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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Verizon Jetpack 4620L MIFI 4G/LTE

Verizon Jetpack 4620L MIFI (9275)

For two years I have been packing a Sprint 3G MIFI around with me.  Sometimes it worked great.  Most of the time it was useless or very slow.  This lead me to drop the Spring account and then just use my iPhone as a hotspot.  The Verizon Jetpack will support up to ten devices at 4G or LTE speeds.  The initial cost was around $60 (Internet special) with a monthly cost of around $50 for 5GB.

My service for my iPhone is AT&T.  While AT&T cellular data service is improving data services is spotty like the Spring MIFI but not quite as bad.  My iPhone 4S sports 4G or so they claim.  While it shows 4G it often cannot even get data service at all.  All carriers when they are overwhelmed will prioritize voice over data and either throttle back your data or cut the data feed altogether.   Don’t believe me?  Go to any large gathering of people like a concert or sporting event and try to use data services.

Using my iPhone 4S as a hotspot is fine where I have great service and I don’t connect more than one device to the iPhone.  Two devices will bring it to it’s knees even with great service.   So, when I read about the Verizon Jetpack MIFI which is capable of not only 4G but LTE I was very interested. 

Many folks like me have been confused about 4G and LTE.  I actually thought that LTE was a watered down version of 4G.  Not true.  Let’s just say that LTE is what you want to see on your device not 4G.  In comparing speeds in the real world on my devices 4G will run from 5Mbps to 7Mbps up and down at it’s best on a good day. 

LTE, on the other hand, will peg the needle on any of your speed test tools with my tool topping out this week in Boston at around 55Mbps up and 60Mbps down.  No kidding.  I have now tested LTE in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Jackson MS, Portland OR, and Boston.  In all cases the 4G was good but LTE was great where it worked.  Not all cities had LTE yet.  I am sure that they are all moving to LTE quickly.

I learned about LTE by activating LTE on my new iPad which supports 4G/LTE.  When 4G shows it will get 5/6 Mbps.  When LTE shows it will peg the speed tests anywhere from 38Mbps to 60Mbps.  From trying to read various standards on LTE it appears that the standard will support up to 73Mbps.  This is enough to run a small business.

Even when the service falls back to 4G it still appears to be stronger than AT&T’s 4G.  The device is smaller than the new Spring 4G device and comes with a wall adapter.  I have also found I can power the device from any USB port.  Note, you will not charge from a USB only run the device which is just fine.  Battery run time with average use appears to be around 5 hours.

So, bottom line.  Is the Verizon Jetpack 4620L MIFI worth the money?  Absolutely the best Internet connection device I have ever owned.  

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