It looks like I'm going to have to do something that twenty+ years of computing experience have made me hate to do: buy a product with many reported problems.
The fivespot. So far as I can tell, it's my best deal (as a current Verizon customer) for travel within the U.S. and Canada ... and perhaps a trip farther offshore later in the year.
Trouble is, many users are reporting problems. M-a-ny users!
I'm trying to accumulate pre-purchase advice, to limit my grief as much as possible if and when I order the device.
This is how it looks so far:
1) Expect to use the device tethered only. I can live with that.
2) Go into device manager, update the driver software for the wireless adapter. I just did that.
3) If necessary, be prepared to enter VZ Access manager and change the 802.11 mode.
4) If necessary, I might need to change 'Network mode' in VZ Access from global to CDMA.
Can anyone else provide any tips?
I ask because I'd much rather have the troubleshooting information in front of me now than suffer for hours on hold with a tech.
I usually do a bit of research (product reviews, customer feedback, online forums, etc.) before making a purchase like this. However, in this case, I kinda bit the bullet, and went into the Verizon store last night, asked a few pointed questions, and left the store within 30 minutes with a installed and setup 5-Spot in my hands. Charged the 5-spot for approx 5 hrs as recommended when I returned home, and was online in the house in no time. I was impressed. Did not do much surfing, or downloading because I wanted to conserve the data usage. Went into email only. The performance was fine, the browser loaded in good measure (msnbc.com with all the graphics and ads). I'd say it's equal to if not better to starbucks wifi, but without other users' contention.
The install was done at the Verizon store because I had my MacBook with me--it took approx 15-20 mins. tops including the account and password setup and demo.(no CD to insert). Just inserted the 5-Spot to the Macbook via the provided USB port, and the computer took care of everything.
My main purpose for this is not to download or stream movies or songs, but as an alternative to a home-based ISP--mainly for email (no text messaging).
Next I will take it out in the 'public' to see how the Verizon wifi Hotspot works--since this connection, and its data usage will not be charged to the account.
One minor problem I have encountered so far is that the specified url that's supposed to allow me to configure the 5-spot seems to have been taken down by Verizon. Other than that, it's been seamless so far.
Hey, the device was free--what more do you want?