prepay/payg/low-cost options for sporadic Tethering? (SE USA)

Ashton

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Messages
2,513
I am sporadically needing to tether my laptop for internet - not daily, not weekly, not even monthly; I only need it for a few (completely random...) days per year; this makes most tethering plans a HUGE waste of money for me since they tend to be stupidly expensive with a set amount per month (i.e. no roll-over so I cant just get a super-cheap plan with like 500mb/month and let it accumulate) BUT when I do tether I tend to need a (relatively) lot of data (~5gb)

I've seen companies that claim you can "start and stop your plan whenever you want!" (google-fi specifically comes to mind) and I'm sure there are still a few prepaid services that are extremely inexpensive per month (I remember there used to be one that to keep it active was literally $1/month then you just added minutes/data but I can't remember who it was or if they're still in business) But I've had ZERO experience with these services recently, and I know in the past that activating or adding airtime could take up to a week, which, by then I don't need it...

tl;dr: I'm looking for a super-cheap plan I can randomly add $20 to and have 5gb (or more) tethering data instantly without having to pay huge monthly fees when I don't need it. (doesn't matter the parent carrier, the places I'll be using it have all 3 - ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile/sprint)

So, has anyone had experience with any of these sorts of plans? Subsequently, does anyone have suggestions on the best device for this kind of use (specific makes/models of phone/hotspot 'pucks'/USB modems/etc --- specifically ones that don't quickly overheat or drain the battery faster than a wall-plug can replenish it - don't plan to do much tethering 'on the go' it's going to be sitting at a desk)

(and yes, I am aware of options like Samsung Dex for my phone, but that would require me to carry a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and dock vs just my ultrabook --- I am also aware of 'root tethering' on phones that lets you tether for free and most carriers don't mind you doing this as long as its really rare but I have an S22U and an Alcatel JoyPad2 neither of which can be reliably root'd last I heard ---- and there is some ethical questions about doing this, which I don't want to get into right now)

Thanks in advance!
 

Macho

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
78
I am sporadically needing to tether my laptop for internet - not daily, not weekly, not even monthly; I only need it for a few (completely random...) days per year; this makes most tethering plans a HUGE waste of money for me since they tend to be stupidly expensive with a set amount per month (i.e. no roll-over so I cant just get a super-cheap plan with like 500mb/month and let it accumulate) BUT when I do tether I tend to need a (relatively) lot of data (~5gb)

I've seen companies that claim you can "start and stop your plan whenever you want!" (google-fi specifically comes to mind) and I'm sure there are still a few prepaid services that are extremely inexpensive per month (I remember there used to be one that to keep it active was literally $1/month then you just added minutes/data but I can't remember who it was or if they're still in business) But I've had ZERO experience with these services recently, and I know in the past that activating or adding airtime could take up to a week, which, by then I don't need it...

tl;dr: I'm looking for a super-cheap plan I can randomly add $20 to and have 5gb (or more) tethering data instantly without having to pay huge monthly fees when I don't need it. (doesn't matter the parent carrier, the places I'll be using it have all 3 - ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile/sprint)

So, has anyone had experience with any of these sorts of plans? Subsequently, does anyone have suggestions on the best device for this kind of use (specific makes/models of phone/hotspot 'pucks'/USB modems/etc --- specifically ones that don't quickly overheat or drain the battery faster than a wall-plug can replenish it - don't plan to do much tethering 'on the go' it's going to be sitting at a desk)

(and yes, I am aware of options like Samsung Dex for my phone, but that would require me to carry a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and dock vs just my ultrabook --- I am also aware of 'root tethering' on phones that lets you tether for free and most carriers don't mind you doing this as long as its really rare but I have an S22U and an Alcatel JoyPad2 neither of which can be reliably root'd last I heard ---- and there is some ethical questions about doing this, which I don't want to get into right now)

Thanks in advance!
I am tethering with a Bluetooth connection from PC to Samsung J2 mobile phone right now. I see no difference in performance.
This could be good for a laptop computer with a battery in a car to the Samsung J2. What are the tethering charges when I have
the prepaid $25.00 per month?

My IP should show to be from a Samsung phone and not my router with Wi-Fi through the telephone company.

I can stream just as good and watch video on YouTube. The battery will discharge though and needs to be recharged or run while on the charger. Good performace or even better than Wi-Fi through my land line router.
 

duronboy

Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
549
Not sure this is as good as you're looking for, but RedPocket has a 1-year plan that is $30 for the entire year. 200 mins, 1000 texts, 200mb of data per month. Not sure if you have to use it at least once a month to keep it active despite being paid? Might have to ask them to be sure.

Anyway, their add ons do not roll over, so you would want to remember your billing date and choose add on size accordingly. In a roundabout way they suggest on their site that hotspot functionality would work with their Verizon-powered plans($99(1GB) and up yearly) and only tethering is supported with the t-mobile plans($30 yearly).

$2.00 100 MB of high-speed data
$8.001 GB (1024 MB) of high-speed data
$12.002 GB (2048 MB) of high-speed data
$15.003 GB (3072 MB) of high-speed data
 
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