Productive Mama Bottom Line: Definitely an “extra,” but if you like to sneak in work while the kids are at gymnastics, if you work on road trips or if your home internet isn’t always reliable, this is an affordable option.
March 26, 2017 UPDATE: Karma no longer has the Refuel option which allows you to buy as you go with no monthly fees. You CAN however, opt for the Drift option, which costs just $3 per month and THEN allows you to refuel/pay-as-you-go at $10/GB. So it’s still an excellent option compared to other subscription plans, especially for those of us who are not consistently or predictably using a hotspot. Learn more here and click Data Plans at the top.
I started looking into a hot spot when I found myself able to bill hours while waiting for the kids at their activities. From their website, “Karma Go grabs a cellular connection out of thin air and turns it into your own personal WiFi signal, anywhere you are”. I found a few other options, but I wasn’t planning on using it regularly. So I didn’t love paying a monthly fee when I might go a month NOT using it. You definitely CAN subscribe (they call that PULSE). But I prefer REFUEL, or their pay-as-you go option. It doesn’t expire and you manually add more when you’re running low. That starts at $14/GB. I think I paid a little less because I pre-ordered mine. Note that they regularly run promotions where you can double your data, getting twice the amount for the usual price. AND if you let others use your Karma connection, you earn 100MB of data to add to your account, hence the company’s name, Karma. You earn cash credit if you choose the PULSE plan and someone logs on to your network. You can add up to eight devices at once, so your traveling buddies should be happy about that.
The device itself is $149, though I paid less ($99) with my pre-order. When I compared that to other options (available in my area) at the time, that was still much less monthly than the subscription services I could find.
I’ve had mine for almost a year. I use it judiciously, but have used it while traveling and on the go, as well as when there’s been an outage at my house. I’ve only made a small dent in the GB I bought. So for the approximately $110 I paid well over two years ago, that’s about $4.58/month. Three years, about $3.05/month. I use it to check emails, simple web surfing to keep up on life, find a place to eat, etc. I don’t know that this would be very practical or affordable if you are downloading a lot of files or streaming music or movies.
But if you have basic work tasks to do, this is a great option. I’ve definitely appreciated having a back up plan. I’ve found the speed to be fine and never have had a problem connecting with it. I’ve easily connected my laptop, iPad and iPhone. Take a look and save $10 here: https://yourkarma.com/invite/amylee9466
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