$48/mo for unlimited minutes and data on iPhone and iPad!

Sorry, this has nothing to do with fitness. This blog is 100% fitness, except this time. I’m so excited about finally finding a way to reduce my internet and phone bills that I had to share, here’s how you can legally get $250/mo of cellphone and wireless internet service for $48/mo. This is so simple to set up, even my 94 year old neighbor could do it! As many of you know, I’m an engineer and we engineers delight in finding innovative but legal ways to beat the system. AT&T has continued to abuse us Apple iPhone and iPad users but we dont have to take it anymore! Its bad enough that their reception is horrible and they have dead spots everywhere even in metro areas but the final straw was when they dropped the unlimited data plan and started charging for tethering. Now its our turn to get even with AT&T, we dont need them for our iPads and iPhones anymore! You don’t even need to jailbreak (voids warranty) your Apple device to do it!
So here is the problem. I have a home computer and three mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and notebook computer) and I need to be able to make calls and have internet connections on all of them. I know this level of “connectedness” seems ridiculous to some but my fitness outreach requires that I be able to blog and upload my multi-gigabyte fitness videos weekly regardless of where I am.
Here are the options:
  • buy a wireless AT&T contract for each of the three portable devices and and DSL for the home computer. $100/mo for the iPhone, $60/mo for the iPad and $60/mo for the laptop and $30/mo for the home DSL – $250/mo total
  • Get home DSL for $30/mo and then buy a wireless contract for the phone which is $100/mo then pay an additional $20 for tethering and pay additional bandwidth charges. Total price? The skys the limit when there are bandwidth charges.
Neither of those options are acceptable and it took me awhile to figure out how to do this elegantly. Enter the travel router, a wireless wifi hotspot. Buy one data service and use it for everything! Not only that but when you do this, iPhone and iPad users are no longer tied to AT&T but are free to choose from whoever has the cheapest plan. There are several manufactures of wireless wifi hotspots, Zoom worked best for me but there is also cradlepoint. The travel wifi system consists of two components, a USB wireless modem and a travel router. I bought the Zoom 4596 USB Modem ( Zoom 4595 works too) and I put the SIM from my iPhone into it. Then I plugged that USB modem into the Zoom 4506 Travel Router, see the attached picture. Turn it on and you have portable wi-fi and you can attach as many devices as you want to it! Connect your iPhone, iPad, and laptop all to the same data connection! The wireless travel router has rechargeable batteries and lasts about 3hrs. Its pocket sized but I personally dont want a microwave oven in my pocket so I keep it in my backpack well away from my body. Three hours battery life isnt enough for you? Just buy extra rechargeable batteries, they are about $10 each. The whole setup costs about $130 but that is easily saved in a single month of service.
What about making phone calls you ask? For an additional $8/mo you can have unlimited minutes anywhere in North America! No more undecipherable AT&T phone bills with unexplained and frustrating penalties and additional charges! Just $8/mo flat rate! How? With Skype! Just order their unlimited voice plan ($3/mo) and buy a phone number ($5/mo) so people can call you too. With this setup, I can place or receive a call from any of my portable devices or my home computer! I use Skype with my Zoom travel modem and its works!
Now lets talk data contracts. When my stupid $70/mo AT&T iPhone contract expires in 6 months I’m going to drop that and just get a $40/mo unlimited data service from t-mobile. AT&T and Verizon have $60/mo plans but they are limited to 5GB/mo. In the future I’m guessing that either t-mobile will drop theirs or the market will force AT&T and Verizon to bring theirs back. Actually its not that big of a deal, even with the big videos I upload 4x/month I can probably live within the 5BG/mo limit.
Think of it, paying $48/mo for unlimited wireless voice and data instead of $250/mo and being free from the tyranny of AT&T! This is way too good to be true!
Want to do this? Here’s what you need to do:
  1. Buy the USB modem Zoom 4596/Zoom 4595 modem (or equivalent), cost about $80
  2. Buy the Zoom 4506 Travel Router or the cradlepoint – about $60
  3. Remove the SIM from your working iPhone or buy an unlimited data contract from t-mobile , $40/mo.
  4. Slip the SIM into the USB modem.
  5. Plug USB modem and plug into 4506 travel router, thats it! No configuration, no muss, no fuss – just turn it on and use it! By default there is no password on the wifi, if you want one you can add it later.
  6. If you dont have a skype account, get one. Then buy an unlimited monthly plan for $3/mo and buy a phone number for $60/year by clicking on “online number” in your account overview.
  7. Download the skype application to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, its free.
  8. Smile! You now have unlimited wireless access and unlimited minutes for $48/mo instead of the $250 that AT&T would charge you!!!!
So tell me honestly. Should I keep this blog 100% fitness or is an occasional post like this OK?

31 thoughts on “$48/mo for unlimited minutes and data on iPhone and iPad!”

  1. pretty good idea….. Clear also has these kind of hot spots available.

    ispot 25 bucks a month for 4g access in metro areas…. or 55 a month for 4g/3g.

    And that way you dont need a usb . Its all in one. Sorry im a little late on this.

  2. Someone asked about the bandwidth of the 3G connection. In my house where my cellphone drops calls about 30s (0-1bar) I can stream high quality music, download a video, and use skype simultaneously without any issues :) Might not be as fast as some peoples DSL but its pretty dang good and you cant beat the price!

  3. @gotimbrown, OK I stand corrected. I had heard that jailbreaking violated apple warranty but I never looked it up.

  4. Another big bonus for me is that this setup allows one to actually use AT&T and their sucky signal strength. I get 0-1 bars in my home (dense urban area) but I can put this travel wifi router up in the attic (about 27' high) so that my AT&T connection is actually usable in my house – pretty cool!

  5. @beernuts6, actually they did force me to sign up. If I wanted an iPhone I had no choice other than to sign up with AT&T, now I DO have a choice and so does everyone else and that is the purpose of this blog!!!! To let people know there are cheaper choices available!

  6. @Jim I'm not interested in jailbreaking my iPhone because from my last 3 years of experience with iPhones the extended warranty is well worth the money as Apple is very generous with their service as long as you dont go swimming in the ocean with your phone. I wouldnt want to jailbreak and void any warranty personally as I am hard on phones and I have had three in the last 3 years – 2 of which apple gave me free, only the first one I purchased.

  7. Scooby one thing: IF you wanno be such as free as I suppose you want to, than: Get rid of Apple products seriously.

  8. Technology and training goes hand in hand. If you do more technology then I don't have to browse any other page. It is more than ok with me if you do tech also

  9. There are so few of these units that it is a minor issue. But I am willing to bet in the future this will be some thing the phone company's address. No offence Scooby I think you should stick to fitness. No one forced you to sign a service contract and the cell service providers are hardly an abusive monopoly.

  10. Great idea! I really love the quality of Skype! It's much better than the terrible built in cellphone app. However I've noticed that with Skype running in the background on the iPhone, battery life is roughly cut in half. Have you notice any problems with that?

  11. I've got an iPhone 3GS and grandfathered unlimited data plan. The courts say that jailbreaking is not illegal and software jailbreaks are easy to revert. Voiding my warrantee is not much of a concern, IMO. I've been using an app called MyWi that turns the iPhone into a 3G to WiFi router, allowing my PC, iPods, etc to share the 3G connection on the iPhone. MyWi also supports USB tethering. The app is available on Cydia with a 10 day free trial and $20 flat fee.

  12. I really plan on limiting my non-fitness posts to one or two a year, just when I think something is earth-shattering like this is. The cellphone companies have ripped us off for long enough, this is our first opportunity to strip them of their exclusive monopoly.

  13. Scooby these posts are fantastic! Thank's so much and don't worry we don't mind at all you writing it.
    It's amazing how influential one man (you) can be on people's lives. Keep it up!!!

  14. Heya, Scooby! First–I got rid of AT&T last month, and it was a happy happy happy day. They have the worst service from one end of their company to the other. Second–I would say, since you asked, keep it fitness only and maybe post this kind of stuff on facebook.

  15. @Stormrider, dont worry the before/after/contest thing is over now and wont show back up for another 7 months. There has just been a flurry lately with the results of the last contest and announcing of the new one. I know these contests annoy which is why I switched from monthly to once every 9 months. Its still really important to have because it provides great inspiration for beginners when they see a before picture of someone who is just like them.

  16. Look, Scoob–I'm all for it because you've ben keeping it real for so long, so you've earned my trust. There's never been a disingenuous post from you. Ever. I don't expect you're going to start now.

    Keep on keepin' on and watch your fanbase grow. But just remember that we don't just like you–we trust you.

  17. First of all, the blog/channel is yours and as you provide everything free of charge, I don't know if I have the right to give any form of criticism.

    Anyway, just in case you care: I don't like the idea of general interest posts, as I don't like the idea of those "contests" and "before+afters". I know YouTube users after they reach a critical mass they do all that "community building" crap, but I am generally very conservative on the content I like to watch.

    Whatever the case is, I hold your work and you as a person at the highest regard – you don't know what a huge good influence you've been.

  18. @Patrick, yes I know. I should have chosen another title. It sounds like those spam email we get all the time, its always the "Get Viagra Cheap" and the "Save money on your cellphone"

  19. It's a good post: helpful and interesting, but I do think this blog should be kept purely fitness related…maybe start a different blog that has these cool tips in…

  20. At first I was worried, because it sounded like you were doing a plug for an advertiser or something. But it really is helpful, and it's always cool to find these little tricks. I say keep it up scooby!

  21. depends on the iPhone model how you remove the SIM which is why I didnt mention it in the blog. Just go to youtube and search for SIM iPhone plus your model number, there are gobs of howto videos on removing the SIM

  22. I'm just giddy that I am finally free of AT&T, the happiest day of my life! Ok, a bit of an exaggeration but I'm pretty darn happy!

  23. Its ok scooby!
    your helping out everyone (well, except AT&T maybe but who cares about them) and that is perfectly alright!

    Thank you!

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