Exactly What I Needed! December 8, 2011
Reviewer: Lori Seaborg
I purchased the Elevate since I need internet connectivity for multiple devices, depending on which I have with me at the time: iPad, iPod Touch, or laptop. I've had mine since the day they came out, a few months ago.
Two favorite things about it:
-My internet connection is secure. I use the Elevate in Starbucks or B&N or other public areas when I'm going onto a site such as banking or PayPal.
-I can connect up to 5 devices on it at the same time, so I'm able to share with a friend, wherever I am, if I want to do so.
The unit is smaller than my Blackberry. I keep it in my purse or pocket when I have it on.
The $50/month (AT&T) is a bit steep, but I'm able to do with the iPod Touch instead of iPhone (saving $25/month, since I have a contract-free Blackberry to use as a phone anyway) and I was able to get the less expensive iPad
(saving $25/month and about $100 for wifi instead of 3G).
I haven't run into any dead-spots, using the Elevate on the highway or in towns and country. I haven't traveled far with it yet, though.
Firmware update April 2012 May 1, 2012
Reviewer: notmicro "notmicro" (Seattle, WA USA) -
I purchased mine from AT&T immediately after it came out (and dropped "tethering" data service from my cell-phone). I cannot get decent broadband service at my home, and I wanted to be able to simultaneously connect my (base model) iPad, and my laptop. I've been pretty happy with it overall, with these caveats:
- All the wireless activity chews through the battery pretty fast (a few hours) and I always keep it connected to external power at home.
- Like virtually all cell phone data service, you're limited to 5 GB per month (unless you want to pay overage charges); thus its not intended for downloading/streaming video (i.e. Netflix). The display has the amazing feature of a progress-bar showing your current monthly usage, which resets every month.
- Like any wireless broadband service (including Clear WiMAX), its *VERY* dependent on the current load on the cell tower its attached to (which can change moment to moment) and on the tower's backhaul bandwidth. I've seen mine run under 1 Mbps up to 7 Mbps.
Tricks I've got it to do:
- Streaming Pandora music from my iPad while driving for miles down the freeway, with no dropouts.
- I added the obscure AT&T "i2gold" APN feature to my account, to enable Static IP and accept inbound connections via Port Forwarding, and it actually works.
Features I haven't tried:
- I inserted a MicroSD memory card, but haven't used it.
- AT&T has not lit up LTE in my area yet (waiting, waiting, waiting...)
- It has ports for special external antennas for use in weak signal areas.
Features I wish it included:
- DynDNS support, but I might be the only one on the planet to ever use it.
April 2012 I discovered a firmware update available for download on the Sierra Wireless website (first such update that I'm aware of). After typical hassles getting it installed (Windows only) I'm extremely happy with it:
- Resolves a strange problem with "stalled" web-browsing on the iPad; quite a relief that they got off the dime and fixed this.
- Adds a new "DMZ" feature to the configuration.
Not the best charging capabilities July 11, 2012
The mifi doesn't charge when it's powered on. It's kind of useless for an 8 hour workday, because at some point you need to turn off the MiFi and charge it back up to 100% so you can use it for the rest of the day. It's only good for short term use. It just seems like a ridiculous design flaw-you would think if it was plugged in, it would pull power from that but alas it does not. If you need something for longer than 4 hours, go with a different mifi.
Excellent Product April 12, 2012
Reviewer: Novaflyer "Paul" (Northern VA) -
I run an IT firm from my home in a rural area and had a T1 line for the internet and vonage VOIP phone lines for a year, at $520 per month. We moved from the T1 to a totally wireless broadband solution using ATT devices. The Elevate is used for internet service and I configured a CradlePoint MBR 1400 router, with a USB broadband device and two Vonage devices for telephone and internet on a different level of the home.
Setup is fast and easy. Just contact ATT to give them the identifying numbers of the device to activate it, then you're in business. I recommend getting an antenna for the device. The Elevate has two ports for antenna attachments.
seems pretty slow January 6, 2012
I just bought the item today 1-6-12, it was a breeze setting it up, but took awhile for certain pages to load, but other than that, seems okay, I like that it's small and fits in your pocket, or purse, and I also like how it's an LCD screen which displays the life of the battery, how many GB are remaining, and any text messages you may have.
as far as it being a little slow, I'm glad I have a 30 day money back guarantee, so that said, I'm planning on waiting and see, hopefully it wont disappoint me.
