 Mbps down, 2 up with 12 ms jitter a minute later. It's not consistent. That 0.45 up would not work well with your live streaming project. In practice, it has worked fine with the speed variability for ordinary phone and hotspot use. That included several nights of hotspotting to my Roku to stream video for several hours.

    I'm not entirely sure Visible will work, but I'd be open to testing it... I just don't really want to put a lot of money into it in case it doesn't work.

    Ideally, I'd like a cheap phone - I'm not actually going to use it for a phone, I'm just going to use the hotspot feature - that will allow hotspot and allow 2 devices that would allow me to test the viability of using Visible for this project.
    You can get a free phone with a trade in phone and phone number port when they have swap phones available. That phone is likely limited to one hotspot connection.

    I really come more from the AT&T side of things. AT&T and their MVNOs don't seem to have as many hoops you have to jump through to get a phone that will work on their network. Any AT&T branded or locked phone will work on any AT&T service (although... tethering may not work). With AT&T and their MVNOs - like say Cricket Wireless - you can go to Wal-Mart and buy any AT&T Prepaid GoPhone, pop a Cricket sim in there and it'll work. You can't do the same thing with a Wal-Mart Verizon Prepaid phone and a Visible sim, can you? Likewise, it's not as easy to insure that a phone you purchase off of eBay will work with Visible or any of the Verizon networks.

    I'm fine with buying a Visible sim (how much do those cost?) and paying $40 for a month of service to try, I just don't really want to buy a $300 phone and then find out it won't work for this project. It looks like Visible has a ZTE Blade A7 on their site for $90 - I guess I could run with that, but it'll only allow one device on the hotspot. But I guess it'd tell me whether it works or not.
    The phones in their list are the only ones they allow. It should not matter where it comes from if it is unlocked, not black listed, etc. Visible is different and special. They are not trying to be like AT&T and their MVNOs. How long the experiment will last at the current price and unlimited phone and hotspot data is unknown. If too many people abuse it as home Internet using terabytes a month, it won't last long.

    You can only get the Visible SIM by submitting an IMEI of a phone they allow. The SIM is free, but you have to purchase the first month's service, which is $25. Subsequent months are $25 if you join and maintain a party of four. There are no additional taxes and fees on service.

    There is a lot more info about Visible at Reddit than here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0
    So... I'm thinking of creative ways I can do this as cheap as possible. To be clear and upfront - I don't want Visible to replace my current main cell phone (Cricket), I'm just wanting Visible for the data connection or to try it out attempting to live stream from a zero-Internet location.

    I've got a bunch of old cell phones, most are AT&T branded phones.

    It looks like I can use one of those to swap out for one of the ZTE Visible phones and get the ZTE free, this AT&T branded phone passed the IMEI check - but will it still swap even though it's AT&T branded? Does Visible care?

    It looks like you also have to port-in a number, in order for the swap to work. I don't want to port my main number. But I do have a lot of various AT&T MVNO sim cards - Airvoice, H2O, Red Pocket. Can I activate one of those sim cards on one of those services - i.e. the H2O $10 pay as you go plan - and then port out that number to Visible? I suppose this might be more of a question for Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket - how long do you have to wait between signing up and porting out the number? Again, I don't really care about the phone number, I just want the data part on Visible.

    If this would work, I'd be out what... $35? ($25 first month Visible service + $10 for the first month of Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket) and a phone that I don't use, to test out Visible.

    Thoughts? Or anything I haven't thought of with this plan?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    So... I'm thinking of creative ways I can do this as cheap as possible. To be clear and upfront - I don't want Visible to replace my current main cell phone (Cricket), I'm just wanting Visible for the data connection or to try it out attempting to live stream from a zero-Internet location.

    I've got a bunch of old cell phones, most are AT&T branded phones.

    It looks like I can use one of those to swap out for one of the ZTE Visible phones and get the ZTE free, this AT&T branded phone passed the IMEI check - but will it still swap even though it's AT&T branded? Does Visible care?

    It looks like you also have to port-in a number, in order for the swap to work. I don't want to port my main number. But I do have a lot of various AT&T MVNO sim cards - Airvoice, H2O, Red Pocket. Can I activate one of those sim cards on one of those services - i.e. the H2O $10 pay as you go plan - and then port out that number to Visible? I suppose this might be more of a question for Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket - how long do you have to wait between signing up and porting out the number? Again, I don't really care about the phone number, I just want the data part on Visible.

    If this would work, I'd be out what... $35? ($25 first month Visible service + $10 for the first month of Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket) and a phone that I don't use, to test out Visible.

    Thoughts? Or anything I haven't thought of with this plan?
    That should work. You will have to port the donor phone number at the time of executing the swap transaction along with paying for the first month of Visible service. The phone number of the donor phone will become your Visible number.

