Since I had burned all my credit bridges with Verizon, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile, and even my neighbor’s styrofoam cup and string, I decided to check out Sir Richard Branson’s website and look into purchasing a new cellular phone from this esteemed individual…also they have no credit checks. While browsing through the various iPhones and Android powered phones, I found a little number that would be perfect for me. While checking out and attempting to pay my bill for the first (possibly last) time, I noticed an option to add a mobile hotspot for an extra $15 per month. Since I had just received the money from my grandmother, I decided to say “oh heck to the yeah” on adding this mobile hotspot, now the only question I have is “what is a mobile hotspot?”
“The Hotspot got mobile when Cliff and Carla took the floor…because everybody left.”
What Is A Mobile Hotspot
Pretty easily, a mobile hotspot is a device on your smartphone that enables other wireless devices to browse the Internet through your phone. This could be anything from laptops to other phones to an iPod Touch or a tablet and they connect to the Internet the same way they would with a home router. If you have a smartphone with a 3G or 4G data package, multiple devices can connect to the ‘Net on your dime. Of course, broadband Internet access from your mobile hotspot is usually password protected and requires the phone user to activate it at times. There are other devices such as mobile USB sticks that work in the same way but they typically only grant Internet access to one device at a time – whatever one they’re plugged in to.
Pro’s Of The Mobile Hotspot
Obviously the #1 attraction of a mobile hotspot is Internet access to your devices anywhere you have a cell phone connection. Instead of being restricted to using your laptop only at home or in public WI-FI terminals, those who own a mobile hotspot device can log on virtually anywhere. Also, you need not worry about expensive monthly fees to have wireless Internet in the home and the costly setup charge to initially configure your wireless router.
Also, public WiFi networks are not safe so it is better to use your own connection if you can.
Cons Of The Mobile Hotspot
Obviously, if you choose to equip your smart phone to serve as a mobile hotspot, you’ll incur bigger monthly fees on your cell phone bill. This could be as little as Virgin Mobile’s $15 per month but most smart phones are WI-FI enabled at all times and free wireless networks are growing daily. Another disadvantage of turning your smart phone into a mobile hotspot is people lurching off your connection and subsequently draining your monthly data allotment. Overage can result in some pretty hefty fees as well so if you do decide to turn the phone into a mobile hot spot, either be very careful who you let creep in or select an unlimited data plan. Perhaps you could charge your friends or people at the bar a couple bucks or a few free drinks every time they use your mobile hot spot to log onto the Internet, this could help offset your monthly bill.
In the end, the decision to turn your smart phone into a mobile hotspot is a personal decision. Personally, I like it for when I visit Grandparents or other family who have no concept of what the Internet is. I can still use my laptop and play games online to avoid that pesky situation of actually conversing with people.