According to a survey, more than half of American adults play video games. Most adults either have their own business, or are employed in a business which sometimes requires them to be on the road or traveling. A laptop is a must-have in order to manage some of your daily work while outside the office, necessary for students, or people who work at home and need to take care of stuff on the road. You might be one of them.
Some employees or entrepeneurs travel long distances by train, or require to fly often to another state. Some drive a truck. Unless you have your favorite 4G cell flavor, or iPad your time outside the office or home-office can turn unproductive without a mobile internet service. You are probably one of those people with a laptop who relies on internet at the Hotel. Some of those internet services there aren’t even high-speed and charge you really high per day.
What about those free Wi-Fi Hotspot seekers who love to go to remote locations like the Airport, a Starbuck Cafe or to a Park to go online? Do they actually know how risky it is to visit a free public internet hotspot? Do you even know what’s their Wi-Fi security standards? I have heard of unwanted people having access to your laptop at public hotspots.
In some cases, you must pay $9.99 or more per month (i.e. Boingo) to have Wi-Fi internet access at Airports and Hotels … that if you are lucky to find it as a service where you go.
It’s a nightmare. Now, many of these business people, with a laptop, are also gamers. If you are one, I don’t have to ask you to imagine the urges, or withdrawal craving you feel when you are traveling without access to the internet to play World of Warcraft or other games.
For the past few years, on-the-go 3G mobile solutions have been available out there, but it is now that the pioneer of the 4G techology is starting to grow nationwide in United States at a faster pace with the right partners backing them up.
This article will provide you a good solution for your business and gaming needs, and a comparison between a few popular products from different companies: Virgin Mobile 3G MiFi, Verizon Mobile 3G USB modem, and the Clear 4G Spot mobile internet solutions.
I have used a few on-the-go mobile solutions. Not long ago, I was working for a gaming network. I had to relocate to a temporary housing. I was unable to install my own cable internet or DSL, and to keep my job I had to research mobile options. I am also a gamer, and gaming is my source of a living as a blogger.
My first mobile solution was the Verizon Mobile 3G USB modem. You stick it into your laptop’s USB port and the software installs within a few minutes. You enter your credit card and details, and you are online. Lackluster for either business or gaming. At the time I had it, it didn’t provide unlimited data plans. You only get a 5gb limited data plan for $39.99, you must sign a two years contract, and only one computer can be online. As a gamer, a World of Warcraft gamer, you know Blizzard Entertainment releases patches often. I had this device during Cataclysm beta, right when the Blizzard Downloader was changed to streaming the entire 10GB. If you exceed the 5gb data transfer per month, you are charged 5 cents per extra megabyte. Gaming was horrible. Period. After a couple of months of use, I said goodbye forever to Verizon Mobile. Worthless service plan I ever had.
I purchased a 3G Wi-Fi Hotspot device from Virgin Media for about $150, and paid $39.99 a month with no contract. It’s not a bad solution to browse the internet, to send emails with small attachments, to update my former job’s websites and Blizzplanet news, upload many photos and that sort of tasks. The setback is the lag at different times of the day, and it drops you offline too often.
In general, Virgin Mobile MiFi is good for business people, it does the task to get you online. However, if you want to watch videos in YouTube, upload or download large amounts of data, this service is a waste of money. There are better internet mobile options than the Virgin Mobile 3G MiFi for just a few bucks extra.
As a gamer, a 3G solution is definitely unbearable. I was able to play World of Warcraft with around 350ms latency with the Virgin Mobile 3G MiFi, but at certain time of the day I’d get lag spikes of 800-1100ms latency. A few times, I got an absurd latency of over 4000ms while playing World of Warcraft in the evenings.
Reseting the MiFi device, or unplugging the power and battery for a minute and powering it again sometimes lowers the latency; but in general, Virgin Mobile is a worthless solution for a gamer … somewhat good for business people, and their day-to-day tasks: checking email, browsing websites, and chatting.
The 4G internet access started recently nationwide with 4X higher speeds than 3G. Wish would you choose? It’s a no brainer. I jumped into the 4G wagon to take a ride, to see by myself the wide difference between my previous 3G service, and the new 4G service. I was literally jaw-dropped with my initial experience.
