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I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review of Virgin Mobile Wireless Broadband2Go



Virgin Mobile Wireless Broadband2Go USB

This review is for Virgin Mobile Wireless Broadband2Go USB. It is a 3G internet service offered by Virgin Mobile Wireless. One of the devices that the internet works with is the Novatel Ovation MC760 Modem. It is a very small and lightweight device that you can carry in a purse or pocket. If you insert a Micro SD card into it, the modem can also be used as storage media. It is intended for use with laptops and netbooks, but can be used for desktop PCs, as well. Virgin Mobile Wireless Broadband2go is great for people that travel a lot and conduct mobile business. It provides you with 3G internet access through the Sprint EDVO 3G network, anywhere you go. This means no more relying on finding a Wi-Fi signal or internet hotspot somewhere.

About four years ago, I used T-mobile HotSpot service, for when I was on the go. It cost me $40 a month and my credit card was automatically billed. On top of that, the HotSpot service was not available everywhere that I went. The internet was only available in certain designated areas like hotels, bookstores, Starbucks, and FedEx-Kinkos. I eventually cancelled the service, because it turned out to be not-so-convenient.

I bought my Broadband2go on amazon.com through an independent seller, called shopcelldeals, for $59.99. This is a bargain, because at Virginmobileusa.com, the device costs $79.99. Walmart normally sells the device for $79.99, but at the time of this writing, it is on sale for $59.99 at Walmart.com. Bestbuy.com sells the Novatel Ovation MC 760 USB modem for $99.99.

I have been using it for about 3 months now and have not experienced any major issues. I cannot attest to internet speeds in other areas of the country. However, I read some complaints about slow internet speed, by people in other parts of the U.S. I mainly use the Broadband2Go in Broward county, Florida and the internet is almost as fast as internet that you would get through a DSL provider, cable internet, or Wi-Fi. I watch YouTube videos with ease.  Once in a while the video stops, lags or buffers, but most of the time, video downloads and runs very smoothly on this network.

Another major benefit of using this product is there is no contract and no activation fee. You purchase the Broadband2Go USB modem and then prepay for data (megabytes) so that you can use the Sprint EDVO 3G network. You can either visit 
www.virginmobileusa.com to purchase a Virgin Mobile TopUp card to add megabytes or pay at the website with a debit or credit card. You can also purchase a Virgin Mobile TopUp card at Walmart stores or www.walmart.com . If you buy a TopUp card at Walmart.com, the card code will be sent to you in an e-mail.

The set up process is a very user friendly, “plug and play.” When you use the Novatel Ovation MC760 modem for the first time, the software drivers should automatically download on your computer. Just pick a plan, add megabytes and the device is ready for use. The plan choices are fairly flexible, because you get to select a plan according to your web surfing needs. There are $10 for 100 MB, $20 for 500 MB, and $50 for unlimited plans available. So, you control of how much you spend, without getting locked into a contract. If you don’t use your device for several months, it’s not a problem. It is okay to use the service as needed.

Compared to other 3G internet providers like Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon and AT&T, you pay much less money with Virgin Mobile. All of these other internet providers require that you sign a long-term contract and/or their monthly service charges are higher.

If you visit www.virginmobileusa.com, there is a chart that describes the amount of data you get for each plan purchase. Well, what I can say is that if you use the internet a lot, the $10 and $20 plan is not enough. I started off with a $20 plan and didn’t watch any videos or download any music, but all of my megabytes were used up in less than 15 hours of total web surfing. So, don’t rely on that chart, because it is not an accurate guide for what you get. If you plan to use the internet a lot, then buy the $50 plan, which will allow you unlimited internet at 3G speeds, up to 2.5 GB of data for 30 days. The caveat is that after you use 2.5 GB of data, the internet speed slows down considerably.

Virgin Mobile customer service representatives are usually friendly and knowledgeable. I never had an issue with rudeness and they are very willing to help with problems and questions. The only criticism that I have is with their website and automated telephone system. I tried to pay with a debit card once with the automated system and my payment was rejected. Then there was one time where I tried to purchase a TopUp card at the website, but got error messages. I ended up calling customer service and tech support for help. Other than these minor complaints, I am satisfied with the service. I am so glad that Virgin Mobile made this service available. Maybe, the other larger carriers will consider raising the bar, by making their services more affordable.


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