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East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
36316 posts

Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
In an area that has no cable nor Uverse like service, what is the best option?
There is 4G LTE coverage available, best in that location through ATT.
I've been told about Unlimitedville. Price seems high ($149 - $249/mo) for a connection to 4G.
I could use my ATT phone as a hotspot, but I believe ATT will limit that availability.
Any other recommendations?

TIA


Arkapigdiesel
Arkansas Fan
Gravette, AR
Member since Jun 2009
2893 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
This is what I have. I've had it for seven months now and it works like a charm. I use the Netgear nighthawk hotspot router hardwired into the Google Mesh setup. We never use anything less than 300GB per month.

Streams HD stuff with no issues/no buffering. It works so well that I've been talking about it at work and five of my co-workers have also switched over to it and they are all extremely pleased with it also. It's $29.99 per month (no taxes).

Another big plus is that when we are travelling, we take it with us so everyone can stream movies, etc. You'll need to buy an AT&T nighthawk router and also buy a new/never used micro sim card. You can get both of those on eBay.

Here's a screen shot of the D/L and U/L speeds:

Image: https://i.imgur.com/VXdiaC0l.jpg
This post was edited on 2/12 at 7:46 am


East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
36316 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Thanks for replying.
I've looked some into it, so here are some questions:
Since it's using the ATT network and I have ATT on my phone, if I do a speed test on my phone at the home's location, will that be a good measure of what to expect with this connection?

Who are you paying bill to? ATT?
If you set this up through ATT, I assume they charge more?

How much are the routers and Google mesh devices?

Do the connection work okay from main house to the basement?

Thanks again


Arkapigdiesel
Arkansas Fan
Gravette, AR
Member since Jun 2009
2893 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
quote:

Since it's using the ATT network and I have ATT on my phone, if I do a speed test on my phone at the home's location, will that be a good measure of what to expect with this connection?

Yes.
quote:

Who are you paying bill to? ATT?

Yes. After you pay ($30) to that guy on that eBay auction link that I referenced above, he transfers the service into your name and you have have an unlimited data plan with AT&T that is tied to the SIM card and hotspot router that you purchased. You'll have the $29.99 monthly data fee charge taken out of whatever payment method you setup through the AT&T data page. You can use a debit/credit card or checking account.
quote:

If you set this up through ATT, I assume they charge more?

Yes, they will open your butt hole up as wide as the top of a 55 gallon drum. As I stated above, pay the guy the $30 on the eBay auction to transfer the service over to your name. Then, after the transfer, you'll continue to pay $29.99 per month. You'll have your own data account, in your name. See pic below; after I login into my AT&T data account, that's what I see:

Image: https://i.imgur.com/0Bq0Gvql.jpg

quote:

How much are the routers and Google mesh devices?
Look on eBay or Amazon. I paid $115 for my Nighthawk hotspot router, $240 for my 3 pack of Google Mesh routers, and the SIM card for around $3 on eBay.
quote:

Do the connection work okay from main house to the basement?
If you position the mesh routers properly, I guess? I don't know about your house configuration.

Also, for clarification purposes....what I did was go into my settings of my nighthawk router and configure it as a passthrough router. Meaning, all you really need it to do is to grab the cell phone tower data signal and you hardwire (via an ethernet cable) the nighthawk router to one of your Google Mesh routers. Here's a screenshot of the setting in the nighthawk router you'll need to change:

Image: https://i.imgur.com/z1KhfZjl.jpg


I hope I'm not making this sound overly difficult, because in reality, it isn't. Once you have all of this turned on and you start messing with it, it'll all make sense.
This post was edited on 2/12 at 12:44 pm


fibonaccisquared
Georgia Fan
The mystical waters of the Hooch
Member since Dec 2011
12315 posts
 Online 

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
This is good info! Have actually been considering picking up a mobile hotspot for work purposes. A lot of the plans are pretty pricey, but this would work pretty well it sounds like.


East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
36316 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
I still haven't figured out how you end up with ATT for $29/ month, yet if you went through ATT, it would cost a lot more.


fibonaccisquared
Georgia Fan
The mystical waters of the Hooch
Member since Dec 2011
12315 posts
 Online 

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
quote:

I still haven't figured out how you end up with ATT for $29/ month, yet if you went through ATT, it would cost a lot more.


Grandfathered plans. Old iPad plans for example were locked in at a specific rate as part of the Apple contract. I believe what a lot of those dudes are doing is combing electronics recycling stashes for old iPad originals, activating service in them (which enables the "defunct" pricing) and then selling the account and transferring the service to a new SIM card. Once that's done, they can then re-initiate service on the device and do it all over again...

Not 100% positive that is the exact method, but it's something to that effect. I know if you get service on an original iPhone, it's similarly locked in with unlimited data but you pay an upgraded cost for the 4G... so if you really needed unlimited data on a phone plan, that's a way to get it (or was a few years back at least and I don't think the terms have changed).


