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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

iPhone 4s personal WiFi hotspot
Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 7:14 PM on 02.24.12
->> I am currently using a new phone (it's great) but am having issues using it as a hot spot to transmit pics back to the office via my Mac Book Pro. Now, unfortunately, right now it is a Sprint 3G network in our area...not 4G. I can get one photo to go but it takes 1-3 minutes to send. After that I can't get it to send any more pics. And forget about sending a folder of low-rez pics for a photo gallery. The WiFi works great to use the internet and I am getting all bars as far as signal goes. Any thoughts? Oh...I have tried sending using Photomechanic and FileZilla with the same results. When I use my Verizon card from the same spot, the images only take about 5 seconds each to send. Of course my Verizon is on a 4G network in most areas. Thanks...Dan.
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Englewood | FL | USA | Posted: 7:41 PM on 02.24.12
->> Dumb question, maybe. But if your Verizon card works, why bother with the phone?
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Gordon Grant, Photographer
East Hampton | NY | USA | Posted: 8:46 PM on 02.24.12
->> I use my AT&T iPhone 4 as a hot spot to transmit images from my MacBook Air without any problems and it seems very fast. Takes around 10 seconds per image.

Does the same thing happen if you send the file attached to an email?

Maybe check to see if Sprint has restrictions using FTP.
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Jeff Kowalsky, Photographer
West Bloomfield | MI | United States | Posted: 9:09 PM on 02.24.12
->> I am having the same problem with my iPhone 4s on the Verizon network. I used to use an express card on vzw 3g network with my Mac Book Pro and never had any issues sending. Tried diagnosing with a "Genius" iPhone worked perfectly in the store.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 11:33 PM on 02.24.12
->> Armando,
I believe that because all of our photographers have iPhone 4s phones now, the company wants to eliminate duplication by also having a Verizon card. Doing a lot of testing right now.

Thanks for everyone's input. I was just curious. Our IT department is all over this so I'm sure it will be resolved soon one way or another. Thanks again...Dan.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:08 AM on 02.25.12
->> dan, same problem. I just got an iphone 3 weeks ago...love it...paid for the "personal hotspot" with a 4g package. $50.
attempted to use it in EVERY town within our area...it did not work. period. upload speed started at 10kps...then dropped to 2kps..where it consequently dropped the connection. this happened categorically no matter where I was. I called verizon several times and never received any reason for the crappy service. the real clue that there is obviously a serious problem was that they didn't try and make any excuses...and then I called to cancel and they rolled over like a puppy getting it's belly scratched. so beware. verizon+iphone+personal hotspot= EPIC FAIL. I have heard it does work great with AT&T. but since AT&T has a really abysmal service area when you get two miles from any interstate it is totally useless to most photojournalists in the real world. I am in the process of buying a wifi device. the package is the same price and we use several of them at the paper and they are lightning fast. I mean we're talking 500 kps upload speeds. so the data package is the same price, why would I pay for the hotspot on my iphone? remember, with verizon if you're using your phone as a hotspot you can't do anything else on it. this is another example of these tech/phone/data companies promising something they don't and cannot deliver. I truly wish they would spend the money on technology and infrastructure than those crazy expensive ads on television. then maybe, just maybe their crap would work as ADVERTIZED.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 12:21 AM on 02.25.12
->> I feel your pain Chuck. Oh, I should have clarified that my iPhone 4s is with Sprint and not Verizon. Thanks for the info!
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Chris Detrick, Photographer, Assistant
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 02.25.12
->> Dan,

We were having similar problems with using our 4s to transmit photos with the wireless hotspot. The hotspot would work great for web browsing, but as soon as I would start transmitting photos with either photo mechanic or transmit, the transmit speed would begin around 80 kb/second but would immediately drop to a slow crawl of 1-2 kb/second then stop completely.

The only solution that has worked is plugging in the iPhone and using it as a USB modem. Now, the photos will send anywhere between 80 and 140 kb/sec, depending on the signal.

It is annoying to have to plug in the phone to the computer, but at least the photos send quickly.

Let me know if you figure out a wireless solution.
Hope this helps.
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Steven Mullensky, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 1:03 AM on 02.25.12
->> Anyone know of a hack for the 4S?

