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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
I bought this when it was $50 on amazon which is a very good deal. I've had this for 1 month now and here are my thoughts and advice:

BATTERY & HEAT:
The device has about a 2 hr battery life depending on how actively you are using it, and how hot it gets. It does get hot but not so hot that you would burn yourself.. nothing close to the heat of a laptop. However, when it gets hot the battery life does plummet. We have left it plugged in and charging while using it.. 2 iphones and 1 laptop, out in Joshua Tree Natl Park, and it was totally fine through the night.

We recommend if you are traveling to have a USB cigarette plug so you can keep the wifi going while driving.

COVERAGE & DATA USAGE:
I found that with 2 of us using it daily for 1 month, we barely made a dent in the data. 3G speeds are slow enough to deter you from heavy data usage.. you will give up. We used about 1.4 GB in 3 weeks traveling across the US... including watching news videos and blog surfing on laptops.

SETUP:
It seemed like it was going to be straightforward but it can actually be tricky for non tech people. The simplest level is setting a network name and password, but there is also the device setup on a webpage you need to visit. I really appreciated the design of the device- that it tells you how much data you are using in one go, how many devices are connected, which 4g or 3g signal you are getting + the signal strength, and battery life remaining. Beware when it's at 1 bar, it means you have 10-15 mins left.

**BIG ADVICE: MY DEVICE'S 4G WAS DISABLED!!! i highly recommend if you can't find 4G coverage that you go into the device setup while on a computer and **make sure yours is set to "4G preferred"**. Mine was set to "3G ONLY". Ripoff! I tweeted Virgin Mobile support and they said they would look into it but didn't. and then I called customer service and they compensated for this mistake. Found this out 3 weeks into my plan and switched it, happily now with 4G, which doesnt count against your data level.

Also, sprint's coverage from the coverage maps and experience is not as vast as the other carriers for 4G but we spent most of our time in LA & NYC, and got 4G perfectly fine there half the time.

GPS:
It has GPS which is nice for looking up live traffic on google maps on the road, or checking in on Foursquare or Yelp. But half the time it thinks you're in the location you first turned on the device in (major lag)

Overall based on our usage, I think this is great for both daily use and travel:
iPhones (European/international) in the USA - it's like you never left your data plan behind in your country!
iPod touches then become basically an iPhone.. because most of us use iMessage anyway which is free texting!
Laptops on the road
Google maps on the road (apple maps is so underdeveloped it was no use to us traveling)
Using Yelp to find nearest food recommendations
Using GasBuddy on the road to find the cheapest gas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
I have had this product for over a year. Works great with good coverage in North Carolina, central Florida and east Long Island, NewYork. My only complaint is the recent change in available plans. I initially purchased a $55 monthly unlimited 4G plan. Unfortunately I mistakenly re-enrolled selecting a 3G/4G combo plan for $55 with 6G of data. Since I use my Roku during hotel stays with the mifi, i download a lot of data. Under this new plan, I was cutoff after 11days. After several calls to Virgin mobile with a request for escalation, they indicated they would put me back under my $55 unlimited data plan. So if you were able to previously enroll in a unlimited data plan be VERY CAREFUL when you elect to top off or reactivate your service. Any change to a new plan will NOT provide unlimited data. Virgin mobile no longer offers that except to those with such prior existing service. You would select Restart Plan to keep your existing plan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2013
Keep in mind, this is clearwire. That's 4G that barely gets through thick walls, and don't count on having more than two or three bars of signal. If you don't want to have your card charged automatically, you will have to call in almost every month... their automated system always fails, and they admit that over the phone (because they want the auto charge).
They are throttling heavily now! Every time I stream netflix, it completely cuts me off every 30 minutes. My friend has the same exact issue.
Just get dsl or cable, THESE GUYS ARE HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2013
returning the second one in a week tomorrow. Virgin Mobile coverage is spotty and sporadic, support is extremely poor. After a day and a half of use the second device stopped workingand will not even turn on or accept a charge. This device is a terrible waste of money and time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2013
I purchased this hoping to use the service on an upcoming vacation. It has yet to work (even at home). I've call tech support 3 times and was told 3 different reasons why it didn't work. Someone was supposed to call me about the error 67 I was getting, but no one ever did. On other calls I was told that they were updating the towers in my area and that I needed to recharge my account. All of this from operators that I had to struggle just to understand. Just an awful experience. Greatly regret spending $80 for the modem and $35 for service. Worst customer service I've ever experienced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2013
I purchased my unit directly through VirginMobile so my review will not be for an Amazon Verified Purchase. I am writing this review mostly to vent and to spare others the aggravation this hotspot elicits. Let me first say that I am very tech savvy so this review is not coming from someone who knows little about connecting to the internet. I thought the Overdrive Pro was the answer to my prayers: unlimited 4G connection at a reasonable price. I live in a major city and it was easy to set up so I thought I was ready to go. How wrong I was. This thing disconnects constantly and restarts often. I soon realized streaming video was not a possibility so I lowered my expectations to just internet searches and email. It still has problems even though it shows I am connected at 80%. I did a full search for any support ideas, mostly at tech forums, because both the VirginMobile and Sierra sites are useless. I made a couple of changes to the settings and followed two important tips. First, buy a cooling pad or put it by a fan because this thing overheats even with minimal use. The second one will sound crazy, but put it on a flat sheet of steel. Even though they sell external antennas for this thing, do not be fooled it is not designed to use one. The steel boosted my signal by 20%. Even with these improvements it is still an undependable, aggravating piece of technology. I highly encourage you to look elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2013
I received this device with a defective battery. I called the number on the instructions. The first person who answered barely spoke English and did not try any trouble shooting, she simply said to return it to the store. I mentioned that I had activated the device and paid for a monthly plan for that device. She said "I am sorry, please return the device to the store".

