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Mobile Hotspot vs Jetpacks, Tablets, or Home Fusion

 

Now that Verizon's Share Everything plans include mobile hotspot as part of the plan at no extra cost (as long as you stay within your data usage), I've had a lot of customers ask 'why would I pay an extra $10-20 for a jetpack or tablet when I can use the hotspot on my phone?' Sometimes they're right, it's not worth it, but there are still advantages to having the jetpack or tablet as a standalone service. And sometimes the new Home Fusion service might be the best route. Here are my pros and cons of each:

 

 

Mobile Hotspot

Pros:

 

  • No extra monthly costs on a Share Everything plan.
  • Great for occasional usage.
  • Works well for single people.
  • Fewer devices to carry around.
Cons
  • Not convenient for families. For the family with one smartphone, if the user of that smartphone leaves the house, the hotspot goes with. For the multiple-smartphone family, get ready to play 'who's phone is the hotspot today?'
  • Extensive use can wear down your phone's battery.
  • Only 4G LTE Android phones support simultaneous voice and data and usually only if you're in a 4G area. If that's not you and you need voice and data at the same time, you need a jetpack, tablet, or Home Fusion.
  • Not as many network options. I like the Novatel jetpack because you can toggle between 3G and 4G if you need and it had an external antenna jack. Not many phones can do that.
Jetpack
Pros
  • No need to juggle who's phone is the hotspot, great for home use or family travel.
  • Saves battery life on your phone.
  • Usually transmits a stronger wifi signal than a phone.
  • Easier to turn on and off than some phones.
Cons
  • For those looking to carry fewer devices, this is just one more.

 

Tablet
Pros
  • Lowest monthly cost at $10/month on a share everything plan.
  • A Tablet can replace most things computers and e-readers can.
  • Fast tartup: using a hotspot on a phone or jetpack means turning multiple devices on and off.
Cons
  • The up-front cost of a tablet can be high, in the $400-600 range. Unless you were planning on buying a tablet anyway, or unless the cost can get closer to $200, this could be an issue.
  • For families, you're still playing 'who's got the hotspot?'
Home Fusion
Pros:
  • A complete home solution, covers your whole house or most of it, with ethernet jacks as well.
  • More data allowed compared to a standalone jetpack or tablet plan.
  • Can now be added to Share Everything plans of 10GB or higher.
Cons
  • You need to be in a LTE area and own your home (no apartment renters) since there is equipment to install on the outside of the building.
  • It is a permanent home install, you can't take it with you. Verizon will install a new setup at your new location, but they won't remove the old hardware.
Whether you want to use your phone, tablet, or jetpack as your hotspot, or try the new Home Fusion service, we can get you the right equipment and set it up right at Wireless World.

 

3 Responses to Mobile Hotspot vs Jetpacks, Tablets, or Home Fusion

  • I currently use a verizon 4g jetpack for my home internet.  My connection can be sketchy at times and I'm looking for a better solution.  I think the homefusion would be my next step and it is available in my area.  Would my connection get any better with homefusion?  Is there a contract to sign?  Can a technician come to my house and check the siginal before I sign up?

    • @Andrew – I have HomeFusion, and it is very unreliable. The cantenna needs to be rebooted all the time, and sometimes it just never gets a signal. During a couple of long-term outages recently (router died, and they were backordered; cantenna "dropped off the network" and just does not connect anymore), I have gotten a loaner JetPack. It has worked flawlessly, with 100% connectivity as far as I can tell. Since both devices would be using the same 4g signal, you would think the HF, with a supposedly better antenna, would work better….

      • Typically that is the case. HF should work better as it has a larger antenna and the installers can place the cantenna for optimal signal. My best recommendation for new customers is to take advantage of the 14 day worry free guarantee. For existing customers with signal issues, technical support and trouble tickets are the way to go. It is cumbersome, but if there are service issues with our towers, or we need to make changes to your plan or devices outside of normal warranty work, having a technician document the situation gives the best options.

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