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Old 10-07-2018, 09:44   #1
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Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

Hi all,

My iphone has the ability to create a mobile hotspot, but it drops connections constantly. I'm thinking about a dedicated wifi hotspot to run the laptop to watch movies.

Has anyone tried Freedom Pop or similar? - https://www.freedompop.com/

We currently have T-mobile on our phones. This is for East Coast US cruising.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:48   #2
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I have Sprint and it has worked as a hot spot on my cell all along the east coast as long as there was a cell signal. We have been streaming it to our tv with mirrorcast for the past 7 months with no issues and uses our unlimited data instead of limited 10GB hotspots
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:54   #3
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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I have Sprint and it has worked as a hot spot on my cell all along the east coast as long as there was a cell signal. We have been streaming it to our tv with mirrorcast for the past 7 months with no issues and uses our unlimited data instead of limited 10GB hotspots
Thanks so much Sailorboy. I assume you're using an android phone to connect to a mirrorcast receiver on the TV? That cuts out the need to create a wifi network, right? Unfortunately, I think I'm trapped buying an appleTV to mirror direct from my iphone.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:01   #4
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Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

You can connect a “smart tv” directly to your phone by using your phone as a hot spot, however most plans have a separate smaller definition of unlimited for hotspotting I think.
I believe as far as any user is concerned your phone is a WiFi router. I have had no problems with connecting anything to our IPhone.
I tried Sprint, and it sucked badly, coverage areas were sparse, much worse than Verizon.
However, maybe because my phone is a Verizon phone and therefore it’s a CDMA phone? Does Sprint cover both CDMA and GSM?

I have streamed a movie once, but don’t cause I assume it eats mega data, and all these “unlimited” plans really have very distinct limits before they throttle you?
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:14   #5
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I just purchased this device (actually using it right now).

https://www.amazon.com/UNLOCKED-Netg...s=netgear+815s

I have had a few Huawei devices, but this Netgear one is MUCH better. It has a great battery life (although we leave it plugged in most of the time) and really fast connection. Its other nice feature is the ability to plug an antenna in (dual inputs) to assist in those hard to reach anchorages. We haven't had a drop out yet.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:18   #6
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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I just purchased this device (actually using it right now).

https://www.amazon.com/UNLOCKED-Netg...s=netgear+815s

I have had a few Huawei devices, but this Netgear one is MUCH better. It has a great battery life (although we leave it plugged in most of the time) and really fast connection. Its other nice feature is the ability to plug an antenna in (dual inputs) to assist in those hard to reach anchorages. We haven't had a drop out yet.
Awesome. Thank you. So you just bought this and called AT&T and asked them for a plan? Do you mind if I ask how much the plan is? I wonder if I can use a Sprint one now that T-Mobile and Sprint have merged. I would like unlimited LTE... nothing worse than getting throttled in the middle of watching Captain Ron for the 15th time .
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:33   #7
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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Awesome. Thank you. So you just bought this and called AT&T and asked them for a plan? Do you mind if I ask how much the plan is? I wonder if I can use a Sprint one now that T-Mobile and Sprint have merged. I would like unlimited LTE... nothing worse than getting throttled in the middle of watching Captain Ron for the 15th time .
No, the link I posted is to an UNLOCKED device. It can be used on any network as long as the bands match (pretty much anywhere in the world). It supports bands for both Tmobile or ATT (not sure about Sprint). You just pop your SIM card in, adjust the APN settings, and BAM you are off.

Right now I'm using it here in Grenada on the Digicel 4G/3G network. Its connected 4G at the moment but switches to 3G as we move around and out of the 4G coverage.

It looks like ATT offers an unlimited plan for $70/month.
https://www.att.com/plans/unlimited-data-plans.html
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:36   #8
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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No, the link I posted is to an UNLOCKED device. It can be used on any network as long as the bands match (pretty much anywhere in the world). It supports bands for both Tmobile or ATT (not sure about Sprint). You just pop your SIM card in, adjust the APN settings, and BAM you are off.

Right now I'm using it here in Grenada on the Digicel 4G/3G network. Its connected 4G at the moment but switches to 3G as we move around and out of the 4G coverage.

It looks like ATT offers an unlimited plan for $70/month.
https://www.att.com/plans/unlimited-data-plans.html
That clarifies it. Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2018, 14:51   #9
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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Thanks so much Sailorboy. I assume you're using an android phone to connect to a mirrorcast receiver on the TV? That cuts out the need to create a wifi network, right? Unfortunately, I think I'm trapped buying an appleTV to mirror direct from my iphone.
I have an iPhone and it wouldn’t mirrocast, but my wife has a Samsung that does. Go on eBay and get a cheap used phone if need and add to your cell plan for $10, or just switch phones. That’s cheaper than buying an Apple TV that then locks you to apple
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Old 10-07-2018, 14:58   #10
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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I have streamed a movie once, but don’t cause I assume it eats mega data, and all these “unlimited” plans really have very distinct limits before they throttle you?
We stream probably 3 hours a night and have never had a throttle issue. My wife’s phone has used 27.3 GB of data this month. They only really are going to have to throttle during peak periods in a major metro area with LOTS of users. Cruisers aren’t in those places.

And while we stream to our tv with my wife’s Samsung on mirrorcast I turn my iphones hotspot on for internet playing. This month I used 8gb hotspot which is less than the 10GB allowed on my plan.
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Old 10-07-2018, 15:08   #11
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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We stream probably 3 hours a night and have never had a throttle issue. My wife’s phone has used 27.3 GB of data this month. They only really are going to have to throttle during peak periods in a major metro area with LOTS of users. Cruisers aren’t in those places.

And while we stream to our tv with my wife’s Samsung on mirrorcast I turn my iphones hotspot on for internet playing. This month I used 8gb hotspot which is less than the 10GB allowed on my plan.
Wow.. What service are you streaming on.. That is WAY WAY less data than we are using when we stream.

We have 50GB each month and we certainly can't stream 3 hours a night (at least not at anything above 240P). Netflix's calculation is 1GB of data/1 hour of streaming (using their automatic quality algorithm).

We mostly stream on Youtube and manual select 240p.. At that quality, we could never use our 50GB a month.
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Old 10-07-2018, 16:08   #12
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

We are on Sprint. Try setting your video quality lower. Netflix works the best, Amazon net, then CBS. HBO and FX seem to use the most and have troubles.

We also have a WiFi booster and try that for free WiFi first, but lots of times that is too slow to stream. But it works find for general internet as. Don’t dont utube
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:46   #13
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

Put the iPhone in a dry bag and haul it up the mast. We have had service over 70 kilometres (almost 35 miles) off the Australian coast.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:43   #14
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I am confused by the information I seem to be reading in this thread. I am on East coast US with AT&T. I was under the impression that their "Unlimited" service did not include wifi Hotspot usage which was capped at 15GB. Am I missing something here? (getting info out of an AT&T rep is sometimes difficult️)

Thnx, Ed
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:52   #15
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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I am confused by the information I seem to be reading in this thread. I am on East coast US with AT&T. I was under the impression that their "Unlimited" service did not include wifi Hotspot usage which was capped at 15GB. Am I missing something here? (getting info out of an AT&T rep is sometimes difficult️)

Thnx, Ed
You probably aren't missing anything. My Sprint unlimited data plan caps hotspot usage at 10GB (for each of our phones so we have 20GB available). But the two are really completely different uses for me.
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