51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
I purchased mine from AT&T immediately after it came out (and dropped "tethering" data service from my cell-phone). I cannot get decent broadband service at my home, and I wanted to be able to simultaneously connect my (base model) iPad, and my laptop. I've been pretty happy with it overall, with these caveats:
- All the wireless activity chews through the battery pretty fast (a few hours) and I always keep it connected to external power at home.
- Like virtually all cell phone data service, you're limited to 5 GB per month (unless you want to pay overage charges); thus its not intended for downloading/streaming video (i.e. Netflix). The display has the amazing feature of a progress-bar showing your current monthly usage, which resets every month.
- Like any wireless broadband service (including Clear WiMAX), its *VERY* dependent on the current load on the cell tower its attached to (which can change moment to moment) and on the tower's backhaul bandwidth. I've seen mine run under 1 Mbps up to 7 Mbps.
Tricks I've got it to do:
- Streaming Pandora music from my iPad while driving for miles down the freeway, with no dropouts.
- I added the obscure AT&T "i2gold" APN feature to my account, to enable Static IP and accept inbound connections via Port Forwarding, and it actually works.
Features I haven't tried:
- I inserted a MicroSD memory card, but haven't used it.
- AT&T has not lit up LTE in my area yet (waiting, waiting, waiting...)
- It has ports for special external antennas for use in weak signal areas.
Features I wish it included:
- DynDNS support, but I might be the only one on the planet to ever use it.
April 2012 I discovered a firmware update available for download on the Sierra Wireless website (first such update that I'm aware of). After typical hassles getting it installed (Windows only) I'm extremely happy with it:
- Resolves a strange problem with "stalled" web-browsing on the iPad; quite a relief that they got off the dime and fixed this.
- Adds a new "DMZ" feature to the configuration.
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
I purchased the Elevate since I need internet connectivity for multiple devices, depending on which I have with me at the time: iPad, iPod Touch, or laptop. I've had mine since the day they came out, a few months ago.
Two favorite things about it:
-My internet connection is secure. I use the Elevate in Starbucks or B&N or other public areas when I'm going onto a site such as banking or PayPal.
-I can connect up to 5 devices on it at the same time, so I'm able to share with a friend, wherever I am, if I want to do so.
The unit is smaller than my Blackberry. I keep it in my purse or pocket when I have it on.
The $50/month (AT&T) is a bit steep, but I'm able to do with the iPod Touch instead of iPhone (saving $25/month, since I have a contract-free Blackberry to use as a phone anyway) and I was able to get the less expensive iPad
(saving $25/month and about $100 for wifi instead of 3G).
I haven't run into any dead-spots, using the Elevate on the highway or in towns and country. I haven't traveled far with it yet, though.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2012
The mifi doesn't charge when it's powered on. It's kind of useless for an 8 hour workday, because at some point you need to turn off the MiFi and charge it back up to 100% so you can use it for the rest of the day. It's only good for short term use. It just seems like a ridiculous design flaw-you would think if it was plugged in, it would pull power from that but alas it does not. If you need something for longer than 4 hours, go with a different mifi.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
I just bought the item today 1-6-12, it was a breeze setting it up, but took awhile for certain pages to load, but other than that, seems okay, I like that it's small and fits in your pocket, or purse, and I also like how it's an LCD screen which displays the life of the battery, how many GB are remaining, and any text messages you may have.
as far as it being a little slow, I'm glad I have a 30 day money back guarantee, so that said, I'm planning on waiting and see, hopefully it wont disappoint me.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2012
I run an IT firm from my home in a rural area and had a T1 line for the internet and vonage VOIP phone lines for a year, at $520 per month. We moved from the T1 to a totally wireless broadband solution using ATT devices. The Elevate is used for internet service and I configured a CradlePoint MBR 1400 router, with a USB broadband device and two Vonage devices for telephone and internet on a different level of the home.
Setup is fast and easy. Just contact ATT to give them the identifying numbers of the device to activate it, then you're in business. I recommend getting an antenna for the device. The Elevate has two ports for antenna attachments.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
This is a very polished product. The device's own display is very helpful but it also has full web interface that lets you control a lot of the behavior of the wi-fi "router". When connected to 4G LTE (see explanation below) it is amazingly fast. The battery life is as advertised (not great), but it can provide service while charging which early LTE modems _did_ _not_ do.
Note: I have seen 7Mbps downloads in Nassau County, NY with this modem on 4G LTE.