I had won with my previous 3Gs and it only cost me a one time $20.00 fee for the app.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 4:37 AM on 02.25.12
->> One solution that doesn't require the 'hotspot' feature is to connect the iPhone to the computer. In iTunes 1) Click on the iPhone in left sidebar 2) Go to Apps Tab 3) Scroll down to File Sharing.

If you have an application like FTPonTheGo, GoodReader and a few others you can drag-n-drop your files onto the iPhone, disconnect it and FTP/SFTP your files while the iPhone is in your pocket while you're shooting action again.

Sometimes this even helps if you're going from some closed in dugout or car and back onto an open football sideline and such as your signal will be better.

With AT&T if you've been grandfathered into the so-called 'unlimited' plan you will be switched to the 2GB/month plan if you activate hotspot so don't activate hotspot if you don't want everage charges (recent bandwidth throttling is another issue).

Also no iPhone can do 4G. They all only do 3G though AT&T's version can reach much faster speeds up/down than Sprint/Verizon CDMA technology. Of course AT&Ts coverage is a famous crapshoot so there is that little issue.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 4:42 AM on 02.25.12
->> @Steven You can jailbreak your iPhone 4S and install TetherMe or PDAnet to activate tethering without a hotspot plan. But you may be violating the terms of service with your carrier.

I still have NetShare which I bought in the Apple App Store, it still kinda works for tethering without a plan. Apple has never issued a killswitch on it. I paid $10 for it in the few hours it was available in the app store. It's a total pain to set-up the tether. I have a MiFi as a 3G hotspot.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 8:43 AM on 02.25.12
->> baron. that's what I'm doing. I just ordered a mifi because the main reason I wanted the phone as a hotspot was I didn't want to have anything connected to the laptop...the mifi's we have been using are blazing fast with upload speeds approaching 400kps...since I always have my laptop in the shape shifter I have plenty of room for the mifi...and it's the same price (data wise) as making the phone a hotspot....I feel that the $25 to buy a mifi unit is well worth the price with those kind of upload speeds.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 11:26 AM on 02.25.12
->> Our Verizon iPhone 4s's tether okay in the Phoenix metro area but not out of town. As Baron mentioned, the 4S is still 3G so it's going to be much slower than any of the 4G devices. And ATT's 3G data service is faster than Verizon's. Also, with ATT you can talk on the phone while you're doing data. With Verizon it's either one or the other but not both. We're hoping we can keep our Sprint air cards for those times the tethering doesn't work, but the company FAQ that came with our iPhones said the company would be retiring the air cards as the phones came on line. Which I guess means we're going to lose the air cards pretty soon.
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Crystal Chatham, Photographer, Assistant
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 12:32 PM on 02.25.12
->> We did the iPhone 4s rollout last week, too. Two of our photogs still on 2004 PowerBooks had similar problems as you. With the device plugged in via USB as Chris Detrick suggested, they reported fast speeds and no problems. Those of us on MBPs have had no problems where strong Sprint signals exist (all 3g - no 4g here). We definitely have some "dark spots" in the coverage.

We are all curiously waiting to see how dependable the phones are as hotspots during prep football season.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 5:05 PM on 02.25.12
->> One of the things I hate about the MiFi, I have the 3G version but I've heard of similar problems with the Lte version, is that the damn thing is almost impossible to keep turned-off. It has a stupid soft button and turns itself ON when disconnected from power like if you're done charging it. Or it turns on if accidently bump the button, or it turns on whenever it damn well pleases on its own. Several times I tried to use my MiFi but the battery was dead from being left on accidently.

I've found the only surefire way to deal with this is to open the battery cover and yank the battery for a second to shut it down.

The second issue with the MiFi is that if you plug the USB cord in WiFi Hotspot capability no longer works. They want you to use the USB mode. The way around this is to buy a USB cable that doesn't have the data pins enabled. Then you can power/charge the MiFi while using it as a WiFi Hotspot.
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 12:30 AM on 02.27.12
->> My iphone 4s has 3g service with Sprint. Paid the extra for Hot Spot.
It does not work for transmitting photos. I went back and forth with a Sprint tech for a while. The issue was never resolved. I get by knowing all the free WiFi spots around town.
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Tony Rawlings, Photographer
Orange County | CA | US | Posted: 12:05 PM on 02.27.12
->> I've got Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile phones with hotspot plans. I'm using Droid and iPhone 4S. I also have got 4G hotspot devices for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

Sprint - it's a joke...dog slow, download and upload speeds.

