Portable Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

T-Mobile has a USB which will connect ONE laptop to the Internet with no contract, paying month by month. The device with no contract is something like $168. Current SPRINT and T-Mobile portable wi-fi has a 5 gig per month bandwidth limit which is not difficult to exceed, and overage charges are something like TWENTY CENTS per MEG which is VERY expensive if you go the extra GIG. But SPRINT claims that the new 4G portable hotspot will have NO bandwidth limit. I do note that these are rechargeable units which give about 4 hours on one charge. I have Verizon DSL through the phone lines for $42 per month but there is no bandwidth limit and it does what I need.


When I first learned about the 5 gig per month bandwidth limit I became very curious to know how much I average per month. I googled and found several bandwidth “calculators” which ask you:

1.) how many emails per month with NO attachments (sent/received)
2.) how many WITH attachments
3.) how many movie trailers do you watch
4.) how many complete movies do you watch (e.g. Netflix)
5.) how many hours of online games do you play.

My conservative answers easily brought me to the 5 gig threshold.

I carefully questions several high level Verizon technicians and they said there IS no way to find out bandwidth usage from the router, etc. Then I realized that the very act of monitoring bandwidth would consume bandwidth.

I have heard of instances where people attempted to run things like IRC servers from their home which use SO MUCH bandwidth that the provider shuts them down.

Years ago I spent some time on huge IRC channels like Dalnet and I noticed that their ruling states that no private individual can run a Dalnet server. I went to the trouble to ask WHY that should be. The answer is that only a huge installation with a technical staff would have the funds and tools necessary to deal with “denial of service” attacks and that no private individual would have pockets that deep. Perhaps things have now changed and this is no longer the case.


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