Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Apr 11, 2012, 12:37 PM   #1
johnnyindia
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
iPhone 4S Hotspot vs. MiFi Hotspot

I use a MiFi as a mobile hotspot. Costs $50 a month for 5G of data. I use it a lot while on the road, but hardly ever when at home.

I found out my new 4S has hotspot capabilities and since my phone plan is unlimited data, does it make sense to cancel the MiFi and just use my iPhone as a hotspot? Or are there benefits to the MiFi over the hotspot?

Thanks!
johnnyindia is offline   -1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 02:00 PM   #2
scaredpoet
macrumors 603
 
scaredpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
The main benefit to having a separate hotspot is that it uses its own 5GB pool of data, whereas with a hotspot, you're sharing your data with your phone and any devices you connect with it. That, and with a MiFi, you don't need to have your phone in close proximity to your other devices for it to work.

On AT&T, there is a slight limitation that they place on the hotspot, in the number of devices you can connect to it wirelessly. Even though the iPhone 4/4S can support up to 5 other devices over WiFi (and does so when on Verizon), AT&T for some reason limits you to 3. Though, you CAN hook up a laptop over a USB sync cable and share data that way, or you could pair a device using Bluetooth, and those two won't count against your 3. You do also get an added side benefit that your iPhone will charge over the USB sync cable while keeping your laptop connected to the internet.

Lastly, if you have unlimited data and want to keep it on your iPhone, then you'll want to stick to your MiFi.

I had unlimited data and a MiFi on a separate line, but even with the above caveats, I gave it up in favor of the 4GB personal hotspot plan with with my iPhone 4 (and now, my 4S). Why? I used the MiFi, but not enough that it made sense to keep paying for two separate data plans. Not to mention it's one less device to worry about losing or breaking, and since I always have my phone with me, I'm way more likely to have it for sharing my connection when I need it. it works great for tethering both my MacBook Pro, and my WiFi iPad when I'm traveling. And it saves me about $35 a month over having the separate data plans for my phone and the MiFi.

In my experience, the 4S hotspot is pretty fast, at least as fast as the MiFi was. Your battery does get used up a lot faster, but, if you tether a laptop via USB like I mentioned before, that isn't a problem.
__________________
If you're not a clairvoyant, then you shouldn't be speaking for a dead guy.
I'm here to talk about Apple stuff, and related tech stuff. Your political beliefs? I really couldn't care less about.
scaredpoet is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 03:19 PM   #3
johnnyindia
Thread Starter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Sounds like I should give up the MiFi since I only use it a couple months out of the year. But I don't understand this statement:

"Lastly, if you have unlimited data and want to keep it on your iPhone, then you'll want to stick to your MiFi."

Why will I give up my unlimited data plan by using the iPhone as a hotspot?
johnnyindia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 03:32 PM   #4
cynics
macrumors 603
 
cynics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyindia View Post
Sounds like I should give up the MiFi since I only use it a couple months out of the year. But I don't understand this statement:

"Lastly, if you have unlimited data and want to keep it on your iPhone, then you'll want to stick to your MiFi."

Why will I give up my unlimited data plan by using the iPhone as a hotspot?
I don't think you can add tethering to an unlimited data package. So if you want to host a hotspot you'll lose your unlimited data.

What I do is have a tablet on Verizon's network. Not only do you get to use the tablet (iPad or android) it includes tethering. So I get a lot of use out of it.
cynics is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 03:33 PM   #5
Applejuiced
macrumors Nehalem
 
Applejuiced's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: At the iPhone hacks section.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyindia View Post
Sounds like I should give up the MiFi since I only use it a couple months out of the year. But I don't understand this statement:

"Lastly, if you have unlimited data and want to keep it on your iPhone, then you'll want to stick to your MiFi."

Why will I give up my unlimited data plan by using the iPhone as a hotspot?
You didnt say what carrier you're on.
Applejuiced is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 03:48 PM   #6
johnnyindia
Thread Starter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
At&t

Just found out the tethering plan would be $45.

The MiFi is $50 a month. So i guess I'll keep the Mifi
johnnyindia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 05:55 PM   #7
Shadowbech
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central U.S.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyindia View Post
Sounds like I should give up the MiFi since I only use it a couple months out of the year. But I don't understand this statement:

"Lastly, if you have unlimited data and want to keep it on your iPhone, then you'll want to stick to your MiFi."

Why will I give up my unlimited data plan by using the iPhone as a hotspot?
Because the unlimited data plan doesn't offer the tethering service at all. You must change to a tiered plan with tethering supported data plan to use your iPhone 4S as a hotspot. Doing so, you will lose your unlimited data plan and won't be able to get it back. So I would just keep your mi-fi.
__________________
Black Samsung Galaxy S5 (Main); White Unlocked iPhone 4S 32 GB (back up phone; ios 6.1.3); White iPad rMini 128 GB (iOS 7.1.1)
Shadowbech is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 06:15 PM   #8
erayser
macrumors 6502a
 
erayser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Diego
I carry a Verizon 4G LTE mifi with me everywhere I go, and the thing i like about it is the battery life seems to be better since it is separate from the phone. Since I have an AT&T iPhone, it's nice to connect to the 4G LTE mifi when AT&T 3G isn't good in a location... or I just use my AT&T iPhone when there isn't Verizon 4G LTE coverage or Verizon 3G is to slow. It's nice having a mifi hotspot handy... and even nicer if you have more than one carrier as on option when coverage is bad for a given location.
erayser is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2012, 06:17 PM   #9
aristobrat
macrumors Demi-God
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Virginia Beach
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyindia View Post
At&t

Just found out the tethering plan would be $45.

