Sunday, March 24, 2019

Visibly Ambiguous

So here lately, a YouTube channel has been promoting a new sponsor called, “Visible”. They are offering something that I thought seemed very compelling. Unlimited text, talk, and 5Mbps data including hotspot for $40 a month. Unlimited!

OK, so this sounds like a damn good solution to my problem. 5Mbps is actually good enough to stream YouTube or Netflix without any trouble. Sure, if you’re downloading the entire internet while trying to stream video, you’re going to have a bad time, but just by itself, 5Mbps will stream good quality video without buffering, and $40 a month is right in my comfort zone.

So it looks like I found my perfect wireless ISP. Problem solved. I guess I won’t have to bitch and complain about this anymo- oh no, no, no… They’re not quite the promised land I was looking for, and I wouldn’t be ranting about it, would that it were so simple.

First of all, it’s through Verizon’s network (not that that’s a bad thing), and none of my devices are compatible with their service. OK, so let’s get their cheapest device for $99 and oh… the hotspot is only available through their app and limits the connection to one device at a time. A proprietary hotspot? I got a bad feeling about this.

Also, they’re still in their early access phase… So they aren’t ready for primetime anyway. It’s a startup, funded by Verizon, manned by former Verizon employees, trying to pass themselves off as the hip new MVNO that’s actually just a front for Verizon.

Of course I guess it depends on how much streaming you do over your phone. I use Mint Mobile’s $20/month plan with 8GB of (much faster) LTE data and unlimited talk and text, and I’m just fine with that because I’m not constantly watching videos on my phone. On the other hand, if I were regularly streaming audio/video on my phone, I could see this unlimited 5Mbps service being a very attractive offer.

So while I’ll keep an eye on this one, it looks like they tainted their service enough to make using it as an ISP problematic at best. On the other hand, if they ever package their 5Mbps as a wireless home ISP for $40 a month, I’m in.



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2 Responses to Sunday, March 24, 2019

  1. The oldest rater says:

    If the “one device” is an IP-masquerading wireless router….

    • f2x says:

      Well, yes, I already have a wireless bridge that can be used to connect a WiFi hotspot to my router, but the bigger concern is the proprietary app used to create the single device hotspot. While this is merely my own speculation, I’m guessing they went with their own app to give the hotspot some sort of packet sniffing abilities as well as a time-out function. If the software doesn’t see what it wants to see, it might just shut down to prevent edge-case violations of the TOS. Signing up for such a deal would be a $140 gamble plus taxes and regulatory fees. Until more information about this service comes to light, I’m not willing to take that kind of risk.

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