Skip to comments.Tech help needed
Posted on 10/16/2012 8:50:28 AM PDT by conservativesister
Is there a difference between using a "hotspot" and having your phone become a hotspot? Is there a difference between phones/carriers or just carriers. I had an AT&T HTC phone, my friend had an AT&T I-Phone and got coverage where I could not. I need to have an internet connection for may laptop at an upcoming event and am considering getting a hotspot. Please offer info/suggestions/etc. (Serious please) yeah right!
Also, is there such a thing as a cell booster for antenna signal?
I carry a Verizon iPhone. It uses CDMA technology which means I can’t surf and talk at the same time. That’s why I prefer a “mifi” unit over a mobile hotspot. I had issues where the kids would be using the hotspot and I’d either miss calls or drop their data connections.
The iPhone 4/4S is also not 4G while the mifi (from Verizon at least) is. So your hotspot connection I believe would be at a slower speed.
I believe the biggest benefit to the mobile hotspot route is money. If I recall, the capability can be added to your plan for about $10-$15/month. While a mifi would be a whole new 2 year contract at $50ish/month.
The benefit to the mifi is you can pretty much plug it into your cig lighter, set it in a tray in your vehicle, and carry a wifi bubble around with you wherever you go.
My personal opinion is to let the phone be a phone with internet capabilities. Turning it into a mobile hotspot just forces too much of a load on it. Just my opinion though.
If work weren’t paying for my mifi and I needed a solution, the cost benefit of adding hotspot capabilites to my phone would probably be my route.
Tried that and when I went to a store that sells things like that, was told by the clerk that they are all gimmicks, so now I’m looking for expert help.
if you set your beebers to stune, all things will be right...
Can you not just plug your phone in to your laptop and use it to access 3G/4G internet?
If you are looking for just a conference need, or a short term need, you could look at the pre-paid options from Virgin Mobile, which is owned by, and uses the Sprint network.
Or most likely the least expensive: just pay the conference center's access fee for wifi.
If you do not have more than an intermittent need for using your laptop in the absence of a Wifi hotspot, I would recommend going to the Android store and downloading PDAnet. It is a great tethering method, and it is free - you’ll need to install the companion part on your laptop, but you can do that from the SD card in your phone if you’re away from an internet connection (it walks you through the steps).
If you frequently use your laptop in areas where wifi is not available, then I would pursue a usb laptop card dedicated to internet access. I don’t believe in dumping that many services onto my phone regularly - it is, afterall, a phone. You can get service for $20 to $40 bucks a month and you can add through your cell provider or pick up one at Wal Mart with a pre-paid plan.
I used to tether my laptop to my android (HTC) phone every day using an app called PDANet. Worked flawlessly using my phone’s 3G to give me Internet on my laptop. Best $9 I spent in 2011. I am on sprint so usage isnt an issue. I miss it having switched to the iPhone 5.
I’ve had the iPhone 4 & 4S. On them, there is a simply toggle to turn on a mobile hotspot to use the phone’s internet connection. I tend to do this when I travel to allow the family to use their devices in the car. I even took a trip from DC to NY where I worked on my laptop the entire way without once losing the connection.
I see a bunch of posts above recommending extra devices and extra programs. Don’t do that. Get an iPhone and turn on your mobile hotspot whenever you need it. You don’t have to learn to use a new program, you don’t have to get a new service agreement, and you don’t have to carry extra devices.
My two cents.
You're kidding, right? Your iPhone 5 can become your hotspot VERY easily.
I agree that if it's a temporary need you should just tether your laptop to your phone, assuming (i) you have a data plan on your phone, (ii) your carrier allows tethering, (iii) your laptop has wireless capability, and (iv) your phone can get a decent signal where you need to use it. You will need to keep your phone plugged in, though, because a tethered phone depletes the battery in a hurry. I recommend the Foxfi tethering app, which is free, simple to set up and use and requires nothing to be installed on the laptop.
If you need a more regular solution, the MIFI 4620L is a killer unit.
Is there a difference between the signal strength of a hotspot versus a cell phone hotspot?
Sorry- I should have clarified. I miss tethering because I am resistant to paying my carrier an additional monthly charge to use my iPhone 5 as a hotspot. Is there a way around this without a jailbreak?
Not that I know.
Check out this article. FCC has recently held that restrictions on tethering are illegal. Even though Verizon was the target here, the ruling should apply to all carriers. So it may be that you wrongly assume your carrier doesn't permit you to tether. You should double check as their policy may have changed. I can easily tether with my Verizon Droid Bionic.
I have not found any significant difference in reception between my Verizon MIFI and my Verizon Droid Bionic phone. And I have done speed tests using each as the hot spot and detected no difference in download or upload speeds. YMMV depending on the equipment you're using.
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