Virgin Mobile Broadband any good? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Jeremy_K
09-03-2010, 11:46
I currently use Cricket for my mobile broadband. It's $40 per month and what I thought was unlimited. Turns out it's only up to 5 GB and after that they slow you down to the point of dial up (fine print):steamed:. I just heard about Virgin offering unlimited for $40 and was thinking of making the switch. Anyone have experience with them? I was thinking about getting the MiFi mobile hotspot rather than the USB modem.

jpa
09-04-2010, 11:28
have you checked their fine print as well? I'd hate to see you switch only to be stuck in the same position again.

ArmyCop
09-04-2010, 13:07
I'd like to see responses to this - might consider it myself.

Jeremy_K
09-04-2010, 14:57
I read the fine print as well as the FAQs on their website and it looks legit. A guy at work seen a story on Yahoo news about the best mobile broadband deals and this was the best. I bought the $150 MiFi mobile hotspot today. I'm having issues getting an account set up. I've been on the phone trying to get help and it is very hard to get ahold of a human. I'll keep at it and keep you posted. My laptop recognizes the hotspot and has a good strong signal. It's supposed to be good out to 40'.

Jeremy_K
09-05-2010, 19:04
In case anyone is interested. I set up the MiFi in the fire station where I work. I was able to finally get an English speaking human to help me get an account set up. As of today we are running 3 laptops off of it. Web surfing speed is typical 3G. It's slow to download movies but it's faster than the Cricket USB modem I had. At one point one of the laptops was farther than the 40 ft. range and it still had a good signal through many interior walls. It will have to do for now until our Chief allows us to have the cable company run a line to the station for high speed.

W4CNG
09-05-2010, 22:13
Virgin Mobile Broadband runs on Sprint's EVDO Cell System. If there are issues with Sprint's EVDO, then your Virgin Mobile Broadband will suffer. Same thing with AT&T Mobile Broadband, it runs on AT&T's 3G network which is hampered with all of the iPhone users surfing the internet on the same network. Want faster Broadband, then go live in one of Clear's 4G coverage areas, or just wait for it to come to you if you live in one of the top 100 markets. I have both and know the difference between 3G and 4G as I have worked for the 4G company and use their service for my home internet service and run MagicJack off of the system for home phone service. Paying several hundred $$ less per month than a year ago.

Jeremy_K
09-06-2010, 07:07
Virgin Mobile Broadband runs on Sprint's EVDO Cell System. If there are issues with Sprint's EVDO, then your Virgin Mobile Broadband will suffer. Same thing with AT&T Mobile Broadband, it runs on AT&T's 3G network which is hampered with all of the iPhone users surfing the internet on the same network. Want faster Broadband, then go live in one of Clear's 4G coverage areas, or just wait for it to come to you if you live in one of the top 100 markets. I have both and know the difference between 3G and 4G as I have worked for the 4G company and use their service for my home internet service and run MagicJack off of the system for home phone service. Paying several hundred $$ less per month than a year ago.

I looked into the Clear service and it looks a lot better. Unfortunately it's not in my area yet. They do have a coverage area about 45 miles from here though.

Nessy
09-06-2010, 09:08
Summary: Solid product on the road, does not replace home connection

Ok, time to report on my Virgin Mobile Mifi 2200 (VM). I bought it because I want to have Internet available when traveling/in hotels that charge $20 a day for Internet and to avoid public hotspots etc. At the same time, I don't want to pay for a data plan while I travel outside the US, so the prepaid/pay as needed is great. The VM only works in the US.

They have two pricing plans (simplified from the original pricing), $10 for 100MB expiring in 10 days and $40 for unlimited MB expiring in 30 days. It's important to keep in mind that everything on your PC consuming bandwidth counts, so if you think it's just the e-mail you send that counts, that is not the case. Personally, my PC burns through 100MB in a couple hours, but I am a heavy bandwidth user.

Here are some VM speed readings for 9/6/2010 AM:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/942683197.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

http://www.speedtest.net/result/942685454.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

Keep in mind that speed depends on your location and network coverage.

I think the upload speeds are on the low side, so I would not cancel the home broadband connection yet if you need actual upload capacity, but when it comes to normal web browsing and other "average" internet usage, especially on the road, the VM is decent.

Other tidbits: The VM only supports 5 PCs connected to the box, which is another indicator it's mostly a travel/out-of-the-home companion. Standard protocols like FTP/SSH/OpenVPN work. The Virgin activation website is pretty sucky, it only seems to work in Internet Explorer and the server appeared particularly slow when I used it. Switching the wireless network to WPA2 (AES) is pretty easy. The unit comes with a battery so the box can be used similar to a cell phone. Personally I don't really need the battery feature, but it's supposed to run for a couple hours on battery.

Jeremy_K
09-06-2010, 18:15
Summary: Solid product on the road, does not replace home connection

Ok, time to report on my Virgin Mobile Mifi 2200 (VM). I bought it because I want to have Internet available when traveling/in hotels that charge $20 a day for Internet and to avoid public hotspots etc. At the same time, I don't want to pay for a data plan while I travel outside the US, so the prepaid/pay as needed is great. The VM only works in the US.

They have two pricing plans (simplified from the original pricing), $10 for 100MB expiring in 10 days and $40 for unlimited MB expiring in 30 days. It's important to keep in mind that everything on your PC consuming bandwidth counts, so if you think it's just the e-mail you send that counts, that is not the case. Personally, my PC burns through 100MB in a couple hours, but I am a heavy bandwidth user.

Here are some VM speed readings for 9/6/2010 AM:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/942683197.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

http://www.speedtest.net/result/942685454.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

Keep in mind that speed depends on your location and network coverage.

I think the upload speeds are on the low side, so I would not cancel the home broadband connection yet if you need actual upload capacity, but when it comes to normal web browsing and other "average" internet usage, especially on the road, the VM is decent.

Other tidbits: The VM only supports 5 PCs connected to the box, which is another indicator it's mostly a travel/out-of-the-home companion. Standard protocols like FTP/SSH/OpenVPN work. The Virgin activation website is pretty sucky, it only seems to work in Internet Explorer and the server appeared particularly slow when I used it. Switching the wireless network to WPA2 (AES) is pretty easy. The unit comes with a battery so the box can be used similar to a cell phone. Personally I don't really need the battery feature, but it's supposed to run for a couple hours on battery.
Do you know if it can support 5 PCs period or if that just means it can only support 5 at a time? The reason I ask is my service will be shared by guys on 2 different shifts at work. If I have 5 guys on my shift using it today, will there be able to be 5 different guys using it tomorrow?

Nessy
09-06-2010, 21:14
I don't have enough PCs to actually test that. The admin interface of the VM can display the number of clients at any given time. Most routers have a limit for the number of simultaneous clients which supports

day 1: computers A, B, C, D, E
day 2: computers A, B, F, G, H
day 3: computers C, D, E, A, G

so I definitely don't expect any issues, especially as the VM also supports a feature called guest hotspot or similar that you can use to make it available to (up to 5) arbitrary team members for a quick open Wifi Internet connection (and then switch it back to use the VM with the secure Wifi settings for your "usual" clients). That feature would not be possible if the VM only allowed the same 5 clients at all times.

I have not read anything suggesting that these 5 clients actually have to be the same clients at all times. Practically speaking, if the client limit is enforced via DHCP, you may have to switch off the VM to "reset" the IP assignments, but that is speculation on my part. So in answer to your question, my guess is that the limit is 5 clients, but the 5 clients can be different every day.