    That said, when I tried swap it did not work. I submitted the IMEI of an old Sprint phone with no service on it and they accepted that, but they would not accept three different phone numbers I tried. This was all on their web form. I should have tried chat to see if they could get it to work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    ...Does anyone know if the ZTE Blade A7 or ZTE Blade A3 that visible sells will do USB tethering with this? Those are two options that cost right at $100. Ideally I'd like to get something closer to the $50 to $70 range, but beggars can't be choosers all the time.
    I don't see where that travel router will do USB tethering. Some other routers will. It will do WiFi repeater bridge from a phone WiFi hotspot, but that mode will decrease the data throughput.

    Do you have a notebook with Windows 10? You can USB tether from the phone to the notebook and use the notebook WiFi to connect up to 8 devices like a router. I tried it yesterday. It's real easy.

    Using a Visible phone to connect more than one device could be a violation of the terms of service. Use a moderate amount and it will probably go unnoticed. Too many people using a lot could ruin it for everyone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0
    It looks like I was wrong, the swap only works for the $99 A3, not the $89 A7.

    Where did you get the three different phone numbers you used? Had they just recently been activated? Reading up on some stuff - it looks like Airvoice might be the better angle, since the account number and PIN are pretty straightforward. For H2O, it looks like you have to call and talk to customer service and I try to avoid that whenever possible.

    I figure, at worst, I'm not much better off than had I not attempted the swap.

    I suppose I could roll the dice and get a (maybe cheaper? or maybe one that tethers more than 1 device?) phone from eBay that hopefully would pass the mustard with Visible's BYOD - but I won't really know until I get the phone in hand and enter the IMEI number.

    If I don't attempt the swap, I'll pay $89/$99 for a ZTE phone + $25 for the first month service... so any where from $115 to $125.

    If I attempt the swap and it doesn't work... I'm out an extra $10... $99 for the A3 + $25 first month service + $10 Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket = $135.

    If I attempt the swap and it does work... I'm out $35. $25 first month service + $10 Airvoice/H2O/Red Pocket = $35.

    So basically there's a $20 risk to potentially save $80.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Using a Visible phone to connect more than one device could be a violation of the terms of service. Use a moderate amount and it will probably go unnoticed. Too many people using a lot could ruin it for everyone.
    For the application I'm planning with this, being able to connect two devices would be really nice. I can probably do it with just one, but two would make it a lot easier. There's a scenario where 3 devices might be necessary, but I don't see where more than 3 will ever be necessary. If I really knew Visible would work for this, I might just bite the bullet and spring for a Visible iPhone SE - which gives up to 5 devices? But I really don't want to spend that much money on something that I'm about 50/50 on.

    I'm also not planning for a lot of bandwidth usage. Maybe 12GB a month - I suppose there might be months where that gets closer to 20 ... maybe 30GB.

    If there were fiber or cable Internet options at this location, I'd definitely go with that. Cellular data is going to be finicky. Might work great one minute then poor for the next two minutes. There's not even DSL available at this location. The only other options are satellite - which is expensive and I'm not sure if I'm any better off... maybe Starlink changes that? - or I think AT&T's Fixed Wireless is an option... but again we're back at the cellular data being finicky. But given the circumstances, I'll agree that AT&T's Fixed Wireless is probably the better solution. But if Visible or some other mobile hotspot solution will work at a fraction of AT&T's Fixed Wireless cost (plus the added uncertainty of what taxes and fees AT&T will tack on), I'd kind of like to exhaust at least some cheaper options first.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    It looks like I was wrong, the swap only works for the $99 A3, not the $89 A7.
    Yes, the current swap phone is only the A3. FWIW, I read a review and comparison on Reddit that said there is not much difference between the two. Key is that they both use the same processor, GPU so performance is about the same.

    Availability of swap phones at Visible comes and goes hour-by-hour, day-by-day.

    Where did you get the three different phone numbers you used? Had they just recently been activated? Reading up on some stuff - it looks like Airvoice might be the better angle, since the account number and PIN are pretty straightforward. For H2O, it looks like you have to call and talk to customer service and I try to avoid that whenever possible....
    The three numbers I tried are all real, active and should be port-able. They have all been active in good standing for years. They were:
    Freedompop
    Tello - real active cell service
    My landline

    In the time it took for them to decline the numbers (seconds) I doubt they could have contacted Freedompop, Tello, Verizon. Porting just doesn't work that fast.

    I should have tried chat about the port and swap, but I didn't really want the A3 for what I hope to become my daily carry phone. I bought one of their Moto E6s. I have since returned the E6 and bought a G7 Power from Best Buy. I bought the G7 from a source other than Visible in hopes that it would allow more than one hotspot connection. It doesn't.

    This is not normal behavior for a generic unlocked G7. My generic unlocked Moto G6 allows several hotspot connections on Tracfone Verizon service.

