Saturday, December 18, 2021

Preparing to Watch the Orange Bowl

Cookies, advertising, Android, and everything else, I don't think Google has it out for me.  This is the first speed test link in a search.


Five years ago I cut the cable and there is no reason to look back.  The main reason--getting rid of Comcast--is even more relevant today.  Now I took a similar step with CenturyLink (a.k.a. Lument Technologies).  Gone are the ugly wires originating from the distant telephone poles and the intolerable customer service.  These people actually think their services are in demand?  I am completely wireless.

The main thing is simplicity.  Decades ago I didn't want a satellite dish on my house or property and now I don't want the cables either.  Or the holes in the wall and wires inside.  The cell towers are on the roofs of nearby businesses and the coverage is perfect.  It is all at least as mobile as the web of wires.

To watch the Orange Bowl it will probably cost me about 3gb of data.  I'm OK and prepared for that.

Hit the jump for how-to.


First,  make sure the network you choose works at your home.  I know that T-Mobile (with Sprint) works great.  Next, check the MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) or resellers.  They are usually less expensive, simpler, and easier to work with.

Probably the place to start is AT&T and their 100gb plan.  That is what I wish I had and I'm not quite there yet.  It is about $60/month but the equipment options are limited and expensive, and in my very-recent experience AT&T is impossible to work with. They do not answer the phone and their website, plans, and credit/installment junk are very difficult.  Nonetheless, I have checked back a few times.  If I can find a simple online device and sign-up, I will do it.  That includes an out if it does not work well.

By device I mean mobile hotspot.  Most phones and plans today will do it too.  I need a combination of two or more because, for now, I cannot find a big-enough plan I can live with.  It will only get easier to find one in the future.  4G is sufficient; 5G is every bit the match of cables.

Boost Mobile and this plan is a great place to start.  (Be careful.)  Currently I am quite pleased with this (Alcatel), which again doesn't come up in the normal Boost links and offerings but it is still there.

The above offering--$50 for the device and $50/month for 35gb 4G data--is a good one.  And it is extremely fast and simple to buy the device and start service.

The speed test screenshot above is using this service, in my home, on a a Windows 10 desktop computer.

Is 35gb enough?  How does it work with multiple devices and file transfer?  Not really and not always are the answers.

I use two or three desktop computers regularly (mostly in the same room) and some Windows laptops and tablets too (plus Android phones and tablets).  Newer devices communicate fine to OK via the cellular hotpot and with older devices the connections are unusable to the extent of not even being able to play videos.  For the most part, I just needed to connect two computers and usb external drives, and share files.  I have a lot of files!  Connecting them with a (short, hidden) LAN cable was the solution.

It all coincides with a desire to spend less time watching junk on the internet.  For a spell, at least, I'd like to spend more time with the videos I have saved and less time at the computer.

I was connecting all these computers to the internet that didn't need to be connected.  Everything was slowing down as a result and it was a waste of wireless bandwidth.

Now, each of the three computers near my desk are much faster.  The one computer that I am browsing or watching with is much faster.

35gb with a few videos too can work.  Browsing doesn't use much data.  And it is portable.  Simple billing.  No wires.

BTW, for back-up and for more I have 25gb worth of mobile hotpot with my cellphone (Tello.com).  It is also the T-Mobile network (i.e., the same thing).

December is still a test month.  My experience is you cannot even browse with 2G (turned-off and not unlimited) speeds.  Both of my devices will stop at the stated level; my phone I can recharge if I can get on the internet.

Right now I am half to two-thirds through my plans and still going.  We'll see.



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