Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: hotspot options?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    CT... but also the mountains of NY...
    Posts
    28
    Device(s)
    Pixel 3, plus everything in the junk box
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0

    hotspot options?

    I'm trying to puzzle out hotspot options for our cabin in the mountains. Up until now, we were using Hughes satellite (ugh) but now there's apparently a new Verizon tower fairly close (8 miles). The new better signal lets us use our phones (we both have Pixel 3's) as hotspots with mostly reliable service, but it does drop out for 5 minutes or so at a time, and it only works if we put the phone in a particular spot in the cabin.

    So, a hotspot with a better (or external) antenna seems the logical choice. Looks like the Jetpack 8800 (as well as the older 7730) have connections for external antennas, though they officially call them "test ports". Presumably that would give me a more reliable signal?

    But, Verizon says they're not suitable for continuous usage... so what happens if I do leave it plugged in 24/7?

    Another option would be something like a MoFi... but they're rather expensive, and hard to get right now. There are a lot of other LTE gateways offered, but many of them don't seem to support band 13, which is all I can get, or delivery is a month out.


    Now, "unlimited" data... adding a new data only line (Jetpack) is only $10/month since we already have multiple lines, but it's only 15GB before it drops to 0.6MBPS... which might not be that horrible, that's all we were getting with the phone hotspot last weekend and my wife was still watching Netflix with it.

    But, I read something about adding a phone line with unlimited data ($40), activating the SIM card in another device and then putting it in a data only device like a mofi, and it would be seen as device usage and not hotspot usage, giving whatever the device limit (e.g. 50GB for "do more unlimited") is instead of the 15GB hotspot limit? Is that correct? Though I suppose for the same price I could pay for several data lines and swap out the SIM cards as (or if) they run out of data.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    2,242
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana_ View Post
    I'm trying to puzzle out hotspot options for our cabin in the mountains. Up until now, we were using Hughes satellite (ugh) but now there's apparently a new Verizon tower fairly close (8 miles). The new better signal lets us use our phones (we both have Pixel 3's) as hotspots with mostly reliable service, but it does drop out for 5 minutes or so at a time, and it only works if we put the phone in a particular spot in the cabin.

    So, a hotspot with a better (or external) antenna seems the logical choice. Looks like the Jetpack 8800 (as well as the older 7730) have connections for external antennas, though they officially call them "test ports". Presumably that would give me a more reliable signal?

    But, Verizon says they're not suitable for continuous usage... so what happens if I do leave it plugged in 24/7?

    Another option would be something like a MoFi... but they're rather expensive, and hard to get right now. There are a lot of other LTE gateways offered, but many of them don't seem to support band 13, which is all I can get, or delivery is a month out.


    Now, "unlimited" data... adding a new data only line (Jetpack) is only $10/month since we already have multiple lines, but it's only 15GB before it drops to 0.6MBPS... which might not be that horrible, that's all we were getting with the phone hotspot last weekend and my wife was still watching Netflix with it.

    But, I read something about adding a phone line with unlimited data ($40), activating the SIM card in another device and then putting it in a data only device like a mofi, and it would be seen as device usage and not hotspot usage, giving whatever the device limit (e.g. 50GB for "do more unlimited") is instead of the 15GB hotspot limit? Is that correct? Though I suppose for the same price I could pay for several data lines and swap out the SIM cards as (or if) they run out of data.
    No that will not work an that's also trying to scam Verizon. And even if it did work you'd only get it's hotspot limit which is either 15 GB or 30 GB. You'd be cheaper to upgrade to get more and get 30 GB hotspot for each line for only $20 more than Do/Play More

    Also band 13 is Verizon base band so any Verizon LTE hotspot/jetpack or mi-fi is going to support band 13.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,398
    Device(s)
    OnePlus 7T, Apple iPhone 6S
    Carrier(s)
    Sprint, Verizon Prepaid, FreedomPop (AT&T)
    Feedback Score
    0
    They can tell by IMEI what device you use when you insert the SIM. This means it may not be a good idea to use a known hotspot device on some phone line/plans. Verizon varies on enforcement of different non-phone devices on older plans.
    Most recent unlimited plans appear to allow for jetpack/hotspot devices as a dedicated line for a higher line access charge, but you should probably double check before committing to another line.

