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Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go Mobile Internet Access

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 1.5 Star Rating (13 Reviews)

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Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go Mobile Internet Access

Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go

Virgin Mobile

The Bottom Line

Fast, easy and cost-effective mobile Internet access for the occasional user. Great for travelers who don’t need mobile Internet access every month or who want the flexibility to turn their service on and off.

Pros

  • No commitment mobile Internet access
  • Relatively low initial price for access hardware
  • Inexpensive (starting at $10) top-up amounts.
  • Good speed
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • May cost more than monthly plans for heavy users
  • Virgin doesn’t own its own network. It uses the Sprint Nextel one instead.

Description

  • Small USB device plugs into your computer to provide Internet access.
  • Also requires a plan. Plans start at $5 for 200 MB for 1 day.
  • Plans go up to $55 for 1 GB for 30 days.
  • Built-in usage meter lets users know how much they have left.
  • Can also be used as a “flash” drive when used with a separate microSD™ card.
  • Plug and play support provides automatic installation.
  • Currently works only for Windows PCs (XP, Vista, Windows 7). Macs are not supported.
  • Cost: $99.99

Guide Review - Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go Mobile Internet Access

These days, it’s hard to live without Internet access while traveling. And while Starbucks, hotels, and other WiFi hotspots are helpful, there have been plenty of times what I really wanted was the ability to connect my netbook to the Internet, anywhere I wanted.

However, I never needed it enough to warrant a $60 or $40 per month additional data fee from my cell phone provider. I already pay enough to my cell phone provider and don't want to commit to additional money whenever I can avoid it.

But now I can. Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go is one of the first services to make no commitment, no contract mobile Internet access easy, fast, and affordable. It’s perfect for light or moderate travelers who want the freedom of occasional Internet access without the requirement of having to commit to a one- or two-year data plan.

Broadband2Go is available from Virgin Mobile’s website. Users simply need to purchase the Broadband2Go Wireless USB Card ($99.99) and then select a plan. Plans start at $5 a day and range up to $55. The $5 plan is good for 1 day, while the rest are good for 30 days. Slip the card into the USB port on your Windows (sorry, no Macs!) computer, install the included software, enter the code for your plan, and you’ll be surfing the net instantly.

I recently gave Broadband2Go a thorough trial on a trip to Orlando, accessing the Internet from my netbook from a variety of locations—airports, hotels, parking lots and more. Overall it worked really well and was worth the money. In a few locations, the service was slow, but still useable. In other locations it was very speedy.

I expect we’ll see more mobile providers offering mobile data plans for occasional users. Let’s hope they’re all as good and cost effective as Virgin Mobile’s.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Poor business practices, annoying customer service, Member iokhahon

Most of the reviews have been regarding the poor technical aspects of the service, I feel compelled to write a review about Virgin's poor business practice and appalling customer help process. I received the offer of a $5 credit via my email account which was to ""Continue enjoying 3G Internet"", it wasn't clear if Virgin were telling me if I didn't buy more service they would close my account, but I needed to use my device anyway I decided to use the promotion code and apply it to their $20 plan. (Note: This plan is no longer available, once you chose the new $35 plan you cannot return to the $20 plan). Applying the promotion code was the first problem, there is nowhere on the BB2GO we pages to apply a promotion code (only the Phone plan has a place for this). So I called the number in the email and was subjected to obnoxious music constantly interrupted by a voice smugly telling me how busy their service representatives were (not sure why they would be proud of this?). I was also subjected to a recurring poor audio quality recording about some dreadful band who I didn't have the slightest interest in. Eventually I got through paid the $15 difference and started to enjoy the (not so) generous 500Mb this bought me. It didn't take long for me to realize that 500Mb wasn't going to be enough, I had some important video calls to make and I didn't want the service to cut out half way through, so I figured I would add some more MB to be safe. The new plan offers 2GB for $35, I decided that it was perhaps a better deal than my current $20 plan and applied a further $35 to my account expecting to see 2.5GB now available (simple maths), I pay them a total of $50 and they give me 2.5GB right?) wrong! The 500MB I already just paid for was wiped off my account leaving only 2GB. I called them back and endured the same assault on my auditory senses before finally talking to a representative some 10 minutes later. I was informed that ""this is just how it works"". It appears that you can throw money at your account all day long, but you can only get your limit reset to whatever plan you purchase. This is certainly not how other pre paid plans work (for example cell phones) where you accumulate credit. This matter was not resolved to my satisfaction, I am still out of pocket, the only comfort I have is that my original payment was for only $15 and not the full $20.

2 out of 3 people found this helpful.

See all 13 reviews

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