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Baers Foot
LA-Lafayette Fan
Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Member since Dec 2011
2012 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Thanks for sharing/explaining this set-up. Gonna do this for my folks. They don't have a better option than 3 Mbps down DSL.


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TigerstuckinMS
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2005
18073 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
quote:

I could use my ATT phone as a hotspot, but I believe ATT will limit that availability.

Yeah, they do. They definitely don't want you using your phone's data plan to connect a house. I have the top tier unlimited data plan on my phone and while I get unlimited 4G data, 35 TV channels, HBO, etc., all in HD, that's ONLY on the one device.

If I open up the mobile hotspot, after 15GB, it reverts to 2G speeds. I can cast all that video from the phone to the TV to get around the hotspot limits, but if I were trying to watch Netflix directly on my computer through the hotspot, it would quickly suck.

Of course, this data plan is half of that unlimited plan you looked at that provides a connection for your house.
This post was edited on 2/13 at 11:49 am


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GeneralLee
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2004
8604 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Do you have to have an AT&T phone to use this internet option? Or could you have a phone from another carrier? And how does the Nighthawk/Google mesh router setup work? How many Google mesh routers would I need for a two story, 3500 sqft house? Where did you find a link to buy the Nighthawk router for only $115? Thanks.
This post was edited on 2/24 at 9:40 am


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Arkapigdiesel
Arkansas Fan
Gravette, AR
Member since Jun 2009
2893 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
quote:

Do you have to have an AT&T phone to use this internet option?

No.
quote:

Or could you have a phone from another carrier?

Doesn't matter who your cell phone provider is. This is a stand alone data plan.
quote:

And how does the Nighthawk/Google mesh router setup work?

See above. I went over that. Set the Nighthawk as a pass through, or you can let it broadcast, as it normally would. I chose pass through because I didn't want two extra wifi names out there when I'm scanning for networks because that bugs me.

Just plug an ethernet cable from the Nighthawk into your Mesh primary wifi point is all you need to do. You really just need the Nighthawk to catch the signal from the cell tower and your Google Mesh system is what you'll be connecting to in your house.
quote:

How many Google mesh routers would I need for a two story, 3500 sqft house?

Hard to say? Layout of your house and line of sight in between the mesh routers have a lot to do with how many you'll need. For instance, our house is 2200 sq ft, with a bonus room upstairs and a shop that isn't too far from the house. Three mesh routers easily covered my house, but I had to get a fourth one to get a strong enough signal in my shop. I'd start with three, and buy more, if needed. The Google Mesh setup is ridiculously easy to do.
quote:

Where did you find a link to buy the Nighthawk router for only $115?

Just searched on eBay.


LSU>USC
LSU Fan
Campus
Member since May 2004
266 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
What's the best Netgear Nighthawk model? I'm currently looking at this one for Amazon but not sure if this is the best one for a hotspot router.


Arkapigdiesel
Arkansas Fan
Gravette, AR
Member since Jun 2009
2893 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
I think that’s the same model I have. Just make sure you get one that’s forward compatible with the 1 Gig speeds coming. Or, at the very least, LTE compatible.


LSU>USC
LSU Fan
Campus
Member since May 2004
266 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Thanks for all the info, Arkapigdiesel. Ordered my nighthawk and giving it a try.


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VABCHTIGER
LSU Fan
Virginia Beach
Member since Sep 2007
179 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Thanks for sharing! Just got my Nighthawk and set it up with the eBay guy - download speed is twice as fast right now and a lot less than half the monthly internet bill!


TomSpanks
Florida Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2005
369 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Got mine all set up yesterday, can't thank you enough for the info. Very easy to deal with the eBay guy too, and I'm getting 3x speeds that I was getting from AT&T.

ETA: I had AT&T DSL, garbage reliability and speed
This post was edited on 3/2 at 7:30 pm


Arkapigdiesel
Arkansas Fan
Gravette, AR
Member since Jun 2009
2893 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
In between me and another guy at work, I bet we've given that guy at least 20 referrals. Glad it's working out for y'all

As long as this plan is still offered/grandfathered in, I'll always have this. Will never pay the inflated rates of traditional internet. Can't beat the price and performance.
This post was edited on 3/2 at 7:20 pm


dtett
Member since Oct 2018
86 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Are there any carrier alternatives to this? The area I'd want this in doesn't have att coverage though verizon does.


fibonaccisquared
Georgia Fan
The mystical waters of the Hooch
Member since Dec 2011
12315 posts
 Online 

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Looks like on ebay there are VZ sims for sale but the plan cost looks to be higher - $60/month.

Just search "unlimited verizon hot spot" on ebay for listings.


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GeneralLee
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2004
8604 posts

re: Rural Internet options. Unlimitedville?
Did any of y’all have trouble getting the nighthawk router to recognize the SIM card you bought? Mine won’t recognize it for some reason. I bought a refurbished Nighthawk on EBay. Going to try a new SIM card tomorrow, if that one doesn’t work then will return that Nighthawk and get a new one.


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