Apr 11 2011

Personal Hotspot is the Killer App for Verizon iPhone

Published by at 9:37 am under iPad,iPhone,Tools,travel

Update: If you want to know more about how the Verizon Personal Hotspot works there is a detailed review posted by Glenn Fleisman on Macworld today.

Another good update from Macworld on the experience of using Gazelle to sell an old iPad.

After another dropped call recently I decided to make the switch to a Verizon iPhone. The phone quality and network are a definite improvement. It passed the Zuma Beach to Malibu PCH stress test last week, a recent Ojai weekend, and it consistently out-performed my wife’s ATT iPhone 4. But the addition of tethering with the personal hotspot feature is the “Killer App”. I can now use it to connect my laptop with a USB cable or a choice of Bluetooth or wifi, plus can get a web connection on my iPad with Bluetooth or wi-fi. The option of surfing on the go is great, although you can’t talk and surf at the same time. (See iPad post.)

I recently turned on my iPad’s 3G connection during a power outage in Washington DC and used it in a meeting where the wi-fi network was closed. For me, it’s a great bridge for those times in-between wi-fi connections. I don’t need a heavy use plan – just a way to check email and light web surfing – I had the $14.99 a month plan for 250 MB of data on the iPad and just signed up for the 2 GB, $20 a month plan on Verizon. The advantage is that I can connect multiple devices – most importantly my laptop.

tethering Personal Hotspot is the Killer App for Verizon iPhone

I can now connect my iPhone to a laptop or iPad – and talk on the phone!

After having a public email for years I get tons of spam and while most of it is filtered by my host at least 50 emails a day still make it through. My laptop Mail program filters out much of the other spam, but they all come through on my iPhone and iPad. I’m also a beta tester for my frequent flying wife. She has a 3G USB modem that she uses often while traveling and in her East LA office with bad internet service. In a test today the iPhone connection was equal to the 3G modem. Verizon has a 4G modem on the market, but it is only for Windows now, which means its not available.  The modem costs $60 a month and she has her 3G feature activated on her iPad as well. With the hotspot feature she could be saving $54 a month.

I finally made the deal to sell my 4G ATT iPhone through Craigslist. The process is a big pain, but I thought that I could get more for the phone than the easy approach of using Gazelle.com or some other online service. All of my potential buyers were pros that knew the market and bargained hard. Expect plenty of questions and close stares at every scratch. I even had one no-show and the second guy rescheduled. The next time I will be using Gazelle to sell my electronics instead.

In the end the difference was $150 with my early termination penalty from ATT. But I now have a real phone again and the hotspot could help pay for the difference over time.

Mark Harmel


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