This article was updated on November 10th, 2020
I have yet to find a low cost provider for my 4G proxy so I started looking at other options.
Free T-Mobile Hotspot Test Drive
T-Mobile recently had an awesome deal going on to test out their new towers if you're a new customer. They provided you with a free ‘ Test Drive' device to trial their new towers and required no credit card or payment of any sort. When you're done with the device, you either can return the Coolpad Surf to a T-Mobile store or give it to a friend or family member to be re-activated for 30 days with 30GB of data. This was a great option if you need a mobile hotspot for Instagram or other social media platform for testing or if you're in need of extra data of course. I learned that unfortunately T-Mobile doesn't work at all in our apartment so I will be giving mine away soon.
If the hotspot doesn't work in your home or business, what if we swap out the SIM card? Let's compare the supported bands vs other carriers.
T-Mobile Coolpad Surf
|US Cellular 4G|
- *carrier's main band; phone must be compatible with at least one main band to work on network
- This device could possibly work on AT&T on bands (2,4,12,66), US Cellular on bands (2,4,12). It is however missing band13 required by Verizon and band25 required by Sprint.
- It's also likely locked to T-Mobile as well.
Tello Plan Options
Now what about a prepaid provider on the Sprint Network and using a phone you have lying around and enabling the WiFi hotspot? Let's check out what is available through Tello first and remove any minutes or texting to keep the price lower.
$5/mo plus tax/fees with 500MB of Data
$6/mo plus tax/fees with 1GB of Data
and up to…
$35/mo plus tax/fees with 12GB of Data
With Tello, if you run out of data they don't turn off your data however you end up with 2G speeds (aprox 34Kbps). Sprint is phasing out their 2G network and it will be interesting if services start to boost their customers data speed when they run out of speed to 3G instead. We can hope!
Ting Plan Options
T-Mobile or Sprint.
Next, what about Ting? If we select ‘No Usage' for minutes and ‘No Usage' for text messages, we end up with the following options:
$9/mo total inc. 100MB of Data
$16/mo total inc. 500MB of Data
$26/mo total inc. 1GB of Data
and up to…
$126/mo total inc. 12GB of Data
Now you could add more data with Ting but the cost is already getting much higher than many other options like Tello so it's already looking like Tello is the way to go between these two providers.
I recommend dropping by your most convenient corporate Sprint store for a free SIM card before singing up for one of these providers.
Hello Mobile Plan Options
T-Mobile or Sprint.
$10/mo total with 1GB of Data
$17.50/mo total with 3GB of Data
$25/mo total with Unlimited Data
They presently have a Buy 1 Month, Get 2nd Month Free promotion going on.
Connected Car from AT&T
The idea here would be to see if you can possibly swap out the SIM card in the Harman Spark (As of this writing, $2.67/per mo for 30-months, otherwise $79.99) device into another WiFI hotspot device that would be better suited for your laptop, desktop or server application at home or work.
You're required to buy their Spark device or have a supported car, the device seems like your best bet if you want to use it for other purposes outside the car.
There is a helpful post on HowardForum here, in regards to removal of the SIM card in the Spark device.
$15/mo plus tax/fees inc. unlimited data *
*After 22GB/line/mo. AT&T may temporarily slow data speed when the network is busy.
Google Fi Data Only Sims
Cost here is determined by which plan you are signed up for.
1 person: $70/mo plus tax/fees inc. unlimited data (really 22GB…) *
$20/mo plus tax/fees inc. no data plus $10/mo per 1GB of data (up to $60 max or 15GB) or $80/mo total plus tax/fees…)
They also have discounts for multiple persons but for now I am looking at this option for 1 person only.
*Up to 22 GB of free, unmetered data. Data speed is slowed to 256 kbps after 22 GB of use (video speeds may be optimized to DVD-quality 480p).
**When someone on your plan uses 15 GB of data, their data speeds will get slowed to 256 kbps until the next cycle. All other members will get full data speeds until they each use 15 GB of data.
After 15 GB, you can go back to full data speeds at $10/GB for the rest of your cycle. Select Account and then Get full speed in your Google Fi app. In group plans, only a manager can switch members' speeds back.
Determining Your Data Usage
The data plan you go with is so determined by what kind of tools you are running. I have been finding with masslooking that I am using almost 1GB of data per day with the settings I am using so unlimited might be the way to go for many IG tool users. I recommend always staying up to date with the developer or website so your software is always up to date.
Be sure to check a website like ipchicken that you're connecting to ip-xx-xx-xx-xxx.chcgil.spcsdns.net and not a Spectrum or other residential connection.
ipchicken that you're connecting to ip-xx-xx-xx-xxx.chcgil.spcsdns.net and not a Spectrum or other residential connection.
Sign-up for Tello
Consider signing up for Tello with my link here.
Make sure to use that link before creating an account otherwise you won't qualify for the $10 Tello Dollars.
Sign-up for GoogleFi
Get $20 off your first month of Google Fi! Click here!