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If you're using 200 GB a month, it's going to be really tough to find a plan to provide that on an unlimited basis. You might find one, but after a certain point the speeds get throttled, from what I've seen.

Have you checked to see if the shows you're watching on streaming can be downloaded while you have wifi and then played back later?

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6 minutes ago, richard5933 said:

If you're using 200 GB a month, it's going to be really tough to find a plan to provide that on an unlimited basis. You might find one, but after a certain point the speeds get throttled, from what I've seen.

I respectfully disagree.  I have an unlimited AT&T SIM from OTR Mobile and a grandfathered, prepaid unlimited Verizon SIM.  Sure the Verizon plan is no longer available for new customers, but I'd use Visible by Verizon as its replacement.   I use my router in Load Balance mode so that I'm essentially insulated from network management slowdowns.  Neither of these plans has a hard data cap at which they are throttled.   

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16 minutes ago, docj said:

I respectfully disagree.  I have an unlimited AT&T SIM from OTR Mobile and a grandfathered, prepaid unlimited Verizon SIM.  Sure the Verizon plan is no longer available for new customers, but I'd use Visible by Verizon as its replacement.   I use my router in Load Balance mode so that I'm essentially insulated from network management slowdowns.  Neither of these plans has a hard data cap at which they are throttled.   

I wasn't even thinking about grandfathered plans since no one can go sign up for one today. Certainly there are some still out there with those, but it's not a fair comparison if someone is looking to sign up for something now.

Even Visible by Verizon has its limitations. While they don't have a hard cap, they state " Heads up: when the network gets congested your data could slow down for a bit (it’s normal)". I've experienced that with plans in the past, and it's no fun. Typically it happens when a tower gets congested, such as if you're at a busy campground with lots of people trying to access the one nearby tower. Seems that Visible is also limited to streaming at 480p - good enough for a smartphone but typically not what people expect when being played on a larger TV. It's certainly workable, but it's not HD.

Question - Could you please explain what you mean by "load balance mode" on your router?

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2 hours ago, richard5933 said:

Question - Could you please explain what you mean by "load balance mode" on your router?

There are a number of "higher end" routers that can perform a function known as load balancing.  My WiFiRanger is one of those, although some routers by Pepwave and Cradlepoint, I think, have this same feature.

With Load Balancing, two or more internet connections are made simultaneously and the data usage is spread over them. In practice this means that the router can switch back and forth between the connections so that the net effect is more bandwidth.  Think of it as two "pipes" each carrying part of the data load; the total capacity is increased.  It's not "connection bonding" where the speed of the overall connection is increased, but it's then next best thing.

Furthermore, on my Ranger, I can use Load Balancing while, at the same time, imposing "slowest usable speed" restrictions on the connections so that the router only uses a connection if its speed is greater than the set point'  For example, tonight i was balancing a cellular hotspot which was obviously being network managed so its speed kept jumping all over the place.  I used it in conjunction with a park WiFi which was very good most of the time.  By imposing slow speed limits on the cellular connection I prevented the router from using it when its speed had slowed below the level needed for video.  As a result I was able to watch a steady video stream with resolution that appeared to vary between 720p and 1080p.

Joel (AKA docj)

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Does that router (or ones like it) require a SIM card of their own or can they be used with your phone's hotspot providing the data link?

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3 hours ago, richard5933 said:

Does that router (or ones like it) require a SIM card of their own or can they be used with your phone's hotspot providing the data link?

I'll answer that question relative to WiFiRanger routers, since that's what I own and know best.  My assumption is that the other brands of routers work roughly in the same manner.

I'm using my router to Load Balance my Verizon and AT&T hotspots.  The router doesn't have a SIM of its own, nor does it have a slot for one.  In this case one hotspot is tethered via USB and the other is connected by Ethernet.   I could also have connected the hotspot to the router using WIFi.

All that having been said, a number of the new WiFiRanger Converge family of routers, both rooftop and indoor, have SIM slots and built-in cellular modems.  Those routers can be operated with or without those SIM slots being used.  

I hope this answers your question.

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