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Author Topic: 3G in a new hot spot  (Read 5054 times)

COMer

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3G in a new hot spot
« on: November 15, 2013, 10:29:52 AM »
Wal*Mart has just introduced their Straight Talk hot spots and they are favorably priced ($79) with very attractive data plans.  They are $15 for 1G and $25 for 2G.  This is much less than the Verizon advertised prices of 5G for $50 per month on the pay as you go plan.  But is 3G going to satisfy us?  There is no LTE coverage near our home but when we travel, there could be.  I assume we will use our monthly allotment for mostly e-mail, weather reports and news.  Do people who have 3G feel that their speed is so low that it would be an issue?  We would only plan to stream videos where we had adequate Wi-Fi to do that.

Thanks.
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

SeilerBird

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 10:55:10 AM »
You should check out Tmobile's hot spot. It is favorably priced. 3G just would not cut it for me.
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Molaker

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 10:59:47 AM »
I've been running on 3G for years, on the road and even at home because that's all that's been available and speed has never been an issue.  I've since moved and now have cable Internet service at home, but still use 3G on the road.  The only problems we've experienced is connectivity on occasion and video streaming can be jerky.  Of course, I could not stream Netflix, etc.  But, if all you plan on doing is email and surfing, 3G should not be a problem.  1 0r 2 Gigabytes might be a problem, however.  It's pretty easy to use that much.  What happens if you go over your plan amount?
 
Edit: Clay L reminded me.  Be sure to set your computers to NOT update automatically - including Acrobat and your anti-virus.  Then at least once a month (more often when feasible) find a decent WiFi and update.  This will save a lot of precious data allowance.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 11:08:27 AM by Molaker »
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Clay L

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 11:02:39 AM »
Are you talking about 3G as in speed or as in Gigabytes?

Since my wife and I got new Win8 laptops a few months ago we are using a lot more data than we used too - up to 11 GB per month.

We have unlimited 3G data and have not yet upgraded to 4G yet. 3G is fast enough for us for most of what we do. Some of the programs and Win8 updates are huge nowadays and it would be nice to be able to download them faster.

I f I can figure out why we are using so much data even with no no updates involved I will switch to 4G and give up my unlimited data allowance.
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inscop

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 11:05:40 AM »
Costco (if you are a member) almost always has some sort of good deal.  We got the Verizon Hot Spot.  It cost $50 bucks, but it came with a $50 mail in rebate.  5G of data per month for $50, but that may have gone up $5.  You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.  This is the one we got: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail&selectedPhoneId=6071
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Ned

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 11:21:02 AM »
Quote
They are $15 for 1G and $25 for 2G.  This is much less than the Verizon advertised prices of 5G for $50 per month on the pay as you go plan

How is $25 for 2G ($12.50/GB) cheaper than 5G for $50 ($10/GB)?  And for 3G vs. 4G LTE from Verizon.
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Phil Hyde

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 11:22:34 AM »
Wal*Mart has just introduced their Straight Talk hot spots and they are favorably priced ($79) with very attractive data plans.  They are $15 for 1G and $25 for 2G.  This is much less than the Verizon advertised prices of 5G for $50 per month on the pay as you go plan.  But is 3G going to satisfy us?  There is no LTE coverage near our home but when we travel, there could be.  I assume we will use our monthly allotment for mostly e-mail, weather reports and news.  Do people who have 3G feel that their speed is so low that it would be an issue?  We would only plan to stream videos where we had adequate Wi-Fi to do that.

Thanks.

The Walmart offering is based on Sprint's 3G network.  "3G" speeds depend a lot on the carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc).  In my experience, 3G on AT&T is usually faster than Verizon.  But what Verizon lacks in all-out speed, they make up for in density of coverage.  My personal experience suggests that Verizon is the best choice for someone moving around a lot (RV'ers).

I have had Sprint modems for work before, and they really seem highly location dependent.  In other words, if you are in a strong coverage area for Sprint, you will have a good experience.  In my experience and that of family members, those good coverage areas can be hit or miss.

To sum up my rambling, I think you will be happy with Sprint 3G for email, weather reports, and news.  Anything beyond that, and I think you would find it lacking.

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Jeff

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 11:28:59 AM »
If you travel west of the Mississippi off of the interstates you will find Sprint doesn't have much data coverage. Here is a good comparative map.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 11:31:29 AM by Jeff »

COMer

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 01:41:47 PM »
"How is $25 for 2G ($12.50/GB) cheaper than 5G for $50 ($10/GB)?  And for 3G vs. 4G LTE from Verizon."

