Straight Talk UMX Hotspot Service Review

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The Straight Talk Hotspot is an all new service from Straight Talk. This little device allows you to connect to the internet via 3g CDMA cell phone carrier connection. This is basically a cell phone that provides data to computers, tablets, iPods, etc via a WiFi connection. The service can be used with as little as a 1gb card for $15 a month that must be renewed every 30 days. Straight Talk will activate the hotspot with either Verizon or Sprint.  This is an excellent device for those needing internet on the go where no other wifi connection is available.

The service costs about 1/2 of what comparable contract services would cost while providing good browsing speeds. There are various plans available though I would recommend you consider 4gb or less. Compare Hotspot Data Plans

The Device

The UMX Hotspot device is very basic and quite easy to use. The device uses a lithium battery for power and comes with an included AC adapter for charging and/or powering the device for use. It is constructed of all plastic and has rubber bumpers on all sides that protect it from drops. While not absolutely water proof, construction suggests that it is quite water and dust resistant. The buttons are sealed in rubber and the USB connector has a rubber covered.Check Straight Talk Hotspot Availability in your Area

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The device is extremely compact, measuring 3″ square and about 1/2 thick.  It’s very lightweight so it can be carried with ease.

Again, the device is very simple so does not have a whole lot buttons and such. The center display has 5 icons that show you the complete status of the device. These icons are rudimentary and basically provide the status via color changes. The icons are signal strength, battery strength, wireless connection status, carrier connection status and roaming indicator.

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On the left edge of the device, we find 3 buttons namely a power button, wifi on/off button and carrier connection on/off button.

Finally, on the bottom edge is a USB connector which serves the sole purpose of charging either using the provided AC adapter or power from your computer when connected to your computer’s USB port. The device will not provide internet connectivity when connected to a computer via USB.

The device does not have many items to configure. You can connect to the admin screen using the address of 192.168.1.1. There, you have 4 different tabs available which are Home, Status, WiFi and Advanced. The Home tab simply shows you the connection details.  The only item worth mentioning on the Status tab is the Check Balance option which tells you how much data you have left on your plan. The WiFi tab lets you configure your device’s security as well as change the SSID. Finally, is the Advanced tab which simply lets you change the Admin username and pwd.

Device Security

Like any other WiFi router, the UMX Hotspot offers different modes of security.  Available security modes are WEP, WPA, and WPA2. By default, the device comes unsecured so I highly recommend you setting up security after you get it activated. I personally used WPA2 because it is the most secure and is actually easier to setup than the more basic WEP. I found the WEP option to be somewhat annoying because you must setup a password that is exactly 5 or 13 characters in length. So say a 6 or 8 character password will not work. The WPA2 lets you enter a password that is 8 characters or greater.

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Hotspot Data Speed

The hotspot data speed is of the 3g variety and really varies depending on your connection to the carrier. As such, the hotspot should not be considered as a primary source for your internet connection unless absolutely necessary.  That said the speed is great for regular web browsing. For reference, 3g can be considered to be about 10x slower than cable internet, about 5 times slower than fast DSL and about the same speed as basic DSL.

Note that the device allows up to 5 devices to connect to it so the more devices you have the slower your data will be.

Web Site Speeds

Most websites load quickly, again this really depends on your signal to the carrier. If you are in an area with great signal, then speeds will be great. In areas where signal is low, websites will load somewhat slow but not to the point where it becomes unusable.  I am in a poor signal area but websites still load fairly quickly unless there are a lot of images. Testing the device in a good/great signal area is another story, sites load quite fast even those with images.

The hotspot works great for things like checking email, Facebook, etc. This would make for an excellent low cost service for frequent travelers. For those that need to VPN to work, the Straight Talk Hotspot will work well.

Video Streaming

The device is capable of providing enough speed to stream video. Keep in mind that again, you must have a good signal to stream seamlessly. It also depends on the streaming provider. For example, Netflix will work  even with not so good signal because Netflix is able to adjust the video resolution depending on speed. It won’t be HD or anything but it will work. On the otherhand, Youtube does not do that so videos can take a bit to load and will stop occasionally. Again, this is in low signal areas. In good to great signal areas, video streaming is much more seamless.

