I have a dilemma - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Patron_Saint, Jun 22, 2016.


Which would you go with?

  1. Mac Setup + iPhone, but with 12GB/mo data cap

    7 vote(s)
  2. Windows Setup + Flagship Android Phone, but with unlimited data

    14 vote(s)
  1. Patron_Saint Suspended

    Jun 10, 2016
    So I live off grid, and a good distance from the nearest phone line. This means my internet and phone service is 100% cellular.

    Now, I have two options in front of me, and I'm stuck on a decision.

    The first option, I can stick with my Apple setup (MBP 15", 6s Plus 128GB, Apple Watch), but my only option for Internet in this situation is with a data cap. I can get 12GB for $100/mo. This would be enough for me, but I'd need to be careful to avoid overages.

    The second option is a little trickier. I have an ATT 3G USB modem that has unlimited data on it. The catch? It only works with the software that's on the USB modem itself - which is Windows only.
    My thought is that I could sell the Apple setup and replace it with a nice, and likely cheaper Windows/Android setup. Likely a higher end Surface Pro or Dell XPS 13/15 and an S7 Edge. This would mean unlimited internet for the foreseeable future at $50/mo.

    For some extra info, both connections are roughly the same speed in my location (NW US).
    I've also considered bootcamping Windows on my MBP, but at that point I might as well switch to a Windows machine and pocket the cost difference.
    I also know I can use the iPhone in Windows, but I simply prefer android devices to go with Windows for ease of use (drag and drop syncing) without iTunes.

    Which would you go with under the circumstances?
  2. mclld macrumors 68020

    Nov 6, 2012
    I dont think living off the grid means having internet access or a phone service
  3. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I would never limit myself to 12G a month..I'd also have a real hard look at that stick because they're just radios
  4. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    I have a third choice for you!
    Buy an iMac and install Windows 10 in a dual boot with Bootcamp.
    Then I would get both an iphone and an Android phone.
    Now you truly have the best of both worlds.......
  5. kch50428 macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2015
    North Iowa
    See if you can't find Mac drivers & software for the AT&T USB Modem...
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've read about folks buying those Unlimited Data iPad plans from AT&T, because they include LTE, and the sim is totally unrestricted which means you can put it into a LTE modem USB and share the connection through a router. I don't remember the exact monthly cost, but I remember it being shockingly cheap. I think the plans sell for a good $1k on ebay though...
  7. Patron_Saint thread starter Suspended

    Jun 10, 2016
    Unfortunately need a mobile setup, so it'll be a notebook or Surface.

    That was my first thought. Unfortunately it's an older modem, and isn't Mac supported anymore.
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I really like my Apple gear but data is king, especially from the sound of your situation. If there isn't any iOS/OS X specific software you need, I'd suggest the latter setup. A Windows/Android combo is even more capable and $600/yr cheaper, not including the different in hardware cost. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
  9. spinedoc77, Jun 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    It's a 3G modem? Not LTE or 4g? I can't see you burning through 12gb in a month with 3g speeds unless you are streaming video, which wouldn't look great at that speed depending on screen size.

    But the windows setup sounds better to me. Unlimited data is always nice to have, you won't miss much going windows/android either. At the end of the day both a PC and a phone serve the same purposes. BTW you can always build a Hackintosh, that is a windows PC which can boot into OSx. I've done it before, although it's been a couple of years, I could boot into windows or OSx at will. I believe you can do it on the surface pro as well, but haven't looked into that in a long time. This way you get the best of both worlds, although the OSx portion would have no internet. Is there no way to have the windows USB drivers work in something like WINE, parallels, etc?
  10. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I use Mac & Windows, Android & iPhone. Given your situation I'd highly suggest the Windows / Android setup. It's fast fun and a smart financial choice.
  11. Truefan31, Jun 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

    Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    Lemme explain this. I have one. It's an att unlimited data iPad plan. It's 4g LTE, in throttled, for 29.99 a month. They typically sell for well over 1500-2000 because if you're a data user it's worth it IMO.

    Mines in a jb iPad mini so tethering can be done. You can also use a att unite pro hotspot. If you're looking at home internet, get a router like a cradle point to maximize speed and reliability.

    Edit: here's one. Just put the sim in.

    MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4 4G/LTE Router AT&T T-Mobile Verizon Embedded SIM with Band 12 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EY11K40/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_eZ5AxbMT5XW9T
  12. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Personally as you already have mac hardware I would look for a solution to retain those. If you sell them and purchase the windows & android solution, even if those device are cheaper than the initial cost of what you currently have, the fact remains you are not going to get back every cent you spend purchasing the mac hardware which means you will lose money somewhere.

    As others have pointed out, look to buy a Cellular Wifi dongle modem that will accept the ATT unlimited sim. You are restricting yourself artificially based on a cellular dongle, whereas there may be alternatives that can be picked up very cheap even on the likes of eBay.

  13. v0lume4 macrumors 68000


    Jul 28, 2012
    Mac/Windows, iPhone/Android, these are just tools to help you accomplish tasks. They all do a fair job. With that said, a Windows and Android setup with UNLIMITED data would be my choice. Imagine having the nice iPhone and Macbook, but then getting halfway through the month and realizing your data is all used up. What will you do, short of paying ridiculous prices for more data?
  14. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I paid the price for data, remained loyal, then got offered a double your data for life promotion. Now I get 30GB for the price of 12. Loyalty to the carrier pays off nicely.
  15. timeconsumer macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2008
    If I had to depend on a cellular connection for my internet/phone, I would not limit myself to 12GB. Therefore, given your two options my choice would be to go the Windows/Android route in this scenario. Keep in mind this is probably an easier decision for me because I don't like Apple products other than their phones, although that is slowly changing...
  16. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    The headache of micro managing your data usage and potential overages are far worse than whatever hardware and OS differences. Desktop OS and security updates alone will eat a big chunk of 12GB.

    Only other possible solution if the AT&T USB modem is SIM based is try moving it to a phone so you can use hotspot for the MBP.
  17. v0lume4 macrumors 68000


    Jul 28, 2012
    :eek: Who is your carrier? That's amazing!
  18. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    Someone else would need to confirm this for us, but would it be possible to run Windows in Parallels or VMware and have it share it's network back out to the Mac side? I know that I can share my Mac's network with the VM, but not sure if it can go the other way. That would be the cheapest route for unlimited I can think of, if it works.

Share This Page