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Old 12-29-2017, 08:53 PM   #1
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Dedicated Hotspot vs Tethering

Getting ready to head south for the winter. I have a Prepaid Verizon Jetpack, $60 for 2Gb, and now a Galaxy S6 is 3Gb for $40. A tetherable phone is something I did not have before, hence the Jetpack.

Is there anything I can do with my laptop running off a Hotspot that I can't do with it tethered from a Verizon phone? Is there a reason to have both?
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:24 PM   #2
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Is there anything I can do with my laptop running off a Hotspot that I can't do with it tethered from a Verizon phone? Is there a reason to have both?
I use a similar setup so we can work on the road allowing for extended trips (Verizion hotspot and ATT phones). I haven't found any difference thus far (outside of the quality of provider service where you are). Your challenge will occur if you were to exceed the data tethering/hotspot limits from your Verizion phone contract. I believe they cap the monthly data tethering/hotspoting at 10gb, which you are well under.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:31 PM   #3
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Is there anything I can do with my laptop running off a Hotspot that I can't do with it tethered from a Verizon phone? Is there a reason to have both?
Your laptop just needs WiFi, and the wireless NIC doesn't care where it comes from. So strictly speaking, there's no need for both a hotspot and a phone. I prefer to have both however, and just share the data plan between them. Biggest reason is, I can use the phone while the wife surfs the web. The MiFi hotspot never leaves the cradle.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:38 PM   #4
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EDIT: I just re-read your question. You're not talking about a cradle or external antenna, just tethering or using a hotspot.

I would still get a power amplifying cradle connected to an external antenna, because many camping areas have very low coverage, if any. The external antenna/cradle, whether the phone or the hotspot is used, will mean a stronger signal and faster internet.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:31 AM   #5
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Thanks, I'll use both and see how the data usage goes.

I do have the cell amp. I don't however leave the Hotspot in it when not in use. It gets pretty hot in the WeBoost.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:21 PM   #6
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I have far too much connectivity - a Verizon Jetpack with 20GB per month (the old Millenicom plan), An AT&T Mobley (unlimited data only), a device designed to plug into the vehicle's ODB II port (I made adapters for 12V & 120V supplies for the trailer), and 1GB per month of Verizon coverage on an iPad. AT&T requires additional $ to turn on tethering in my iPhone, so it can't be tied to anything else, although it is on an old unlimited data plan. I even have a WiFi repeating system that lets me put a WiFi station on a pole outside the trailer that is tied to an internal WiFi system that does a great job of repeating campground, McDonalds, etc WiFis. Useful in Canada where cell coverage is expensive.

As long as there is AT&T service, I prefer the Mobley. I do a lot of internet radio, and Verizon, even in strong locations often drops the connection. Still, there are many parts of the country where Verizon is the only option, so if I had to choose one carrier, it would be Verizon.

As Robert mentioned, tethering a phone makes voice connections difficult if you are using a cradle amplifier. I have an outside antenna & Sleek amplifier, both of which are often necessary in remote areas. As long as you have 2 phones, both capable of tethering, you shouldn't run into the problem of when the phone is away, no data...
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