Music Streaming

Musing streaming works great on this device. Music does not use anywhere near the amount of data as video so services like Pandora work great with this device.

Conclusion

I highly recommend this service for people who need internet on the go. The service costs about 1/2 of comparable contract services so it is a  great deal. The service does have it’s limitations because data is provided via 3g so it is not the fastest when compared to other internet speeds such as cable, dsl or 4g. I was able to browse the web without any problems. I was also able to watch Netflix even though my signal strength was not the greatest.

I would not consider this for my primary internet device unless you have no other options and know for a fact that you have 3g Verizon/Sprint in your area. That said, I found that it is a great service for use as an alternate source for internet and is well worth the money for that purpose.

 

 

 

48 comments on “Straight Talk UMX Hotspot Service Review

  1. Can’t get the router set up! It will not pull up the correct page to get started! Can’t get a human to answer at straight talk! Very disgusted!!!!!

    • Connect to your hotspo – UMX$XXX the xxx is the last three digits of your sn. Connect to it the open browser and put in 192.168.1.1 in the address bar.

    • did you type 12$ and the las 2 digis of serial number

      I jus talked to someone at straight talk and they sent me to two people you have to press 5 for techniqual support and when someone comes on ask for the straight talk mobile hotspot division

      • I haven’t been able to use it either, after some time on hold suppor,t, they said that the meid/sn number wasn’t scaned properly at wal mart. So I went back and got another one with the same problem. the computer can see it, but it isn’t responding.

  2. After getting three U240C devices from Walmart I am unable to secure any of them. After following instructions to the letter, my device remain in open status. Could something be set wrong on my laptop. I am running Vista 64-bit

    • After setting it up you should see another hotspot pop up in your WiFi menu and when you click on it should prompt you for a password. Which security protocol did you select and did you hit Save Changes?

  3. After useing the straight talk hotspot it quit working it connect like it should but show no internet access ive reseted it which twice still having the same problem is anyone having the same problem

    • I’ve had two different UMX units that stop connecting to the internet at exactly 30 days on a 60 day plan, both times with plenty of data left and the plan still showing good on the ST website. Resetting the unit to factory defaults made no difference. Both times Straight talk claimed the system was not the issue and the unit “Went bad”. I can’t be the only one see this problem since I’ve seen it twice now. Could this be you’re problem too, or has anyone else seen this?

    • Log into the URL web address using your device hooked to your wifi. Then enter in admin as name and then 12$ and the last three of your hot spots serial number as password. When you get to the page click on Check Status then click on Check Balance. The buttons are at the top of all your information and are tiny. After that it brings you to the Straight Talk website. Click on option for full site; where you will click check account balance. (hit the little button at the top right) Then enter in the phone number tied to your hot spot which is on the first screen of the web browser page then enter in the last four of your serial number. Wait a few seconds and it should display your balance and end date.

  4. Does the hot spot work like the phone service. After you use your two gigs of regular data does it slow down or are you just out of data all together

    • Sounds like your iPad has the connection “remembered” and is using the old passcode. I think you need to connect to it fresh as if it were a new connection. Not sure how you do that on an iPad though.

  5. Used the hotspot for a week and notw i can’t get the browser to load after the hotspot connects to the tablet and tech support is a joke.

  6. I don’t like it at all. I purchased it at night in an attempt to try and finish up my work by the next morning. When I arrived home I thought I would be able to connect right away but no, I had to wait until the next day because there was no answer at Straightalk. Once I got it to work it only lasted for a few hours. Not worth the price in my opinion.

  7. I am highly intelligent but no where am I seeing a way to check balance of hotspot and when activating it says your activating a cell phone. haha

  8. I dont know how too add. Mins besides calling the number and it always take me too the staright talk phones I need a number

  9. Using in area code 479, zip 71953 (western AR) and seems to flake off web connection 3-4 times a month despite plenty of data on account; have had the same issues recurring since purchase in December 2013. Similar service on Verizon via mobile tethering has very such service issues (but of course t higher price). Would not recommend as primary or critical web access provider at this time.