    The Moto E6 was an ok basic phone, but not many frills, which is to be expected for a phone in that price range.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    425
    Feedback Score
    0
    Yea, I'm not going to the Visible phone as a "phone" it's basically just going to be a modem.

    I've also got an unused Raspberry Pi. I may look into converting that into a gateway that USB connects to the A3 and outputs from the Ethernet to a Wifi router and distribute out a wifi signal.

    It's little projects like this - that I don't necessarily always have the time for - but they're fun. I learn a lot through the process.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    For the application I'm planning with this, being able to connect two devices would be really nice. I can probably do it with just one, but two would make it a lot easier. There's a scenario where 3 devices might be necessary, but I don't see where more than 3 will ever be necessary. If I really knew Visible would work for this, I might just bite the bullet and spring for a Visible iPhone SE - which gives up to 5 devices? But I really don't want to spend that much money on something that I'm about 50/50 on.
    I would ask on Reddit about experiences with the iPhone SE. Visible is probably pushing a carrier profile to Androids to limit the hotspot to one, but Apple may not allow them to do that - because of Apple.

    The SE is $384 with a $100 prepaid Mastercard rebate, net $284. IIRC, You have to pay for two months of Visible to get the rebate card. Phones purchased from Visible are returnable within 14 days. That's with I did with the Moto E6 that I bought from them. The phone has to be in perfect condition with all of the original packaging and everything that came in the box except the SIM.

    There are relatively easy options to get the one hotspot connection from an Android Visible phone to a Wifi router to allow more.

    I'm also not planning for a lot of bandwidth usage. Maybe 12GB a month - I suppose there might be months where that gets closer to 20 ... maybe 30GB.

    If there were fiber or cable Internet options at this location, I'd definitely go with that. Cellular data is going to be finicky. Might work great one minute then poor for the next two minutes. There's not even DSL available at this location. The only other options are satellite - which is expensive and I'm not sure if I'm any better off... maybe Starlink changes that? - or I think AT&T's Fixed Wireless is an option... but again we're back at the cellular data being finicky. But given the circumstances, I'll agree that AT&T's Fixed Wireless is probably the better solution. But if Visible or some other mobile hotspot solution will work at a fraction of AT&T's Fixed Wireless cost (plus the added uncertainty of what taxes and fees AT&T will tack on), I'd kind of like to exhaust at least some cheaper options first.
    I doubt that 12-30 GB a month would be a problem. I have already used 11 GB on mine just testing it. Testing did include something like six hours of streaming video through my Roku which is not something I would continue doing for other than test or a cable outage.

    There is a unmet need in areas unserved by wired Internet - mostly rural that will never get wired. Geostationary satellite is only a desperation option for slow, expensive, laggy service. Starlink may be coming next year, but I wouldn't expect it to be real cheap. Nothing about satellites is cheap. It's not a phone service. It uses a pizza box sized antenna that has to be outdoors. T-Mobile plans start offering more widespread wireless Internet next year. This is probably going to be on band 5G n41 which won't reach out into rural areas without building a lot of towers. Again, probably won't be real cheap.

    Verizon has a home wireless Internet plan. I forget the name. Not cheap, $60 a month for 6 GB. It uses an outdoor antenna.

    With the K-12 school year approaching, school systems are trying to figure out how to do online video meeting classes with Covid19 restrictions. They are handing out Chromebooks like candy at Halloween and hotspots for those that don't have broadband Internet at home. Not going to be any fraud there I'm sure /s.

    Anyway, I have found Visible to work well for ordinary Internet use which is mostly download. I doubt it will work well or consistently for video streaming that uses upload.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    Yea, I'm not going to the Visible phone as a "phone" it's basically just going to be a modem.

    I've also got an unused Raspberry Pi. I may look into converting that into a gateway that USB connects to the A3 and outputs from the Ethernet to a Wifi router and distribute out a wifi signal.

    It's little projects like this - that I don't necessarily always have the time for - but they're fun. I learn a lot through the process.
    I bet the Rasberry Pi can do it. A Windows 10 notebook can do it real easy and doesn't require another router.

    It can also be done on a notebook with Linux. The notebook doesn't need to be top-of-the-line, just some old leftover. Linux is easy to install or run from a flash thumb. I tried this years ago and it worked.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-29-2008, 04:51 PM
  2. Cheapest (easiest) way to "test" TDMA service?
    By cutter44 in forum General Prepaid discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-06-2005, 12:45 PM
  3. cheapest way to get a LED change
    By monmon in forum Nokia Modding
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-08-2002, 07:22 PM
  4. Cheapest Way to Roam in Philippines?
    By IsLand_BoY in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-10-2002, 09:09 AM
  5. Cheapest way to use a phone in london? HELP
    By BriBri99 in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-31-2002, 06:50 PM

Bookmarks