What's the best short term high speed cellular data solution?
June 28, 2013 5:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking a 10 day driving trip from Atlanta to Cooperstown (and back) in about two weeks. I want to be able to connect multiple devices, so a hotspot is needed. Where is the sweet spot in terms of initial investment, bandwidth allowance and data rate with no contract?
posted by donpardo to Technology (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You may want to check out the Karma. $99 for the device which gets you 1GB free data. And it's $14 per GB after that. Plus, every time someone else connects to your karma, you get 100MB free.
posted by Grither at 5:36 AM on June 28, 2013

Take a look at FreedomPop, looks like you'd have at least 3G coverage the whole way of the trip.
posted by deezil at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2013

FreedomPop is $20 for the device and you get 2 GB free the first month and 500 MB free every month thereafter. You can buy more bandwidth if you need it (extra gigabytes are $15 a la carte, or you can upgrade your monthly plan to have up to 4 GB). You get 4G where there is ClearWire WiMax coverage, Sprint 3G otherwise. They are upgrading it to LTE but I believe you'll need a new device for that.
posted by kindall at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2013

T-Mobile has some weekly and monthly data plans, although you'll be at 2G speeds outside of urban areas.

I have no experience with FreedomPop, but do your research -- some people on the web claim to have had bad experiences.

(BTW, you didn't say if you have an existing data plan, but I use my iPhone as a hotspot with Verizon and it works pretty well)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2013

I do have an existing contract through Verizon, but I'd rather use a separate device.
posted by donpardo at 11:04 AM on June 28, 2013

If you can't get a FreedomPop device in the two-week timeframe, you could always get a mobile hotspot directly from Clear. You could pick one up at a Best Buy or mobile shop I suppose.

Their Voyager device would run you somewhere around $35-$50 and the unlimited data starts at $35/month with no contract.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:12 PM on June 28, 2013

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