WiFi hotspot

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-09-21, 04:48 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 278
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
WiFi hotspot

Howdy.

I'm going to be vacationing in a place with no internet, and need options.
I know about making my smartphone a mobile hotspot, but I haven't tried this yet. And, I've heard that I can buy a separate hotspot type device that works better. (Yes, I'm low-tech.)

Is the cell phone setup adequate for me to keep in contact with the office via laptop? Of is the second option better - and how does that work?
 
  #2  
Old 01-09-21, 05:16 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 61,440
Received 1,412 Votes on 1,306 Posts
What company is your phone service with ?
 
  #3  
Old 01-09-21, 05:40 PM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,131
Received 56 Votes on 47 Posts
I've used my phone for hotspot with both AT&T and Verizon. I also had a stand alone Verizon hotspot. All of them work only as well as the phone works. I had 5 gigs of data with Verizon & 3 gigs with AT&T. That was enough for me for a month for occasional M-F use.
Normal emails & surfing the internet uses minimal data. Video on the other hand, I find uses about 1 GB per hour of video. That's kinda how I figure it.
I find my phone works well as long as your phone has a connection to a tower. Just like using a phone for calls, it all depends on if you have good enough connection.

I like a stand alone hotspot, but its just a personal choice so it's separate from my phone. My Verizon hot spot thingy was $20 a month for 5GB if you already had Verizon phone service with data etc.

Various phone services offer different services, reliability, options & price plans.

Just my experience......
 
  #4  
Old 01-09-21, 07:47 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Received 149 Votes on 130 Posts
Q1 What type of phone- android or apple?
Q2 What operating system on the laptop?
Q3 Where are you vacationing?

Most newer phones now support 2 types of tethering; 1) over WiFi as a hotspot, or 2) over a USB cord.
For WiFi you go through a menu and enable "mobile hotspot then log into that WiFi network. Fairly straightforward. For USB tethering, apple requires drivers from iTunes, while android will often have a specific driver, or find PDAnet, which allows you to setup tethering for android phones that don't automatically enable it.
Depending on where the vacation is, check whether you'll carrier has have phone service there- Last year we went to Vancouver Canada, and found that Sprint's Canadian network didn't support my old iPhone.
ALSO check on carrier prices for data, for roaming, in some cases you can purchase a additional data. Pre-Covid, I've heard a few cruise ship international-rate-data-bill-horror-stories when the cell phone connected to a cell tower in Puerto Rico rather than the free WiFi in the cafe.
 
  #5  
Old 01-10-21, 05:43 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Euclid, Oh
Posts: 353
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
All good suggestions - especially the part about if the location you are going includes "free" or included data. For example Verizon charge $10 a day for international, but the data is capped - then they want another $10 for additional high speed.

I would consider the hotspot device - if you intend to be on the phone while using it as a hotspot. I seem to remember my hotspot dropping out when on the phone.
 
  #6  
Old 01-10-21, 06:25 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 121
Received 6 Votes on 5 Posts
As others said see what your provider offers for international service. They offer much better deals than in the past. If your phone is unlocked you can also look into getting a Sim card for the area you are visiting. If they are still around I used mrsimcard to buy a card for Jamaica. There are other vendors. You can buy the card then add the services you need for your visit.
 
  #7  
Old 01-10-21, 06:35 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 278
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have Verizon. Unlimited data. One Android one Iphone, I would prefer not to give those shysters any more of my money, but would consider it for a month, I guess.

There will be plenty of towers around. (We're doing a VRBO-type rental - which has the internet turned off due to reduced bookings.)

I know how to set up both phones. I'm just trying to make sure I don't get to AZ and find it's not going to live up to my expectations.
 
  #8  
Old 01-10-21, 07:26 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 121
Received 6 Votes on 5 Posts
I would think with Verizon and az not being international you should get unlimited roaming. so if you have service you should be good to go with unlimited data.
 
  #9  
Old 01-10-21, 06:25 PM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,673
Received 178 Votes on 159 Posts
Unfortunately, whether you use your phone's hotspot or get a separate wifi hotspot, all the companies have data caps - even if you're on an unlimited plan.

Verizon seems to have a 15GB data cap, and I think AT&T has a 21GB data cap. Once you hit the cap, it slows waaaay down. It's a lot of data, but you do have to be careful as you can burn through it quick watching videos or streaming.

The technology and caps are exactly the same whether you use your phone's hotspot or get a separate device. A separate device usually costs another $20/mo, but doesn't tie you to your phone.
 
  #10  
Old 01-11-21, 10:53 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 278
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, everybody........
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: