[tabi] Re: buying a mobile wi-fi service

  • From: Lynn Evans <austin.evans60@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2012 13:56:21 -0400

Yes Chip your post was enough to to get me started. I have the iPad and a line 
phone. Iam not interested  in getting a cell phone at this time. It would be 
nice to be able to use my iPad on the city bus. I will continue to look into 
the subjec. 

thanks for revisiting the topic. 

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 23, 2012, at 9:38 PM, "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

> Hi Lynn,
> Well, I can’t remember if you have an I-phone; or any cell phone, but if you 
> do, some of them will act as a mobile hotspot (there’s a slight charge from 
> your cell carrier), but perhaps the first thing to look at is: can your cell 
> phone act as the mobile hotspot, and how much will they charge you?  Give 
> your provider a call.  Be sure to ask if you can take a voice call at the 
> same time you’re using it as a wifi hotspot; it may keep you from receiving 
> calls, I don’t know.
> If that does not work out, I’m afraid what I know isn’t all that good:  you 
> can buy a mobile wifi unit such as the Mi-Fi from Walmart.  It’s made by 
> Virgin Mobile, is 3g technology (uses CDMA if that’s meaningful to you, and 
> Virgin Mobile resells you time on the Sprint cell network).  You don’t have 
> to have a contract with Virgin mobile, you can pay as you go, but the minimum 
> payment is $20 per month, and your time doesn’t build up from one month to 
> the next.  Even if you don’t use it at all in the month you paid for, your 
> time is gone at the end of the month.  And for this $20 you get half a GB of 
> data.  (If you buy your Mi-Fi unit from Walmart, there’s a deal where Walmart 
> customers will always be given twice the amount of data you pay for, but you 
> still have to pay the $20 a month my memory says).
> There’s a competitor’s portable hotspot unit which uses 4g technology (GSM if 
> that’s meaningful).  It’s usually faster.  The unit itself costs more, but I 
> think the monthly charge, on the pay as you go plan, is still a minimum 
> around $20.  I think T-mobile makes it.
> Here it’s T-mobile (and maybe AT&T?) who offer the pay-as-you-go monthly data 
> plans, so you’ll have to call each one of them up to see what their minimum 
> charge is.  I think though it’s for a month, like VM, so that at the end of 
> the month, any unused data just disappears.  I seem to recall they will sell 
> you smaller amounts of time for a smaller minimum (something like $10 for a 
> week sticks in my mind). 
> These are great if you just want your I-pad to work the two weeks your on 
> vacation and away from home; but if you want it to work all the time 
> regardless of where you are, I have the idea from when I looked into this a 
> year ago, that you’ll end up paying at least $20 a month.
> Just in case you didn’t know, the units like the Mi-fi allow you to have up 
> to 5 devices connected at once, so if you have an I-pad and a laptop, or 
> someone else, you can share the hotspot; I’m not so sure if you use your cell 
> phone that more than one is allowed; if that’s important, you’ll want to ask. 
>  Sharing does impact the speed, so you won’t want to have two people trying 
> to download movies at the same time; but sharing the connection among many 
> devices is one of the big advantages over just turning on the cell data 
> service for the I-pad.
> Alternatively, there are websites which will help you find all the public 
> free wifi spots in your city, or near a specific location; maybe you’ll find 
> enough free hotspots so you won’t have to buy a plan?  I know that’s no help 
> if you want this to work on dial-a-ride.
> I hope this was of some help; let me know if I need to clarify anything.
> Good luck,
> Chip
> From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
> Of Lynn Evans
> Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 1:20 PM
> To: TABI Mailing list
> Subject: [tabi] buying a mobile wi-fi service
> I think we may have talked about this topic back in May.  I am looking into 
> purchasing a mobile WI-FI hotspot for my I Pad. Right now I just can’t manage 
> paying for a cellular account with AT&T at maybe $30 a month.
> My way of understanding this technology is I broke it down into 2 parts; the 
> hardware or base unit and the data plan. 
> I am hoping this will be cheaper than a cellular plan. I would own the mobile 
> unit. I would only use the data plan when the tap is on so to speak so I 
> wouldn’t have to pay anything when not in use.
> I am still trying to get a grasp on the terminology. If I buy the base unit 
> from a retail store it would be up to me to choose a data plan.  This is 
> provided I don’t purchase  the unit from Verizon or AT&T or another provider. 
> Buying the base unit may be the easy part. I found one on buy.com today for 
> $29 marked down from $79. 
> The hard part would be to choose the data plan.  It would be nice to  just go 
> to “Data plans are Us”.
> So to you who are knowledgeable about such things I invite you to put forth 
> your best arguments on this topic.  

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