How was the Clear 4G Spot mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot solution versus the Virgin Media 3G MiFi Hotspot device?
Gorgeously an improvement over Virgin and Verizon. A very constrasting difference.
4G WIMAX: THE FUTURE FOR MOBILE GAMERS
A few weeks ago, I attended a conference about the 4G WIMAX growth in the United States. After listening, I have become a true-believer of its technology. After thoroughly using the 3G Unlimited Data plan solution from Virgin Mobile for three months, I got a 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot Solution from their competitors: Clear — which offers unlimited data plans with average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps; and bursts of over 10 Mbps; plus 1 Mbps upload speeds. Uncapped.
This competing company has been expanding and building an infrastructure nationwide for the past few years by placing short range towers throughout United States to offer a stronger 4G signal service.
They offer several affordable plans. 4G Plans for PC/MAC and Laptops only $45 a month — which is five bucks more than Virgin Mobile’s. 4G/3G hybrid modems for $55 a month.
Sometimes I travel, so I chose the 4G/3G hybrid in case there is no 4G service wherever I go. The device will allow me to switch to 3G in that case with no extra hidden costs.
There is a reduced $25/mo for a 4G Unlimited Data plan designed exclusively for iPad, iPod and iPhone users (if you don’t have a Laptop).
This growing company gets support from the following partners: Cisco, Intel, Google, Bright House Networks, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable.
This is the future for businessmen who are also gamers and need to be mobile and on-the-go.
Currently, 45 manufacturers are creating 4G WIMAX embedded Laptops and Netbooks: Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, Gateway, and Asus among them. The big computer companies agree 4G WIMAX is to be the new standard.
I went online to check out the 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot service coverage map, and found out my area gets 4G coverage.
I was a bit sad to see only my area, just a mere 6 blocks of streets, didn’t have a full 100% signal strength; but I got 14 days to test the device, and return it back if I decide to cancel the service. Most of New York City is covered by contrast.
The device can be leased ($5 a month) along with the 2-year contract, so you don’t need to spend too much. Of course, your credit should be good prior to ordering. Or you can purchase the full price of the modem ($99 for the 4G, or $225 for the 4G/3G hybrid) if you wish to pay the monthly service without the two years contract.
Not only that, you can pay for combo offers. A wireless 4G modem with a USB to plug into your computer for Home use, plus a 4G Wi-Fi Mobile device to take with you anywhere. You can get 4G internet service for both devices for a single price of $60/mo. You can even add a phone (attached to the USB modem) for long distance calls via VoIP.
You don’t need any company tech guys coming to your home. You don’t need to have any type of land cable in your home. Your internet service comes from the air from a nearby 4G antenna in your area. I decided for the 4G/3G Hybrid modem, just to be safe merely because my area doesn’t have a full 4G signal strength. It shipped within 2 days for free, and it arrived by noon. I opened the box, plugged the wireless 4G modem into the power outlet and waited about an hour for the battery to fully recharge. The LCD display shows the percent amount of remaining power to be completely recharged.
Pressed down the button for three seconds as recommended in the instructions document, and the wireless modem started searching for a 4G signal.
As suspected, my area only received a 40% signal strength when I purchased it (three bars out of five) — but to be honest only this area gets that, according to the coverage map. The company continues to expand and adds new towers every month anyway.
As a matter of fact, I have had this 4G device for a month, and now I have a 60% signal strength. I am excited to find out how well this thing does with a 100% signal strength because it already seems superb in comparison with Verizon and Virgin Mobile’s service.
The initial setup didn’t require any cables aside from the power cord. I went to my Computer’s wireless network manager icon and there was my new modem welcoming me. I logged in using the password displayed on the modem’s LCD screen. Launched my internet browser, and clicked any address. The setup page appeared and took me a few seconds to change the Username and password. Set the security encryption option, and within a few seconds the modem restarted. I was now online under two minutes.
Knowing I only had 40% signal strength, I started to test drive this new toy. My first target was YouTube. On the Virgin 3G Wi-Fi modem, I play Alicia Keys often to listen to the song “Doesn’t Mean Anything”. It is 5:14 minutes in length. Usually, the download speed was so slow with the Virgin Mobile 3G MiFi that it would stop for a few seconds to buffer, then play normally just to stop again. Not very fun right?