Verizon - the best 4G in my areas, Los Angeles and Orange County.

AT&T 4G - good in some areas but mostly slower than Verizon 4G.

I'm noticing that these carriers are throttling their uploading and downloading speeds. They won't tell you, but I could definitely feel it and see it through speedtest.

If you're uploading a big chunk of files (sometimes even one large file), they'll consider you/us data hogs and would throttle down your speeds. They advertise 4G speeds but the throttling tactic is occuring to reduce load on their networks.

From my experience, MiFi's work better for notebooks than built in hotspots in smart phones.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 11:24 AM on 02.28.12
->> Well, last night I transmitted by plugging my iPhone with the USB cord but didn't have any better success. First pic I sent took a little over a minute and the second one I sent took 5 minutes. Not sure what the heck is going on...arrgghh.
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Lorenzo Zemella, Student/Intern
Madison | WI | USA | Posted: 12:21 PM on 02.28.12
->> I have been using a Verizon LTE phone for about 6 months now. I am not paying for the wifi hotspot service, but decided on trying out a wired tethering method via an app called EasyTether Pro. The app is $10, and since it works via the USB connection to your computer, the carrier doesn't treat it as a "hotspot" option, so it is perfectly fine using this app with your standard plan (and it charges the battery too).

This app has worked great anytime I really need to use 4g (when no good wifi connection is available, or I'm on the passenger seat of a car). I live in Madison, but have also used this in many midwest markets (Chicago area, Indy, Urbana, Cincy, St Louis, Memphis)and south Florida.

When driving, it works perfectly (as long as you are not going in and out of 4g areas). My downloads are typically 10-40 Mbps, and more importantly, uploads are normally over 10 Mbps. I haven't experienced much throttling, and other than my data limit of 4 GB, I'm not complaining that I have a mobile connection that is faster than my home cable line.

If you have Android, I would recommend one of those USB tethering apps, since you only pay for the app once, and don't get slowed down by the phone's wifi/hotspot chip, and carrier's extra plan.
Sorry if this is not iPhone 4s related, but for you guys that use Android, I hope it helps...
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Jon Durr, Student/Intern, Photographer
Morton Grove | IL | USA | Posted: 1:02 PM on 02.28.12
->> Lorenzo,

Do you know if the iPhone 4s could do the same thing? I'm grandfathered in on the unlimited date with Verizon and would love to be able to use that data plan instead of purchasing the hotspot for $20/month.
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Lorenzo Zemella, Student/Intern
Madison | WI | USA | Posted: 1:53 PM on 02.28.12
->> I do not have an iPhone, so I can't personally recommend anything. I have heard of some apps (iTether) that seems to do this w/o a jailbreak... I am not sure if this is still available though. I am willing to bet that there are many jailbreak methods to do this. It is well known that using jailbreak to give you a wifi hotspot WILL inform your carrier and you will get charged, but the USB tether is different.
I would try one of those USB tether apps first and see if you can get one of those to work for you. If not maybe one of those jailbreak methods. Search for "iPhone usb tether", that should give you some tips.
Also, I think for grandfathered Verizon plans, it's $30 a month for hotspot... I've heard of 3g getting throttled sometimes, but it's still better than getting capped at 2 Gigs.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 02.28.12
->> I'll admit up front that I don't do a lot of transmitting anymore, so could someone please explain to me why it's "annoying to have to plug in the phone to the computer?"
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Tony Rawlings, Photographer
Orange County | CA | US | Posted: 4:14 PM on 02.28.12
->> Dan,

Suggestion:

Take your Mac Book Pro to other cell carriers (in-store) and ask them if you could see a demonstration of their hotspot and test their performance. You'll eventually find the best carrier in your area. Sprint may not be the best performing carrier in your particular area. They suck in mine. I'm subscribed to all carriers and the best performing hotspot is from Verizon. Best carrier performance will be based on location.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 4:19 PM on 02.28.12
->> I've got a iPhone 4s, and don't have to transmit too much anymore remote.
But based on Baron's post, I just need to get FTPontheGO. Does it matter which version? I'm on Verizon...


