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wejones

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Really off topic, but might need it to read this forum for the next couple weeks.
My satellite internet went out, and rather than get it repaired, I've decided to switch to another service similar to DSL, however it's going to take a couple weeks to get that installed, and now, to use the internet I have to drive 10 miles to the library in the next town.
   Recently, however, someone came to our house with a smart cellphone, and she connected her computer to a wireless access point generated by the cell phone.  We've been talking about getting a smartphone, and I thought that if we got one now, this might be a way of getting low speed access for the next couple weeks, and/or on other occasions when the internet is not available otherwise.

  So the question is, do all smart phones have this capability of providing a wireless access point, or only some?  If only some, which ones?   The service I'm likely to use has a fairly wide choice of cell phones that can be used with it, but I don't know which to get, and a google search didn't come up with any smart phone that seemed to advertise this feature, meaning I'm probably using the wrong term in the search.....  ie google only came up with wireless routers when I tried to search for smart phones with wireless access point. 
   Any suggestions re a phone that will do this?
Thanks.   (It will probably be tomorrow before I can reply.)


big_hemi

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I have Verizon Wireless and my smartphone (Galaxy S7) has what you're talking about.  It's called mobile hotspot or tethering.

If I remember correctly, most of the newer smartphones have this capability, as long as that function is enabled by the service provider.

Verizon includes this in my data plan.  I believe the data cap for tethering is lower than your smartphone data cap.  For example, I have 16GB on my data plan for my smartphone, but I think I can only tether 10GB.

I would recommend finding out which service provider has the best 4G-LTE signal in your area, then finding out which provider and plan is the most economical for your situation.

A word of caution though, it can get extremely expensive if you exceed your allowable data.  Most of the providers give you a way to monitor how much data you use on a daily basis.

Hope this helps!

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dem0nlord

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I use Project Fi from Google. You have to use a Google phone, currently the lowest cost would be a Nexus 5X for about $250. This service uses the Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular networks, seamlessly hopping from one to another. Also calling and texting works normally when in a place with wi-fi but no cellular signal. Unlimited calling/texting is $20, data is priced at $10/gb but you only pay for what you actually use. So if for example you only use 100mb then it is only $1. Hotspot capability is enabled by default, same rate as normal phone data usage. Some other carriers want to charge you extra to enable hotspot usage on your phone.
EagleEye69

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Doesn't even sound like you need a phone.  Just a hotspot device.  This is an example of one, they are less expensive than a phone and will provide what you are looking for. 
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wejones

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Thanks for both. I only had a couple minutes to check both responses, but it sounds like the first would require an additional contract, and the 2nd would require being able to receive a free hotspot from my home??
   What I was hoping for (maybe not possible) was to upgrade my current dumb phone to a smart phone, and use an app already on the new smart phone.  My current dumb phone has a few thousand hours of unused "minutes" available, and the company allows upgrades to several different I-phones, Samsung, and other smart phones, and I thought the simplest thing to get a week or two of low speed internet would be to find one with the feature to provide an access point.  Unfortunately, there is no way for me to contact the person who demonstrated the feature at my house, so I don't know what phone or service was being used.
   But will look into go\both options,     Thanks,

majortom

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Reply with quote  #6 
all wireless operators can tether these days, so do shop around for whatever you can afford,
DO ask any potential provider about their return policy.. say if you try one, and the coverage stinks in your home, your probably going to want to return it, and try something else. Most should have a limited period of time where you can return no questions asked.
Look for one that specifically is using LTE, and not the older technologies..
regardless what they say, I don't think any of them will be the same as a dedicated internet connection like fiber, cable, dsl, or your satellite internet.

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big_hemi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wejones
... and I thought the simplest thing to get a week or two of low speed internet would be to find one with the feature to provide an access point...

4G / LTE technology is pretty much the standard now and all new smartphones from the major providers have this.  The speed is comparable to most of the mid to upper range wired broadband services.  That's why I suggested being careful and monitor your usage because it's easy to blow through several gigs of data in a few days.  With all the hills and valleys out here in PA it's probably a good idea to sample which provider provides the best coverage in your area.  There are spots near me where some have absolute zero coverage in certain areas, while others have a full signal.

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Captain_Kurtz

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Reply with quote  #8 
wejones, the very first thing that you want to do is check for a good signal inside your house.

4G data uses a higher frequency band that doesn't penetrate walls as well as the frequency band used for voice.

