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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go
Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 9:03 AM on 12.03.09
->> I saw this gadget in Radio Shack last night:
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband
and it occurred to me that this might be a good solution for people like me who only occasionally have to file images on a tight deadline, and who don't need to spend $60 per month (every month) for a typical mobile broadband solution to do so.

The $10 per week or $20 per month plans should be all I need for the occasional on-location upload. Virgin's FAQ says that as long as you use the device once in a 365 day period, the account won't expire.

It looks like I have good coverage for Virgin wireless in our area but I don't know how reliable their data service is. Has anyone used this product? The data coverage is provided by Sprint's EVDO Rev A data network.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 9:57 AM on 12.03.09
->> I wonder what kind of speeds we are talking here?

Does look quite interesting as to use verizons it would cost me 30 dollars a month.
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Shane Bevel, Photographer
Tulsa | OK | USA | Posted: 12:33 PM on 12.03.09
->> yeah, I second that. Most of my work is commercial and post is done at home. But occasionally I need a mobile BB solution. Right now I use Tetherberry, but my god it's slow. And I don't need the capability all the time, in fact I go months without needing it.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 12.03.09
->> Verizon has a similar pay-as-you-go setup:
http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=products_prepaidmb

They call theirs "prepaid broadband". Similar rate structure - although the Virgin plan is definitely a better deal from a data allowance perspective.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 2:13 PM on 12.03.09
->> Shane I use Tetherberry too and have never had any issues. OK maybe while I was vacationing on a lake in Maine, in and around town (Boston) I get great results.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 8:20 PM on 12.03.09
->> Thanks Shane and Eric, I wasn't aware of the Tetherberry option but it sounds like a good option the next time I upgrade phones:
http://www.tetherberry.com/

According to the site it works with any Blackberry phone on almost any network.
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Scott Kane, Photographer
Edwardsville | IL | USA | Posted: 8:53 PM on 12.03.09
->> I have the Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go and have not had any problems with it at all and overall I am very happy with it. It has served me well and the speed has been great too, as a matter of fact just a couple weeks ago I used it instead of the wireless that was available at my motel since the motel's wireless was way too slow for me. I don't know the actual speed which I have connected as I've never really paid any attention to it but I would say it was at least equivalent to or better than DSL.

I did quite a bit of research on the various broadband devices that were out there before I went with Virgin and for my situation it was the best option. At most of the places I shoot I have wireless available on site, but occasionally I do have assignments where there isn't any readily available wireless so I just figure the $10/100MB right into the cost of the assignment.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 2:33 PM on 02.19.10
->> Partly based on Scott's review above I just bought one of these 3G devices. $100, plus pre-paid data plans for as little as $10 per week.

The clerk at Radio Shack tried to talk me out of it, saying a contract plan with Sprint was much more economical. I told him my needs and he just shrugged his shoulders and sold it to me.

I had some installation issues on my Dell, so I wouldn't recommend buying one just before a big assignment. There were some conflicts with my WiFi modem and an expired version of McAffee that I ended up having to uninstall... for some reason disabling the program wasn't enough. Browsing some websites and a call to customer service got everything going.

Once I got it working, it paid off in just one assignment. Upload speeds (according to FireFTP) were between 15-20 KB/s... not blazing fast but certainly enough to submit a handful of jpgs on deadline. The $10 plan is good for 100MB within 10 days... plenty of bandwidth for a normal assignment, plus a few days of leisure surfing afterwards.

I keep it in a rigid CF card case along with a fresh $10 top-up PIN in my laptop case at all times now.
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Clay Carson, Photographer
Little Rock | Ar | USA | Posted: 4:06 PM on 02.19.10
->> I picked up the mifi from Verizon. I got to use it for one day and my wife took possession. She travels to a lot of rural areas and needs internet access. She has been on the road for a week now. and says it is great. Access speed for her has been good, but she is your basic email/surfer. It must be easy to use since she is not the best troubleshooter in the land and she has hod zero issues. She will use a $60/month unlimited plan. I guess I have to buy another one for me.

Clay
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Micah Escamilla, Photographer
Calimesa | CA | United States | Posted: 9:23 PM on 02.19.10
->> curtis, thanks so much for the post! i've been contemplating adding the $60 verizon bill each month. haven't heard of tetherberry...i'm up for a phone upgrade this summer. i'm hoping verizon has an iphone deal by then or soon after.

scott, glad to hear virgin has worked well for you. i just might pick one up this next week!
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Dave Chidley, Photographer
London | Ontario | Canada | Posted: 11:26 PM on 02.19.10
->> I do a majority of my work on a similar device, I call them Internet sticks. I've had three versions here in Canada and because wi-fi isn't always available I rely on the stick.

Do shop around, we have plans that adjust monthly to your usage. If there aren't availble in the US, I'm sure they will come. Flexi-Data with Virgin in Canada

http://www.virginmobile.ca/vmc/en/phones/broadband2go/mifi2372.html

Last year on a photo tour I was co-hosting in Yellowstone National Park, the only real internet option anywhere was with using a stick.

