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A little Tech Help Needed

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RVTECH, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I am considering a Hot Spot system and I was looking at the various plans (with US Cell who I am now with) My question is how do I evaluate my needs for the particular plan IE. how do I equate X amount of GB with my current usage? The base plan is 2 GB for $25 per month and up from there but I would like to get an idea of how I would roughly compare current usage into a GB estimate to determine my need. I hope this makes sense. Thanks.
     
  2. oneharmonic

    oneharmonic Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Here's what it boils down to.

    If you browse the web, check your e-mail, post on the forums, read the news, etc., 24/7 for an entire month, you will not hit 2GB (~2000MB). Websites are highly compressed and reuse a lot of resources, so you're typically going to have most of your favorite sites already stored in your local cache and you'll only download new content.

    If you listen to streaming music, such as Pandora, you're going to use about 30MB per hour. 2GB would equal about 67 hours of streaming audio.

    If you watch streaming video, such as YouTube or Netflix, you're going to use about 150MB per hour. 2GB would equal around 13 hours of streaming video.

    Video chatting, over Skype or FaceTime, can use upwards of 250MB per hour because you're both transmitting and receiving audio and video simultaneously. VOIP calls can range from 60MB to 180MB per hour.

    Of course, downloading files (especially large ones, like games or movies) will eat up your bandwidth very fast.

    So the question is, what is your typical usage like? Is it mostly reading/browsing text/image based content, or do you stream or download a lot of media (video, music)?
     
    ATCclears and (deleted member) like this.
  3. KalamaMark

    KalamaMark Kalama Wa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the most clearly written, easy to understand answer to a question a lot of us have pondered!!
     
  4. oneharmonic

    oneharmonic Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I may have exaggerated a little with the 24/7 remark. If you're browsing text/image based sites, it uses an average of 5MB-15MB per hour. That's still upwards of 150+ hours to hit the 2GB limit.

    For those of you using mobile hot spots that want to save bandwidth, start using Opera as your web browser: Opera

    Opera has a feature called Turbo (Opera Turbo) which compresses websites even further on Opera's servers before relaying that data to you. It can cut your data usage significantly on a mobile connection, and make pages load faster.
     
  5. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on the above! I understood the basics but you explained what I needed IE. the hard numbers of bandwidth usage. Based on this and my current usage it appears I can easily get away with the 2GB per month but that could change if I started taking advantage of applications I am unable to now. I'll just have to see how it goes.
     
  6. Ramjet12

    Ramjet12 PNW Member

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    I have a Virgin Mobile hotspot that I use when I travel. $35 for 2.5 gig on 3g. 4g data is free. It runs on Sprints network which is slow and 4g coverage is spotty.
     
  7. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have an iPhone with Verizon, and for an extra $20/month I can use my iPhone as a personal, secured hotspot for any of my devices that are WiFi-capable.

    To perhaps build on oneharmonic's posting, try NOT to use your hotspot to watch video or YouTube, download or send big attachments, etc. All of this stuff chews through your monthly allocation. Moreover, ask yourself if you can keep your usage of the hotspot to more urgent email or web browsing, and seek out free WiFi (e.g. Starbucks) for most other situations.

    For whatever service you chose, ask if they have the ability to alert you when you hit 50% used and 90% used in a billing period. You want these alerts since it will warn you before you slam through your threshold and get soaked with extra fees for that billing period.

    Peter