Cut The Cord Already!!!
I think everyone looks for different ways to “cut the cord” with either their cable/satellite or internet providers. We’re no different. I think it’s absolutely absurd the cost incurred for these “luxuries”. While internet and cable/satellite are still considered to be a luxury, they really are not. At least the internet isn’t in my book, nor is cable in my other half’s book. Both are necessities for US.
Through my search to cut out the middleman in these two scenarios, I have found ways to supposedly be able to bring in about 20 or so clear channels to watch on TV… I’ll share those in a later post once I’ve had a chance to experiment with them. I also came across a way that is supposed to allow us to have “free internet”. There are actually several, but the one I chose is called FreedomPop. This is my review of their service.
Our device arrived today!!! I’m stoked to check it out. I first heard of FreedomPop back in November 2016 and finally decided to check it out and ordered it on March 23, 2017. Even though I opted for the “basic” (4-10 days for $9.99) shipping, it arrived today, March 28, 2017. No complaints about that as they do give many various shipping options right down to 1 day shipping, which was about 25 bucks if memory serves me well. I wasn’t in a huge hurry, so I’m okay with it taking five days.
What’s In The Box
The box arrived relatively unscathed considering it’s been in the hands of both FedEx and the USPS. Now what I’m not impressed with is the fact that this little device is floating around in the box… I can hear it moving freely about as I gently rotate the box in my hands. (Yes, I *gently* rotated the box even though my inner five-year old wanted to shake the daylights out of it.) This made me a bit nervous, but it all turned out well and there was no damage to the product inside.
As you can see by the pictures, it was surrounded by two whole air pouches but still had movement, so in my opinion, it needed more packing material or a smaller box because the size of the box is a bit much. My brain always says smaller box, less shipping cost. But on the flip side of that thought, my brain says smaller box, greater the chance of it getting lost, so I will take the neutral road on this.
Inside I found a much smaller box that contained the Hotspot unit which was fairly well secured in its own box. I say fairly well because it still had some free space which allowed for movement within the factory packaging. It came with a Quick Connect guide, Pre-Owned Certificate, 90 day limited warranty, the obligatory warning card and a USB cord which can be plugged in using its AC adapter or directly into your computer.
I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with the ease of set up. It’s straight forward and simple. Take it out of the box and turn it on. The battery was at 68% out of the box. Check for new internet connections, select and GO. Now this does require just a little bit of patience…. which, have I mentioned that I commonly have ZERO when it comes to new toys and gadgets? LOL
It does take about a half an hour for it to become fully functional, meaning it will show you a secure connection, but with no access. But that’s only until the system has the opportunity to do all of its techie stuff such as connecting with its towers or whatever those little miracle workers do that live inside that tiny little device!!
After being in such a hurry to make sure this little wonder device was really going to provide me with “free” internet, I ended up calling customer service due to not getting access even though it showed that I had a secure connection and my lack of patience.
I’m sorry to say that I cannot tell you the service reps name as he had an extremely heavy foreign accent and I could barely understand him. I will have to say that the customer service rep that I spoke with was very kind, patient and polite, at least from what I could tell.
I was about to request a different rep, hoping for one with a little less of an accent when *BAM* (insert the sound of angels singing) I had ACCESS!!! WooT!!! My happiness level SKYROCKETED!!! Not only was I not going to have to attempt to breach the communication barrier, but I was ONLINE and NOT through our current wallet draining carrier!!! Oh what a wonderful day!!!
The Techie Details
There are many different styles and types of devices ranging from Apple to ZTE. Choose from Smartphones, Sim Cards, Mobile Hotspots and Modems, iPads, Tablets, Accessories and other products like VR Headset, TAGG pet tracking collar attachment and more.
Though there were many different choices, we chose to try out the NETGEAR FUSE, which, incidentally, is smaller than either of our Smartphones. The FUSE also has its own rechargeable battery and SIM card.
We did purchase a refurbished model, simply because we didn’t see any reason not to. As I mentioned earlier, it is “Certified Pre-Owned”, comes with a battery, SIM card, USB cord and AC Adapter, so you can charge it either with your computer or plug it into an outlet.
Our purchase price was $29.99, shipping was $9.99. Complete price out the door was $39.98, no complaints there considering what’s included. I’ve added a screenshot of my confirmation email so that you can see what all you get.
Granted, you never truly get anything for free. There is always some sort of “cost” or “price” that comes along with it. Here’s the scoop on this, you do need to have a hotspot modem or something of that sort, well, that’s most likely going to cost you money, just like it did us, but it need not cost you an arm and a leg.
BUT once you pay that particular cost, you TRULY CAN have FREE internet, even on the go. I’m not talking dial-up slow internet either. FreedomPop is just as fast if not faster than the provider we currently have, but that I’m getting ready to cancel. Finally. Yep, you got it…We ARE cutting THAT cord.
Of course there are limits and/or provisions. You can either choose the smaller free option which requires you to stay under 500mb but don’t panic just yet!! As you can see by my screenshot above and below, you start earning data before your hotspot, smartphone or what ever you order even gets to your door. I earned 5GB just by ordering my device.
If you choose to continue with the free package, you will need to change your package by either contacting customer service or making the changes through your account online prior to the beginning of the next billing cycle. There are charges for overage, but it’s minimal. Just a little tip, I set a reminder on my phones calendar, including contact/cancel info/numbers/email/website.
I do believe that you can set data alarms or limits but not entirely sure as I am still exploring the site and figuring out what everything does. I’ll post an update after I’ve used it for a bit and in different scenarios.
There are many packages to choose from, starting with the trial, then from free to $74.99 per month, so you can choose the package that best suits your needs.
There are also multiple ways to “earn” data, ranging from sharing with your friends to completing offers and actions. The amount of data you earn each month is entirely up to you.
Don’t be afraid to go to their forum section and read up on this service and the products. Those forums are EXPERIENCE talking, listen to it, I know I am.
Not only can you earn data but you can also become an affiliate and earn money. I opted to become an affiliate because I am absolutely WOWED with this service and I DO recommend the service provided by FreedomPop thus far. I’m not easily impressed by much of anything and am a pretty big skeptic, but folks, lemme tell ya, I’m flippin’ impressed!!!
The first link I am providing IS an affiliate link that will take you to the FreedomPop site, which contains data that has my affiliate ID that allows me to possibly earn a small commission when a purchase is made.
However, If you prefer not to use my affiliate link for some reason, please feel free to go to https://www.freedompop.com by either clicking that link, copy/paste it, type it in on your own, whatever you’re comfortable with. You can even visit the ad below, but before you decide to order from either link, compare them if you’d like by going to the non-affiliate link first then go through the affiliate link, you’ll see that everything is the same. There is no cost increase or anything like that, although you may find more of a savings on your behalf by using the affiliate link. But because I’m not in charge of their site and offers, I can’t be completely certain of the savings. If you are satisfied, feel free to shop and even purchase from my affiliate link, you’re already there. I’ll thank you right here, in advance, you are appreciated.
No matter what link you use, PLEASE do YOURSELF a big favor and check out FreedomPop, I don’t think you’ll regret it. C’mon back here if you do and let me know what you think!!