I guess this is part of the new math we hear about.  What I should have said is that $15 is cheaper than $50, and I have since learned that Verizon is $60 per month now.  But it isn't cheaper per G.  I just don't expect to use more than 1G or 2G and wanted a cheaper plan than the Verizon if I don't need the extra data.  From others experiences, it sounds like maybe I am underestimating my possible useage and should look at other, larger plans.  Just hoped I would not need to go from nothing to $60 per month.
John & Darla
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ArdraF

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 01:52:56 PM »
Do you ever want to look up anything on Google (or whatever)?  If so, you might find it agonizingly slow if you're used to having faster speeds at home.  You'll sometimes find circuits overloaded (such as in popular tourist areas where cell towers are limited) and any downloads, including email, can be really slow.  The faster you can get it done the better.  Also I agree that Verizon has better coverage around the country.  For a couple of years Jerry had Verizon and I still had AT&T.  Jerry definitely had better signals so now we both have Verizon.  Of course, you have to realize that there are places where coverage is zero regardless of the provider because there simply are no cell towers in the vicinity.  The west has a lot of big wide open spaces with little or no population so coverage is minimal.

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COMer

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 02:40:12 PM »
This is the sort of real-life reporting that I hoped for.  The salesman assures me that there isn't really any difference between 3G and LTE and apparently, he is working on his presentation so he can get a job selling used RV's to unsuspecting consumers.  It seems pretty clear that the price difference is worth it.  I don't expect to use as much data time as most, but I am used to a much faster connection and don't want something that is painful.  I hoped to find something for less than $60 per month but it looks like it might come at a cost.

John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

docj

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 03:09:14 PM »
FWIW I just ran Speedtest.net on my Verizon 4G connection in south TX: 8.2Mbps download/5.2 Mbps upload.  That's many times faster than you can possibly get on 3G.  Using a Wilson Sleek we get 4G virtually throughout the US now.  Having the Sleek keeps the phone from switching back and forth between 4G and 3G in areas where the coverage isn't as strong as it should be.
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Ned

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 03:19:55 PM »
Just now here in Spring Branch, 15 miles from the nearest civilization, I just bot 18.75Mpbs down and 10.75Mbps up using the Speedtest app on my Droid.  In San Antonio, I've seen over 20Mbps down at times.  No 3G system can come close to that kind of performance.

I've mentioned it before, but I think the best deal right now for a data only plan is the Millenicom 20GB/month for $70 using the Verizon LTE network.
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docj

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 03:23:50 PM »
My Speedtest was on the computer using the Droid's hotspot; I've always found the test numbers on the Droid itself to be far higher than those through the hotspot.  I think Verizon does something to limit the hotspot performance but 8Mbps is fine for streaming so I don't really care.
Sandie & Joel

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 09:08:07 PM »
Everybody is telling you that 4G is faster than 3G, but you already knew that. We all managed well enough on 3G in the days before 4G (LTE). I've been using a 3G Verizon hotspot for years and I'm a much heavier internet user (5-8 GB/month) than what you describe.

That said, I will probably upgrade to a 4G model sometime before next summers travel season.
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COMer

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 10:06:24 PM »
I see that the Millenicom has an unlimited plan for $10 more than the 20G one. 

I started out just looking for a way to check e-mail and get the news without having to stop at McDonalds every day.  I guess it isn't that simple.
John & Darla
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NY_Dutch

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 10:16:22 PM »
Millenicom's unlimited plan uses the coverage challenged Sprint network, while the 20GB plan uses Verizon. If Sprint works in the places you need it, then it can be a better deal. But if not...
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Wigpro

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 11:20:02 PM »
I have the Verizon Hotspot and love it....it is a 3G/4G model so I get what is available and generally it is 4G....when it shows only 3G is is quite a bit slower, works for email, but uploading pictures or web surfing is too frustrating for me!

I love the service though, I travel all over the Southwest to some very remote regions and it always seems to be able to connect. My ATT Iphone was so bad I got a small Verizon flip phone and had it forwarded to that...I could never connect with ATT outside of big cities and sometimes even had problems there.

Pick something that uses the Verizon network...or you may be frustrated.

I have the 5GB plan and since I work on the internet I sometimes have to up it to the 10GB for a month.

I am happy with it though!

Good Luck,

Jim
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mistere

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2013, 06:51:03 AM »
I use Virgin Mobile.  Hot spot cost $59, purchased at Best Buy,  Original plan was unlimited 4g, where available, but was quickly reduced to 10 gig, then another 2 gig of 3g. That plan costs $35 per month.  I use it at home and on the road.  You'd  have to check their coverage map for availability of 4g/3g service.  I'm satisfied with the service.
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COMer

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Re: 3G in a new hot spot
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2013, 08:05:01 AM »
I appreciate so many good replies.  I have gotten a pretty clear picture of what I will need to do to come up with a plan that works for what I want to use it for and works where I expect to be.

I didn't pick up on the difference between the 20G and unlimited plans with Millenicom.  We currently have my wife's phone on Sprint and it has been a problem in many areas.
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission