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Mobile HotSpot Products

jchunter

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I'm going to need a mobile hot spot for my iPad 2.
How does DataJack (no-contract) compare to Verizon, etc. for coverage, reliablility, convenience?
 

skimonkey

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Never heard of Datajack, but do use Virgin Mobile Broadband which works fine. Coverage in rural areas were just as good as in the city. Of course it will not be as fast as your home wifi, but, it did the job very well for simple surfing, emails, facebook etc.
 
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jchunter

jchunter

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Thanks for the feedback. I guess the devil is in the data plan. I'm hoping to get by with one GB - just web surfing, no movie downloads. The Data Usage app seems to work well for monitoring usage. We will be traveling, so will be able to see how broad the signal coverage is. I did order the Datajack MiFi 2200 and it arrived in 2 days (free shipping). It apparently rides on Sprint's network.

EDIT: Oops, Just noticed that the Data Usage app is useless for mobile hotspots because the iPad only sees WiFi from the hotspot device. :eek:
 
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tdrew

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After you've used the Datajack for a while, please post your opinions. I (and I'm sure others) would like to hear your feedback.

--Tom--
 
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jchunter

jchunter

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After you've used the Datajack for a while, please post your opinions. I (and I'm sure others) would like to hear your feedback.

--Tom--
OK, Will do.

First Log input:
The DataJack website has live chat help as well as telephone support.

I found out that my new plan had to be activated by them before it starts. I decided to defer activation until we start traveling. Also learned the 5GB plan does accept overages but the 1GB plan (and lower plans) just shut off when the max for the month is reached. I prefer the shut off feature to letting overages accrue. One can get a new data allotment by paying with credit card. One can change the specific plan when the the current plan is out of time or data.

However, when I tried to change my plan from the initial 5GB to 1GB, I was told I would have to wait until Monday. So plan change timing is not 24/7...

They do notify data usage by email at mid month and the user can see his actual usage anytime in their website. This is probably the best choice for monitoring actual cell data usage (most accurate). Of course, I plan to use available WiFi wherever possible.

JC
 

butterfly68za

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I didn't have enough saved to buy a 3G iPad 2 and not wanting contracts or anything, most Android smartphone devices offer Hotspot tethering, and does the job just nicely for my purposes of being online. :D

Sent from my iPad 2 using iPF
 

tdrew

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I didn't have enough saved to buy a 3G iPad 2 and not wanting contracts or anything, most Android smartphone devices offer Hotspot tethering, and does the job just nicely for my purposes of being online. :D

Sent from my iPad 2 using iPF

Depends on the carrier. AT&T does not allow tethering, unless you want to pay extra for it (something like $45, but don't quote me on that). This makes a service like DataJack something to consider.

--Tom--
 
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jchunter

jchunter

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I finally got around to activating the Datajack Mifi2200 yesterday. The password printed on the back of the unit did not connect, so I called Tech Support and they answered the phone right away. They gave me a different generic network password, which worked. The iPad found the signal immediately and locked on. I tested operation with several internet hungry apps and they were happy!

Then, I looked (in vain) for a button on Datajack’s website to change the generic network password so that other users would not be able to graze on my data plan. Another call to Tech Support got me an email that detailed their rather geeky method. It involved typing a hard coded ISN to a web site with a program that would write a new network password into the Mifi 2200. Unfortunately, this program also had a password that was different than that in the email, so I had to call again. Finally, I was able to change my network password and save it. But then, this stupid program decided to immediately try to reconnect with the new password. I had to delete the Mifi 200 connection in the iPad before it would let me enter the new network password.

Then, after failing to connect multiple times, I again called tech support. No joy. I finally figured out that that geeky password program had modified the password I had entered by capitalizing its first letter! And the password decoder is case sensitive! Yetch!.:mad: :(

When I re-entered my password with the first letter capitalized, all was well and peace was restored….

Today, I took the Mifi2200 out for a drive around Phoenix and it performed well wherever I turned it on. It takes about 20 seconds for the Mifi2200 to show in the iPad's Wifi Settings. Coverage seems good in Phoenix. A little slower in some locations.

Clearly Datajack’s geeky password change program is a serious stain on an otherwise user-friendly website. It needs to be de-geeked and simplified ASAP.
 
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jchunter

jchunter

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Wrap Up

After using the Datajack MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot for three weeks in a rural farm community in upstate New York, I can say that I had no problems and would rate this product a solid 10 out of 10. I used 340 mb out of a 1 gb data plan and never noticed connection or speed problems.

1. It was easy to monitor data usage at the datajack.com web site. One quirk was that the usage number did not seem to update if I remained logged in even if I refreshed Safari.

2. The 2200 battery lasted several hours and warned about low charge with a flashing red light well before exhaustion. Charging was quick at 20 to 30 min. One quirk is that the unit waits about one minute after connection to the charger before beginning the charge. If I started the charger while the low charge light was flashing, it continued to flash during that one min delay time. Somewhat confusing at first.

3. Wifi range was adequate throughout the house we stayed in (30 - 40 ft). The 2200 was able to maintain connection with google maps in closed moving car.

Bottom line, this product is a great choice if your iPad is 3G challenged. I will now change my data plan to 200 mb for use in Phoenix.
 

skimonkey

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Hey JCHunter-thanks for the update. I am sure that many members will find your information valuable to them as they consider other alternatives to 3G.

Thank you! :)
 

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