First let me say, I’m going to try and keep this blog upbeat and not negative but getting your own hotspot isn’t for the timid or weak. You will need persistence and problem solving abilities. (I don’t have a grandchild in the house to teach me, so I was winging it)
Purpose: I wanted a hotspot only for my laptop for when I travel because I got hit with a nasty virus/malware program while using the WIFI provided by the La Quinta in Laredo this past spring. For information on that you can read my blog: https://walktx.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/quemado-maverick-county-volksmarch-01162015/
Step 1: Research on the internet and decided which type of hotspot serves your purpose. I decided that the prepaid plan through Walmart would be the easiest and the most economical.
Step 2: Go into the store and get a clerk to help you. The clerk advised me that the Verizon ellipsis JETPACK 4G LTE was the best option for me since I wanted to use it for traveling. Not all the hotspots they sell have a good coverage area. She also sold me a Verizon refill card to pay for the data usage.
Warning: With the prepaid cards, the data expires 30 days from the day you activate whether you’ve used it or no. No refunds, no roll overs.
Step 3: First thing you have to do is charge the battery on the unit. It takes about 3 hours the first time so you need patience.
Step 4: Once you are fully charged you turn it on and it will display its default name and password. Write this down someplace. You can change it later.
Step 5: Turn on your laptop and look for the WIFI signal with the default name. Enter the password and try to log on to your usual homepage. This is what the instructions tell you to do. Just so you know, it didn’t work for me.
From here on in the manual you receive with the JETPACK is of no use whatsoever in getting you connected. I went to my regular computer with my good old faithful DSL connection and logged onto Verizon to see if I could find tech support. I found a “live chat” and tried to get some answers but the lady was unable to help me. She referred me to an 800-567-6789 number and I never got past the automated message system.
The official Verizon website is not user friendly for prepaid Hotspots at this time. I went back to Google and did a search on the ellipsis JETPACK and hit pay dirt. There was a guide for initiating 4G LTE service, with a phone number 866-893.7723. I thought I was home free. I called that number and an automated system asked me for the number on my SIM card (which was already installed in my JETPACK). I certainly didn’t want to start taking it apart.
After several tries I finally got a human who told me that the SIMS card number was also on the outside of the box. It isn’t called a SIMS # there, it is the ICC ID # on the side that starts with 891 etc. So I gave her the number and she activated my SIMS card and gave me a phone number which is just for ID purposes since I don’t have cell service with them and I’m using the hotspot just for laptop connection.
I still would not be able to log on, she informed me, because I didn’t have an account for the data usage. I told her I had purchased a data card, so she asked me for the number on the back under the scratch off. It says to scratch off gently with a coin. Murphy’s Law kicked in and the number was not readable. So buying the card was just wasted money. I would suggest that you not buy these data cards. I found out you can just call Verizon or go online and use your credit card to purchase data usage.
Since I didn’t have a card number to give her, the lady who had just activated the SIMS attempted to transfer me to the accounting department. It didn’t go through. The number for the HOTSPOT accounting department if you want to pay by phone is 800-922-0204. Just so you know, it is $60 for 30days / 3GB of data transfer whichever comes first.
To change your password etc. the instructions in the box worked great.
I sincerely hope this HOTSPOT keeps me from getting any more virus/malware problems. If you are in the market for a HOTSPOT, I hope this information is useful to you.