One US carrier had good service there. We were using a US carrier's device.

We were posting photos to our blog and had people begging us to use it.
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 10:38 AM on 02.20.10
->> I've been using Tether (Tetherberry) for about 4 weeks now. I find it to be very consistent in most places, although occasionally I am in a hole, and the speed is not so good.

Usually, I get a pretty consistent 300 kbps download and 100 kbps upload. Not super fast but pretty decent for when I absolutely need to get connected.

I am using it on a Blackberry Curve, on the Sprint network. It has a bluetooth connection option, but so far I haven't been able to get that to work. But using the USB cord is pretty easy, and it connects quickly.
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Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:52 PM on 02.21.10
->> Save $20 right now using the code EXTRA20:

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/save20
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Jason Miller, Photographer, Assistant
Cleveland | OH | USA | Posted: 1:05 PM on 02.21.10
->> This type discussion is one of the reasons I value my SS membership so much.

I'm currently contemplating what service to chose for both my cell phone and mobile data plans as both my contracts are ending soon. My cell phone is with Sprint and my data plan is with Verizon. I currently pay for the $60 per month service with Verizon and have loved everything about the service except for the high monthly cost. As a result, I'm interested in using the Verizon pay-as-you-go service however, I'm not sure how well it works. Has anyone ever used the Verizon "prepay" service?

My concern is how quickly I could get it activated when I need it. I do a fair amount of freelancing for AP. As a result, I don't always know when I'm going to need my air card. Does anyone know if the service will work on an as needed basis? Basically, I need to be able to turn the thing on and pay for a day of service at a moment's notice. If I need to have an internet connection in order to purchase a credit before the device will work then these types of cervices may not work for me. I hope that makes sense.

Can anyone lend some insight into this dilemma?

Jason
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Max Simbron, Photographer, Assistant
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 4:30 PM on 02.21.10
->> Jason,

http://wirelesssupport.verizon.com/how_to_use/broadbandaccess_daypass.html?...

Basically the VZN connection mgr will do let you send your payment info, then you can access broadband.

BTW, how much are you paying? I'm on Sprint and have the everything plus a bag of chips plan and my Mifi is costing 50 bucks a month when bundled, so maybe you can get that plan.

They also have a "retention plan" that does 3GB for 40 dollars standalone. You have to have a current sprint plan then tell them you want out.

Verizon wants like 15 bucks for a day of use, so I just don't see how you save if you use it more than 3 times in a month.

Just some thoughts.
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 4:41 PM on 02.21.10
->> Max: Can you do me a HUGE favor?

Can you go to this site, and do a speed test from the city closest to you from your Sprint connection?

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

I've been wanting to test the throughput on the Sprint plan and compare it to just using Tether.

Thanks man!

Bryan...
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Max Simbron, Photographer, Assistant
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 02.21.10
->> Bryan:

Last Result:
Download Speed: 487 kbps (60.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 405 kbps (50.6 KB/sec transfer rate)

That sounds about right, though I will get more towards 800kbps at times. Note that:

1) I live in a so so spot for cell reception, always getting no more than 3 bars.

2) I'm using a Mifi (which I love). It has no external antenna, so that limits reception too.

One thing I like is that when I go to certain outskirts of the city, I will still be able to use 1xRTT, which is about 10KB, and sucks, but beats having nothing at all.

Max
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Jason Miller, Photographer, Assistant
Cleveland | OH | USA | Posted: 6:40 PM on 02.21.10
->> Hey Max, thanks for the info.

Like I said in the previous post I've found the Verizon service to be very fast and reliable. The only thing I don't like is the cost.

The reason I'm interested in a pay-as-you-go service is the ability to pay only when I need it. It's become rather rare that I'm in a location that doesn't provide internet access. I want to see if on an annual basis I save money with a pay-as-you-go system. I don't care if there's a month or two that cost's me $50-100 for wireless broadband because I may not use it for the next three months. Currently there are months where I have pay the $60 bill despite not needing to use it.

It costs me over $700 a year for wireless broadband access from Verizon. There are other plans that cost less but, no mater what plan I chose it's probably going to cost me around $300 annually if I sign a contract. I guess I'm simply trying to see if a pay-as-you-go system could keep that cost even lower. This way I can try it out and if it does look like it's not saving me anything I'll sign a contract.

I'm open to any suggestions regarding other companies and or plan combos.

Thanks,
Jason
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 8:12 AM on 02.22.10
->> Jason when I installed my device I'm not sure if I was accessing the internet from my WiFi or from the Virgin device.

