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:
- Buy the USB modem Zoom 4596/Zoom 4595 modem (or equivalent), cost about $80
- Buy the Zoom 4506 Travel Router or the cradlepoint – about $60
- Remove the SIM from your working iPhone or buy an unlimited data contract from t-mobile , $40/mo.
- Slip the SIM into the USB modem.
- 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.
- 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.
- Download the skype application to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, its free.
- 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?