M
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 5:45 PM on 02.28.12
->> Thanks Tony. Unfortunately, I don't have a choice in carrier. This iPhone is a company phone and the service is from Sprint. Can't change that, but thanks for the advice!
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Jason Redmond, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:45 AM on 02.29.12
->> I've been using my Sprint iPhone 4s with decent results around Los Angeles. I usually do the hotspot and if that doesn't work switch to USB. Has anyone tried the Bluetooth tethering option?
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 4:41 AM on 02.29.12
->> My instructions on how to FTP or SFTP via an iPhone is here:
http://mediabaron.com/blog/transmitting-via-an-un-hacked-iphone/

You just need a computer with iTunes, USB iPhone cable, iPhone and FTP On The Go app.

Note: You can actually do it without the USB cable but you'll have to set-up an AdHoc network with your computer (or use a WiFi router). You have to jump through a few hoops with the no cable method.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 7:42 AM on 02.29.12
->> Bluetooth is epic fail also. The other problem with using the iphone as a hotspot...if you're saddled with verizon (company account) like many of us at newspapers, if you're trying to xmit you cannot use the phone. I mean xmitting itself doesn't work but then you cannot speak to the desk, reporters anyone...and I'm pretty sure the xmission will break if someone texts or calls you during the process. the headaches are beyond acceptable...and quite frankly verizon should be up front about these problems.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 8:36 AM on 02.29.12
->> Baron,

Thank you for posting your directions. They make perfect sense and just saved me the onerous tethering charge ATT hits us with.

+1 for what Chuck said. The inability to talk when you're transmitting is, in the words of Liz Lemon, "a deal breaker."
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Thomas B. Shea, Photographer
Pearland/Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 9:13 AM on 02.29.12
->> Dan,

I have AT&T and have the same problem. I went to Verizon and asked why my iPhone did not upload photos when I tether the phone but the my Verizon 3 g data card will? The answer AT&T signal is not as good. Oh really prove it show me with your Verizon 4gs I phone how you can tether to upload photos.
Result the Verizon phone didn't work either. I went to Radio Shack and the guy simple told me the tether will work great to browse the web, to download photos or music but will only upload very small images, such as for the web. When I did try to upload 1 meg files by tethering the i phone it would upload (one) photo of a 1 meg file in about 10 minutes. My solution stop paying for the tethering use on my iPhone and use my Verizon data card. If you don't have anything right now CLEAR has a real good external data card $50.00 a month unlimited data with no contract.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 1:50 PM on 02.29.12
->> If you're using a Verizon device (phone hotspot or WiFi hotspot device), have good speed and absolutely must make a quick phone call you can use Skype or Google Voice on the laptop.

I went out one day and forgot my iPhone at home. I was able to make some quick phone calls via my laptop and Skype using the Mifi hotspot. This will of course slow down the photo transmission but at least you'll be able to make a call.

You might be able to transmit data and text message at the same time as I think they use different data paths. Or use one of the free SMS replacements. My favorite on the iPhone is TextFree with Voice. You can text messages with that while you transmit on Verizon. I believe they have an Android version too.
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Jason Zindroski, Photographer, Assistant
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 11:14 AM on 03.01.12
->> I also have the 4s on Verizon and use it as a hotspot. I've noticed like others that it is faster to upload when you're plugged in via usb cord.
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Jeff Kowalsky, Photographer
West Bloomfield | MI | United States | Posted: 3:11 PM on 03.08.12
->> Has anyone tried to use the personal hotspot since Apple updated the iOS to 5.1?
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 8:41 PM on 03.09.12
->> A group figured-out how to tether a laptop to an iPhone using HTML5. No jailbreaking required. But they do charge $15/year for the server access to make it work.

http://tether.com/

I just found out about it and not sure if any data flows to their website or if it just moves between the iPhone and computer.
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Chris Detrick, Photographer, Assistant
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 6:09 PM on 03.14.12
->> I just updated to the 5.1 software update on my verizon iphone 4s and the wireless tethering finally works in both photo mechanic and transmit.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 6:43 PM on 03.14.12
->> Sorry to say, for me anyways, mine is updated to 5.1 as well and I am still getting horrifically long send times. One to 8 minutes per pic...Dan.
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Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 04.21.12
->> Dan,

We just got company issued iPhone 4s's (ha) with the tethering capability. Last night I tested it for the first time and like you it didn't work. I've tried a variety of methods and it still doesn't work. Also, I cannot VPN into our secure system for the newspaper either.

I'm writing because of this: A few months ago (before the iPhones came along) I was given a Verizon 4G USB modem because my old 3G USB modem died. I tried FTPing photos with that device, but it never worked.

After a few phone calls with Verizon, I was eventually told by an "IT expert" that the 4G network doesn't support FTP uploads. That said, we ditched the 4G USB modem and bought a 3G USB modem instead.

I'm wondering if there is some relationship here. I know the iPhones aren't technically on a 4G network, but it seems like these things might be related.

I see the use of an app like FTP On the Go but that just adds extra steps that are unacceptable at the end of the night when I'm transmitting on deadline.

Adam
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 12:54 PM on 04.21.12
->> Adam,

I am puzzled by the Verizon rep stating that FTP is not supported. I know a bit about cellular networks and that would have to be explicitly blocked by the carrier.

Given that others are having some luck using Verizon for FTP that seems unlikely.

A simple FTP or VPN connection should be either there or not. If it isn't there at all it could be the port being blocked on the computer by firewall applications.

If it is performing poorly then I would look at the iPhone's tethering and the network. Many wireless providers do "traffic shaping" which prioritizes certain types of traffic, including dropping performance on traffic that has the potential to saturate their network (i.e. FTP or bittorrent) or impact their revenue (i.e. VoIP)

Personally, I have had crummy luck with the reliability of tethering and will be trying a USB stick with my laptop. This is a combination that others in my area are having with great success.

Tethering inevitably fails at the worst possible moment, and has become a great source of frustration and embarrassment for me. I am hoping that the USB stick will be a more consistent performer.

Victor
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Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:33 PM on 04.21.12
->> Victor,

Just going by what I was told by Verizon.

Thanks,
Adam
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 5:30 PM on 04.21.12
->> I use a Verizon 4G card and it works awesome for transmitting images. That is why the whole iPhone for transmitting was stressing me out. Good news is that I will be getting a Verizon MiFi card soon for FTP and VPN use. Whew.., thank God.
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Michael Springfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Smyrna (Atlanta) | GA | USA | Posted: 8:03 PM on 04.30.12
->> I wonder what has changed with the 4s. My iPhone 4 from AT&T doesn't have any problems with transmitting photos. I have not tried with my Verizon 3rd Gen iPad.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 10:08 PM on 04.30.12
->> my verizon mifi is twice as fast as my TWC connection at home. and about 1000 times faster than the iPhone hotspot was.
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 4:10 AM on 05.01.12
->> I brought the original Verizon MiFi 3G two days after the original iPad came out in April 2010 just to have WiFi access for my iPad. I think Verizon started to marketed this plan a year later when they were authorized to sell the iPad.

Thanks to my local Verizon store. One of the sales people gave me the idea, so I traded my old air-card in for it.

Once the 4G version came out last year I upgraded and this thing is extremely fast. Faster than most hotel WiFi's and hotspots.
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Matt Strasen, Photographer, Photo Editor
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 09.17.12
->> Has anyone gotten any answers about iPhone tethering? I'm on AT&T, and for the last 4-5 of months tethering hasn't worked at all...it sends 1-2 photos, then stalls. Doesn't matter where I am, the results are the same. Also, the internet on my phone has slowed down dramatically. I have the 4GB/with tethering data plan.

Until this can get resolved, I'm thinking about getting a Virgin Mobile USB Stick...anyone have thoughts on those?
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Les Stukenberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Prescott Valley | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:52 PM on 09.17.12
->> Mine works fine..we don't have LTE here.. I have a Sprint android phone with tethering as well and that is really slow much like your description.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 11:06 PM on 09.17.12
->> We don't use them as a hot spot to transmit from anymore. We got Verizon MiFi cards instead...which rock.
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 5:30 PM on 09.19.12
->> Updating my comment on the iphone 4s. I tested Sprint service in Miami for four months. Phone service worked great, transmitting never worked beyond one small file per day. The Herald switched my service several months ago to AT&T. No issues transmitting multiple large files. You can also multitask on AT&T not on Sprint.
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Matt Strasen, Photographer, Photo Editor
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 09.20.12
->> I updated to iOS6, and tethering now works. I was able to transmit 7 photos via FTP and surfed the web all evening without being kicked off. Going to try it on location Friday, but if all goes well I just saved $35/month.
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Thread Title: iPhone 4s personal WiFi hotspot
Thread Started By: Dan Powers
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