Snowbird seeking hookup without commitment

My parents are taking a little vacation from Minnesota down to Apache Junction, AZ [they will hike more in the 6 weeks they are there than my wife and I will all year]. They have an iPad and very little technical moxy. The condo they are in does not have ISP; and they would like temporary internet service.

The iPad is the standard WiFi model, not SIM card compatible. The ATT mobile hotspot option without contract looks good, but the “modem” or whatever is around $275.

(1) Does anybody have any other suggestions for temporary internet service? I looked into Clearwire, but that’s not available.
(2) I checked the eBay; and there are used mobile hotspot devices for sale, however, I’m not really sure on what the procedure is once one of these is purchased. Assuming my parents were going to stick with AT&T [provides their current mobile phone service]; could somebody walk me through the process of acquiring a used device and getting service through it?

My wife looked at the title of this post and gave me a weird look …. am I missing something?



about 9 years ago

Your best bet is probably something like a Virgin Mobile Hotspot that you can just pay monthly for internet access.  

Hot Shot

about 9 years ago

Yup, do the Virgin Mobile mifi. Same idea, no contract. 
That, or get the AT&T mobile hotspot and replace home internet with it.

[email protected]

about 9 years ago

Virgin mobile is spotty in rural areas.


about 9 years ago

Some smartphones can also be used as wifi hotspots for around $30 bucks a month extra and no commitment to keep the feature or cancellation fee when you no longer need it. I would double check with their carrier just to be sure but if they have a phone with that capability or it's time for an upgrade for them it might be the way to go. Service would be comparable to a hotspot and no contract or modem needed.


about 9 years ago

Forgot to mention that they may have to upgrade their data plan $10+ per month depending on what kind of phones they have now and that becomes part of their monthly contract.


about 9 years ago

There are four McDonald's in Apache Junction and they all have free WiFi.


about 9 years ago

Whether it's a mobile hotspot or a cell phone, you'll be dependent upon your mobile provider for internet service.

Your best bets are Verizon and AT&T, in general. However I don't know about Arizona specifically. You might try asking someone in that region?


about 9 years ago

Virgin Mobile piggy backs on the Sprint network.  If there is good sprint coverage, I'd say that is your best bet.  $99 for the device, no committment (just month to month).

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