When it comes to choosing the perfect prepaid mobile hotspot, often people simply don't know where to start. The fact is, finding the mobile hotspot that is right for you isn't always easy, and can sometimes be a bit time-consuming. Still, there are a few things that you can do in order to set yourself on the right path towards finding the perfect prepaid mobile hotspot for your needs and budget . Perhaps you may want to take the following tips into consideration - don't worry much about technical jargon and detailed specifications, just breakdown your core requirement and whats most important to you, perhaps speeds, cost, reliability, or available wireless signal.
1. Choose the Right Payment Plan for You
Choosing the payment plan that is right for you is all about taking your financial situation into consideration to determined exactly how much you can afford to spend each month and how often you'd like to pay. In the last year or so, a bunch of newcomers in the mobile broadband space, such as DataJack and NetZero popped up, all offering prepaid 3G or 4G data plans. This is great news for customers, as these newcomers will often undercut the major wireless providers. The good thing about prepaid plans is that you can vary the amount you want to spend from month-to-month. Most importantly, don't be lured by low prices on wireless data plans alone - after all, a 5 GB data allowance for 10 bucks a month may sound too good to be true, and that might be the case if you find the mobile carrier simply does not serve your area with their 3G or 4G data signal.
2. Consider Network Quality
The quality of the network you choose is extremely important to take into consideration. A lot of people don't realize that some networks offer much better reception than others, which can make or break your ability to get things done when using your mobile hotspot. Fortunately, there are a lot of reviews online that will help you to determine which hotspot offers the best performance quality, a good number which are worth reading if you have the time. A simple Google search, such as "best 3g network quality north america" will alomost always bring up the best and most useful reviews and insight. When evaluating the network quality of some of the lesser-known carriers like Virgin Mobile or NetZero, with a little research you'll find that these providers are actually reselling data service on networks of the larger players. it might save you time to realize facts like Virgin mobile is actually based on the Sprint nationwide 3G network.
3. Decide Upon Prepaid or Contract Plans
Prepaid plans can be quite useful, and it seems more-and-more people prefer them over the term contract alternative. That said, you may howebver be able to save money by going with a contract (or "postpaid") data plan, it all depends on your anticipated needs for wireless broadband data. In order to decide which is right for you, you should determine whether or not you are in the position to enter into a contract, most which last 2 years. Many people find prepaid plans to be convenient because they don't have to commit to anything, although others prefer to settle into a contract that comes along with good terms. The main advantage of entering into a term contract is that you'll be able to buy (or receive free) the mobile hotspot itself at a much lower price. Additionally, if you plan to use wireless data service on a fairly regular basis and can estimate your average monthly usage, contract plans often are a better value for you on a "per gigabyte/per month" basis. Prepaid plans are just that, you buy a predetermined allotment of data for use within a time frame, usually a month. Prepaid plans allow you to adjust the amount you spend month-to-month on data, or even totally drop the wireless coverage on any given month, or as your needs dictate.
4. Evaluate Your Data Needs
In order to ensure that the hotspot you end up with is right for you and your family/coworkers, you've got to have a solid idea as to how much data you'll need within a month's time. Those who plan to utilize their hotspot for home computing, for example, typically require far less data than individuals who are using it for business purposes. For best results, look back at your prior data usage and use the statistics as a barometer. Another critically important factor to consider is not just how often or how much data you consume, but rather the type or content of data you typically utilize. Realize that high-resolution online video and streaming music will often consume huge amounts of bandwidth, and if you're not on the wireless network, it's all too easy to forget how many millions or billions of data bits are moving back and forth. The user of the Internet whose primary activities consist of checking e-mail, browsing websites, and updating Facebook statuses may be able to get along quite fine with just 500 MB of data within a month. On the other hand, a web user who spends a lot of time on video sites, or engaged in large file downloads or P2P sharing, like bittorrent may quite easily consume a whopping 10 GB in one month. Therefore it's critically important to sit down and evaluate what your estimated monthly daily consumption is likely to be. Since a mobile hotspot also supports four to seven additional users, you may also want to factor in occasional use to some degree of your mobile hotspot partners.
5. Consider Speed - How Fast You Afford to Go?
Nowadays, network speed is everything when shopping for the perfect mobile hotspot. In the current state of mobile broadband, network speed is pretty closely correlated to the average cost of data. Fortunately, the "slowest" network available today is 3G, which (contrary to all the new 4G advertisements) is not all that slow, and in truth is perfectly fine for probably 80% of all mobile hotspot owners. In most cases, 3G data is also the least expensive and most flexible to buy, in terms of the packages or prepaid plans. Unfortunately, this easy calculation does not apply to the new wireless battleground known as "4G". 4G data data service will almost always cost more than the equivalent 3G data service, but is on average 3 to 10 times faster than 3G. You should also spend some time to familiarize yourself with the three types of 4G data networks (LTE, HSPA+,and WiMax), as each has their own advantages and disadvantages, especially relating to their relative costs to one another. Pre-Paid (No-Contract) 4G data plans are also a bit harder to find than their 3G counterparts, so it's important to factor in the total cost over 24 months if you choose to go with a Term Contact option.