However, when I'm at a remote location and I plug the Virgin device in, as soon as I click on the "Connect" button a web browser opens up with status about my account and options to top up the account. I'm guessing and hoping the same will occur after the current plan expires, giving me the chance to top up. I'll post again if that's not the case.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 10:20 AM on 02.22.10
->> In looking at the plans, I really like the sound of Virgin's prices. I'm thinking I'll take the dip on one of these services, but considering I don't know much about Virgin, can anyone tell me if their service is as reliable as Verizon or any other major carriers like Sprint/AT&T? If anyone has used both and can make any comparisons, that would be great.

Also, does the type of device that plugs into your computer and connects to the mobile broadband network make any difference? I'd be using mine on a MacBook Pro and have USB ports as well as an Express slot. Is the reception better on any of them or do any offer any significant advantages over the other? Thanks for the help here. Like a person said above, threads like this make Sportsshooter what it is.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 10:59 AM on 02.22.10
->> Derek the coverage looks pretty solid in Duluth and in much of Minnesota south of you, but there are plenty of areas nationwide that don't have coverage so it's good to check first:
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check-cell-phone-coverage

As long as I have a signal, I have reliable service. Coverage is provided by Sprint's EVDO Rev A data network.
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 2:55 PM on 02.22.10
->> Thanks Max. That is significantly faster than just using Tether through the Browser. Especially for the upload.
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Joel Kowsky, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia/Morris | MO/IL | United States | Posted: 9:36 PM on 03.08.10
->> http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband

They just changed rate plans around a bit. Now you can get 5GB that expires after 30 days for $60, the same as some other subscription broadband plans. I picked up one of the Virgin Mobile cards about three weeks ago and love it. It took a little bit of searching around to get it to work on a Mac, but it does work.
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David Welker, Photographer, Student/Intern
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 10:05 PM on 03.08.10
->> For those using teather, how many of you have it on the verizon coverage side? I am thinking about jumping on it and seeing how well it actually works verses the mifi but I am not sure exactly which will be more beneficial since I would want speed plus I have an unlimited data plan.
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Dave Breen, Photographer
Somerset | PA | USA | Posted: 10:09 AM on 03.18.10
->> I'm resurrecting this thread to ask for updates. Does the Virgin device work well in large buildings? I'll appreciate any and all observations. Thanks
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Scott Kane, Photographer
Edwardsville | IL | USA | Posted: 10:52 PM on 03.21.10
->> From my experience it doesn't work well inside buildings at all. I'll get one maybe two bars inside but as soon as I go outside I'll end up with full signal.
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Joel Kowsky, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia/Morris | MO/IL | United States | Posted: 1:14 AM on 03.22.10
->> The Virgin Mobile card worked great inside at the Qwest Center in Omaha this past weekend at NCAA Wrestling. Though I've learned that Sprint (the data service that VM uses) had repeaters inside the building, so that probably helped a lot. My ATT phone had little to no service where the work room was, so I'd say that my experiences with the card working there aren't going to be the norm in other buildings.
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Matt Strasen, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 1:48 AM on 03.22.10
->> This may be a stupid question, but can you activate the Virgin Mobile card while using the card...for instance, if you are covering spot news, realize you need to use the card, and activate it on site? Or do you need an internet connection to activate it prior to use?
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Dave Breen, Photographer
Somerset | PA | USA | Posted: 10:52 AM on 03.22.10
->> Curtis (the original poster) told me he keeps a pre-paid card in his computer case, and merely enters the PIN when he needs to add time. I believe it can be done by phone and online, also.

He also said he has had good luck transmitting from high school gyms.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 1:46 PM on 03.22.10
->> Yes as soon as you plug your inactive broadband device into a USB slot, it will open a web browser and connect you to virginmobileusa.com where you can top up the account with either a pre-paid PIN number or by using a credit card. Once that is done, you have full web/ftp access.

As I posted above, though, I had some issues with the original installation so I wouldn't wait until you have breaking news to do a fresh install.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 3:06 PM on 03.22.10
->> My Sprint card [same network] has had its ups and downs, it worked great at Obama's Election night in grant park [why I first got it for an assignment]. That said, it was absolutely DEAD while covering the Michael Jackson memorial outside the staples center in LA [suspect that my proximity to satellite and microwave trucks]. So always have a plan B.
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Scott Kane, Photographer
Edwardsville | IL | USA | Posted: 4:17 PM on 03.22.10
->> ->> This may be a stupid question, but can you activate the Virgin Mobile card while using the card...for instance, if you are covering spot news, realize you need to use the card, and activate it on site? Or do you need an internet connection to activate it prior to use?

Yes, you can activate on site as needed. Once you connect it automatically takes you to a 'log on' page where it lets you know how much time/bandwidth is available, if there is none available you can purchase directly from that page via credit card or a top-up card.
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Alex Menendez, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 05.30.11
->> Verizon mc760 card no longer works with new MacBook Pro running 10.6.7.
Anyone else having issues???

Spoke with tech support at Verizon,......worthless..

Still runs on my older macbook pro. If you are using this card and have not tried it in a while, give it a shot to make sure yours still works.

good luck
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Thread Title: Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go
Thread Started By: Curtis Clegg
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