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Old 11-29-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
DixieGal
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Thumbs up Review of 4G Mobile Intelligent Hotspot Device

The TV commercial is mesmerizing. This fellow is sitting in his cozy home while using his iPad. Then he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a credit card shaped object, pushes a button, and suddenly he is sitting in a beautiful field while surfing the web. I had to have it!

First of all, the best news: It is FREE right now! I called up Verizon and was transferred a few times until they got me to tech support out in California somewhere. The very savvy, patient, funny, and native English speaking customer service guy explained everything to me three or four times (you all know that I'm a low tech gal and have to be lead by hand through new stuff). He helped me crunch numbers, because I wanted to see how the cost would compare to my current AT&T phone and DSL. The costs are comparable, so I am having my landline and DSL disconnected. My monthly bill will be $89.95 for phone and internet.

The phone is a Kin smart phone. I will not review it, because, well, it's just a phone.

The device is called a "mobile intelligent hotspot." It is 4G and blazing fast, especially with downloads. PDF's are always a challenge, but the user's manual downloaded to my iPad in less than 10 seconds. As for random web surfing, Tim and I think it is maybe a touch faster than our DSL. We are delighted with the speed.

It accepts up to five devices. We have my iPad, his laptop, and the new phone, and the ancient desktop without wifi capability can access the internet by attaching the device to it via the included USB cable.

With me trying to push it hard, downloading Best Buy holiday sales papers, clicking and posting at MR all day long, surfing to lots of image-intensive sites, and online shopping, the fully charged battery lasted about 7 1/2 hours. During that time, it shows that I used 82 Mb of my monthly 5 Gb. Almost all of that was used while downloading the device software itself. The next 6 hours showed that I only used enough to bring the total to 86 Mb. By the way, I do not think there is a way to track usage on my iPad. I have to do that on Tim's computer.

The range is pretty much within the same room as the device. I lose my connection when I take my iPad into the next room. But the whole point of this little thing is to carry it around with you. Slip it into a pocket and go on about your business wherever you go.

As soon as I got it up and running (required my low tech self calling tech support and being told step-by-step how to do it, your results may vary), we took it for a ride. Tim's brother lives in Bibb county, a mile down a dirt road, in a small deep valley, and they have never been able to get cell phone coverage at their house. Also, because of the remote location, they can not get DSL internet. They have the slower satellite internet which is expensive and not really enough to serve several computers and smart phones, etc. The hotspot device kept a connection much better than a cell phone ever did, but it finally lost it halfway down his driveway. This was very disappointing for him, because the hotspot could have made his life a lot simpler.

My sister lives in a rural area of Shelby county. Not as rural as Tim's brother, but still not able to get DSL and they rely on satellite internet. Her place is on a little hill, and the hotspot device worked perfectly for them. Well, let me qualify that by saying my iPad worked perfectly at her house. Her new computer is a wretched machine and never could connect. She should have listened to me and gotten a computer like Tim's. Little sisters never listen.

The Verizon plan is either 3, 5, or 9 Gb, and it is $10 per Gb. I opted for the 5 Gb plan for $50, with the assurance that the amount can be changed without messing with my 2 year contract. Each Gb costs $10, and if I go over my 5 Gb, it adds a whole extra Gb for an extra $10. So it is expensive to go over at 5.1 Gb, but just fine if you use 5.99 Gb, because you will be paying for what you used. My thrifty Scottish heritage makes me think like that, so I hope it made sense. If it turns out that I use less than 3 Gb per month, I can change that standard $50 to 3 Gb for $30, or trade up to the 9 Gb for $90.

So here is the roundup, both positive and negative:

+ Affordable
+ Blazing fast 4G
+ Easy to use
+ Works in locations that do not have standard DSL availability
+ Works with 5 devices, so the whole household is covered

- Does not work in locations that do not have cell phone coverage
- Service is not unlimited, so there is a limit to useage before going over your contract amount and amassing overage charges
- Short range of distance from device
- I can not figure out how to track useage on my iPad and must do it on Tim's computer

Overall, it is exactly what I wanted it for. I can surf the web while riding down the interstate, and will not have to always be finding wifi connections wherever I go. I would have loved to have it while we were traveling around Europe for 45 days back in Sept and Oct.

I hope this review of the 4G Mobile Intelligent Hotspot from Verizon Wireless has been helpful.

Last edited by DixieGal; 11-29-2010 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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The device is FREE during the holiday sale
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
jaxx6166
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You should be able to check it on the iPad too. I don't about data use, but you can check your signal strength and all that other stuff by going to the default IP address of your card. Just open up safari and in the address bar just type the address.

It's usually 192.168.1.1, and the login and password are usually set at default with "admin" you should change those asap
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
ApK
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A mobile hotspot is a wish-list item of mine, but it's impractical for me with current data rates. It sounds like it's a great fit for you where it can actually be your primary home Internet service, though! I'm a little jealous.
I think many of us are probably one generation away (fully developed 4G? Or maybe 5G?) from being able to have practical affordable, wireless for our primary broadband needs. Maybe then I'll finally be able to afford to surf during car trips! In the meantime, thank goodness for cheap unlimited DSL and Kindle Free 3G! :-)

One thing though....where do you see a 4G mobile hotspot from Verizon? I can only find 3G devices on Verizon's site. Do you have a link or a model number?

http://support.vzw.com/clc/faqs/Equi...l?grp=1&faq=10

EDIT: I just called Verizon Wireless and was told they have no 4G devices of any kind available yet.
Are you sure you got what you think you got? The 3G Mobile Hotspot is currently free.
http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...eCategoryId=13

Last edited by ApK; 11-30-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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