$65 for Verizon unlimited hotspot? I’ll give that a try!
A few days ago Ben Ellison posted a link from the Mobile Internet Resource Center announcing Verizon updated their unlimited offerings adding a $65 / month truly unlimited option. Every change to plans from the national carriers seems to be taking something away, further perverting the meaning of unlimited, or raising prices. So, this caught my attention. Did a national carrier really do something to make the options available better? I read through the review on the Mobile Internet Resource Center then cruised over to Verizon’s own info and couldn’t find any big gotchas. Verizon says there are no caps or limits but, they do offer the vague mention of network management to alleviate congestion. I’m intrigued enough I ran over to my local Verizon store and picked up the $50 JetPack you see above and a prepaid SIM card to give it a try.
I’m currently using a grandfathered plan from 4g Antenna Solutions. This $80 per month plan is on AT&T’s network and has stood the test of time for our use. We routinely throw 100-300gb of usage per month at it and rarely see any issues with speed or service. I also always wonder if I’m going to get an email one day telling me I’ve used too much bandwidth or AT&T has decided to stop offering my rate. We’re pretty dependent on our internet so a little insurance, and another carrier, is okay with me.
Thus far –maybe two hours of use– things are looking good, I’m getting around 15Mbps of throughput up and down and nice low latency at about 30ms. I opted for the $50 JetPack MHS900L which is a 4g only device without the ability to fall back to 3g mostly because I expect I’ll pull the SIM out of the JetPack and end up putting it in one of the 4g capable marine devices I have on the boat. There is also the $200 JetPack Mifi 7730L which is capable of 3g and has quite a few other features available.
The proof for this plan will come from heavy usage over the next couple of months and usage in all the odd spots our cruising finds us visiting. I’ll keep track and report back soon on how things are going.
I highly recommend jumping on this opportunity, but I would also recommend getting the brand new 8800L hotspot instead of any they offer online. This is a newer hotspot with a bunch of features that will be important in the coming year or two.
The easiest way to do this is to chat online with Verizon, ask for the 8800L hotspot, and use the prepaid code 28366.
More details can be found on RV Mobile Internet at https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/verizon-overhauls-prepaid-introducing-unlimited-data-plans-for-jetpacks/
It does cost more than the ones they have on their site, but I’d rather start with something that will be supported by them longer if I can.
I intend on using my Peplink onboard router and the WiFi as WAN feature to connect to this hotspot as one of three cellular plans I have on board, the other two being SIMs directly in the Peplink. T-Mobile seems to have some of the best speeds out in my cruising grounds, but Verizon has some of the best coverage, so I’m looking forward to testing both.
Indeed – as Steve mentioned, the MHS900 may be cheap, but the brand new Jetpack 8800L is worth investing in for better future-proofing.
Here is our article about the new Jetpack, and why it is worthwhile:
We’ve been stress testing the 8800L and the new Verizon Prepaid plan, and have managed to achieve some pretty impressive results so far – including our first ever upload speed test of over 50Mbps over cellular.
On Verizon, this is probably going to be the pinnacle of hotspot technology in the pre-5G era.
But we still have a lot more testing to do before we share our final conclusions.
You guys are both correct. I maybe shouldn’t have included the photo of the MHS900L but it’s hard to take a picture of a rate plan.
The MHS900L is pretty poor overall. I did some informal testing comparing throughput on it and an old MHS291LVW I had lying around and the MHS291LVW is outperforming the MHS900L by just shy of 2:1. I’m hoping to use one of the marine devices on the boat as a radio when I get back there (I’m home for a few weeks) but I suspect the best throughput is going to be seen from the 8800L.
Does anyone know whether this new “unlimited” plan raises the current limit of 15G/month on other types of cellular routers? We currently use the Cradlepoint AER3100 aboard our trawler.
Dave, I believe this will be unlimited regardless of the type of router you’re using. The “JetPack” / hotspot devices are typically the most restricted in terms of usage and I’m seeing good speeds (25Mbps+) after over 30gb of transfer in the last 24 hours.
Thanks Ben. Although pricey, the beauty of the Cradlepoint was the multiple modem capability. We can manage either AT&T or Verizon conveniently depending on coverage in any given area. Verizon has been a major issue with the 15G cap. We still get data above 15G but at unusable speed.
I guess I will try to navigate the Verizon labyrinth and see what they say.
Thanks Ben. The 15G cap has been killing us. We still get data but at unusable speeds. I guess I will give them a call.
Dave, I’ve heard lots of varied results with getting information out of Verizon. As is frequently the case with large corporations with poorly trained customer service reps you may well get more information from other users than the company themselves. Lots of the CSRs seem to not know the plan exists at all.
