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Why you should get a portable hotspot with prepaid mobile broadband

Contract carriers want us to sign our lives away. For some consumers maybe it makes sense to make a two-year commitment in exchange for a $200 or higher discount on a smartphone. But why in the world would anyone commit to two years for a mobile broadband connection? It seems like a long commitment for a service you might not use all the time.

Today Cricket updated its mobile broadband pricing. (Via FierceWireless. This type of prepaid mobile broadband connection is best utilized with a portable hotspot. Here’s why.

So many connected devices

A few years ago getting a mobile broadband connection meant getting a USB dongle for your laptop. That’s the way most people used mobile broadband, and so that’s how carriers served them. But times have changed greatly in the past few years, and so has the way we use mobile broadband connections.

If you have a tablet and a laptop, chances are you’ll want to connect both of them at some point. Unfortunately, many tablets do not have USB slots and cannot use a dongle. They require wireless hotspots. Smartphones, too, can benefit from this if you purchase your prepaid broadband connection from a different carrier. If you’re on Verizon for your smartphone and have a Cricket broadband hotspot, maybe (though it’s a long shot) you’ll have service with Cricket in a place you don’t with Verizon.

If you want to connect multiple devices at once — if your kids and spouse want to use it, a hotspot is essential. Since they’re so readily available these days, it makes too much sense.

No discrimination

No matter what type of portable device you own, a mobile hotspot can connect you. Whether it’s a traditional laptop, 13 inch laptops, tablets, or yes, even a desktop, a portable hotspot does not discriminate. It will connect any device that has WiFi. can you think of any devices today that don’t have WiFi?

This is an undersold point when considering portable hotspots. WiFi is universal. Mobile hotspots turn mobile broadband into WiFi. It makes a world of sense.

Grouping up

While most meeting places these days will come with a broadband connection already in place, some simply do not. I was at a conference at a rather upscale hotel, but their broadband connection was so slow as to be unusable. Thankfully, a portable hotspot was able to connect everyone in the room.

This might not be ideal for regular use, but there will be times when you need to connect multiple people in a pinch. A hotspot does that so well.

Soon enough this won’t be much of a choice. Traditional laptop cards as we know them will fall by the wayside, with mobile hotspots being the only reasonable choice. Well, they are already.