Got a 4G USB Stick ? No ? Is it because of the cost, the contract, the poor service ? Well fear not fellow “internetters”, Netzero, the pioneer of “FREE” internet has you covered. Earlier this year, I reviewed the 4G Hotspot and was quite impressed.
It is now time to tell you about the Netzero 4G Stick USB Device.
The first thing you want to do, is check out the service area map. It asks for your zip code and will bring up the area that is serviced by the hotspot. Just go to www.netzero.net and click on mobile broadband and then, the coverage tab. Do not be discouraged if your area is not covered yet, as they are always adding areas.
After unboxing the only items on the activation to-do list was to install the Netzero Connection software, and then plug in the stick. It was installed and tested on 3 devices;
- MacBook Air running OSx Mountain Lion
- Windows 7 Laptop
- Windows 8 (beta) Desktop (supported but unadvertised as such)
Once that was done, testing began. As a side bar, I have always been disgusted with 4G and 3G services on my cell phones, due to the fact that none of the major carriers allow for full reception in my 1900’s era colonial. Netzero however, had no problem achieving 3-4 out of 5 bars at a time which was more than what I ever could get with traditional 3/4G services.
Living in Chelmsford, I had no coverage issues from the NH Border down into Boston, with the exception of the usual cellular black out areas where no one has reception.
The speed was exceptional. I was able to make phone calls through a varying array of apps, such as Skype, Face Time and more. This was done on the road without any close proximity to a WiFi hotspot, such as a café or hospital or library. In fact, the clarity of calls and other communications was as good as if being on the WiFi network in my own home
While it is truly made for laptops, notebooks and netbooks, my testing on the desktop was as a matter of fact. It was simply the scenario of the internet being down in my area, and my not wanting to leave the house for such an issue. Well, turns out I don’t have to, as I still got great coverage for my desktop.
Netzero charges a mere $49 for the USB stick and $99 for its sharable hotspot. However, currently (at time of review) Netzero is offering a 50% discount on each device.
Plan costs range from $0 for the 200 Mb a month to $49 for 4 gigs a month. There is no contract, just a slight upfront cost. So, if you are considering a hotspot with a contract, DON’T. Simply get the newest out of Netzero and enjoy surfing, emailing and watching to your hearts content. Learn more at www.netzero.net.