After what I can only call “an ordeal” — I have some information to share with others who are seeking a decent Internet connection in a remote location. Since I’m on my 6th phone since November (all of which had their own issues — none of which I care to recount here) I have done quite a bit of research — both online and in person — to come to my conclusions.
- Verizon has the best service in my remote area – Your mileage may vary, depending on your location. I won’t say they have the best CUSTOMER service, because that would be a hideous lie. They DO have the best service COVERAGE in my remote location. (AT&T isn’t even capable of keeping a phone call going out here, and you can FORGET any data services.)
- As a group, Android phones have the strongest radios on the market, so they pick up signals better and work better as “mobile hotspots” than their other OS brothers and sisters. I loved my iPhone, but it’s a no-go out this far. The radio just won’t do what I need.
- Motorola is known for their strong radios. Of all the current models the Android Bionic, by Motorola has the strongest one. Out where I live, that matters. I loved my Droid Razr (also by Motorola), but with the hardware problems it had (and the THREE replacement handsets Verizon sent me with the SAME issues), I can’t recommend it to anyone. (Perhaps the issues have been resolved, but as long as they are digging into old stock in their “certified like new” refurbs, it’s a chance not worth taking. Trust me.) I also tried the Samsung Nexus (which had great reviews) and although I liked the phone, and I liked the Ice Cream Sandwich OS, the signal simply wasn’t there. If I lived in the city, that might have been a keeper, but out here it was a “return to sender.”
I wish someone had made it this simple for me when I was looking — because I scoured the web for some information, ANY information, about how to use a mobile phone as my primary internet connection to run my writing business. I wish I had found a 1,2,3 approach to the facts.
Since I didn’t, I decided to provide that information here and save someone else the trouble I had tracking it down and testing the options.
I’m on the Internet many hours a day and I use my Bionic to make it happen. I also have the purchased hotspot service for $30 additional on my cell phone bill each month. The bonus there (that no one tells you) is that ordering that service means you get unlimited data for the phone even when it’s NOT being used as a hotspot. Unlimited data plans are really hard to come by these days, so I consider that a great deal — especially considering that my monthly usage always tops any measured “plan” they offer.
I hope this helps someone else with the same (or similar) situation. Sometimes it’s not so easy keeping things simple!
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