Is Karma MiFi Sharing Safe?

by Timothy J Rothermel
(SF, CA)

I live in SF, and I am intrigued by the Karma MiFi sharing idea.

I became aware of Karma just moments ago when looking over your list of MiFi providers and plans. Let me note that although this is the first time I have left a comment, I have been using your PWG site for years. It is my bible before I make any prepaid device or plan purchases.

So I guess I probably have seen Karma on the list before and immediately dismissed it as a viable option for me because of security concerns with the whole sharing thing.

I have 2 questions that I am hoping someone or you can answer for me, as I am seriously considering taking the KARMA plunge.

First question is: Do you have any numbers on just how many people are using and connecting through Karma sharing. I am surprised that I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT IT SINCE I LIVE IN TECH SAVVY SF CA, which is why I am asking.

Secondly: Are there any additional security concerns allowing strangers to use my connection?

I appreciate any info you or your readers might have about this. Thank You.

Comments for Is Karma MiFi Sharing Safe?

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Aug 13, 2015
Karma Go
by: Amanda J. Byerly

I have never ever heard about this Karma sharing possibility... after reading the question I googled to learn more about it.. and what I've founded - this is very safety as no one sees my browsing history when sharing; if someone connects to my Karma, I got an email about this situation etc...
I see it like very cool stuff! You can learn more from
Jun 12, 2015
Good post
by: Cleve Schiller

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It will be great if I could suggest some guest posts or banner ads, if it's possible - answer me here, please!
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Jun 11, 2015
Good post
by: Christy Trantow

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Many thanks for answering!

Jan 27, 2014
Karma Security - Part 1
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for the great questions! Also, it’s great to hear that you’re a regular visitor to the site; I love hearing from people who are finding the information useful. It’s a lot of work to grow and maintain, so hearing feedback like this is always encouraging; thank you!

In terms of your first question, unfortunately, I don’t have any data around the number of people who are sharing Karma connections. I would think that’s it’s still fairly low. I say that because I expect that when there are people around who may want to use it (aside from friends and family), they’re probably in a location like Starbucks, McDonalds, malls, airports, etc., that already provide free access. That said, I’ve forwarded this post to Karma to see if they might respond with some actual figures, or at least some kind of scale to provide some perspective. Even if they respond, I expect this data point would be considered confidential, and they wouldn’t share it anyway…

In terms of security, this is an excellent question, and something that everyone should be thinking about in general. Think about it this way… It’s no less safe than using a Starbucks, or any other public, connection. So the real question then becomes, how safe are public connections in general?

Personally, I’m never really that concerned, although I don’t tend to use public connections very often, or for long periods of time as you would be more likely to do if you’re using your Karma hotspot regularly in public places. If I’m using email, banking sites, or any other sites that contain personal or sensitive information, they’re almost always https connections, which means that they’re secure, regardless of what connection you’re using to access the internet. In other words, no one can intercept your data even if they’re sharing the same Internet connection.

Jan 27, 2014
Karma Security - Part 2
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Is there more inherent risk than a secured network that no one else can access without a password? Sure, of course. Karma actually addresses these concerns in a useful FAQ page from their site. Go to, and scroll to the Privacy & Security section. They offer some very helpful information (ex. https), as well as provide a link to a site that offers free plugins for popular Internet browsers that forces https (i.e. secure) connections on sites that are not already https enabled.

Personally, I would be using Karma if they had sufficient coverage. At present their modems are only 4G, which is not available in my area. In addition, even if they did have coverage, I require truly nationwide coverage to feel as though a mobile connection can be useful. You may want to check out FreedomPop, which is a similar service, but offers modems that are backwards compatible to 3G, meaning that where you don’t have 4G coverage, you’ll have nationwide coverage no matter what. Of course, the plans for 3G/4G modems are priced differently, so they may or may not meet your needs.

In terms of security, if Karma had the coverage I require, I personally wouldn’t worry about security. I would just take the normal precautions that we should all be taking regardless.

I hope this helps!

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