The MiFi is $50 a month. So i guess I'll keep the Mifi
Actually, iPhone tethering on AT&T is $50/month now.

Right now you're paying $80/month for data. $30/month for unlimited iPhone data, and then $50/month for 5GB of MiFi data.

The $50/mo iPhone tethering plan would give you 5GB of iPhone data that can be shared tethering (by using your iPhone 4s as a Hotspot).

Also, unless they just changed and nobody said anything about it, AT&T prorates plans if you change mid-billing period, so if you're not going to be needing tethering for awhile, switch to the $30/mo 3GB iPhone data (no tethering) plan. When you need tethering again, switch back to the $50/mo 5GB iPhone data (with tethering) plan.

The "lose" here is that you'd lose your grandfathered unlimited iPhone data plan. Once you switch away from that plan, there's no switching back. But you'd have the potential to save $30-$50/month... You have to look at your data usage and see if it's worth it for you.
aristobrat is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 07:27 AM   #10
iPhoneMBAUser
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
A question here, if I get an unlocked MiFi, would I be able to use it with at&t without contract?
iPhoneMBAUser is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:29 AM   #11
sbddude
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: So Cal, USA
Don't give up your unlimited data!
__________________
13" MBP 2011 6GB RAM, 240GB SSD, 500GB HDD
iPad Mini 16GB 6.1.2 - Jailbroken - iPad Mini Retina 7.0.4
Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4 - AT&T Android 4.3
sbddude is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:52 AM   #12
aristobrat
macrumors Demi-God
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Virginia Beach
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbddude View Post
Don't give up your unlimited data!
That's a decision the OP will have to make. For the potential of saving $30-$50/month compared to what he's paying now, it's at least looking into.
aristobrat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:58 AM   #13
groupersandwich
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
I thought that AT&T unlimited was really only a 3gb plan anyway with the throttling threshold they have set for it? If that's the case then it looks like your best deal is going to be to drop the "limited" unlimited plan and the MiFi and get the 5gb tethering plan for your iphone. As someone pointed out above, you'll save $30/month by doing that.

I have an unlimited VZW plan for my IP4 and needed a hotspot on a recent family trip. I just logged into myverizon, chose the $20/2gb tethering plan and added it. It kept track of the data separately from my regular 3G usage. When I returned from the trip I logged back on to myverizon, removed the tethering plan, still kept my unlimited data and they pro-rated the tethering plan so I only paid for the portion of the month that I had it. I'm holding on to my unlimited only so that I have it with LTE when the next iphone is released. VZW throttles 3G unlimited at around 2Ggb, but does not, and supposedly will not (or cannot), throttle LTE.
groupersandwich is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 11:51 AM   #14
sjsherratt
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Re: iPhone 4S Hotspot vs. MiFi Hotspot

Also, it's nice to have a MiFi if you need to be on a call and accessing data. I find that the iPhone data rate slows way down when I am on a phone call. For things like WebEx meetings where I want to be on the computer, it is nice to have the MiFi for the computer & dedicate the iPhone to the phone call.
sjsherratt is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 04:30 PM   #15
chiefpavvy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Ideally, both. If you got the green. On different carriers, of course.
chiefpavvy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 04:35 PM   #16
BFizzzle
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Austin TX
you can also use mifi (if your device supports) 4g.


your 4s will only be 3g hspa+
BFizzzle is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2012, 06:13 PM   #17
Squid7085
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lawrence, KS
Send a message via AIM to Squid7085
I'm actually having this question right now. I have Unlimited Data on my iPhone, I have a Verizon MiFi and I actually own but don't use an AT&T MiFi. I don't use my MiFi much either, so spending the $28 for 3GB on Verizon is a lot. Although, I am having trouble getting rid of THAT because it is such a great deal. I like the convenience of the separate MiFi, but it sure is hard to pay for it when you don't use it.
__________________
 2011 13" MacBook Air  2008 15" MacBook Pro  2013 Mac mini  20" Cinema Displays  iPhone 5S Space Gray 32GB  iPad mini Black 32GB  Apple TV
Squid7085 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
General: Mywi (and other hotspot/tethering apps) efficiency vs lte hotspot pucks philster9 Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks 4 Feb 24, 2014 11:46 PM
Carrier: Will a SIM card from a verizon LTE Mifi hotspot work in a wireless Air? 73CortinaV8 iPad 1 Dec 27, 2013 10:23 PM
Carrier: Using iPad as hotspot vs MiFi iHavequestions iPad 5 Nov 12, 2013 04:27 PM
Verizon unlimited plan hotspot = $30 unlimited 4g hotspot Tortri iPhone 45 Dec 14, 2012 05:47 PM
iPhone hotspot NOT! Rupie iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting 2 Nov 9, 2012 04:54 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:50 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC