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Thread: Need temporary internet

  1. #1
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    Need temporary internet

    I have a need for 1-2 weeks of internet that will allow me to have about 12 hours of online meetings/week due to needing to work in a different location that does not have internet. Its not rural and I could use any of the networks but speed needs to allow for those online meetings. I am trying to research hotspots, but am getting confused. I could use an iphone XR or a google pixel 2 for data, but ideally would be able to have the internet on my laptop.

    My phone company is Puretalk and I would really prefer not to have to change just for this.

    Does a plan or possibility exist that would work?
    Last edited by Robynsus; 05-08-2021 at 01:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robynsus View Post
    I have a need for 1-2 weeks of internet that will allow me to have about 12 hours of online meetings/week due to needing to work in a different location that does not have internet. Its not rural and I could use any of the networks but speed needs to allow for those online meetings. I am trying to research hotspots, but am getting confused. I could use an iphone XR or a google pixel 2 for data, but ideally would be able to have the internet on my laptop.

    My phone company is Puretalk and I would really prefer not to have to change just for this.

    Does a plan or possibility exist that would work?
    does your plan not allow tethering or hotspot use ??

  3. #3
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    Get a Visible BYOD SIM and use it in the XR. It will give you one connected device officially, but you could use a WISP router to make it work for multiple.

    $25/mo and just turn off autopay: https://www.visible.com/shop/bring-your-own-device
    $20 WISP enabled router: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-N300-.../dp/B001FWYGJS

    Also, if you port a number over you get a $100 Mastercard after two months that would cover 4 months of service.

  4. #4
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    If you only need it for a couple of weeks, I'd just use the phone hotspot (and simply keep the phone plugged into a charger nearby), rather than buying another device. Yes, Puretalk allows hotspotting, so wither of your devices should work fine.

    The wildcard will be how much data you'll need, which will depend on how much live video your meetings have -- two-way video (especially Gallery view that shows multiple participants in tiles) uses more data for video than a meeting where someone is screen-sharing slides. If you can go off video for a good part of the meeting (say hello to everyone, and explain you're traveling and in a place without fixed internet), you'll save a good amount of bandwidth by doing that (hint: use a professional looking static picture of yourself as your off-video default). Being off video when using a mobile device also reduces the issues with your audio being garbled when you speak, since mobile network upload speeds are typiclaly slower than downloads (by design).
    Assuming weekly usage of 10 hours of mixed live video and screen sharing, with you mostly off-video is probably 5-10GB of data in total. On the other hand, if it's 10 hours of Gallery view with 10-20 people having an interactive discussion), that's probably more like 15-20GB. There's enough conservatism in these numbers that 10 vs. 12 hours probably won't change the ranges, but you'll need to scale these figures for the number of weeks (i.e., double for 2 weeks).

    You should be able to "step-up" your cell plan for the billing cycle or two coinciding with your trip and switch back to your original plan once the trip is done. Puretalk has plans with 10/20/30GB for $35/45/55 per month, but if you're already on a monthly plan you'll just incur the additional incremental amount ($20 extra to go from a $25 plan to $45 for one month). Note I refer to the "unlimited plan" as 30GB since they throttle after that. Depending when the trip falls in your billing cycle will also determine whether you need to do this for one cycle (or two). If the trip straddles two billing cycles, you might be okay with the 10GB plan (vs. 20GB or 30GB/Unlimited) but might need it for 2 months.

    As a side note -- if you have a corporate laptop that's used to being connected all the time (via VPN or Zscaler), watch out for background data usage too. My corporate laptop is a pig, and can use more than 1GB/hour just sitting idle and running background stuff. Also, don't forget this is on top of your regular usage, and you might use the laptop for some regular internet usage too if you're away.

    If you need to be on live video all of the time and/or have a corporate laptop that uses a lot of background data, then I would concur with the above recommendation to get a Visible SIM for one month (order about 10 days before you leave so you have it and can test it before you go), as that will give you unlimited hotspot at 5mbs for $25. You can then cancel the plan when the trip ends (unless you like it / prefer Verizon coverage) and it will be $25/month for unlimited.

    Background on the math -- stop reading here if you don't care (and I take no responsibility for math-induced headaches)
    Zoom says 1.0 mbs/0.6mbs (up/down) for one-on-one video (which I think fits slides too), so that is 1.6mbs total x 450* = 720MB/hour. So 10 hours is likely 5-10GB (balancing some conservatism in Zoom's stated bandwidth with system overhead and some thumbnail videos of participants some of the time)

    Zoom says 2mbs/2mbs (up/down) for 25 person gallery view, so that is 4mbs total x 450* = 1.8GB/hour (so 15-20GB for 10 hours, with the same conservatism/overhead margins)

    * 450 is the conversion from megabits per second (mbs) to megabytes per hour -- multiply by 3600 seconds / hour, but divide by 8 for bits to bytes (3600/8 = 450).

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    It looks like PureTalk has an Unlimited*** plan that throttles you at 30GB of data use. Maybe you could change your plan for a month and then change it back the following month. I didn’t see any mention of Hotspot capability on the site though.

