Best Mobile WiFi HotSpot Options For A Tiny Business
February 23, 2017 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I run a lunch counter. I need a secured WiFi network for my point-of-sale system.

Here's the catch: the business is located within a much (MUCH) larger business that has a multiplicity of secured networks and IT systems all humming along carrying millions of dollars of transactions and identifying personal details. So I can't use their network. I can't even use their land-line. I can't, in any way shape or form, get near their stuff.

So. All I need is a secured network to run credit card transactions, EOD batch data, and the intermittent POS software update. I figured I'd use my phone as a personal hotspot, but alas, that's incompatible with my ancient (unlimited, mwah ha ha) data plan.

I saw where a 2 GB plan from AT&T is $25/mo, which seems reasonable. But I honestly have no idea how much data I'm actually using (credit card transactions hafta be measured in kb, right? They're tiny, data-wise, right?).

So help me out, MeFi! What're my options? How much data should I expect to use? What's the best way to do this? I don't care about speed, as long as it isn't 20-30 seconds per swipe, which will kill me during lunch rush. Thanks!
posted by BitterOldPunk to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How much data should I expect to use?

As a baseline, Square data usage is on the order of kb-per-transaction:
Signing in to Square Point of Sale ~ 8 kb of data
Declined payments ~ 4 kb of data
Completed payments ~ 10 kb of data
Issuing a refund ~ 4 kb of data
Resending a receipt ~ 4 kb of data
I'm not sure how that compares to usage by other systems, though I would presume they don't differ too significantly.
posted by cjelli at 1:06 PM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

because of a weird legal quirk, for a tax deductable $500/year you can get a fast, essentially unlimited wireless hot spot from the Calyx Institute
posted by Dr. Twist at 4:22 PM on February 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

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