Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Straighten Me Out: 3G/4G vs Cable Internet
Old 06-12-2011, 07:14 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 12,459
Straighten Me Out: 3G/4G vs Cable Internet

1) We have a desktop with Comcast cable internet (about $50/mo) and a router, a laptop with wi-fi and an iPod with wi-fi. So we have to be in wi-fi hotspot at home or out to use the laptop or iPod online. And we pay extra for two (non-smart) phones on a standalone plan with AT&T.

Putting the hardware/software differences aside...

2) Could we just have a laptop with 3G service (I've read $15 to $30/month and no contract with AT&T) instead of the desktop, laptop and have access (almost) everywhere we take the laptop? I know we'll still have to pay for voice on a phone, but would the data plan give us AT&T 3G service for the phone too, or do we have to pay for data plans by device? [Forgive me if I'm asking this wrong].

3) I know there are wireless printers that can be used with an iPad and now I'm seeing wireless hard drives that might make it possible for me to have nothing but an iPad that I can use anywhere. [One of the iPad barriers for me is I need way more storage capacity than even the 64GB max of the biggest iPad]. Plus a dumb phone.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-12-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,271
Technically, yes you could ditch Comcast and just use 3G on the laptop. I think that you will find the 3G to be much much slower than the broadband connection though. Also, I believe that the data plan from ATT is charged per device.
__________________

__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 07:32 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 43,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
1)
2) Could we just have a laptop with 3G service (I've read $15 to $30/month and no contract with AT&T) instead of the desktop, laptop and have access (almost) everywhere we take the laptop? I know we'll still have to pay for voice on a phone, but would the data plan give us AT&T 3G service for the phone too, or do we have to pay for data plans by device? [Forgive me if I'm asking this wrong].
One option I used for a couple of years was a 3G "aircard" and a wireless router designed to work with one. I could plug the aircard directly into my laptop for individual use or into the router to create a wi-fi hotspot. Using the router will allow multiple devices to use the aircard without having to pay individually.

The 3G Store has good information on how it all works as well as other options to do what you're asking about.
__________________
Numbers is hard

Although rare, it is possible to read something on this forum you don't agree with and simply move on with your life

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 09:08 AM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,636
Every time it rains, our cable TV signal degrades. The company doesn't care enough to fix the problem.

Every time our daughter brings her smart phone comes home, we're entertained with drama over why we can see the cell phone tower from our house, but she can't get a reliable signal from it. Corporate finger-pointing ensues.

Meanwhile our DSL up time has been incredible. I think our total outages over the last five years could be measured in minutes.

So perhaps you only get what you pay for.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Every time it rains, our cable TV signal degrades. The company doesn't care enough to fix the problem.

Every time our daughter brings her smart phone comes home, we're entertained with drama over why we can see the cell phone tower from our house, but she can't get a reliable signal from it. Corporate finger-pointing ensues.

Meanwhile our DSL up time has been incredible. I think our total outages over the last five years could be measured in minutes.

So perhaps you only get what you pay for.
+1 I wouldn't give up our DSL. We live in the center of teh city but still have 3G dead spots in the house. I occasionally turn on the wifi hot spot feature on my 3G smart phone (traveling or at our weekend house) when I want to be able to get on the Internet with a laptop. That works pretty well but is not reliable everywhere.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 09:33 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 578
Check out Clear.com. They offer 3g/4g service. They have the hotspot that is a modem and wifi router. I used to have their USB modem that I use to browse the internet before I RE'd (this prevents records of me surfing the internet at work). I also use the modem for home and when I go to LAS. Unfortunately, reception is sometimes marginal and I can not get the bit rate that they advertised. As per their service map, my locations are not in their optimal areas for reception. I also used this device with Magicjack for making long distance calls and sometimes local calls.

I decided to stop the service when I needed to have a more reliable internet connection for remote survellience cameras that I installed. When I discontinued the plan, the service rep started giving me offers that lower my rate from $40 down to $20/month.

