Monday, April 4

Review: Verizon Android 3G Mobile Hotspot

Due to some unforeseen travel complications, I had to reschedule my Comcast install. As such, I'm relying on my HTC Droid Incredible and the Verizon 3G Mobile Hotspot feature for a few days.
Point one: DHCP & Verizon-assigned DNS is horrendous -- they make the feature unusable. Use a static IP address and Google or OpenDNS or other known reliable third-party DNS servers. Once I switched over to this configuration, connectivity has been flawless -- zero interruptions.

Point two: Still can't use voice + data at the same time. If you receive an incoming call while using the Mobile Hotspot feature, you will lose data connectivity for the duration of the call, just like using the plain old handset.

Point three: While it is better than some hotel WiFi I've dealt with, this feature does not appear to be a speed demon. With 3/4 bars, from a Chicago suburb, I performed a Speakeasy speedtest against Chicago-based target servers with the following results:

Conclusion: while having some connectivity on my laptop is certainly better than no connectivity, or smartphone-only, I absolutely cannot see multiple users using this as a hotspot simultaneously. USB dongles and ad hoc networks, or MyFi type devices, in my experience, provide much better performance, if you, or your boss, can pony up the cash for them -- plus you are not then forced to choose between voice or data.