With the extremely high interest I get (both in terms of direct emails, as well as through traffic to the site) about prepaid hotspot functionality, I wanted to post some information here to ensure that visitors to the site get easy access to the information you're looking for, and can easily find the desired details. Below you'll find links to hotspot related pages.
Just quickly, for those of you who have heard this term, but who are not yet quite sure what it means, a mobile hotspot is a standalone modem that has both a cellar and WiFi connection. The cellular connection is used to gain access to a wireless carrier network (ex. 3G, 4G). The WiFi connection is what you use to connect your WiFi capable device to (ex. computer, smartphone, tablet, game console, etc.). The genius behind this type of modem is that it doesn't require any software drivers to be installed. Just setup your network name and password (recommended!), and connect to it just like you would with any other WiFi network.
The links below provide more information around how it works, as well as the general pros and cons. Here, in addition to consolidating these other resources for people perusing the prepaid broadband reviews section of the site, I wanted to note that I strongly believe these MiFi hotspots will take over the mobile broadband market. The only thing stopping that from happening beyond general awareness of its capabilities is battery life (in my opinion).
People will often opt for USB modems because they don't like having to worry about their MiFi hotspot device running out of battery. What's important to know is that you can connect a prepaid hotspot to your computer via
USB to keep in charged. I do this regularly. Though, admittedly, I do find it somewhat annoying to have it dangling from my laptop. While that does help to ensure that I don't lose it(!), it's certainly an inconvenience to have to deal with a cable. And if you've got a tablet, you won't be able to charge it from there at all as they don't have USB ports. So having to worry about keeping it powered up is a concern that I completely understand.
For me, I would love to see the size of the device increase. Yes, I said increase! While electronics companies are constantly trying to miniaturize everything, I'd much rather carry around a larger modem in my pocket, briefcase, or jacket pocket, that has a battery long enough to last for 8-10 hours at a time or more. I don't think this is a unique problem. Battery life for most of our modern gadgets is still a real problem. I don't, however, feel that hotspots need to suffer from this issue while battery technology catches up with our power-hungry gadgets. Simply enlarge the device, and use that extra space to fit it with a huge battery!
Anyway, with all of the interest I see around the prepaid hotspot option, I predict that USB modems will become a distant memory sooner than people think. After all, why would you want to get a mobile broadband device that can only connect to one device at a time, when you can get a MiFi hotspot that can connect to 5-10 WiFi gadgets simultaneously! Please feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and experiences below!Some Useful Links:Mobile Hotspot BackgroundMobile Hotspot PlansTurning A Smartphone Into A Hotspot