I called back after hanging up with her. The next person said I activated the defective device and they cannot credit my account. I should return the device to the store and activate another device so I can pay for the activation of two devices.

Neither Customer Service Representative was surprised that the battery did not work.

I purchased this at Radio Shack. I suppose I should have gone with AT&T or Verizon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2013
had trouble from the start.being hard of hearing, it is almost impossible to understand foreign help..after repeating endlessly , frustration is most unbearable..i would not recommend virgin mobile hotspot to anyone
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
EDIT: The MTU setting is the problem with most of my intermittent connectivity issues, but the problem is that I can not run the proper tests to verify the optimum MTU settings for my device, and customer service are completely incompetent. In the last 22 hours I have been going back and fourth with them on twitter and email, in circles. I would NEVER recommend ANY Virgin Mobile hotspot device to ANYONE, not even my worse enemy! Support is minimal, and responses are all canned - and so far all support agents have been female, not one male, or IT certified tech in the bunch!

FiOS has not yet been strung up on my block... they did most of my neighborhood about 2 or 3 years ago, but for some reason forgot my block. Having disputes with the cable company - I wanted them to cut all my services except the internet, but they refused to disco services so I told them I was not going to pay.. finally 2 months later when the bill finally hit over $400 (that i am not going to pay, because I constantly told them to cancel all services except the internet) they decided to cut me off completely.

I really wanted an LTE device, but the monthly costs for a home, or portable LTE hotspot or modem are prohibitively expensive.

My choices narrowed to Virgin Mobile and Clear - both of which operate on the same WiMax network provided by clear (and contracted by Sprint) The cost for the clear device was cheaper, but the cost of the service for the Virgin device was cheaper, and within 2 or 3 months I will break even with the higher cost of the hardware.

So far I have not been able to get this device to work with ICS. Every time I try to set up ICS on Vista it gives me an error, but the error is generic and does not give me any information what might be wrong, I have tried countless settings trying to get this to work - and I HAVE gotten similar Sierra hotspots from Sprint to work with ICS on XP and Win7 for several of my customers, so it SHOULD work. This may be an issue with Vista, or my network setup, so I can not put full blame on this device until I have a chance to try with an XP box. Until I get the ICS issue sorted out, I constantly have to disable the wired LAN to get on the internet, then enable it when I need access to my printer, or to access anything else on my LAN.

My Sprint Note II normally gets 10/5 or better over its LTE connection. This device is sometimes barely better than DSL and sometimes slightly better. Within the last hour I got tests ranging from .8/.8 (yes, that is POINT 8/POINT 8) to 5/1.5 I get a steady 40% signal, and have the device set to 4G ONLY - so the speed should NEVER be this horrible. I understand that WiMax will never attain the speeds of LTE, but it sucks that my phone has twice as fast connection as my home network, which currently only consists of one PC and one Android TV device since I can not connect any of my wired network devices. in comparison, the last speed test I did with my cable service was 60/9

The reason I came on here to write this device is that I have had this device for 2 weeks. Just now I had a DNS issue with the device. I changed the DNS to public DNS, and flushed my DNS, confirmed that my PC was using the DNS that I manually entered, yet there was still a DNS issue. Tried this several times with different public DNS servers. I was able to ping almost all IP addresses that I could think up, the servers at work, public DNS servers, and was only able to ping 1 or 2 of the handful of domain names that I attempted to ping, nor was I able to load ANY web pages (aside from the devices internal web server) resetting the device that remains connected to USB 24/7 and it told me that the battery was critical and it was shutting down - this is on a full battery! I eventually had to hit the reset button inside the battery compartment and finally got it up and running again... hopefully for longer than 2 weeks this time. I was going to try to contact support, but what is the point, when they likely know less about networking than I do and would send me thru some stupid script of checking all kinds of stupid unrelated things.. (EDIT this "DNS" issue has been pinpointed as an MTU setting issue, no help from customer support to identify the problem or help resolve it so far)

I would not recommend this device or the Virgin Mobile hotspot service to anyone unless they have sufficient networking experience and do not mind trying to reconfigure their device from time to time.

hopefully with a static IP and static DNS set for my PC most of the problems that I have encountered with this device will be resolved.

Why might you ask is my device set to 4G only? Well because you get "unlimited" 4g, while you only get a set amount of 3g, since my device remains on 24/7 if I lost 4g connectivity I would prefer to lose remote access to my network than use up the limited amount of 3g provided with my plan, I can switch the device over to 3g when I am locally using the device if needed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
If you like surprises, things to break up your day, take you out of the mundane, need excuses for not getting back to people- then this device is for you. About 60% of the time it works. The rest of the time, it will require, without warning, cycling it on and off at least 3 times before it picks up a signal and let's you use internet. This is great for if you don't really want to get on the internet and you just want to dilly dally. Also great for if you are feeling unmotivated to get on the internet and just want to have an excuse handy as to why you were not able execute what you originally planned to (like paying bills, checking email.) You can tell your boss and friends, with full legitimacy, that you just weren't ABLE to get back to them electronically. If they know anything about this device too, they'll surely understand and forgive you. The battery also heats up once in a while to about 95 degrees and shuts down the device. Surprise! You'll have to let it cool off and recharge which may take 24 hours.
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