Review: Cricket 5G Hot Spot

April 1, 2023

Cricket’s 5G Hot Spot is good enough for basic web browsing, but isn’t really capable of streaming a video, Zoom meetings, or other medium to high-speed activities.

I am rather satisfied with the performance of and customer support for the smartphone I have with Cricket, so when I needed an internet connection to use at the Clendenin house, I immediately looked at Cricket.

They have a 5G hotspot which I thought would be perfect for my needs. It’s not too expensive, will work just about anywhere, and so long as I keep it plugged in I can keep using it until I hit the data cap. What’s even better is that if I did need more data, I could always upgrade to a plan with a higher limit.

So I bought one the week before my February trip to Clendenin. The total cost for the hardware plus the first month’s service was around $120 ($80 for the device, $35 for the data plan, and $5 taxes).

While the hot spot did work, it was not suitable for its intended purpose. I found it to be just fast enough for Twitter or email, but not fast enough for work. I had a lot of trouble getting WordPress sites to load, and I wasn’t able to stream any shows or movies. That last is not a critical issue, but it would have been nice to enjoy a movie when relaxing after the work day is done.

I did run a couple speed tests to see how fast it was, but did not think to save the results (I hadn’t planned to write this review).

If I were going to drive cross country, I might get this so I could stay on top of email, but then again maybe not.

My smartphone has a data plan, and its 5G connection is just as fast as the one on the hot spot. I think it would make more sense for me to upgrade the phone to an unlimited data plan than keep a second device around.

You may reach a different conclusion.

EDIT: The cable internet plan I got via Optimum (aka Suddenlink, the local cable company) is considerably faster, and thus a much better option. It costs $60 per month, and is worth it.

EDIT: While we are on the topic, late last year I also trialed the T-Mobile 5G Wi-Fi Gateway. This was T-Mobile’s bid to provide home internet service using its 5G network. It was not fast enough for even a one-on-one Zoom call.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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