If you use a computer regularly and you’re not always around a WiFi connection, the Verizon iPhone’s personal hotspot feature may sound like a godsend. It allows iPhone users to connect up to four different WiFi devices to their phone’s Internet connection, which means that you can use 3G pretty much anywhere and without additional wires.
The Verizon personal hotspot feature is ostensibly more useful than AT&T’s tethering, which currently requires an iPhone to be hooked up to a computer via USB. However, both services have additional charges that they levy on iPhone users for the convenience of an Internet connection on the go. Here’s a look at what you need to know about pricing if you’re thinking about giving the Verizon iPhone 4’s personal hotspot feature a go.
Off The Bat – If you use the personal hotspot feature at all, you’re going to have to pay an extra $20 off the bat for the service. That’s really not too bad, all things considered. It’s what AT&T charges for their tethering service, and remember, no wires and up to four computers can connect to the personal hotspot. The feature can also be enabled or disabled by calling Verizon, so say that you’re taking a three month vacation and you want to be able to connect on the road: you can start the personal hotspot feature during this time and cancel it when you don’t need it anymore. Simple, right?
Personal Hotspot Limitations – That’s not to say that you’ll be able to use an unlimited amount of data, however, The $20 fee for the personal hotspot will get you 2GB of shared data. Additional gigabytes will cost up to $20 each.
The reason that the Verizon iPhone’s personal hotspot is fairly limited is because laptops can quickly use a tremendous amount of data. Visiting a few YouTube pages or downloading files can get you up to two gigabytes very quickly. Verizon needs to carefully manage their network to avoid getting bogged down, hence the cost per gigabyte.
Watching Your Costs – If you do decide to buy the personal hotspot feature for your Verizon iPhone, you can manage your costs by watching your data usage in the iPhone’s settings menu. Don’t use your laptop for anything ridiculous and you should stay well under 2GB. The personal hotspot feature can be a great way to write emails, visit websites, and get some work done for about $20 a month, and if you’re careful in how you use it, it shouldn’t cost you much more.
What do you think of the Verizon iPhone personal hotspot’s costs? Post in the comments section below.