Nifty idea, but drops connections A LOT June 11, 2012
Reviewer: aryxus (Seattle, WA United States) -
I was going to be a passenger in a van driving from Salt Lake City to San Francisco, and wanted to get some work done on the road. After quickly scanning through my options, I stopped at the AT&T store to see about adding a portable hotspot to my account. The sales guy raved about this device, and it sounded pretty cool, so I bought it, hooked it up, and was immediately able to use my laptop to connect to the internet as we flew down the highway at 65MPH.
That is, I was able to connect for approximately 20 minutes.
The device looks great, sets up easily, and has a nice 'wow' factor. BUT, quite often it simply stops passing data, even though all 5 bars and the 4G symbol are lit up and my connection to the device is stable (in fact, it even happens when I have it plugged directly into the USB port). Websites refuse to load and I cannot establish any FTP connections, and then my laptop reports I've lost internet connectivity. So far, my ratio of being connected to unconnected is approximately 1:2.
Now, don't get me wrong... I would understand if this was a question of being out of range or outside the network, but why the 4-5 bars? I'm currently halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, for crying out loud, and I'm getting no data 2/3 of the time.
Anyway, thank goodness I still have time to return it to the store. That'll be my first stop back in Utah.
nice product March 12, 2012
Reviewer: On the Hudson "G" (Jersey City) -
This is a very polished product. The device's own display is very helpful but it also has full web interface that lets you control a lot of the behavior of the wi-fi "router". When connected to 4G LTE (see explanation below) it is amazingly fast. The battery life is as advertised (not great), but it can provide service while charging which early LTE modems _did_ _not_ do.
Note: I have seen 7Mbps downloads in Nassau County, NY with this modem on 4G LTE.
AT&T 3G vs AT&T 4G vs AT&T 4G LTE:
AT&T 3G, available for years, is HSDPA technology which peaks at 7.2 Mbps download. Real results are probably more like 3+ Mbps
AT&T 4G, available in many markets since 2010/2011, is HSDPA+ (better 3G done with upgrades to existing equipment). Peak downloads are 21 Mbps -- real results are lower.
AT&T 4G LTE, available from 2011 in some markets is LTE (Long Term Evolution) and requires deployment of new equipment. Some websites have reported getting >20 Mbps consistently on AT&T 4G LTE. This could change as more users adopt LTE.
Note: That AT&T LTE deployment is limited and you should check the AT&T website for coverage.
connection issues with win vista, xp, older computer. July 31, 2012
have 4 different computers, the device only works with windows 7, wont work on older operating system.
battery issues, don't seem to work right.
did notice it was faster then my old 3G mifi.
avoid this model.
Lack of tech support June 30, 2012
I bought this from the at&t store the first day it was available. It worked until a couple of weeks ago. It doesn't work with Ancestry.com now. I thought it must be Ancestry but after several hours of troubleshooting, going to wifi sites and substituting a Virgin mifi, this device has to be the cause. After a couple of hours of visiting with AT&T tech, and I'm still waiting for the call back, I believe this issue is beyond their skill set. Reminds me AOL. Good luck.
07/30/12 This device will now function with Ancestry.com
this thing is such a pain and im only 12 mo into 24 mo contract April 22, 2013
If you read bad reviews on this device you should believe them! I had my first hotspot device croak on me a few months ago and AT&T sent me a new one at no charge but it was a referb and has more problems than the original. I have spotty coverage (I live out of city limits) and MOST months I go over my 5GB data limit and have to start rationing my internet usage. They will tell you that you will be fine as long as you do not download videos etc but I NEVER stream anything and still SINGLE HANDEDLY go over the data allowance. I am compelled to warn anyone who is considering this device, and the contract that accompanies it, about the HORRIBLE service that AT&T has burdened me with.