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Thread: Hotspotting Tracfone branded smartphones

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    Hotspotting Tracfone branded smartphones

    Can anybody tell me which of the inexpensive TFs allow wifi hotspot?
    I know the Fiesta 2 and Rebel 2 will do it, while my iPhone SE tells me to contact my provider to enable hotspot (which I assume can't be done).

    Do Rebel 3 or 4 allow it?
    What about the TCLs?
    Or, better yet, an E5 or G6?
    Last edited by taxmantoo; 10-10-2019 at 06:12 AM.

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    I know lots of phones have been getting hotspot options, but if you read the T&C, using a hotspot via a phone is against the T&C. There has been some people getting away with it, but I would not tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by advcomp2019 View Post
    I know lots of phones have been getting hotspot options, but if you read the T&C, using a hotspot via a phone is against the T&C. There has been some people getting away with it, but I would not tho.
    I have only made infrequent use of it myself, like less than 100MB, less than 5x a year.

    Has anybody used it as a permanent substitute for home internet?
    Did Tracfone take adverse action?
    I'd hate to have my line of service with 20GB, 8000 minutes, and my 15 year old phone number canceled for TOC violations.

    But the main reason I'm asking is that a friend was given a non-cellular iPad, and she needs a way to connect it to the internet 2-3x a week to read her Facebook messages and Gmail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxmantoo View Post
    Can anybody tell me which of the inexpensive TFs allow wifi hotspot?

    Or, better yet, an E5 or G6?
    My Simple Mobile Moto E5, being used with a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM, has an option for WiFi hotspot. I turned it on and it stayed on with an SSID to connect. I didn't try to connect to it though.

    If there's a Walmart nearby, your friend can go there and use their free WiFi if necessary.

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    I would not do it. Use the local library, a McDonalds, etc. instead.

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    She uses the library now, but that's a ten mile drive, each way, so she asked me to find something she can use at home this winter.

    I just got a PM from our friend at TF, which basically said:
    We understand how Mobile Hotspot is very handy to users. However, this feature is not offered as part of our mobile phone services. (and may result in termination of your service)

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    I wouldn't worry much about connecting a mobile device (like an iPad).

    PCs or other devices would have very different patterns and packets though.

    That said, I've not seen anyone get punished for it in recent memory (maybe yeats ago?)

    My daughter connected her laptop yesterday for 30-45 min to do some homework while we were on the road.

    But if she has a phone, why not just use FB/email on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    1) I wouldn't worry much about connecting a mobile device (like an iPad).

    PCs or other devices would have very different patterns and packets though.

    That said, I've not seen anyone get punished for it in recent memory (maybe yeats ago?)

    My daughter connected her laptop yesterday for 30-45 min to do some homework while we were on the road.

    2) But if she has a phone, why not just use FB/email on it?
    1) I was just thinking about that, in light of what TF-Alex said in the PM about tower overload being the reason for the rule.
    Nothing she will do compares to watching youtube on a BYOP galaxy note, for example.
    Her internet needs are closer to dial-up throughput than VoLTE, and her iPad should seek out mobile versions of everything, so it's possible Verizon won't know it's hotspotted.

    2) That may be the way to go, just get her a 6" phone if she can do text browsing on it with reading glasses.
    She needs glasses to see the iPad anyway.
    But of course the people that gave her the iPad would like to hear that she's using it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxmantoo View Post
    2) That may be the way to go, just get her a 6" phone if she can do text browsing on it with reading glasses.
    She needs glasses to see the iPad anyway.
    But of course the people that gave her the iPad would like to hear that she's using it...
    Large fonts are an option too.

    The iPad can be used when she has wifi and for non networking stuff. Games reading, drawing, etc.

    Or look for a data only plan. Maybe not TF.
    I used a MiFi type device in Afghanistan and Liberia. Just a little card sized device with a battery, cell and wifi radios.
    Just haven't explored them much in the States. I think Straight Talk sell one from ZTE.