  10. My device has stopped connecting to my computer. It always says limited to no connection. And today after leaving the device alone for at least 24 after resetting it for the 3rd time it now says connected but I can’t get on the internet and as far as my devices they aren’t connecting either. I’ve reset this thing and put it back to its factory settings. I don’t know what’s going on or why its doing this. The first two days were fine. Now it won’t work at all. Please help me

  11. Customer service sucks they do not have a designated line for hot spot services so they transfer 1 to 2 times. I brought a $ 40.00 card and it was used in less than 2 weeks per straight talk. That’s bs. When I leave this area it’s a wrap for them . It s always cutting off and having to reboot and I am having to call them I have called them so many times I know now the steps to get it to work myself.

  12. Works great! Set up was difficult, it made me activate it in the user menu 3 times before it remembered it was activated. Otherwise, I enjoy it and love having the net everywhere I go. My car now has wifi, so everywhere I go there is now wifi access. I ditched the cell phone provider and now use a wifi based phone number! (Text free app)This saved me money and this device paid for itself 10x over!

  13. is there anything i can do to boost my hot spot to make it faster? Ive had it a couple weeks now and only been able to get online a few times as its so slow to pull up a page . it actually took a ridiculous 3 hours to pull up gmail earlier today! Any suggestions?

  14. This is crap!! Hotspot disconnects if not being used. The worst part is the amount of data that gets used. I run two tablets off this thing and just check email, Facebook, google+, and general web browsing. I don’t download anything and maybe watch a couple of 30 second videos on Facebook or google+ and I just blow through data! I had a Verizon hotspot and NEVER used more than 5 gigs a month. Never got close! With this rip-off straight talk I went through 5 gigs in 14 days!!!! I went through 5 gigs before that in about 25 days.
    STRAIGHT TALK IS A RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. I purchased the hotspot May 31, 2014 along with 1 gig card.
    Finally got it up and running then it would not work called straight talk and was told I had used up the 1gig in only 10 days!!!!!!! Sounded fishy as I only used it to check email and look ups
    On Internet (no streaming or the like)
    I purchased another data card (2gigs). to activate it, was told everything was o.k. Tried to get on line but no luck. When I called straight talk they told me it was used up,
    Asked how could that be when I never got on the Internet. Because the data card went on a
    different hot spot therefore I must have more than 1 hot spot. I told them over and over again
    No I do not !!!!!!!! After being transferred several times, they said there was nothing they
    could do. I hung up. So DO NOT buy this item

  16. I have had my box for several months now and it has had to be reset at least every three weeks. I earn a living with my hot spot and it cost me money when it freezes up like that. I love it when it works but wish that would be a more continuous thing and also I just have to guess at my balance most the time b/c 9 times out of ten it won’t load it on te umx webpage. When I does it takes forever and slows everything down.

  17. We bought our hotspot about 2 months ago. It worked great. We were very happy with it. It seems each time we recharged it, it got SLOWER. Straight talk says it supplies 3G speeds. Which means we should be getting between 600 Kbps and 2 Mbps for transfer rates. I do not get that. As a matter of fact, my AVERAGE speed is only about 20 – 30 KBS. Pitifully slow. Far under 3G numbers. I am looking into an alternative. Maybe Verizon.

  18. Talked to Tech Spt for an hour and the only thing they could tell me why i can’t login to setup the hot spot is i am outside my zip code?????? still no service from StraightTalk on hotspot will recognize UMX but won’t stay connected for more than 1 minute…..

  19. Watch videos with mine on Netflix and it does pretty good. I buy the $50 five gigabyte cards and they last about 2 months. The trick is to go into your Netflix settings by web browser and set your video resolution to the lowest possible. With this you can watch a hour and a half long video and use about a quarter of a gig at most. Regular web browsing the card could last well over 2 months. Also helps that I get a good signal where I live but cannot get cable or DSL, and I’ve been the satellite road before and that is way too expensive. In conclusion this little hotspot I’ve had for about 6 months has been really good and an exceptional value. At least a half to a third of the price of the competitors.

    • It would be pretty economical. If you can stay within a data budget, then I think it would be an excellent idea for a student.

  20. Ya this thing is starting to aggrivate me. I never know when i ran out of data and the website isn’t any help. Only fix is to buy another data card and its getting to be more expensive then initially expected for 1 months usage.

    • You do not mention how much you purchased or what you are browsing. If you are watching lots of videos videos then the data will go VERY FAST. For casual browsing, 2gb is more than you would ever need in 1 months time.

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