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Is there a website for beginners to learn about how to set up a hotspot for computers?


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I don't know anything about them, but I heard someone talking about a mobile hotspot for internet access. I looked them up on Amazon. From a quick search it looked like they are for phones. I have no smart phone, all I have an old school  $85 a year cheapo Tracfone from Walmart. Is there a website for beginners to learn about how to set up a hotspot for computers? Is is affordable (like home internet) or do you need expensive gear?

Thanks

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Hot spots are using a cell service on a smart phone. Most computers use wifi to get on the internet and do not have a cellular connection. I may be wrong but I do not know of a computer that has cellula. 

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I think you need to figure out what carrier you want to use and what "plan" you want to use (i.e. what it costs per month, and how much data you'll be able to use).

Let's backup a bit and clarify what a dedicated hotspot is.  It's a device that connects to a cellular network just like a cell phone does.  And it also creates your own wifi network which you can access from your phone, PC, Mac (and often all 3 at once).   So just like any other wifi network, it enables you to browse the web, send emails, download files, watch YouTube etc.  You could think of it as a translator that converts incoming and outgoing information from cellular to wifi and from wifi to cellular.

For most people, the key first decision is what is the monthly cost of the cellular "data" (i.e. not talking or texting) and what is the maximum amount of data you can use per month.

Minimum price per month is likely $20 to $30 and the purchase price of entry-level hotspot hardware will likely be $100+.  An alternative to a "hotspot" device is to use a smart phone that can also function as a hotspot.

Unfortunately, although the concepts are the same, the actual setup procedure for a hotspot depends on the cellular network you plan to use and the hotspot device itself (sort of like a how to use computer site would have to differentiate between using a PC or a Mac).

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My recommendation for you is to look at Visible.  You would have to buy a new phone, that Visable supports, that can act as a hotspot.  For $25 a month (including all taxes and fees) you would have a combined cell phone and hotspot.  You would also have to provide a credit card which would be debited monthly.

https://www.visible.com/

Best wishes.

P.S.  I subscribe to Visible using a phone (my only one) that I purchased directly from Visible (a Pixel 4a).  I also have dedicated hotspot devices/data-plans for Verizon and AT&T.  They are more flexible and faster than using my phone as a hotspot with Visible's network.   Also, Visible's network has an unusually long ping time because of they way they designed it, which makes it unsuitable for gaming.

Edited by DanZemke
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3 hours ago, slackercruster said:

 Is there a website for beginners to learn about how to set up a hotspot for computers? Is is affordable (like home internet) or do you need expensive gear?

Thanks

 I highly recommend these guys: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/ - They are also Escapee members! They've been advising people on getting internet set up while mobile for years and have a huge library of resources both on their website as well as on youtube videos. They have beginner guides and go all the way up into complex Multi-router-modem technology for the pros. If you want to learn about hotspots, they are a great resource! 

Here's a link to their mobile Hostpot section: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/gear/mobile-hotspots-and-modems/

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Awww.. thanks for the kind words, Jules!

Here's also a guide that goes over the differences between hot spotting off a smartphone, using a mobile hotspot device and routers:

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/cellular-devices 

 

Setting up a hotspot device is pretty easy, basically purchase it, subscribe to a data plan that meets your needs, turn it on and connect your computers to the network it creates. 

Edited by Technomadia
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