Karma Go, Personal WiFi Access Point Of The Future
Karma Go offers you Personal WiFi internet access to get you online everywhere you go. Many will think nothing special and most cell phones have a hotspot feature that will accomplish the task. I have found cellphone hotspot service as flaky and slows as the phone multitasks. Using your phone as an unstable hotspot usually cause phones to run hot and drains the battery.
If you are like me and can benefit from internet access everywhere you go. You may find the Karma Go useful. I set up an office in Malls that offers free WiFi, McDonald’s, Starbucks and in parks that offer free WiFi. Having the ability to work from my favorite eateries, parks and public spaces is priceless. I strive to be a would be an internet Digital Nomad.
Karma Go offers a stable service with a unique billing structure. Using it saves wear and tear on my phone and saves battery life. I will now review the Karma Go as I have been using it in my daily travels for a few weeks now. Here goes the Pros and the Cons of the Karma Go personal WiFi.
What Is A Karma Go?
Karma Go is a tiny personal WiFi access point that provides 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz wireless networking that supports up to eight users. WiFi connections of all devices accessing the Karma Go are isolated from each other. This is a great security feature and that also enables it to safely act as public WiFi access point. Powered by a rechargeable 1500mAh Lithium-ion battery the Karma Go offers 220 hours of standby time and 6 hours of Internet use.
The Karma Go personal WiFi uses Sprint’s 4G LTE cell service with support for Sprint Spark, an enhanced LTE service and fallbacks to CDMA 3G when the previous is not available. When 4G LTE is available the total download throughput for all connected users will be 6 to 8Mbps with peaks up to 25Mbps and an upload performance of 2 to 3Mbps. When LTE isn’t available, the Karma Go personal WiFi will connect via CDMA giving a download performance 0.6 to 1.4Mbps with peaks up to 3.1Mbps and uploads at 0.35 to 5Mbps.
Using The Karma Go Personal WiFi
To use a Karma Go you have to log in either via your account or their own Karma Go account. When other people are guests, they are using their own account to access the Internet through your Karma Go, it also works as a public WiFi as mentioned earlier. Karma Go offers 100mb of free data to anyone without an account that connects to your device. Your traffic always has priority so your performance won’t be impacted by their Internet use. You also earn $1 of credit whenever a guest connects to your device. This has not happened to me yet as my SSID is NSA Surveillance Van. I guess no one would like to connect to that hotspot. LOL.
There are now two data plans to choose from with the Karma Go. The Refuel plan that allows for up to 8 connected devices, costs $14 per gigabyte, pay as you go but whatever you don’t use what you don’t lose. The data you purchase never expires and there’s an optional Auto Refill feature. The other data plan offering is called Pulse. Pulse has three pricing categories. There is a 5Gigs a month plan for $40, 10Gigs for $75 a month and 20Gigs for $140 a month.
Karma Go Personal WiFi Pulse data plans offer the same speeds as Refuel at a lower cost for power users that pay upfront. I have been trying the Pulse 5Gig data plan and it may not be enough for my needs but it may work well for others. If you need more data during the month you can either upgrade or buy more data in 1Gig blocks.
While you can simply access the Karma Go and login via your Web browser you can also use the Karma Go iOS and Android apps which also provide information on your signal and battery life, show your data balance, allow you to add data, view who you’re sharing your Wi-Fi with, and monitor your data usage in real time. The Karma Go will also send you email alerts when your battery charge drops below 30% when a guest joins your network and low data. I found that handy.
The Karma Go Bait and Switch
I heard about the Karma Go early in 2015. They had an attractive Neverstop data plan option. They were offering truly unlimited data at 5Mbps. Like the name suggested, no slow down in speed and unlimited data at $50 a month. I ignored the offer because I knew it was too good to be true. Unlimited data at a constant 5Mbps, never stopping for only $50 a month was a fantasy in my eyes.
I don’t know if it was because I worked in the telecommunications industry I knew this was a bad formula. I had visions of people running companies, brand new start-ups, watching Netflix and bit torrenting all month for just $50. There were reports from Karma Go of account topping over 100Gigs a month for $50. Duh! What do you think happened next?
Karma Go was forced to restructure their data plans and the users went crazy. The complaints were very vocal. Karma Go began to offer 15Gigs for $50 a month at higher data speeds and throttle down speeds after 15Gigs. I thought that was reasonable but the original users did not and began to complain loudly. I thought they were crybabies as they should have known that Neverstop was unsustainable. They believed Karma Go should not have offered what they could not provide and I see their point somewhat but Karma Go had to make an adjustment or go belly up.
I ordered the Karma Go because I thought the new Neverstop data plan was more than reasonable. It took about 4 weeks for the unit to arrive and guess what happened? While my device was in transport the data plan and pricing structure was changed again. Karma Go said they were ending Neverstop and was giving me a $10 credit. WTF! I found this out on the website while I was activating my device. Guess who was the crybaby now? Me! I turned into the biggest baby of them all. LOL.
I was upset and then could identify the users that I earlier made fun of and called crybabies. They cried foul and felt they were victims of the bait and switch. I don’t know if I feel like a victim of the bait and switch but I am left wondering if I would have ordered the Karma Go it the Pulse data plan was what they were offering.
I have been using the Karma Go for about a month now and it works well. It has a slick mobile App and website and has performed to be as claimed. I have been surprised by Sprint’s performance, coverage, and reliability as a former customer of their Clear WiMax offering. That was less than stellar.
Karma Go has outclassed my cellphone hotspot as it offers a steady worry free connection. I set up office all over the New York, New Jersey area and almost forget the Karma Go is hard at work as I take phone calls and hammer away on my laptop.
If you would like a well performing, reliable personal WiFi internet connection that just works everywhere you go at a reasonable price I will suggest the Karma Go. I like it and will keep using it barring and other change in the billing and /or data structure.