    I would definitely suggest a gateway or hotspot device that can use an external mounted antenna. An outdoor antenna should work if you are getting okay signal inside the house.

    What Verizon means by it not suggested for 24/7 use: downtime or bandwidth problems can happen more often on mobile/wireless vs. ground/wired options. It's also not supposed to be used for things like webservers, or anything where traffic might be constant for 12+ hours.

    I would also consider, for all device usage, a booster that covers the house or major rooms. Wilson Electronics does carry a few options depending on how many rooms needed covered and/or size of house.

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    247
    Device(s)
    iPhone 8 Plus Product Red
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T, T-Maybe, Visible, Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana_ View Post
    I'm trying to puzzle out hotspot options for our cabin in the mountains. Up until now, we were using Hughes satellite (ugh) but now there's apparently a new Verizon tower fairly close (8 miles). The new better signal lets us use our phones (we both have Pixel 3's) as hotspots with mostly reliable service, but it does drop out for 5 minutes or so at a time, and it only works if we put the phone in a particular spot in the cabin.

    So, a hotspot with a better (or external) antenna seems the logical choice. Looks like the Jetpack 8800 (as well as the older 7730) have connections for external antennas, though they officially call them "test ports". Presumably that would give me a more reliable signal?

    But, Verizon says they're not suitable for continuous usage... so what happens if I do leave it plugged in 24/7?

    Another option would be something like a MoFi... but they're rather expensive, and hard to get right now. There are a lot of other LTE gateways offered, but many of them don't seem to support band 13, which is all I can get, or delivery is a month out.


    Now, "unlimited" data... adding a new data only line (Jetpack) is only $10/month since we already have multiple lines, but it's only 15GB before it drops to 0.6MBPS... which might not be that horrible, that's all we were getting with the phone hotspot last weekend and my wife was still watching Netflix with it.

    But, I read something about adding a phone line with unlimited data ($40), activating the SIM card in another device and then putting it in a data only device like a mofi, and it would be seen as device usage and not hotspot usage, giving whatever the device limit (e.g. 50GB for "do more unlimited") is instead of the 15GB hotspot limit? Is that correct? Though I suppose for the same price I could pay for several data lines and swap out the SIM cards as (or if) they run out of data.
    Look at visible- $40 a month (can get it down to $25 a month with party pay) unlimited talk / text / data and unlimited hotspot data. Only thing is, visible is deprioritized- so if the tower has a lot of people downloading, you'll see the slow speeds first.

    i dont know about putting this in a hotspot device but do you have an extra phone?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,878
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Maryland View Post
    Look at visible- $40 a month (can get it down to $25 a month with party pay) unlimited talk / text / data and unlimited hotspot data. Only thing is, visible is deprioritized- so if the tower has a lot of people downloading, you'll see the slow speeds first.

    i dont know about putting this in a hotspot device but do you have an extra phone?
    This question comes up about every day. How do I get wireless Internet for cheap for the cabin, to cut the cable cord, for my RV/camping, for home where there is no wired provider? The answer is that the carriers generally are not selling plans for large quantities or unlimited for cheap or at any price.

    Occasionally a plan is available for a while like Karma, AT&T Connected Car Unlimited, AT&T iPad unlimited. They tend to disappear when the carrier finds out that too many people will use them to stream terabytes of video a month. The carriers do not have the capacity yet to allow that kind of use while continuing to service their core mobile phone users with good quality of service. Not yet, maybe next year.

    Visible is the current option that has appeared. Who knows for how long. Visible does work, but there are several hoops to get through.

    1. It only works on their approved/supported phones. Just any extra phone won't cut it. You can't even get a SIM without submitting an acceptable phone IMEI to activate paid service. Web search for Visible phones for the list of phone models. You can do BYOP, but they will have to approve the phone IMEI.

    2. Swapping an activated SIM to an unapproved/unsupported phone does not work. They know what device the SIM is in when you power it on because the IMEI is used to communicate with the cell. Forget putting the SIM in a hotspot device. It won't work.

    3. The terms of service are for one Wifi hotspot connection to the phone. They enforce this limit on most Android phones. I think they push a carrier profile to the phone to neuter Androids to one hotspot connecton. This is pretty easy to get around, but requires additional hardware, like a Wifi range extender or Windows 10 notebook*. iPhones and some Pixel Androids have been reported to support several WiFi hotspot connections. Again, still only on the approved models.

    4. The terms of service are for 5 Mbps download speed. I have not seen them do that throttling yet, but they can any time they want to and our complaints would fall on deaf ears. 5 Mbps is actually enough to do routine things as long as your routine is not several people streaming video simultaneously. 5 Mbps will stream one HD video with a little left over for simple web browsing and email.

    5. As @Md said, it can be highly depriortized or otherwise congested. Visible does not use the regular Verizon core. AFAIK, they are using the IMS core with a limited number of routing servers and locations. My speeds are generally good, like 20-30 Mbps, but sometimes a speed test will show much lower, like 1.5 Mbps down, 0.01 up with a lot of jitter. Then the next minute back to 20-30 Mbps. I personally believe that it is more temporary routing server congestion rather than deprioritization on my local cell. Aside from speed testing, the speed fluctuations have not adversely effected my actual use.

    6. There are reports by some people of problems making and receiving calls and texts, and some outages when straight Verizon is working. I have not experienced this in the two weeks+ that I have had it.

    7. Phone hotspots don't have the range of a real WiFi router.

    8. There is no phone support. All support is by chat on their web site, Facebook and Twitter. You can text for support, but that is not something I would want to do unless desperate.

    The Good News:

    You can get an adequate phone from them for $89. That is less than you would pay for a good hotspot device with money left over to buy a $20 WiFi range extender. You may be able to trade in (swap) a phone with a number port and get the phone for free.

    The price is $25 for the first month. Subsequent months can be $25 if you want to fiddle with making sure you are in a party of four on your billing date. Ad hoc parties are easy to find and relatively easy to join. Everyone's bill is separate. There is no sending payment to another member.

    The above has been my experience. It's possible that there may be some loopholes in getting non supported phones to work. I have seen hints of it, but nothing conclusive.

    *Linux on a notebook should be able to do this, but I have not been able to get it to work or spent much time on it yet. You can run Linux from a flash drive or CD or DVD without changing anything on the notebook. If you have a Windows 10 notebook, it is real easy.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    CT... but also the mountains of NY...
    Posts
    28
    Device(s)
    Pixel 3, plus everything in the junk box
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0
    Thanks... Looks like a jetpack 7730 or 8800 with their $10 data plan makes the most sense.

    The non-band 13 ones I was referring you were other brands like the Mofi not sold by Verizon... Mofi does band 13 but some of the cheaper knockoffs don't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    193
    Feedback Score
    0
    Yes. And you can get multiple $10 hotspot lines (and the 15GB) for each line of service that you have Do More or Get More.


    Sent from my iPhone XSM using Tapatalk Pro

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    CT... but also the mountains of NY...
    Posts
    28
    Device(s)
    Pixel 3, plus everything in the junk box
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0
    Well, I picked up the 8800 jetpack at the local Best Buy yesterday and added the $10 line. Back at the cabin, I'm getting -115-120db signal and around 5mbps. That 15GB of "premium" data is going fast, but we'll see how it goes... another option is to buy an unlimited sim card from one of the independent sellers.

    I ordered some cheap external antennas but it looks like I may not even need them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    193
    Feedback Score
    0

    hotspot options?

    There is / was a Verizon Prepaid Jetpack option. 15+15=30GB of Jetpack data for $45 or so. I think the data is a lower priority than our PostPaid add on though.

    Swap the SIM to the prepaid after you use the 15GB on you PostPaid add on.

    And / Or get a second PostPaid add on SIM for $10 if you have multiple do more / get more lines.


    Sent from my iPhone XSM using Tapatalk Pro

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    2,242
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by JSchnee21 View Post
    There is / was a Verizon Prepaid Jetpack option. 15+15=30GB of Jetpack data for $45 or so.
    It's $65....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    8
    Feedback Score
    0
    We have a place in Colorado with a house currently being built. We have an RV and barn there now. I added a Mofi 4500 to my Verizon plan. It's $20 month for "unlimited" which means 15GB of data. I went with the Mofi for several reasons. One we won't live their full time and I wanted a way to remotely reboot the router it it acts up as I plan on monitoring the house with it . The Jetpack is battery operated so no way to reboot it. I connected a EZ-22b Single Outlet Remote Power IP Switch so I can reboot the router from my phone. This device will also reboot the router if it loses internet connectivity. The Mofi is designed to run 24/7 while the Jetpack isn't.
    For now I installed the Mofi in my barn with a security system and weather station on it. I can monitor it from home. Works good. Only problem is the area gets congested with summer visitors and data speeds drop to 1.5 to 2M most of the time. My Verizon phone and the Mofi get the same download speed so I am not sure an external antenna would make any difference but I am taking one to try next time we go.
    So far from what I see data speeds aren't fast enough to do a lot though for my monitoring system it's working ok for now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,427
    Device(s)
    N/A
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon Wireless;
    Feedback Score
    0
    Yup, my parents are using the 15GB (then unlimited at 600kbps.) They still have a "landline", they switched from the (non VoLTE supporting) home phone connect to the T1114 home phone with LTE when they realized they could effectively get home internet for $0 a month (since they were already paying for that line.) On newer plans, Verizon does not care if it's a hotspot device or not, the hotspots just get the same 15GB (or 30GB etc. depending on plan) as the on-phone hotspot.

    The 600kbps sucks pretty bad, but it is enough to be pretty usable -- web pages load a bit slower but not too bad unless it's very graphic intensive. Some streaming services stream OK (Netflix, Youtube -- the low resolution looks horrible but it jumps up to some mid range quality at 512kbps or so after a bit and that looks fine). My sister tried Disney+ and it was not even close, it probably needs like 5mbps minimum. Sling style streaming from their dish box works (it starts on maximum quality and drops quality 1 notch each time it buffers, so it buffers for 5 or 10 seconds then runs perfectly fine and looks fine.). They have coupons for 2 free ppv movies a month, they definitely won't stream by any stretch at 600kbps but it can just be "recorded" and it downloads it at full quality taking however long.. It WILL continue downloads where they let off so it doesn't matter if you have to restart the hotspot or something while it's getting one. They just get one and watch it the next day (or just order the movie from one of the channels that comes off the dish instead).

    They previously had DirecTV, don't try the PPV at 600kbps. It usually will not finish downloading the show (or especially movie), and if anything interrupts the download it starts over, so besides not having a usable show it'll continuously use data until you delete the show. (There's was trying for like 4 days, who knows how many GBs... good thing the >15GB is unlimited.)

    There's network management but I've found it to be 100% positive; if you run Zoom, Skype, etc., get full priority over anything else, a web page load will load at about dialup speed but not screw up the Zoom conference. Long-running downloads are put in some "penalty box" so if you have something big downloading (more than about 2 minutes), if nothings going on the download gets the full 600kbps; if you go to load a web page, the downloads get like 50kbps while the page is loading. If something on the page is big enough to take more than 1-2 minutes, it is then put "in the penalty box" with the download and they'd each get like 300kbps or so. This is actually pretty nice, almost every second added to the (probably already long) download time is saved off waiting for pages to load, apps to respond, etc.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    257
    Feedback Score
    0
    Do postpaid plans get better or higher priority of service over prepaid, like the 65/month jetpack unlimited plan?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    883
    Feedback Score
    0
    Yes, the $65/mo jetpack prepaid unlimited plan is deprioritized which means it gets a lower priority than gUDP or postpaid plans with data allowance.

    However IIRC all the prepaid plans are subject to deprioritization even the ones with data allowances.

Similar Threads

  1. Hotspot Option Cut Your Bill in Half?
    By dalbrich in forum Sprint
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-21-2015, 01:19 PM
  2. New Hotspot Options
    By aml1025 in forum Virgin Mobile USA
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-22-2014, 12:19 AM
  3. Galaxy S3 (formerly Verizon) won't give me a HOTSPOT option
    By notaguru in forum Page Plus Cellular
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-12-2014, 01:14 AM
  4. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-10-2012, 10:17 PM
  5. Are there temporary legal tethering or hotspot options?
    By gbynum in forum Verizon Wireless
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-24-2012, 11:09 PM

Bookmarks