Hotspots and Data Plans

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by OceanBreezes, Aug 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    I have an AT&T unlimited data plan from my 1st iPhone which I am relunctant to change. The other devices IPad, husband's iPhone and IPad Mini are on a family plan with separate data plans. I was thinking about linking these in some way for a hotspot. I have a friend that uses Clear, but the coverage area does not seem to be very complete and he has had trouble in some airports. Any recommendations or suggestions?
     
  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I also have a grandfathered unlimited data plan while my wife is on a metered plan (that she doesn't exceed), and I don't pay for the hotspot service because I'd have to give up my unlimited data plan.

    In all honesty I can often find free Wifi and when I can't it comes down to deciding if cost is reasonable. I've tried CLEAR here in Austin and found it to be pretty bad. I did have a NetZero 4G dongle that was 200MB/month free for a year and I haven't renewed that service since I can usually find Wifi, but I could share that out from my Mac when I needed and found it would almost always connect. I also appreciated that they had a speed limiting feature so I could turn down bandwidth to avoid capping out, or I could turn up the bandwidth for just the times I needed high bandwidth.

    If I had to buy anything, I'd definitely not choose Boingo since there are limited places it's useful, and would consider NetZero if I could buy a pay-per-use plan. I'll be interested to see what other options come up in this thread.
     
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  3. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    OB, where are you traveling to?
     
  4. theBOAT
    Original Member

    theBOAT Silver Member

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    I'm facing a similar situation myself; I still have a grandfathered in iPhone plan, but we're adding to the current family plan now, and paying for individual data plans (where we never use up the data allocation each month) seems too wasteful.

    I've looked into the economics of a Share Everything plan (or whatever AT&T calls it), where you pay a fixed $ amount for each device tied to your central pool of GB's, and that is starting to make sense only if I bite the bullet and give up the "unlimited" data of my iPhone. I quote the unlimited amount, because the one month that I was on the road a ton and actually used over 3 GB's of data, AT&T sent me a text message telling me they were going to throttle my data speed down because of my excessive use. So much for unlimited, when it becomes unusable.

    As you'd imagine, AT&T and Verizon charge exactly the same amount for their Share plans, so no relief there if you're tempted to switch to the larger LTE network.
    Hope my rambling helps a little...
    theBOAT
     
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  5. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Yes, you so well point out the fallacy with their unlimited plan. True, you won't ever get charged extra for using more data, but then again, you won't get to use more data. A couple of years ago I really needed the hotspot feature and called to activate it. knowing I'd be giving up the unlimited data. The AT&T rep was really nice, said he would activate but that I could call back any time within a couple of months to deactivate the hotspot and reactivate the unlimited data.

    I never called back to revert to unlimited and I never looked back -- I love it. It's saved my butt many times. I was upgraded to 4GB/month for free. So far I haven't gone over the 4GB, but if I do go over I don't mind -- it means I really need it. (I don't routinely stream stuff unless I'm on Wifi.)
     
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  6. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    Seat6a - I missed your question until this thread received another post. I travel mainly in the US and plan to spend a lot of time on in Destin and Lake Texoma as I am retiring next year. Internationally (and in the US) I go wherever the fares are good...AA EXP...going to China next year at least once.
     

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