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Pay As You Go Wifi Hotspots

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It's my understanding that there are mobile routers out there that you can use to connect your laptop to the internet when you're in a place without other wifi access.  Verizon has a hotspot but it requires signing up with Verizon, has a monthly fee, and is continuous.  What I'd like is a device that I can pay ahead for so many GB of access that doesn't have an expiration date (or a long one).  Kind of like TracFone where I buy so many minutes to use within a year.

Does anyone have actual experience with such a device?  Thanks.

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I'm on the road right now with the Walmart Straight Talk pay as you go ATT hot spot (router) and am quite happy with it as a backup to my Verizon hot spot. It provides Wi-Fi to connect with your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever you would need.

I get 5 gigs of data for $50 and it's good for 60 days. I keep a spare 5 gig $50 scratch off card with me all the time and have it ready to add more data when needed. My 60 days ran out on the 9th and I haven't added new data yet since where I'm  traveling and camping right now I feel it isn't necessary but when I head on down the road I'll probably fire it up again since I  never really know where Verizon might not cover and AT&T would have coverage there. 

It has saved me a few times on this trip when there was no Verizon and I'm quite happy with the cost and everything. I would recommend it. 

I don't know if this Straight Talk hotspot is available in anything other than ATT but for traveling around the country I would not even think of anything but ATT or of course Verizon. All the other carriers have huge gaping  holes outside of the major cities and freeways. Also if your data requirements are minimal I don't think you have to get a 5 gig card.  They have lesser available.

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In some areas Comcast/Xfinity has pay as you go public wifi, but the price is for one device only. You may get around that with a public wifi bridge/repeater. Netgear makes one that sells for about 70 bucks on Amazon.  You sign on to Xfinity with the router, then it repeats it to as many devices as you want.

Now that Verizon is offering unlimited data per line, I purchased that for one phone which I am using as a hotspot for all my other devices including my wife's smart phone. This should work until we are parked for the summer and then I will turn my Comcast cable internet service back on and use my own modem. 

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That "unlimited" Verizon plan limits you to 10GB per line when used as a hotspot and 22GB for total usage of high speed data so it's not even close to unlimited.

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BillA.   Is that about as close to a free lunch ?  As your ever going to get ? :rolleyes:

I have a 5G Verizon plug in and also use campground wifi when it's available, but only on the Lap Top!  Works for me, may not be the thing for everyone, but I'm not attached to a computer or iPhone 24/7/365 !

Carl

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Verizon has just introduced a truly UNLIMITED plan, it is designated with the the letter U. I changed over last week, was paying $80.00 for 12 gig, the U cost $65.00 and covers 10 devices.

Here is copied and pasted from my data usage page.

My plan: THE NEW VERIZON PLAN UNLIMITED

View previous usage

View international usage

Stream all you want, you've got unlimited data

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The U plan is the plan I describe above.  It is NOT unlimited 4G data.  After 22GB or 10GB while tethering or using a hot spot the device is taken off the 4G connection but data will continue to be flow at whatever speed that might be.  There is no guarantee that it would even maintain 3G service.  The cost is $45/line IF you buy 4 lines with unlimited voice and messaging.  For existing users you pay the $20/line/phone plus the data plan $110/month for the "unlimited" plan.  I lose my current 15% discount on my existing plan so if you consider that you are getting 22GB for each phone to use (not 44GB that 2 phones can share) and you are limited to 10GB for a hotspot for $110/month a good deal then go for it.  I will stick with my truly unlimited Sprint hotspot for $45/month.

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Stream all you want, you've got unlimited data

Brand Icon

My data usage is no longer tracked by Verizon, so I am pretty happy with that. 

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12 hours ago, -Gramps- said:

Stream all you want, you've got unlimited data

Brand Icon

My data usage is no longer tracked by Verizon, so I am pretty happy with that. 

I hope you don't think that what you are seeing means that Verizon is not tracking your data.  It ABSOLUTELY is tracked and your "unlimited" high speed (4G) data IS LIMITED to 22GB for data you use on your phone and limited to 10G if you use your phone to tether or as a hotspot.  They don't even say that you will be reduced to a specific speed but rather other traffic will be prioritized over yours so your speeds could be slow as molasses.  That still counts as unlimited data, it's just no terribly useful data.

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I used Sprint hotspot for 2 years, before 4G, 3G back then, and it was so slow and coverage was so bad back then is why I went to Verizon 3G. Sprint was about 700 to 900 K with spotty service, Verizon 3G was 1.7 to 1.9 M at the same time,and it was almost the same price then. I currently am enjoying on 4G, 17 to 20M up and down on Verizon myfy, Also the newest U plan "says", no video slowdown. I put "says" in quotes because it does NOT say GUARANTEE.

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There are many limitations including no video slowdown "on your phone".  Can't cast it, can't use it in tether or hotspot and no stated speed or resolution promises.

Time will tell.  I am looking forward to hearing from those who have had this service for a few months.

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I suspect that I have used a lot more than 10g in the last two weeks with my phone as a hot spot. I manage two websites with loads of large pictures and videos. I stream like crazy, both Amazon Prime and Netflix with no problem, in HD by the way, using a smart Blue Ray Player logged on on to my hotspot.  I have downloaded over thirty updates to my phone and laptops that I have been putting off for months. Data has been unlimited for me so far, but then maybe I am special.:rolleyes:

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"I suspect".  Now there's a testimonial!  Sorry but until we get some reasonable data about this new plan the reality is that Verizon themselves say that a phone used as a hotspot (not a MiFi device) will be throttled after 10gb of usage.  Maybe you end up at 3G speeds forever and maybe those speeds are good enough to do what you do.  But to say that Verizon no longer tracks your usage is simply incorrect.

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Bill, they may track it for their own use, but I had already used over 11 gig when I changed from my 12 gig plan. I changed over on the 19th of this month, and the monthly renewal date is the 14th on my bill. I requested changeover retroactive to the beginning of this current month, the data usage was reset to 0, and has remained there since, only three days so far, IT is what I do for a living and this has been a very busy month. 

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It is still tracked and it is still limited.  Those are not my words, those are the exact words used by Verizon.  It's the speed that is limited and not the total data but once you exceed certain limits your speeds may be reduced.  Maybe that effects you and maybe it doesn't but it is the reality of the Verizon plan.

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Based on the amount of pictures I have uploaded and estimating the number of hours streaming video from Amazon, I am pushing somewhere around 30gig and still on my hotspot which is using 4G. When I check my data usage with My Verizon ap, it no longer tells me how much I have used, it just says you have unlimited stream all you want. Cycle starts over in 2 days. By the way, I owned my own IT/Communications company for 25 years before I sold it and retired so I can pretty much figure out what is going on here. 

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Update...I have used over 49.9 gig for one phone/hotspot for this billing cycle I changed to Unlimited retroactively. I am not being throttled as far as speed is concerned and still using my phone as a 4g hotspot. The second phone has used just under 0.70 gig. I also ran an internet/network bandwidth speed test. I am presently located in Vero Beach Florida, and I pinged a server in Miami,

 

29.2

Mbps download

13.7

Mbps upload

Latency: 77 ms
Server: Miami, FL

Your Internet speed is fast

Your Internet connection should be able to handle multiple devices streaming HD videos at the same time.

 

Not quite the speed of Cox, or Comcast cable modem, but fast enough to do what I what to do on a single device at a time. 

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5 hours ago, CarlAda said:

I'll be curious to see the limits after a couple of months and unlimited users increases.

Yes, me too. 

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Or even the very first month after you are fully vetted into the new plan.  I wish you the best because I would love to have such a plan!

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12 hours ago, BillAdams said:

Or even the very first month after you are fully vetted into the new plan.  I wish you the best because I would love to have such a plan!

We shall see, but come late April or First of May I will  have Comcast wired internet again until November as my main source..will cut Verizon back to a couple of gig. 

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Here is my story and I'm sticking to it!:wub: I had already used 11 gig of my 12 that I was paying $80.00 per month for, and that was in 5 days. The bill was reduced to $65.00 per month and I am now into my 9th day in the billing cycle, my usage is still showing 0 with a note that says stream all you want your unlimited. I feel that I am still ahead of the game because I am saving $15.00 and the overage charge on the old plan is $10.00 gig. At work I have a 20 meg fiber line and a 90 meg cable internet service, I used to use these only for downloading and sending large files, and if the slowdown happens, I will go back to doing that. For right now though I am enjoying the fact that I can stream at home, and going to run test for several months. If this works out like I am hoping it will, I will change my DirecTV to basic service and save another $80.00 per month, and using internet tv for movies, I can watch the ones that I want and not have to pay for the ones that I don't. We live just far enough away from town that the phone company nor the cable company will provide service is why I use the Verizon service anyway. So I can actually say that I will be winning whatever happens.:rolleyes: Oh by the way, the Verizon tower is 120 yards away on top of the same hill that I live on top of,

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