After 30+ gigs of data transferred here’s what I’m seeing in a speed test:
I also wrangled an 8800L out of Verizon.
I also have an AT&T Nighthawk so I will do some comparative data points this Winter while in Florida.
The 15GB high-speed limit only applies to Verizon post-paid plans. This new prepaid hotspot plan is NOT subject to the 15GB cap.
The only Verizon plan that is better is the extremely rare and hard to get Verizon Grandfathered UDP, which is not subject to network management, and which is eligible for Premium Streaming for an extra $10/mo if you want to remove the video speed throttle. We have that plan and enjoy streaming Netflix in 4K. 🙂
But unless you have access to a gUDP, this new pUDP is an incredible way to go.
For all there is to know about this plan, and the catches, we are keeping this post up to date:
Chris- Does hotspot/jetpack under this new plan also allow other cellular routers that are not Verizon hardware i.e. my Cradlepoint?
I see that my 8800L has a gps. Has anyone used that as their laptop gps with Coastal Explorer? It would be nice to eliminate the usb connected gps as superfluous.
Does your 8800L have the ability to make the GPS data available via a TCP or UDP port? Without that CE wouldn’t have a way to pick up the data.
I’m now over 100gb transferred including 50gb today alone. Still no problems and over 30/20Mbps speed tests.
Sounds great for Verizon coverage boating but I’m committed to T-Mobile prepaid for the moment as I am barely 100 yards from a T-Mobile cell site and in somewhat of a Verizon desert (typically 1 bar LTE, mostly “3G” with lots of dropped calls…sigh.) Any sign that T-Mobile might follow suit with such a plan and higher quality device?
We road tripped with the kids for Thanksgiving. That meant multiple hours in the car streaming. The girls consumed a ton of additional data (looks like about 75 gigs between the two drives) without a hiccup. At this point I’m starting to think when Verizon said unlimited they may actually have meant it, for once.
75 gigs!?! I’m reminded of olden times when we didn’t just have kids, we had lots to plow the fields, etc. I guess that streaming videos is a lot easier, but still you’ve hatched quite the test team 😉
Actually, I’m trying to laugh to staunch the tears. I spent far too much time while bringing Gizmo north last Spring trying to use WiFi to work around Verizon’s 16 gig limit on my phone’s fast hotspot use (and 22 on the phone itself). Could I now simply add an unlimited hotspot line for $65/month (plus hardware) and only fund it for the months needed? (I checked the Verizon site but the latter part of that question still not clear.)
You guys with the newer MiFi devices – has Verizon managed to solve the problem associated with leaving the charge cord plugged in? On my AC791L, if I leave it plugged in, it locks up and I have to remove the back and disconnect the battery to get it back.
Hartley, I haven’t experienced the issue you describe with the 7730L I am currently using. I leave it plugged in most of the time so I’d have to imagine if it was an issue I would have seen it by now.
Thanks, Ben! Yeah, I tried to do the same thing, but if the MiFi goes idle for any length of time with the power cord plugged in and it being full charged, it goes into some sort of “security mode” (that’s the words the Verizon tech used) that disables the front panel AND the web connection to it, and, after a day or so, disables the unit entirely. The only way out is to r & r the battery 🙁 . The Verizon techs were very apologetic, but nothing they suggested helped.
I have the newer 8800 unit and have had it plugged in for 2 weeks or so without any issues. Several times I even had it unplugged (unbeknownst to me) and reconnected it at random times for a couple of days and it has stayed on without any issues.
I have both T-Mobile One Plus International (SIM card in a Peplink router) and the Verizon 8800L MiFi and get similar speeds out of both in my cruising grounds right now (limited near Seattle) and at my home marina. The big benefit I have seen so far is the unlimited nature of the Verizon MiFi and pre-paid plan vs. the cap at about 30GB with T-Mobile where things slow down.
I’ll definitely be keeping both since T-Mobile works in Canada at similar speeds without any roaming charges, while Verizon will likely not work at all or charge roaming fees (haven’t investigated that yet).
I’ve gone past the 100GB mark on my Verizon plan so far, which is pretty amazing.
I would like to get a jetpack that provides connections for an external antenna, can anyone familiar with the 8800L inform me if they have connected external antennas for signal boosting? There are a couple of sellers on amazon that list external antenna kits for the 8800L but I cannot find reference documents indicating the location of the connectors or that they even exist. Everyone has made this deal sound so good, I am willing to sign up today and pick up the jetpack at a local retail store, if someone can answer my question…
The 8800L does have two ports on the bottom that appear to be for antennas, but I have yet to investigate whether they are compatible with any antennas or what style they are.
Thanks for the swift response Capt. Steve! The specific antenna that has my attention on amazon is omnidirectional and advertises 11 dBa gain, I think I can easily get the service I want from this configuration. I am going to get one now, thanks to the excellent and informative dialogs on this site (and the linked dialog on the mobile rv site). What a great crew!
Woody, did you ever purchase the antenna and if so, did it work as advertised? I have a low signal issue here in Oriental with the 8800l.
Hi Dan, I have not yet purchased the antenna as I am still conducting tests with the 8800L in my area (Solomons MD). Also, I will select the optimum cable for my boat. Right now, I have placed the device in the pilot house to get the best signal, and I use a cheap wifi extender configured as a bridge to my boat’s core network. My throughput is higher than I expected (but still lower than others here have reported), I am quite pleased. I have already tested the device in Europe and in Middle Eastern countries: the prepaid service does not work anywhere outside the continuous U.S. I can mount the 8800L adjacent to one of the vhf radios and feed a one meter cable through a sealed port in the roof of the pilot house to the antenna, so I will post an update in a few weeks. I am grateful for finding the information for this service from the teams at panbo and rvmobileinternet! Bravo! I am a web developer and this has proven a very nice Christmas present to myself.
I have been looking for an option like this for a few months. I am in a very rural area of Ohio surrounded by Amish and can’t get internet , but I get good service with Verizon. I have been using the personal hotspot on my phone, but run out fairly fast streaming video. Just found about about the new unlimited hotspot plan a few days ago. Found this discussion while researching and went for it. Got my new Jetpack 8800L today. Getting 66 Mbps down and 59 Mbps up. Very pleased!
I just gave up my T-Mobile MI-FI @ $50 monthly unlimited to switch to a cable WI-FI for about the same cost. We no longer need the MI-FI.
Cool. MyIslandWifi has a similar unlimited, unthrottled 4G data deal for the Bahamas, $50 for the modem and $100/month plus tax:
I’m curious if anyone can advise me on how to confirm whether or not my external antenna plugged into the 8800L MiFI device is actually doing anything? I am sitting in Oriental, NC with little connectivity and was pulling 3 bars of Verizon LTE on the pre-paid unlimited plan. I decided to add an external antenna to try and improve my signal from our local tower and I see no change at all. Although I went through all the Jetpack software settings on my computer, I don’t see anything that confirms the antenna is connected. I have to assume the external ports on the 8800L are active, but again, not sure how to confirm that.
Beyond that, I continue having issues with sudden reboots of my device as it appears others are having as well. I’m already on my second 8800L and it’s doing the exact same thing. Not very happy at this point to say the least.
Any advice /recommendations would be appreciated!
Bliss is currently in Washington DC… For the last 2 years I have been using an AT&T data plan at $170 per month for 30GB. the plan has been working great in both the US east coast, and NB canada. There is a $10 per day charge when using the plan in Canada. So no real complaints except that its really expensive.
After reading this I marched into a local verizon office requested a preapid unlimited plan #28366 with autopay for $65 per month jammed it into my RedPort Optimizer Enterprize and 3 minutes later I was up and running on verizons network.
The verizon network is giving me 15Mbps down and 30 up here in DC while AT&T gives me 50mbps down and 30mbps up. So verizon is a bit slower here in DC… however… its terrifically less expensive than ATT and according to the verizon sales person the plan works in USA, Canada, and Mexico.
Seems to be to good to be true.
I will keep my ATT plan active of a month or two to make sure there are no gotchas on this plan and report back if I run into any issues here in the USA or in Canada.
Take care and thanks for the great tip.
There are indications Verizon is getting ready to retire this plan. The Mobile Internet Resource Center has an entry indicating Verizon is planning to stop offering the plan. The good news is that it also appears Verizon will honor the plan for as long as you keep an account active. So, if you haven’t already now would be an excellent time to get scooting and pick up one of these plans.
Note that the plan will be discontinued on May 21. You need to go a verizon store and ask the clerk for
The internal plan code for the Prepaid Unlimited Jetpack plan is 28366.
Reps should be able to look-up the plan with this code.
Terms and conditions summarized here say that there is a $5 charge/day for use in Canada/Mexico.
The Plan can only be used on Mobile hotspots. There is no tethering when using in tablets.
I decided to discontinue my Optimum cable and have been using only my Verizon 8800L for my home use. I use an antenna for direct NYC standard channels 50 miles away across Long Island Sound. All of my Apple TV with ATT TV streaming comes over the 8800L just fine. It comes with me when I travel.
Bulging battery on my 8800L just popped the case. I have disconnected and shut down.
Has anyone else had this problem?
I’ve had this happen on other products that I’ve been testing with a similar profile. Usually means that it has been overcharged, and definitely a good thing to disconnect and shut down. I’d contact Verizon/retailer and get a new battery.
If you use yours 24×7 and leave it plugged in all the time, my advice would be to unplug it once a week and let it run down for a while. These batteries shouldn’t need that, but I’ve seen this a couple of times when I left things plugged in for long times, and assumed with the continued use that the charging bits inside got confused at some point and overcharged the battery.
not sure how many of you have verizon AYCE plan but know that we were unable to use it in Canada. Once we crossed the boarder the service stopped working. We called verizon using our ATT phones and after a long discussion was told that the plan only works in the US. So… we used our expensive ATT sim card in Canada with great success.
So… still shopping for a SIM card that will give us AYCE in both the USA and Canada.
The verizon SIM has worked well for us but a bit cantankerous to use. The service stops all of a sudden requiring a reboot of the jetpack. Once this is done it runs for a while (maybe days) before it happens again.
even with this irritant the $65 per month is still an amazing deal. So we will keep it until something better shows up. However, we will also keep our ATT plans active as well.
I think My Island WiFi might be your solution.
Though it’s not officially announced yet they’re planning on offering (I think) full North American roaming. You might want to get in touch with them. Part of the beauty of their plan is you can stop it any time you want and re-activate when you’re ready to use it again.
I have the $65/month pre-paid unlimited Verizon plan, and it will not let you roam, for a number of reasons. In fact, there have been some recent reports of people with that plan being cut off completely if they start roaming in Canada and elsewhere with that SIM, so if you have that plan, be careful.
I use Verizon in the US almost exclusively, since it is essentially unlimited. Where there isn’t coverage, I use T-Mobile. In Canada when roaming, I use T-Mobile exclusively. I have the T-Mobile One International plan which they no longer offer, and it is essentially unlimited usage via my Peplink router.
Right now there are really no good plans that allow both unlimited in the US and decent roaming in Canada. Those existed a few years ago, and I think too many people ran out and got them and the carriers pulled back 🙂
been on the phone with sprint for an hour now… Just purchased a 100GB plan with global roaming. When the 100GB limit is reached you can authorize additional data. Currently at $10 for 2GB. This is much much much cheaper than my current ATT plan. However.. you do have to purchase an inexpensive phone to use it. I will let you all know how this turns out.
Is the 100GB usable both in the US AND while roaming?
According to the sprint sales person.
1. the plan offers 100GB of hotspot
2. when 100GB is reached the plan is throttled down
3. its possible to purchase additional GB at full speed when the max is reached (he quoted $10 for 2GB but said that it could be less expensive pending any promotions they may have
4. no additional charges for roaming. I specifically asked if it worked in Canada. they said yes.
5. it does require the purchase of a phone. I purchased an inexpensive android phone for use as a hotspot only. it will live right next to my surecall cell booster.
That is all I have for now. I will report back with more when I know more.
6. you have 30 days to try things out before you have to commit to a 18 month service agreement.
I see on YouTube that this Sprint plan is a “managed data plan” ie throttled when network is congested. Not sure how that compares to the Verizon unlimited plan.
“Verizon has 3 levels of unlimited data plans. The cheapest one has the possibility of being “throttled” AT ANY TIME there is congestion on the local towers. The mid-tier has no throttling until you have used at least 22 GB in a month on a line. The highest tier has no throttling until you have used at least 75 GB in a month on a line.
If you are being throttled when you use less than 20 GB of data, you may want to look at getting the next tier up. Complaining about throttling when you choose to have a plan which has throttling AT ANY TIME does not seem logical, especially during the middle of a work day when there are likely to be MANY people utilizing the local towers causing congestion.”
Not sure if the $65/month 8800L plan is top tier.
Following up on the 8800L bulging battery problem the batteries are widely available on eBay.
Not sure about quality but at sub $15. Having an extra is affordable. Just Google the battery part number clearly labeled on the battery. Don’t waste your time calling Verizon – they could not care less.
I just got written confirmation from Island WiFi that their service will work in the following locations.
The United States
The US Virgin Islands.
This is good news for us traveling in N America.
I have forwarded the PDF Coverage area document to Ben.
This is very good news. Currently they appear to have the strongest offer on the market that I’ve seen. I’m anxious to get my hands on one and put it through its paces.
just canceled my Spring coverage… (had 30 days to do that) and now buying an Island WiFi… will report back.