Now with the Clear 4G Spot Wi-Fi modem, I literally jaw-dropped. As the song started, I saw the download bar move faster. A whole minute had been downloaded in advance as the song progressed. No matter how much the song kept playing, the download bar always kept a whole minute worth downloaded in advance. “That’s the stuff, baby!” — I thought.
Browsed my daily visited websites, and they pop right away.
Finally, I launched World of Warcraft. Considering I am getting only 40% of the 4G signal strength, I was getting a steady 300ms latency or less. The highest it’s gone is 393ms in the Nexus Heroic dungeon. I know that’s not all that good a latency, but compared with the previous internet mobile solutions — I am not getting those horrible lag spikes while playing MMO games such as World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. I’d really love to find out what this device can do in a location with a 100% full signal, because at half signal it is far better than Virgin Mobile and Verizon’s services.
My parent plays World of Warcraft too, sharing the same wireless Wi-Fi modem device, and she kept complaining every few minutes how horrible her gaming experience was with the Virgin Mobile 3G solution. It was a bit annoying to hear the constant complaints, when I already knew how bad my experience with it was.
I wanted to hear her feedback now that I installed the Clear 4G Spot modem device and service. She loves the 4G solution. I haven’t heard a single complain from her. Hours of not a single complaint. Now … that’s priceless.
Now came the test of fire. With the Virgin Mobile 3G solution, I played Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. Too often my character would freeze in place for 30 seconds up to two minutes. I was unable to move, or even shoot. Then it would suddenly come out of the freeze and allowed me to move … except most of the time my character was dead. You know how crazy it gets in Half-Life 2. Blink and you are shot.
My character was unable to move or shoot whenever latency went as high as 800ms, and I often got lag spikes of 1400ms with Half-Life 2: Deathmatch when I had the Virgin Mobile 3G MiFi device.
With the Clear 4G Spot solution, in contrast, I was able to play a few Half-Life 2 games with zero lag spike, no temporary screen freezes … AT ALL! Latency goes from 126ms to 240ms. I haven’t had such a good gameplay experience in months since my DSL days. Not having a permanent place to stay at, this 4G mobile solution is a lifesaver.
Not only am I able to do my day to day internet browsing and website updates, now I am able to say this service allows me to do gaming too.
And again, the 4G signal strength is only at 60% in my area [a month after purchase]. Latency, no doubt, would be better at 100% signal strength.
It’s not going to be as good as the less than the 100ms latency other solutions like DSL, Cable, T1 or fiber might provide; but I can play or work at home; and can browse the internet when I am at a hotel, travel by train or bus, or while I have to sit a few hours at a waiting room in a hospital.
The Clear 4G Wi-Fi hotspot device offers Wi-Fi security standards including 64-bit and 128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2.
The Clear 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot device offers support for up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices connected to it. The 4G/3G hybrid offers support for 5 devices. I currently access the internet simultaneously on my desktop and laptop at once for video gaming.
I download World of Warcraft patches in a breeze. Upload videos of over 200mb to YouTube with no hiccups or lag.
Try it out at home, and take the Clear 4G Spot device and laptop with you when you go out. Be it to your job, to a park, to a restaurant or cafe. Anywhere. See if your signal is optimal in all locations you usually visit, and have fun with the Clear 4G Spot mobile internet Wi-Fi device with no worries.
Test drive it yourself. You can return the device, and cancel the service within the first 14 days after it has shipped, so there’s nothing to lose.
I can sit and browse the internet at Starbucks or at a park for hours with unlimited data and 4G download speeds without worrying about Wi-Fi security.
Now ask Verizon Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and other companies if they can match all that for the same price. Months after my use of the Verizon Mobile 3G USB modem, Verizon introduced a 4G USB-stick modem and two MiFi devices. Yet their data plans remain to fail: 5GB data plan for $50 and a 10GB plan for $80. Verizon … really? I currently have an unlimited plan for $55 at the new competitor, Clear, and love it enough that I am telling everyone.
Whether you live in the west or east coast in United States, you might already have 4G coverage in your area. If you wish to know if your area has 4G coverage, and wish to test drive any of their on-the-go mobile internet Wi-Fi hotspot devices and services either for business and/or gaming provide your zipcode to the following email: