Some of the most frequently asked questions here on smartphonematters.com are about Straight Talk Wireless and Mobile Hotspot or Personal Hotspot. In this article I’ll explain to you what you need to know about Straight Talk and Hotspot.
I Don’t Know How To Fix Your Straight Talk Hotspot
Before going any further I want to make it clear this article isn’t about how to make hotspot work for you with Straight Talk. If your hotspot isn’t working, I don’t know how to fix it for you. Sorry. There may be some apps, tips, or tricks you can use to make hotspot work, lot’s of people claim they do this but I don’t have any information about that.
With that out of the way, here is what I think you need to know about Straight Talk and Mobile Hotspot.
Straight Talk’s Current Support For Hotspot
In the fall of 2019. Straight Talk finally added 10GB of mobile hotspot data to their $55 Unlimited Plan. Customers using Straight Talk’s Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint towers qualify for mobile hotspot. Customers using Straight Talk’s AT&T towers are not authorized to use hotspot. Hotspot is not included with Straight Talk’s $35 and $45 plan.
In 2020, you have a lot of choices for prepaid wireless service. You may be able to save $100s per year and get the features you want such as Wi-Fi calling, Mobile Hotspot, and Visual Voicemail. Sound good? to learn more see, Is Straight Talk Your Best Option in 2020?
Plain and simple. If you need hotspot and your Straight Talk plan does not include it or your on the $55 plan you are not able to get hotspot working, switch to a prepaid wireless carrier that includes hotspot.
I’ve tried many prepaid wireless carriers, almost every one includes hotspot and it simply works without issue. My view that as consumers we should reward the companies that offer the features we want with our business.
I don’t know why Straight Talk doesn’t offer hotspot on the $35 and $45 plans, and only 10GB for the $55 pla. Maybe it isn’t profitable for them to do so. Maybe their business agreements with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint prevent them from doing so. Who really cares? Most of their competitors include hotspot with their fixed data plans and a fixed amount of hotspot data with their unlimited plans.
Verizon Wireless Prepaid, Mint Mobile, Visible, AT&T Prepaid, and other all have better options for mobile hotspot. Be advised that most prepaid wireless carriers only offer fixed amounts of hotspot data. Few offer unlimited hotspot data and when they do, there are other restirctions on download speeds or the number of devices that can be connected at a single time.
Straight Talk’s Previous Support For Hotspot
Before the fall of 2019, Straight Talk did not include mobile hotspot with any of their plans. In fact, according to Straight Talk using hotspot violated their terms and conditions of service and was cause for them to terminate your service.
Here is the thing though. When I tell people this they get really mad at me. Turns out, that even though Straight Talk didn’t include hotspot with their plans, a number of people found out they would just turn it on and it worked! And many people used hotspot with Straight Talk for years. People with the unlimited plan used Straight Talk and hotspot to provide internet service for their entire home. People used it to download 100s of GB of data for video games and media with no issue. Some people were lucky, others not so much. Straight Talk terminated customers’ service for using hotspot. Many of these people didn’t even know that using hotspot was against the terms of service. It worked, so it never occurred to them that it wasn’t included. Can you imagine that?
The irony is that when Straight Talk finally added 10GB of mobile hotspot to the $55 plan many existing customers got angry. Why? Because some customers felt like they had unlimited hotspot and suddenly it stopped working properly. These customers would turn on hotspot and quickly use up their 10GB of hotpsot and it would stop working or become so slow it was unusable!
The Choice Is Up To You
Over the years I’ve received a number of angry and negative comments on my articles and videos about Straight Talk and Hotspot. A number of people were looking for and expected to find out how to fix or circumvent hotspot restrictions here.
Just to be clear, it make absolutely no difference to me if you decide to circumvent hotspot restrictions on any prepaid wireless carrier. That is your choice. But when I set up smartphonematters.com I decided that there would be some topics I’d cover here and others I wouldn’t.
For me, I rely on my home internet connection far too much to use mobile hotspot. Even if it was included with my plan. I would never rely on a solution that was based on circumventing hotspot. I simply couldn’t afford to have my internet service potentially stop workling! Your situation may be different.
Common Reactions and Feedback
Below are some of the most common reactions and feed back I have received.
My Phone has a hotspot option
One common response I get is why does my phone have a hotspot option in the settings or why does my phone’s manufacturer list hotspot as a feature if Ican’t use it? Many phones have features that require the wireless carrier support. Sometimes the carrier can configure your phone to hide these options, other times not. Perhaps it is confusing for some people, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.
No Support for Hotspot Is Ilegal!
I also receive a fair number of comments telling me that it “illegal” for Straight Talk to prevent you from using hotspot. I am not aware of any such law. Most comments never provide any details or references to said laws or rulings. Based on my research I believe they may be referring to a consent decree between Verizon and the FCC. You can read more about that here FCC to Verizon: Don’t block tethering apps. Verizon settles for $1.25M. It’s not clear how this would apply to Straight Talk or any other wireless carrier.
While I am not aware of it, it is entirely possible that Straight Talk’s terms and conditions of service do violate FCC regulations or even consumer protection laws. Even if this is true, what recourse does the average consumer have? I suppose you could start a class-action law suit, and if successful, Straight Talk customers would have access to hotspot and may receive a few dollars each in compensation. The law firm handling the case would take 30% to 50% of the settlement off the top, then the bills and expenses are paid, and whatever remains is divided among the plaintiffs. That is my limited understanding of class action law suits. To me, it isn’t worth my time or effort, but you may feel differently.
If you have any additional questions or have some information to share, leave a reply below. Also feel free to check out the comments left by other readers and Straight Talk customers.
You Are Still Reading This?
If you made it this far, I’m impressed. I hope that if hotspot is important to you, you choose a prepaid service that includes it. Let Straight Talk know why you left. I know many of you are rightfully annoyed that it wasn’t clear to you that hotspot was not part of your plan. You probabally signed up for prepaid wireless to save a few dollars compared to post-paid service. Rather than spending time being angry, focus your energy on finding the carrier that is right for you and get back to the rest of your life. At least that is my take on all this.