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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2011
Data speeds on LTE are excellent, but this device comes with some limitations and drawbacks that keep it from a 5 star ratings. First, and foremost, the configuration is **much** more complicated that anticipated. As a techie, I wondered how any non-technical person would have set this thing up. Second, this device does not automatically switch between LTE and CDMA. You must manually specify which network you want to join. When I first started testing this thing, I thought it was faulty, since I was only getting .7Mbps. Turns out, it was set to "Global", which wouldn't utilize LTE until I specified LTE Only. This makes it really annoying when traveling on the road and leaving town, or going to a fringe area, where service might otherwise switch back and forth based on signal strength. Instead, you must choose. Apparently, this might be a limitation of early-generation LTE hardware, which requires two separate Third, it sucks down battery like an alcoholic and a bottle of whiskey. Consider purchasing a larger (and more inconvenient) battery. Fourth, the service signal tanks and the unit shuts off when switching between on-power/charging versus on-battery. Don't start any long downloads while not connected to wifi, as you might lose your connection and essentially be billed twice (due to per GB data costs. Fourth, Verizon gave me an extremely hard time about activation due to the fact it was not sold by them. It took a fair bit of explaining that this was a free and clear contract-free device. Unfortunately, their service plans also require a $35 activation fee, meaning that you can't easily shut off and on service without some significant unexpected costs. This reduces its usefulness versus pre-paid data plan service, such as that for the iPad. The very anti-consumer policies in place and unfriendly Verizon staff made me want to return it and just tell Verizon to burn. At the end of the day, they finally figured it out, and were courteous enough to me, but the whole experience left me pretty sour and took roughly 3 hours to sort out between Verizon and Amazon Wireless.

All told, if you need speed and convenience of data anywhere, this is the best device out there. If you can wait for a next generation device, you're probably better off. If you can get adequate coverage from any other carrier than Verizon or AT&T, I would strongly recommend exploring your options.
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101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
Our checkered experiences with this device are covered in four parts. The first sad story is presented in the review referred to below. The second, successful act follows this introduction. The third act, also a failure, can be found in the addendum below. The fourth act was successful after a warranty replacement. In fairness to Verizon, we note that about 68 out of 72 people found this review helpful during the four-star, "act 2" success phase. Any responses since then are logged by the review through act 4.

The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot (NO CONTRACT) is exactly the device needed for maintaining Internet contact on our vacation. We bought it from Verizon, because Amazon did not sell the no-contract version at the time we bought it. In fact, that is a separate, sad story, detailed in a review of the first unit (contract-only) we actually bought from Amazon. [see http://www.amazon.com/review/R2IZ4M1KI2J69F/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B005EN6FUM&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag= ]

Act 2. Setup of this device was fairly straightforward. However, there were a couple of rough spots. First, the unit only has a single multi-colored LED for operational status feedback. There are four colors (dark green, light (lime) green, yellow, and purple), and the LED can be either flashing or steady. The mysteries of this light are partly explained by a helpful table in the manual, but there is a key omission from the table: the light will be flashing green when the unit is turned off and connected to the charger. The unit has a simple LED display, and it surely would be nice to have a set of 1-word status codes instead of or in addition to the complicated LED. Second, we had to call technical support to get activated and connected. The instructions online were not quite complete enough to enable us to do the required steps without personal assistance. The support call was short-- about 10 minutes-- and polite & efficient.

Operation of the device over our two week vacation was flawless. Connections were fast enough and always available, even though our coverage area in the Finger Lakes area of New York State only had 3G service. On the basis of Internet service alone, the only slight criticism we have is that the service is a bit expensive for a given amount of data. On the plus side, the weekly ($15 for 7 days/250 MB, currently) or monthly access plans are just what we needed for infrequent travel usage.

Some hints we would have appreciated might help you. First, make sure you buy the no-contract unit, if that is what you want. The exact same model number is used for the contract-only unit! Second, we'd recommend activating and getting familiar with the device before you need it on a trip. Having separate internet access during the setup process would help. Third, be aware of the amount of data your computer uses for various operations. The weekly allotment of 250 MB seems like a lot, but... More than half of our first week's data allocation was used before we realized it: by Windows Update! Turn off the Windows Updates, or switch them to manual. Other companies' updates can be similarly expensive, such as Adobe's Reader or Flash. Also, if you are a "mad browser", and usually use DSL or cable with unlimited data, you might be surprised how the big sites eat your data budget. CNN's home page uses about 7 MB (much of it ads). No problem for modest browsing, but only ~30 pages on big sites is enough to use most of the data limit. Forget streaming audio or video. Finally, to monitor your usage, Windows' wireless connection "Status" tells you how many "packets" have been transferred. One packet is about 2000 bytes, so 250 MB is about 125,000 packets.
In summary, this device performs its task very well. Four stars if you actually get the right item and have success getting it connected.

ADDENDUM 9/5/13:

Act 3. Unfortunately, this year's vacation was Internet-free. Thinking all the snafus were behind us, we purchased some minutes and proceeded to test the JetPack. Alas, no connection. So, back to tech support. Found out that our account had been cancelled due to inactivity and the number resold. Verizon set up a new account and issued a new phone number. The device still wouldn't initialize. We tried three times over the next 24 hours, the last time from departures at the airport. Once we arrived on vacation, tech support eventually assigned still another account and phone number. No go. Their next suggestion was to buy a new SIM card. No improvement. The final suggestion by tech support (in this phase) was to send the device to Novatel, the manufacturer, for warranty repair.

