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Thread: VZW Prepaid Hotspot Question

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    VZW Prepaid Hotspot Question

    I have a rural house. The only internet access is via cell provider. I have tried going cheap with a couple of the prepaid hotspots from NetZero and StraightTalk that run on VZW, but since they have such a low network priority the performance is terrible. I have borrowed a postpaid VZW hotspot from a friend, and seems to perform ok.

    I’m thinking about trying a VZW Prepaid hotspot in hopes it would perform better and with a higher priority. Does anyone know how the VZW prepaid hotspot should perform compared to a VZW postpaid hotspot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHE757 View Post
    I have a rural house. The only internet access is via cell provider. I have tried going cheap with a couple of the prepaid hotspots from NetZero and StraightTalk that run on VZW, but since they have such a low network priority the performance is terrible. I have borrowed a postpaid VZW hotspot from a friend, and seems to perform ok.

    I’m thinking about trying a VZW Prepaid hotspot in hopes it would perform better and with a higher priority. Does anyone know how the VZW prepaid hotspot should perform compared to a VZW postpaid hotspot?
    I have seen it reported that Verizon only has two priorities - postpaid and everything else.

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    I might be interested in this answer as well. But put another way, is there a hierarchy to deprioritization on Verizon towers?

    I know that Visible is pretty heavily deprioritized on congested towers. But are there different levels of deprioritization?

    I would suspect the priority chain to look something like:

    TOP
    - Post-paid Verizon that are currently under 22GB (or whatever the limit is)
    - Post-paid Verizon that are currently over 22GB
    - Pre-paid Verizon that are currently under 22GB
    - Pre-paid Verizon that are currently over 22GB
    - Visible users at any data level
    - Various other MVNO users (StraightTalk, Net10, Total Wireless, etc) at any data level
    Bottom

    Basically meaning that Pre-paid Verizon are always going to have a higher priority than Visible or other MVNO users.

    Or is it just a single level of deprioritization?

    TOP
    - Post-paid Verizon under the 22GB limit
    - Everybody else
    BOTTOM

    Which would mean that Pre-paid Verizon is no better than Visible which is no better than StraightTalk or any other MVNO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    I have seen it reported that Verizon only has two priorities - postpaid and everything else.
    And that would answer my question. Your post came in as I was writing mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHE757 View Post
    I have a rural house. The only internet access is via cell provider. I have tried going cheap with a couple of the prepaid hotspots from NetZero and StraightTalk that run on VZW, but since they have such a low network priority the performance is terrible. I have borrowed a postpaid VZW hotspot from a friend, and seems to perform ok.

    IÂ’m thinking about trying a VZW Prepaid hotspot in hopes it would perform better and with a higher priority. Does anyone know how the VZW prepaid hotspot should perform compared to a VZW postpaid hotspot?
    I'm rural also. Wireless is my only internet (unless I'd opt for satellite). My main hotspot is on Verizon pre-paid so I can't compare to post paid like you ask. But the prepaid has been working good for me so far (only 5 months into it.)
    I also have a ST hotspot which isn't what I call going cheap considering the cost per gb, so it's now only a back up. My "current" ST hotspot performs good also. Mostly web surfing, email, banking. I don't steam movies except an occasional how too on youtube but no buffering. So any de-priority, if it exists, isn't noticed for the things I do.
    I say "current" ST hotspot because I had an older one that wasn't great. Found it didn't have all the Verizon bands. My current one is a ZTE Z291DL; I don't recall the model of the old ZTE. They have a newer Moxee one now that has good reviews. What model do you have ?
    But that being said, for the cost of data, you're better off going straight with Verizon even on prepaid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    And that would answer my question. Your post came in as I was writing mine.
    I found where I saw that. If you want to believe some guy posting on the Internet at Reddit ...?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Visible/com...me_unbearable/
    There are other priorities reported that only apply to 911, govt. and first responder plans. Nothing that helps us there.

    Visible is special in the way that their data is routed differently than standard plans. Everything on Visible gets routed to a couple of gateways to the IMS core. That introduces delay and more possible congestion through those gateways.

    I really don't have much to compare with Visible. I used the MVNO Tracfone for years, but used very little data and very infrequently. There were a couple of times I was near the university at ~8pm and data was crawling slower than I had ever seen. This area has good signal just a few blocks from the Vz central office with cell antennas on the roof. A bit later I drove to the CO, parked and checked. It was still slow.

    I assume that it was congested with all of the university students studying. Yeah right. More likely they were streaming video or porn. It was a weeknight so they were not out partying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    Which would mean that Pre-paid Verizon is no better than Visible which is no better than StraightTalk or any other MVNO.
    Strictly based on the majority of comments I've read on HOFO about Visible, is when it's working it may be the same. Doesn't have the signal consistency as any of the others. Does that mean it's at the bottom alone.

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    The experience I've had with Visible in rural and not necessarily rural areas is kind of the opposite.

    In extremely rural areas - where there's only one Verizon tower - I suspect that everybody is using that tower and it is severely congested. Keep in mind, there is no other Internet options (besides cellular that is) in this area. So I suspect that a lot of people are using post-paid Verizon or maybe pre-paid Verizon (which if there's only a single level of prioritization, then this wouldn't seem to matter) on this tower and as a result Visible speeds slow to a crawl.

    Trouble is... I don't know exactly what everyone else is using. The area is not exactly a technobabble haven. I doubt too many people know what Visible is or what an MVNO is. They're probably more content to pay a $300/mo phone bill to Verizon for Internet without being aware of any other options.

    When I try Visible in various other parts of the area (still rural ... but areas where I suspect a lot of people have cable for home Internet or Fiber - believe or not there is a rural telephone company around here that runs fiber to parts of the area) the Visible speeds are fine. So I suspect it's just the one tower - ironically enough where I actually need it - that is congested and dragging down Visible speeds.

    I really don't want to get into a contract with any cellular provider - because I really don't know how long I'll need Internet at this location. And I really don't want to pay the higher prices for post-paid Verizon just for the chance that it'll give me a higher priority on a congested tower. If I knew pre-paid Verizon would give a higher priority than Visible, I might consider giving that a shot. But I'm also getting a little leery of depending on Verizon on that tower because all evidence points to that tower being heavily congested.

    There should be an AT&T tower close to this location, so I may have to try some sort of AT&T solution.

    Supposedly there's a T-Mobile tower close the location as well. If that's true and T-Mobile will work at the location, I would tend to believe that that tower will be less congested. But I'm not going to hold my breathe on it. I've ordered some stuff to test out T-Mobile at that location... the price for furthering my education on the different options in the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHE757 View Post
    I have a rural house. The only internet access is via cell provider. I have tried going cheap with a couple of the prepaid hotspots from NetZero and StraightTalk that run on VZW, but since they have such a low network priority the performance is terrible. I have borrowed a postpaid VZW hotspot from a friend, and seems to perform ok.

    I’m thinking about trying a VZW Prepaid hotspot in hopes it would perform better and with a higher priority. Does anyone know how the VZW prepaid hotspot should perform compared to a VZW postpaid hotspot?
    enter your zipcode to see what internet providers are available in your area - https://www.highspeedinternet.com/providers/rural

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    enter your zipcode to see what internet providers are available in your area - https://www.highspeedinternet.com/providers/rural
    Hmmm...I don't know how it is for other parts of the country, but the info at that website is highly inaccurate for my zip code.

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    Yea, the zip code checkers are mostly useless. Sure... someone in that zip code can get service from one of those providers.

    Chances are... if you're reading this thread, then any cable/fiber/dsl is not an option for you.

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    You’re right. Cheap and prepaid data don’t really go together . The Net10 hotspot that I have (that is pretty-much useless) is the ZTE Z291DL like yours.

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