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Is there such a thing as a phone that acts as a hotspot?


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#1 5R TUGR

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:16 AM

Well, this might be a dumb question, but I don't seem to be able to find a definitive answer elsewhere?

We dropped our satellite TV and Internet because we had to quit traveling for a while. Now we're hoping to be able to head south this fall and hope to be doing a lot of boondocking. With that in mind, I've been looking into these 'hotspot' gizmos, but the thought occurred that there might be a way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Is there a phone, more or less a plain one (if there is such a thing), that can be used as a 'hotspot'? So that we can have a telephone but also be able to access the internet on our two laptops using the phone as a hotspot? Or is that too much to hope for.

Responses and suggestions are welcome....thanks in advance.
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#2 Rif

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:25 AM

Many smart phones include hotspot capability. Finding such a capability in a "plain" phone is probably out of the question. I have a Droid Bionic with the hotspot feature turned on. It provides 3G and 4G speeds with no problems. I'm on the Verizon network.

Edited by Rif, 20 May 2012 - 11:26 AM.

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#3 Bill Adams

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:55 AM

You will need a Smart Phone and you will need a data plan to go along with it. Currently the Verizon data plan costs $30 for 4GB/month of data. If you sign up for the Hotspot option you will pay the full $50/month for 5G of data but you can use a program like FoxFi which works outside the Verizon phone and allows you to connect multiple devices to your phone at no additional charge as long as you do not exceed the 4GB monthly limit.
You might also want to search out information on Millenicom on this forum if you think you would be using more data than that or if you wanted to be on the internet and able to talk on the phone at the same time. Remember also that if the person with the phone leaves, the person left behind has no internet.

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#4 Dennis M

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 04:55 PM

Nancy has a Verizon Droid clone. It can be used as a hotspot. Verizon lets us turn it on and off at will, costs $20 per month, we turn it on when we are on the road.

Her phone also has internet access without having the hotspot activated, but with the hotspot we can use our lap tops. Works pretty well, but slow at times.
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#5 Big Greg

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:27 PM

Verizon is the most popular carrier but they limit data use. Sprint has unlimited data but doesn't have quite the coverage in the US, almost. Greg

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#6 D&J

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:56 AM

We looked at a lot of different ways to go, we didn't want a smart phone so we went with a 4G Mi-Fi from Verizon. We compared it against a smart phone and after adding all the data plans and turning on the hotspot it was the same price and your phone was tied up when you where using it with the laptop. When we are at our homebase like we are now we don't have a land line so we will be using it year round. Before we used Wi-Fi at campgrounds but they are just to unreliable and when at home we had a router off our friends/neighbors DSL but that was also becoming a pain because of the poor service from the phone company. It depends on how much time you spend at home but I would look at dumping your land line and going totally cell phone for us it's a lot cheaper because we don't spend that much time here anyway and when we are here we don't spend that much time in the house so we use the cell anyway, you can also port your land line number to your cell phone so no one we know the difference.

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#7 JoeZ

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:04 AM

Verizon is the most popular carrier but they limit data use. Sprint has unlimited data but doesn't have quite the coverage in the US, almost. Greg


Sprint does, indeed, offer unlimited data with their phones. When used as hot spots, however, there is a 5G limit. This change was made about 3 or 4 months ago.
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#8 Bill Joyce

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

Sprint does, indeed, offer unlimited data with their phones. When used as hot spots, however, there is a 5G limit. This change was made about 3 or 4 months ago.


Too late, they changed it again - http://news.cnet.com...kills-5gb-plan/ :
"As of May 18, Sprint launched two hotspot add-ons, the first costs $19.99 per month for 2GB of combined 3G/4G on-network data and the second is $49.99 per month for 6GB of combined data. The 5GB $29.99 is now defunct, but users who have this plan can keep it until they cancel their service."
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#9 chiefneon

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:32 AM

Howdy!

I pay $29.99 a month for hot spot on my Sprint phone with unlimited data. I've been considering turning it off and turning back on when need. I'm guessing If I did that now I would be forced into one of the new Sprint data hot spot plans. If so I will just leave it alone for now and keep the hot spot with unlimited data.

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#10 5R TUGR

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

Thanks all, for those answers.. but now here's another.... what the heck is Mifi??
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#11 docj

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Thanks all, for those answers.. but now here's another.... what the heck is Mifi??


A MiFi is a "stand-alone" wifi hot spot that doesn't need a phone or an external router. Essentially, you can think of it as a phone acting like a hot-spot but without the ability to use it as a phone! The MiFi's have been popular because they are simple to configure and many people do not own smartphones that they can use as hotspots.

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#12 JoeZ

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:41 AM

Howdy!

I pay $29.99 a month for hot spot on my Sprint phone with unlimited data. I've been considering turning it off and turning back on when need. I'm guessing If I did that now I would be forced into one of the new Sprint data hot spot plans. If so I will just leave it alone for now and keep the hot spot with unlimited data.

"Happy Trails"
chiefneon


This is indeed true, and no matter how high you are escalated within the service or the customer retention reps, they have no leeway to change the rule to grandfather you back. If you turn it off and then want to turn it back on you fall into the same tiered system as a brand new user. We opted for a new phone with hot spot instead of a replacement air card (for one that died) to take advantage of unlimited data. We were soon limited to 5G but, hey, the service could be turned on and off for $29.95. Now we get 2G for that price - we would have been much better off with an aircard from Millecon.
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#13 techiej

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:05 AM

The options are to 1) use a phone as a hot spot; 2) use a cell modem that plugs into (USB) your computer; 3) use a MiFi; and 4) use a cellular router - plug 1 or more cell modems into it.

If the use is occassional, then I would use the phone as a hot spot (what we do now). Otherwise I prefer the option of the cellular router as it does not tie you into a single service. When we had one we would use a modem from Sprint and one from Verizon. You can also get special plans/pricing from 3rd parties like Millenicom (they use Verizon, et al) to keep your costs under control.
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