Internet Almost Anywhere

With the recent unveiling of our online Open House sign-in feature available from the backdoor of our website system, we’ve had some questions about using this feature in homes or on devices that do not have internet access. Since our website is based online you have to be online in order to use the online open house sign-in feature. If you can’t get online, you can use a regular paper sign in sheet and then use the online open house sign-in feature to enter those people as soon as you have internet access again OR you can create your own Mobile Internet Hot Spot to use or share with others any time.

A mobile hotspot (formerly known as Tethering & Wi-Fi Sharing) is a great way to use your smartphone’s fast data connection with your laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Unlike previous wi-fi hotspots that stay in one place, the new mobile hotspots can go wherever you go. All the national mobile data networks offer phones that can act as Wi-Fi hotspots, and there are about 60 smartphones available today that can perform this task. The connection speed depends on many variables, including the cell network you’re connecting to, how far you are from the network’s closest transmission tower and how congested the Internet is at that moment in time. A phone’s Wi-Fi signal has a range of about 100 feet, so it works well in a temporary office, at the beach or even in the largest hotel suite. One thing to keep in mind is that, as with Wi-Fi routers, the signal’s strength and bandwidth decline as you get farther from the hotspot.


UPGRADE YOUR SMARTPHONE TO ADD MOBILE WI-FI SHARING (HOTSPOT):

When viewing the plans below keep in mind that 100 Megabytes (1GB) of data means you can: load about 700 web pages, send 1,500-2,000 emails, post 1,200 social media updates, listen to 100 minutes of music, or view 50 minutes of a YouTube-quality video.

  • Verizon: charges $20 per month for tethering on top of your base data plan (which costs between $30 and $80), and it provides an extra 2GB of data per month. However depending on your current plan it may actually save you money. Check outthis blog by a gentleman who did just this.
  • Sprint: charges $30 in addition to your regular data plan and doesn’t provide any extra data above what your data plan offers. Note: if you have an unlimited smartphone data plan, your mobile hotspot data use is limited to 5GB per month. Additional on-network data usage above the monthly allowance is charged at $0.05/MB Monthly Off-network data usage limit is combination of Phone or Tablet and MHS usage. For more information click here.
  • T-Mobile: charges $15 per month above your regular data plan. Like Sprint, it provides no extra data.
  • AT&T: doesn’t charge extra for tethering but instead has a complete 4GB data plan that includes tethering for $45 per month.
  • BoostMobile: BoostMobile has a $10/month hotspot that can be added to their plans

Note: If you go over the allotted amount of data, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will charge an overage fee and likely try to sell you a monthly plan with a larger limit while T-Mobile will slow your data flow to a crawl. Though none of the carriers offers a one-time or day-pass option for tethering, there’s no long-term contract attached to these plans, so you can cancel and restart your plan as needed; you just have to remember to actively manage it in this way if you need tethering only occasionally. As always in the mobile world, things can change quickly, so check with your carrier for the most up-to-date pricing and plan info before making any decisions.


PREPAID MOBILE HOTSPOT DEVICES THAT DON’T AFFECT PHONE PLANS:

  • Walmart’s prepaid (no monthly fee) device: The MiFi 2200 device created by Novatel Wireless is brought to you via a partnership between TruConnect Mobile and WalMart. This mobile internet device provide internet service on the go starting at $10 for 100MB, $25 for 500MB, or $45 for 1GB, with no monthly fees and a data balance that never expires. For more information click here.
  • NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Device: For a no-contract option try this NetZero device. It provides protected, mobile, fast 4G Internet access for your laptop, iPad® or other tablet, or netbook within the coverage area in over 80 cities across the U.S. This device has no contracts, commitments or overage charges. Customers can pick the data plan that meets their needs, starting at just $9.95 per month with the purchase of an access device. Customers can even try the service for up to one year for FREE with the purchase of an access device. Find out more at: www.netzero.com
  • For a list of other prepaid hotspot devices: Click Here 

Questions about your mobile device? Please visit your carrier as PSP helpdesk is not able to provide the complete information your carrier can.
Questions about the Open House Sign-In Feature? Email Helpdesk@DiscoverStL.com

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