Author Topic: earthlink wireless?  (Read 2459 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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earthlink wireless?
« on: November 26, 2014, 04:16:32 PM »
So I'm looking at my options.

location: NYC

I see that Earthlink has 4g wireless service and was wondering if anyone has experience with it. I'd like to be able to surf and stream movies and music at home. It costs about 25$ per month (It should be 19.95, but I assume there will be taxes, hopefully I have guestimated correctly).

The place I'm staying has no internet, I'm crashing on a couch, I will be moving around so dsl is not an option. I would like to be able to bring the service with me, and preferably no contract because who knows where I'll be next.

Right now I have a phone plan that allows for about 500MB high speed data, which is good for a smart phone. It has unlimited minutes and text for $35. Not bad, I have considered just going with a better data plan, but I will start job hunting soon and I want to have a good connection to talk to people over the phone. It's no contract so I can drop down a plan.


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Re: earthlink wireless?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 09:13:30 AM »
First, get the idea of streaming any significant amount of media out of your head now on mobile broadband, that's a one way trip to the poorhouse.

Earthlink is a ripoff for their mobile broadband. All they're reselling is Clearwire WiMax access, which is being decommissioned by Sprint in about a year. If you don't care about their datamining and privacy issues (read the legal boilerplate), FreedomPop would be a far more cost effective solution on the same Clearwire infrastructure, and they have hardware upgrade paths that also do Sprint 4G LTE. Sprint's coverage isn't the greatest, but FreedomPop's prices are the least terrible if the coverage doesn't consistently work out for you ($1/GB, min. $10, but there is a free package - this is a rarity as you'll soon see). Our own Rebel Spy uses FreedomPop and hasn't had much terrible to say as far as I know, but his experience is in Nevada, not NYC. YMMV.

Outside of FreedomPop, your only other options are the four major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and their MVNOs. The going rate across the board for mobile data is about $10/GB, minimum $30 out the door per month, frequently $50+ if you want to tether (with or without a plan that also offers phone service). Of the big four, if you can swing good T-Mobile coverage in all the places you're going to be, your most reasonable price options will be through their prepaid division directly or Red Pocket, if all you're wanting is stand-alone mobile data access. If you go RedPocket, you'll need a carrier unlocked GSM USB modem or MiFi hotspot (preferably T-Mobile branded to get the right data bands for 3g/4g HSPA)... fortunately they're not that expensive (under $100).

Airvoice Wireless/Jolt (AT&T MVNO) doesn't have any restrictions on data tethering with their calling plans, but they do have the habit of splitting their data allotments in half which requires you to activate the other half of your data plan with customer service before you can get internet access back. For the money spent, however, you'd still come out way ahead overall versus what you're paying now plus Earthlink 4G (technically they'd be $5/month cheaper than what you're currently paying for the same service, excuse perhaps the mobile network used). Phone calls always trumps data, though you should be able to do both on GSM networks. CDMA is another matter, it's either or.

Any MVNO that offers high-speed data up to xGB of data and then unmetered slower access afterward with their phone plans will not allow data tethering. This eliminates every MVNO from the guide across the board except for Airvoice and Page Plus if memory serves if you want to combine services into a single device and use the data access on any other devices but your phone.

Alternative Sprint options if you're not in a WiMax or LTE coverage area and need Sprint 3G data access would be Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go service.

If none of these proposed solutions really work due to network coverage, it's dealing with the big boys directly. Like I said, expect to pay at least $50 out the door a month for about 5GB of data and the ability to tether devices through them. You'll be able to avoid a contract, but only if you buy your own device outright (probably used with clear IMEI or ESN) to activate. Device availability without contract is far easier on the GSM end than it is the CDMA.

With a few more details, I might be able to come up with a couple other specific options, but these are your most viable generic options from overall price, service, and coverage.

Finally, apologies for being light on the linkage with this post. Most of the necessary links are over in the unabridged guide (linked in my sig) or easily found through Google. Hope you don't mind.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 09:33:23 AM by I.P. Daley »