Will a hotspot provide better 3G access than a tethered phone?

Elena Sicconi February 11, 2013

I’m trying to give a small public library Internet access, but 3G service is pretty poor. I’ve tethered my phone to access the Internet but was considering getting them a hotspot instead. Would it work better in a poor service area?

  1. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Instead of using 3G, why not install broadband through internet services like cablevision, verizon, etc.? They may even have a special rate for buildings like a public library.

  2. Jan Fritsch
    February 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I'm not sure you can improve 3G service yourself as repeater boxes usually need to be configured and authorized by the network provider.

    I believe your best option is to get an internet line via cable, land line (ADSL) or something and then simply setup a WiFi network (probably) with repeaters.

  3. Zoe
    February 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    3G just doesn't quite cut it. And being generous, using your phone probably eat ups the data when being shared since most data plans are 2Gb or 5Gb. Depending on where you live there is a 50Gb @ 3g/4g for under $70 but it is meant for personal, non-commercial application. I wish you say the location of where you need this, I could be of more help. I will say STAY AWAY from Satellite Internet.
    Depending on your library's budget you could try wireless which requires line-of-sight antenna system. That can work up to a few miles away; as can hotspot cell-type connection also. (Cells don't require line of sight).
    You could also try WiMax if you're in a serviced area. WiMax is limited such that while they're established, no further expansion is planned.
    If you have cable or telephone-data then you could possibly use DSL or Cable.
    Hotspots are generally reliable. faster speed equates to less errors, I believe, partly because you get the data faster. However , direct connect-->wifi can be desirable in such location. As a thought You could check with near-by business since they may have the experience of this.

  4. Mark Goldspink
    February 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    As Daniel Patterson said - many different factors; everything up to and including building ergonomics.
    I'm a library manager myself - and would go along with Justin Pot the idea of a sponsored hotspot if possible.
    Have you seen the new 'Vodaphone Sure Signal'? It could be the sort of thing your after and is available for most networks and countries.

  5. Justin Pot
    February 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I'd suggest actually calling the companies that offer Internet in the area, because they might offer discounts for a library in a rural area like that to help get their name out there. It doesn't hurt to ask, and even if they don't you'll learn more about what your options are.

  6. ha14
    February 12, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Personal hotspots: the rise of mobile tethering

    well if it is poor service area then you will be limited by the service provided so you cannot be faster. Check which provider gives faster hotspot and cheaper overall data rates for your area.

  7. Rajaa Chowdhury
    February 12, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Propably you can go in for a ADSL or a cable broadband with unlimited plan. It should logically be more dependable. Terminate it in a computer which has WiFi. If it does not have one, you can buy a USB Wireless Adaptor and connect it as it is pretty cheap. Now use Connectify Hotspot software to create a hotspot. Configure it with a WPA2 password so that only people who has the password can access the internet.

  8. Daniel Patterson
    February 12, 2013 at 1:29 am

    This is a difficult question, as it depends on a number of factors including the cell reception in your area, and the individual hardware that you will/do use.

    However, I would be inclined to lean on the side of the hotspot, as these are designed exclusively for that single purpose. Though if cost is an issue, most modern phones have more than satisfactory tethering features available.

    A quick note of caution though - to check your mobile data plan as you can incur charges for tethering that are above your standard data allowance.

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