Act 4. A little over 3 weeks later, we received a replacement unit. Getting the account set up and activated took about 40 minutes of customer service time (by this time I was afraid to take any step on my own). The service has been working very nicely for a couple of days. We're currently in a Gen4 area, and the download speeds are between 1.8 and 4.3 Mbps. Upload times are between 2.3 and 2.7 Mbps. Very nice.

Current assessment:

I assume that these devices work more often than not, but can't prove it. For us, it was a major effort for only a little service. Combining acts 1-4, three stars. If you need it and are lucky, it's great. If you aren't lucky, the experience could be a major hassle. Good luck.

ADDENDUM 12/2/13:

Used this MIFI to save $$$ when staying at a meeting hotel in Denver. Hotel charges $16 per day for Internet access (at comparable speed; heavy data use would change the cost comparison). We were able to have access for 7 days for $20. Refueling the device for 7 days' use was as easy as it should be. Signed on to account, clicked on the option for a refill, and it worked. Performance in downtown Denver was excellent. Once in awhile, it switched between 3G and 4G (according to system loading?), but mostly 4G. Worked fine for browsing and email. No problem with access whenever we wanted it.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
Aside from the inital cost of the unit, Verizon charges $50/month for the service, with a hefty $175 early termination charge if you quit the service within two years. Don't expect to get any use out of it. First of all, it will only connect to the internet about 40% of the time, even when you get 4 bars of signal. Some days you can't connect at all and have to wait for another day. When it does connect, it will continually disconnect at intervals ranging from a few seconds to several minutes. Even simple web pages like Google will stall and time out. Under the best of circumstances, on those days when you are able to connect and stay connected for a half hour or more, the speed is slower than dial up. It is absolutely worthless, hence I give it zero stars, but Amazon forced me to give it one star.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2012
Had this for 1 month of pure aggrevation. Disconnects every 5 minutes or so and when it does connect it was usually on 3g instead of 4g. I'm about 1 mile from a tower, BEWARE!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
I first got this unit several months ago. It worked fine, took it with me every where and could log into the net with no problem. Then the unit would not power up. Verizon sent me a new unit, no battery so must of been rebuilt. Worked fine for several weeks then would not power up. Call Verizon and they said they would send me another unit. I told them it could be the battery why not send the whole thing. They said OK we will everything, right only sent the unit, It went out again today. I use this PC to pay all my bills and a lot of important things that can't wait. Well anyway they are going to send just the battery this time. We will see. I also noticed on some reviews that some people have the jet pack with out a contract. I was never told you could buy without a contact. I don't know why Verizon is like that, Unless you ask they don't tell.
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
do not buy this device, i wish i had not, have had it several months and keep thinking novatel or verizon will fix it, there have been 2-3 updates that have accomplished nothing
it goes dormant all the time and wont come out
it is unable to switch from 3g to 4g most of the time
i have been with verizon for years and had a mifi 2200 for years and it was fine, this thing is junk
i have spent hours in the verizon store trying to get it fixed, swapping chips, etc , etc

do an online search and find out about the problems with this device before you buy

i spend half my life turning it on and off to make it usable
DO NOT BUY
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
BEWARE! I loved my 3G Mifi, so I let myself be talked into upgrading and a new contract. This device is dramatically worse than the 3G. Drops the internet constantly! As soon as tech support told me how to shut of the 4G, it worked great. "So how much did I pay for this downgrade?"
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
We had the mifi 2200 for years.When the time came to renew our internet contract verizion sold us the new 4g lte which had replaced the mifi 2200 and was better.....Not.If you live in the country or in an area where cell phone coverage is hit and miss then you will be happier with the old mifi 2200.The new 4g lte will function well only if you live where 4g connectivity is strong.The problem is that since it is 4g then it is always searching for a 4g connection and when there is none it stalls
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
I purchased this device from Verizon to replace my DSL cable for my laptop. I use my laptop to do online college classes, telework, email friends, and do a bit of You Tube surfing. Verizon showed me a coverage map that was grounded in a form of reality that does not exist (yet). AFTER I bought this, and couldn't get web pages to load, couldn't establish a telework connection, and had to wait and wait to do online university coursework, they told me they didn't have all that many transmission towers up yet. I live in Frederick, MD, 50 miles from the nation's capital - third largest city in Maryland. It's not really what I'd consider "remote." They suggested I "move my location" to get it to work right. Hmmm. Having a house to live in, I will have to live at Starbucks in order to do homework? The salesperson forgot to mention this. After-sale support is poor, dismissive. THey offered upgrades, not solutions. I strongly suggest not purchasing this device. If you get it for free, sure, give it a whirl. Never know, miracles do happen.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
After recently getting cell service where i live and the only other internet (high or semi high speed) I could get being satellite I decided to try this. It works great. The one I ordered was used but works perfect and I didn't have to sign a two year contract with verizon. Right now its only 3g but have been told 4g is coming and that will be even better.
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