    Edit:
    Others here can probably help with data only options but here's a start.
    https://bestmvno.com/compare/data-only-plans/

    The $0 FreedomPop options may be enough for her, along with a device like this
    https://shop.freedompop.com/product/...OV-SPOT-SP-01R


    Or this, which gets you a year and 10GB. https://www.hsn.com/products/net10-z...r-1-ye/9199243
    or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7VM9YA (may be 10GB too)
    I don't see an option to renew for a year though.


    Last edited by ST Dog; 10-10-2019 at 01:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxmantoo View Post
    1)Nothing she will do compares to watching youtube on a BYOP galaxy note, for example.
    Her internet needs are closer to dial-up throughput than VoLTE, and her iPad should seek out mobile versions of everything, so it's possible Verizon won't know it's hotspotted.
    As some of you may know, there was a 3 day power shutdown in most of North California. Everything was closed (food, gas, etc) .that did not have generator backup. I used my TF/VZW BYOP phone as a hotspot to a laptop for a couple of days. Numerous short sessions, and only for browsing to places the phone browser did not work well. Total data use was around 550 MB.

    Worked fine, but the Verizon data signal was very slow. Download speeds of .04 and .22 Mbps. Did not check the signal strength using an app. Not quite as slow as dial-up, but close! Biggest problem was battery life on the laptop. Could recharge only once using a portable generator. Phone could use a vehicle charger. I am going to replace the 12V battery in my trailer and get a small inverter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    As some of you may know, there was a 3 day power shutdown in most of North California. Everything was closed (food, gas, etc) .that did not have generator backup. I used my TF/VZW BYOP phone as a hotspot to a laptop for a couple of days. Numerous short sessions, and only for browsing to places the phone browser did not work well. Total data use was around 550 MB.

    Worked fine, but the Verizon data signal was very slow. Download speeds of .04 and .22 Mbps. Did not check the signal strength using an app. Not quite as slow as dial-up, but close! Biggest problem was battery life on the laptop. Could recharge only once using a portable generator. Phone could use a vehicle charger. I am going to replace the 12V battery in my trailer and get a small inverter.
    Probably a lot of people using mobile data where ISPs weren't working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Probably a lot of people using mobile data where ISPs weren't working.
    My AT&T Internet feed may have been working, but had no power for the modem or router. A UPS would work for the modem, but maybe not usable for longer periods. Certainly not for the laptop. This was a 3 day event.
    Last edited by loboheeler; 10-11-2019 at 05:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    My AT&T Internet feed may have been working, but had no power for the modem or router. A UPS would work for the modem, but maybe not usable for longer periods.
    Last year, I bought this APC BGE90M Back-UPS for $20 when it was on sale. Whenever we have an occasional unplanned power outage here due to weather or someone crashing into a pole, they usually fix it within 4 hrs. I tested it by running my modem/router from it (unplugged from the wall outlet) and the router was still working after 4 hrs. Well worth the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Phone could use a vehicle charger. I am going to replace the 12V battery in my trailer and get a small inverter.
    I have a small inverter for use in car/airplane. Nice little case, about 4x5x1.

    I don't remember when or why I bought it but has been handy. 1 outlet and one USB port (not USB 3, much older, at least 10 yrs).

    I've seen similar with two 2.1A USB ports but no case for


    Edit: this one
    Vector Microslim Power Inverter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KKMSDM

    But I didn't pay that much.
    Last edited by ST Dog; 10-11-2019 at 07:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Last year, I bought this APC BGE90M Back-UPS for $20 when it was on sale. Whenever we have an occasional unplanned power outage here due to weather or someone crashing into a pole, they usually fix it within 4 hrs. I tested it by running my modem/router from it (unplugged from the wall outlet) and the router was still working after 4 hrs. Well worth the money.
    My outage was not 4 hours, but 3 days! No small UPS is going to have the capacity to last that out. Not the first time I have been hit with a long term power outage. Happened in the S New Hampshire/N Massachusetts area for 2.5 days in freezing January. Few had furnaces/cooking/lighting unless you had a back up generator system. I had portable propane appliances, so did OK. Many in the area left for the duration to stay with friends/family elsewhere.
    Last edited by loboheeler; 10-11-2019 at 10:48 PM.

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