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  1. #1
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    Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    So how feasible would this be? Ditching cable Internet and using an iPhone 5 as the Internet connection for a current version iMac?

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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    It works just fine. But things to consider:

    Mobile data is typically much slower than cable. Do you get good 3G (or better) reception in your home?

    Mobile data is typically more expensive than cable. What's your data limit for your phone, and how does that compare to your typical at-home data usage?

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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    Quote Originally Posted by bendted View Post
    So how feasible would this be? Ditching cable Internet and using an iPhone 5 as the Internet connection for a current version iMac?
    This is generally not a very good option. The problem is not so much technical as it is financial and administrative. 4G LTE is fast enough for a desktop connection. But many mobile ISPs do not allow "tethering" like this at all. Also, mobile data plans are always "capped" in some way. They may tell you it is an "unlimited" plan, but that usually means that when you reach some monthly limit of data (e.g., 2,5 GB), the connection becomes so slow it is unusable. Since "unusable" is the same as no service, your "unlimited" data plan is actually quite limited.

    If you have a big problem with your cable operator and DSL is not available (and you live in USA), look into a Virgin mobile data hotspots.

    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/shop/...in_hotspot_BMM

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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Rexx View Post
    This is generally not a very good option. The problem is not so much technical as it is financial and administrative. 4G LTE is fast enough for a desktop connection. But many mobile ISPs do not allow "tethering" like this at all. Also, mobile data plans are always "capped" in some way. They may tell you it is an "unlimited" plan, but that usually means that when you reach some monthly limit of data (e.g., 2,5 GB), the connection becomes so slow it is unusable. Since "unusable" is the same as no service, your "unlimited" data plan is actually quite limited.
    Depends on the carrier. If I paid for tethering, I could use as many GBs as I wanted since I'm on an old Verizon unlimited plan.

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    JUB Addict T-Rexx's Avatar
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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    ^ I didn't manage to finish formatting the above post before it auto-posted for me (weird!).

    Virgin Mobile is the only wireless solution (in the USA) that offers truly unlimited data, so long as it is 4G. Virgin (interestingly) caps 3G but not 4G data. They seem to have unlimited 4G bandwidth available but, their 3G spectrum is pretty crowded right now. Sprint, the parent of Virgin, also owns Clear Wireless, which is a 4G WiMax service. Virgin's 4G is not LTE, but WiMax. This does not matter, as Sprint/Clear's WiMax is plenty fast enough. You have to be lucky enough to live within range of a Sprint/Clear 4G signal, however. Otherwise, your service will fall back to 3G (which is barely fast enough for a desktop/laptop, and will get capped at 5 GB/month of 3G data).

    You could, of course, just sign up for Clear's WiMax service directly. However, although it is technically the same service, I recommend dealing with Virgin over Clear. Clear is an administrative mess. You can't get help from them and they try to cheat you on the billing. Virgin is prepaid, straightforward, and helpful. Virgin's 4G WiMax service is either $35/month or $55/month, depending on how much 3G you think you might use. If you have a strong 4G signal inside your home, you can get truly unlimited, fast data for just $35/month.

    For the vast majority of people, however, some kind of wired connection (cable or DSL) is generally preferable for desktop/laptop use.

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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    Depends on the carrier. If I paid for tethering, I could use as many GBs as I wanted since I'm on an old Verizon unlimited plan.
    As I understand it, those handful of people who have grandfathered "unlimited" Verizon data plans are stuck with 3G (which is not great for a desktop/laptop connection). And it's not really "unlimited" data, anymore, either. As Verizon's CFO is fond of saying, "'unlimited' is just a word". And then you have to pay extra to tether on top of what is already one of the most expensive data plans in the world.

    As I said above, the problem with tethering a desktop/laptop through a cell phone is not so much technical as it is financial and administrative.

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    Re: Using an iPhone as a hot spot

    Alright, I don't think this scheme of mine would suit my needs. Thanks, all.

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