Again, check all the details.
KingB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 09:39 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 43,356
Midpack, I don't think the $15 to $30 per month number is accurate - at least not in my experience. I was paying $60/month plus tax & crapfees for an AT$T and later a Sprint aircard. I gave up on using the cards when the carriers began to limit the amount of monthly usage as it became too much of a hassle to have to monitor and too restrictive. Thankfully another option became available out here in the sticks and I was able to switch to something faster and reliable at a slightly lower cost (no crapfees).
__________________
Numbers is hard

Although rare, it is possible to read something on this forum you don't agree with and simply move on with your life

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 6,129
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I don't think an aircard can compete with a good landline service for anything but the most trivial usage. Our friends used it exclusively while waiting for a landline to be installed. They were so happy to get the landline!
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 12,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Midpack, I don't think the $15 to $30 per month number is accurate - at least not in my experience. I was paying $60/month plus tax & crapfees for an AT$T and later a Sprint aircard. I gave up on using the cards when the carriers began to limit the amount of monthly usage as it became too much of a hassle to have to monitor and too restrictive. Thankfully another option became available out here in the sticks and I was able to switch to something faster and reliable at a slightly lower cost (no crapfees).
Hmmmm... I know smartphone data plans are typically $15 adders and I have been looking at iPad data plans at $15 and $25/month (down from $30) [see below from Get Started - Wireless from AT&T] assuming a "laptop" would be the same. Looks like you're probably right, maybe the iPad option will end up making more sense for me. I was focused almost entirely on the second and third table, but it was right there above if I'd looked.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AT&T.jpg (95.7 KB, 15 views)
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,012
have you looked into getting a mifi? it creates a wifi hotspot anywhere you can get cell phone service through the carrier. you can connect up to 5 wifi devices at a time and virgin mobile has 3 different data usage plans. see Broadband2Go - 3G Mobile Broadband Service | Virgin Mobile
jdw_fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 07:00 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 12,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_fire View Post
have you looked into getting a mifi? it creates a wifi hotspot anywhere you can get cell phone service through the carrier. you can connect up to 5 wifi devices at a time and virgin mobile has 3 different data usage plans. see Broadband2Go - 3G Mobile Broadband Service | Virgin Mobile
No I had not, thanks. And I've seen our IT guys with mobile hotspots but didn't know much about them. Your link also gave me another insight. It showed a 500MB plan as equivalent to 24 hours of browing per month. So AT&T's $15/mo 250MB plan (12 hrs browsing/month) would never be adequate - I was wondering. Thanks, I've learned quite a bit in the last 24 hours...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 40,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
No I had not, thanks. And I've seen our IT guys with mobile hotspots but didn't know much about them. Your link also gave me another insight. It showed a 500MB plan as equivalent to 24 hours of browing per month. So AT&T's $15/mo 250MB plan (12 hrs browsing/month) would never be adequate - I was wondering. Thanks, I've learned quite a bit in the last 24 hours...
I agree -- I think most people would need the bigger data plan. I used more than that on my iPhone last month, and I really didn't think I did much internet browsing.
__________________
5/17/2018: Retired a second time, this time from my volunteer Admin duties. After 10 years of being on the team, and 40,000+ posts, the time just seemed right. It has been such fun to work with all of our Mods and Admins and I plan to stick around as a regular member.
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
No I had not, thanks. And I've seen our IT guys with mobile hotspots but didn't know much about them. Your link also gave me another insight. It showed a 500MB plan as equivalent to 24 hours of browing per month. So AT&T's $15/mo 250MB plan (12 hrs browsing/month) would never be adequate - I was wondering. Thanks, I've learned quite a bit in the last 24 hours...
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I agree -- I think most people would need the bigger data plan. I used more than that on my iPhone last month, and I really didn't think I did much internet browsing.
i have a mifi from verizon (i committed to a 2 yr verizon plan before i learned about virgin's plan) where i get 5 GB/mo and i have never used all of it but often use more than half of it. however i am rarely operating more than 1 device using the internet.
__________________

jdw_fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FYI on those considering dropping their cable and going internet Mulligan Other topics 44 03-21-2011 04:34 AM
Negotiating on TV and Internet Cable Rates TooFrugal FIRE and Money 18 10-30-2010 03:57 PM
How to get Internet - no cable or DSL available JustMeUC Other topics 9 01-11-2010 03:39 PM
Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes mb FIRE and Money 59 01-25-2006 08:01 AM
what is the cheapest plan; cell/internet/cable zuki FIRE and Money 8 02-01-2005 10:48 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:44 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.