Originally Posted by a64pilot
So if I understand, functionally the only thing the Wirie Pro gives you for cell data over a cell phone
is range, and cell phone range can be extended up to what the Pro will have with cell phone extenders?
A qualified Yes in response to your question.
We have both the WiriePro and Wilson Sleek 4G cell booster. Both have add-on special antennas to optimize cellular range. [Not
the stock antennas that each came with... details available via link provided, below...]
I don't have precise range comparison data for you, but I suspect it is about the same for both given their specialized antennas are mounted at the same height on our boat.
Because we boat in a mountainous region, I have no good line-of-site distance info to share. It is more about signals deflecting, and sometimes high tide makes a difference in some anchorages
I can say that many times when a cell phone shows 'No Signal' or a weak, unusable signal, when we put it in the booster cradle
the a signal will become viable.
Likewise when traveling through Canadian waters, the WiriePro will get a usable cell signal when the phones cannot pick it up until mounted in the booster...
[When we transit through Canada
, we will use a Canadian SIM card in the WiriePro as the cost is less than roaming with our current
cell phone plan.]
However, our use cases may be different from those of others.
We have a very good and large data plan on our cell phones [40GB/Mo for US$150] so we use those as hot spots whenever possible [assuming we don't have WiFi
When using a cell phone in the booster cradle
, we share it on our boat WiFi
via the WiriePro router [not the cell phone modem
in the WiriePro, just the WiFi router...] That way all devices can securely connect to the internet
[It works the same way if we are using a SIM in the WiriePro; all devices can access the internet
via the boat's WiFi router.]
Another option: We also have a couple of unlocked GSM phones we could use with a data only SIM in the booster cradle for similar results, but since the SIM cost is the same, and since we have a WiriePro with cell data modem
, we reserve the cradle for one of our active cell phones for back-up communications
Where the difference comes in is if you can find an open WiFi network with the Wirie, you can toggle between cell or WiFi for the connection- automatically [not for us- see following note] or manually [fewer surprises...]
Note regarding Canadian cell data rates: We don't like surprise cell phone charges. Canada
is less generous cell data compared to the US, and the US is less so than many other countries.
e.g., I had a friend rack-up over US$2,400 during his 3 week transit through Canada not being aware of this [or more likely not paying attention] the summer of 2014...
My earlier post in this thread had a link to our blog page
with more details and links to external resources for those wanting more info.
I hope this helps answer your question.