AT&T 3G vs AT&T 4G vs AT&T 4G LTE:
AT&T 3G, available for years, is HSDPA technology which peaks at 7.2 Mbps download. Real results are probably more like 3+ Mbps
AT&T 4G, available in many markets since 2010/2011, is HSDPA+ (better 3G done with upgrades to existing equipment). Peak downloads are 21 Mbps -- real results are lower.
AT&T 4G LTE, available from 2011 in some markets is LTE (Long Term Evolution) and requires deployment of new equipment. Some websites have reported getting >20 Mbps consistently on AT&T 4G LTE. This could change as more users adopt LTE.
Note: That AT&T LTE deployment is limited and you should check the AT&T website for coverage.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
I was going to be a passenger in a van driving from Salt Lake City to San Francisco, and wanted to get some work done on the road. After quickly scanning through my options, I stopped at the AT&T store to see about adding a portable hotspot to my account. The sales guy raved about this device, and it sounded pretty cool, so I bought it, hooked it up, and was immediately able to use my laptop to connect to the internet as we flew down the highway at 65MPH.
That is, I was able to connect for approximately 20 minutes.
The device looks great, sets up easily, and has a nice 'wow' factor. BUT, quite often it simply stops passing data, even though all 5 bars and the 4G symbol are lit up and my connection to the device is stable (in fact, it even happens when I have it plugged directly into the USB port). Websites refuse to load and I cannot establish any FTP connections, and then my laptop reports I've lost internet connectivity. So far, my ratio of being connected to unconnected is approximately 1:2.
Now, don't get me wrong... I would understand if this was a question of being out of range or outside the network, but why the 4-5 bars? I'm currently halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, for crying out loud, and I'm getting no data 2/3 of the time.
Anyway, thank goodness I still have time to return it to the store. That'll be my first stop back in Utah.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2014
I purchased this unit to enable me to have 4G WI-FI service when travelling in areas without any decent local WI-FI in conjunction with my WI-FI enabled tablet. I was looking for an inexpensive solution as I don't travel all that often and didn't want to lock into an expensive contract with AT&T or Verizon, etc... I had recently switched to Consumer Cellular for my cell phones which has been great and much cheaper than the competition. As Consumer Cellular uses AT&T towers and signal, I figured there was a good chance this unit would work with a Consumer Cellular SIM card. It turned out to be no problem at all. Added an extra C.C. phone line and SIM card at $10 a month which shares the family plans data, popped it in this unit, set up the C.C. access point in the units software and voila! I now have 4G service anywhere I need it. So far have used it in PA/NJ areas with no problem and also on west coast of Florida.
Couple of things to note though, AT&T will be of absolutely no help with set up unless you are a current customer. I had asked them twice before purchasing if the unit would need to be unlocked and if so would they since I was no longer one of their customers. They assured me that they would if needed. After I purchased the unit they completely changed their story and refused any support unless I purchased a plan through them. *I found that the unit does NOT need to be unlocked to work with Consumer Cellular so no need to bother with AT&T anyway! Consumer Cellular will not say whether this unit will or won't work with their SIM cards if you call them, as they don't support this type of device.
Regarding comments from other reviews, yes the unit does get warm at times and battery life is somewhat limited, but contrary to what others have said you can charge via the USB cable while still using the WI-FI feature, so I haven't found this to be of any great issue. As C.C. doesn't appear to have true 4G LTE yet, I have only been able to run in 4G mode, but that will hopefully change soon. Haven't bothered trying out the onboard storage feature yet, so can't comment on that.
All in all in MHO, a great solution for Consumer Cellular customers who are looking for a cheap WI-FI hotspot solution in areas they serve. Would have given 5 stars but for the short battery life and no 4G LTE with C.C service.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
I bought this from the at&t store the first day it was available. It worked until a couple of weeks ago. It doesn't work with Ancestry.com now. I thought it must be Ancestry but after several hours of troubleshooting, going to wifi sites and substituting a Virgin mifi, this device has to be the cause. After a couple of hours of visiting with AT&T tech, and I'm still waiting for the call back, I believe this issue is beyond their skill set. Reminds me AOL. Good luck.
07/30/12 This device will now function with Ancestry.com
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
have 4 different computers, the device only works with windows 7, wont work on older operating system.
battery issues, don't seem to work right.
did notice it was faster then my old 3G mifi.
avoid this model.