You might need a cell repeater - an antenna mounted on the roof to connect to the 4G tower, and an antenna inside with amplifier to create a micro-cell inside the house.

The specific model of repeater depends on the band that you need, which depends on your carrier.

Invite a friend with a smart phone over to check the signal. I doubt you get a good 4G signal inside if you live out in the country.

However, given the fact that it's now 2017 already, it might be time to upgrade to a smartphone anyway..... [wink]
WT1964

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm on AT&T and have a LG K10 which is about as low as you can go on usefulness for a smart phone[frown]
But the tether function works great,used it this morning actually. The tether is about the only this phone is fit for IMHO
as it works better than the actual phone's browser.

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wejones

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleEye69
Doesn't even sound like you need a phone.  Just a hotspot device.  This is an example of one, they are less expensive than a phone and will provide what you are looking for. 

Well..  after re-reading the description of the Verizon hotspot device, it did say contract not required, and since it was at a bestbuy, we decided to get that.  It was a nightmare to set up, since you needed either a smartphone or internet to enter all the passwords and things, but we finally got it connected, and I'm posting this reply from it.

As a couple people mentioned, the reception inside is poor to nothing, but that's the case with all services. Right now, we have the thing outside.
  My wife liked the google project fi thing that dem0nlord suggested.  Right now, we use track phones that have a similar deal relative to no contract, so we may get that google thing as a replacement for one of the trackphones.  Does that Nexus phone have a built in GPS?

 Anyway, this hotspot thing should keep us in business for the next week or two.  I'll re-read all the other posts for suggestions since we are definitely going to need a smartphone soon, but now we have time to shop around.
  Thanks for all the suggestions.
RimaNTSS

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think any android phone has possibility to create hotspot. I use it quiet often when I travel somewhere with laptop, then I just activate hotspot on the phone and laptop sees it as it was regular router. I have unlimited internet included in my phone connection, so no worries about data usage.
Edit: Just connected to internet via phone and measured the speed ScreenHunter_270 Apr. 09 22.56.jpg 

Chris

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Reply with quote  #12 
wejones I used a cell phone for a few years as my only internet connection. I used it as a hotspot. My connection was slow though but it got me by. I had Sprint with their unlimited data plan without that it would not of been possible. One of my biggest hurdles was extremely poor signal zero bars in the house and 1 to 2 bars outside. Here is what I came up with as a solution.
http://rickcaylor.websitetoolbox.com/post/making-use-of-the-dish-6048849?highlight=internet+cell+phone&pid=1275352673
Captain_Kurtz

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Reply with quote  #13 
I use a program called PdaNet+ for my Android cell phone, to avoid paying $20 a month to activate wireless hotspot capabilities on the phone.

http://pdanet.co/
dem0nlord

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wejones


  My wife liked the google project fi thing that dem0nlord suggested.  Right now, we use track phones that have a similar deal relative to no contract, so we may get that google thing as a replacement for one of the trackphones.  Does that Nexus phone have a built in GPS?


Yes, virtually any phone does for years now. For Fi you can use a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, or Pixel XL. It's definitely a unique service, no one else has coverage on multiple networks like that. It's even cheaper for a 2nd line at $15 for unlimited calling/texting, they share the data usage so same type deal if you only use 100mb between the two of you, then the data bill is only $1. Nice thing about Google phones is they are always the most current with Android releases, updates are every month. I've been on Android 7 for over a year. The other manufacturers lag way behind and don't do security updates nearly as often.
dem0nlord

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RimaNTSS
I think any android phone has possibility to create hotspot. I use it quiet often when I travel somewhere with laptop, then I just activate hotspot on the phone and laptop sees it as it was regular router. I have unlimited internet included in my phone connection, so no worries about data usage.
Edit: Just connected to internet via phone and measured the speed ScreenHunter_270 Apr. 09 22.56.jpg 


The rest of the world where it has always been standard practice to just go buy your phone and then get a SIM card for whichever service provider you want to use, yes. The US, not at all. All these contract phones where people are making monthly payments on them as part of their bill, where the phone is locked to that single carrier only, and features like this are often locked out. Sometimes they can be enabled for an extra monthly fee, sometimes you can't even do that. Then yes sometimes there are ways around it with apps like PDAnet for example. Or rooting the phone which I always do anyway for other purposes. I am glad to see the market here shifting more and more to the model used everywhere else in the world, finally. That's the way it should have always been.
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