Using the Verizon iPhone as a hotspot may save you money

Summary:Verizon iPhone customers not enrolled in a mobile hotspot plan may want to consider adding that feature to the data plan. It just might save you money.

When I bought my iPhone 4S last year I made a conscious decision to turn down the mobile hotspot service due to the additional monthly cost of those plans. I enrolled in the standard 5GB/month data plan without the ability to use the phone as a hotspot for getting other devices online as needed. I have come to regret that decision, as my tablets don't have integrated data capability and the ability to use my iPhone as a hotspot would regularly come in handy. What I found when I checked into it was the hotspot service would actually save me money.

See also: iPhone 4S: Day 1 with an Android phone owner

Last week I decided to look into adding the mobile hotspot service to my iPhone plan and was surprised to discover that Verizon has special data plans including hotspot service for the iPhone that end up being cheaper than my data only plan. I was able to change my plan from the standard 5GB data plan (no tethering) at a monthly cost of $50 to a 4GB data plan plus 2 GB additional hotspot data for just $40 per month. I traded 1GB of regular data for 2GB of hotspot data and saved $10 monthly.

It is no secret I use mobile devices to do real work on a regular basis. That is a hot button topic, with past coverage generating responses from those who don't believe it can be done. Responses also delve into what the real definition might be for "serious work" or "real work" when it comes to using gadgets such as tablets. Whatever others might feel about doing this work on a tablet, I do a lot of it and have no question of the value the iPad or Android tablet brings to my work.

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I use the iPad 2 for most of this work, and increasingly run into situations where Wi-Fi hotspots are not available when I need to get online. Since activating the hotspot service with Verizon I find tethering the iPhone to the iPad to be so convenient, and it eliminates planning to make sure I am around a Wi-Fi hotspot all the time.

My next iPad will have integrated connectivity, either 3G or better 4G, if Apple decides to go that route. I used to think it wasn't worth the extra expense but I am using the iPad so much for real work that not worrying about connectivity is worth the extra cost. Meanwhile, until the next iPad is released I am happy tethering my iPad 2 to the iPhone 4S to get 3G connectivity as needed.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Tablets, Verizon, Wi-Fi

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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