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    Thanks everyone. I have read quickly, but will read through again. I do need about 12 hours of video meeting with only one other person (not a group meeting), and I will have to have my camera on. It will be 1-2 weeks. I wish I knew if I could do this by just increasing my Puretalk plan.

    The laptop is my personal laptop.

    Will look into the Visible BYOD SIM and Wisp router option. If I do with that option, can my phone connect to my laptop and still allow me to use the phone for calls?

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robynsus View Post
    Thanks everyone. I have read quickly, but will read through again. I do need about 12 hours of video meeting with only one other person (not a group meeting), and I will have to have my camera on. It will be 1-2 weeks. I wish I knew if I could do this by just increasing my Puretalk plan.

    The laptop is my personal laptop.

    Will look into the Visible BYOD SIM and Wisp router option. If I do with that option, can my phone connect to my laptop and still allow me to use the phone for calls?
    When you use a phone as a hotspot it is getting Internet using cell data between the phone and cell just like it usually does. The hotspot app uses the phone Wifi to provide Internet from the cell data to Wifi devices like your notebook. You can still use the phone as a phone while it is running the hotspot.

    Visible is a great service and I like it a lot. However, the hotspot speed is throttled to 5 Mbps on the download side. My experience has been that the upload speed that goes with that is 1 Mbps or less, sometimes much less. For video calls you need upload speed to send your video and audio to the other end. I would not bet my job that 1 Mbps or less upload would work well enough.

    If you can do the video conference on the phone itself, it is not limited to 5/~1 and might work fine. On the small phone screen you wouldn't be able to see much, but the other end would see you like normal.

    The numbers mentioned above were for Zoom. Other common video conferencing is not that low.

    Visible is only compatible with a limited number of BYO phones. What do you have, or are you willing to buy a compatible phone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    W

    Visible is only compatible with a limited number of BYO phones. What do you have, or are you willing to buy a compatible phone?
    Thanks for the info. I have an iphone XR and a google pixel 2. Could buy a compatible phone if it was reasonable.

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    I have Visible. For OP purpose don't get Visible for the reasons mentioned.
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

    Visible (Verizon) UTT & Unlimited Data $25/mo
    Liberty Wireless (T-Mobile) UTT 07.26.21
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.05.22
    Truphone (AT&T) every 180 days by 07.04.21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robynsus View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have an iphone XR and a google pixel 2. Could buy a compatible phone if it was reasonable.
    The XR is compatible with Visible if it is carrier unlocked.

    Upgrading your Pure Talk plan to "unlimited" with 30 GB of hotspot might work better.

    https://prepaidcompare.net/profiles/pure-talkusa.html

    Good luck

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    Need temporary internet

    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    I have Visible. For OP purpose don't get Visible for the reasons mentioned.
    I didn’t know hotspot was throttled, but based on my recent experience with Visible, I wouldn’t bet my social life on it let alone my job.

    In addition to the hotpot throttle, performance varies wildly from one location to another. Speeds in one location can be great, then half a mile down the road you hand off to a congested cell site and it’s simply unusable. This happens on all Verizon prepaid and MVNOs too, so that is not just a Visible thing. Also, I did have the occasional missed call or text, which might be related to the fact that it frequently dropped to “No Service” for no apparent reason.

    This was on a factory unlocked iPhone XR that exhibits none of these symptoms on my AT&T or T-Mobile lines (postpaid or prepaid) so I don’t think it’s a device issue.

    Not trying to pile on, I’m sure Visible and other Verizon MVNOs work great for many people or they wouldn’t be around, but when it comes to prepaid I’d recommend sticking with something other than a Verizon-based service for anything that matters. But as with anything cellular related, YMMV and location is everything.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Tmobile will give you a hotspot device with 30gigs and 30 days for free to try their service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drooper View Post
    Tmobile will give you a hotspot device with 30gigs and 30 days for free to try their service.
    This is good to know!

    Thanks for all of the information!

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    Still trying to figure out what to do. A couple of questions -
    Are hotspots completely okay with the phone company providers? Would it make sense for me to call Puretalk (current company) and T-mobile, explain what I need, and see if their plan can support that?

    I just want to make sure that I have a reliable way to do this.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robynsus View Post
    Still trying to figure out what to do. A couple of questions -
    Are hotspots completely okay with the phone company providers? Would it make sense for me to call Puretalk (current company) and T-mobile, explain what I need, and see if their plan can support that?

    I just want to make sure that I have a reliable way to do this.

    Thanks!
    Using a phone service SIM in a hotspot device is frequently completely NOT ok with providers, especially on unlimited plans. The PureTalk terms of service specifically mentions this. Using the hotspot function of the phone is ok within the limits of the plan.

    https://www.puretalkusa.com/terms

    "...Devices designed only for accessing data services are not permitted with Pure Talk Services."

    Are you asking about using a phone service SIM in a hotspot device or using the hotspot function of a phone?

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