Updated August 2016. As a Careful Cents reader, when you purchase the new Karma Go you’ll save $10!
As a creative freelancer who runs a virtual business, I’m always looking for new (and more efficient) digital tools, apps and electronics to make my day more productive. That’s the dream, right? To work less and earn more.
Like any other freelance business today, one of the most important factors is that I NEED to be connected to the internet in order to get my work done.
Because of this, I get a lot of questions asking what I use to get internet access on the go. While I was traveling to San Francisco, Portland or staying 6 months in Denver in 2013, I experimented with a few different services.
The one that I finally settled on was the Karma Wifi Hotspot.
Get internet access anywhere
If you run a blog, an e-commerce store, a web design business, or practically any other business nowadays, you have to stay connected. Your lively-hood depends on it!
And we all know there’s nothing more frustrating than not having a good internet connection. Can you say hello Skype lag?!
Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a big city and don’t need a wifi hotspot. But in my experience, unless you’re getting Google Fiber, you’re not getting the best service. (Darn you Austin, TX and your Google Fiber!)
What pushed me over the edge
The crappy DSL internet I was dealing with during my stay in Denver a couple summers ago, is what really pushed me over the edge. (Thanks Century Link…)
I had to cancel two video interviews and a Skype coaching session because my internet kept kicking me off. Sometimes it will be connected to one device, but not the other — I kid you not! So frustrating.
That’s when I knew it was time to get a wifi hotspot!
So naturally I did some researching online to find out the best wifi hotspots. I even went to Best Buy and asked the electronics guy what his thoughts were — everyone kept recommending Karma. Even though Best Buy doesn’t sell that service.
So I knew I had to check it out!
How does Karma Wifi work?
The Karma hotspot is a little white square box that has saved my life (and my business). As I mentioned, I travel a lot, for conferences, business retreats and personal getaways.
And even though I’d love to say I’m always super organized, there are times when I need to do work in the airport, or in the car on a road trip, and the free wifi isn’t always available.
Plus, at this moment I have an iPhone, iPad, Chromebook and laptop that need to be connected to the internet! The Karma GO is part of my entire portable office setup and I seriously don’t leave home without it.
Regular wifi is expensive
If you want to get access to wifi, either in a hotel or in an airplane, it’s going to be relatively expensive. But with Karma you only pay for data you use, and it never expires.
With other pay-as-go plans, you have to pay a certain amount each month and you lose any data you don’t use during that time. But with Karma, you can buy 1GB for $14 and it will still be there three or six months later for you to use.
Want to see what 1GB will get you? See the chart below!
What I don’t like about the Karma GO
Personal login only. Since the Karma GO is a hotspot you can take it with you to meetups and coffee shops, but in order to share your data you’ll have to give your friends/family your personal login information. Otherwise they can log into their own account (or create one) and pay for their own data. This can be a pro or con.
Short(ish) battery life. The Karma GO has a great battery life, but for someone who likes to work for 3-4 hours a day on freelance writing work and then relax at night with a Netflix series, the battery life only lasts about 5-6 hours. So you’ll have to ration the time you use it and make sure it’s only for work-related or important stuff.
On the flip side, you can charge the battery using your laptop or nearby outlet, so it’s not too inconvenient.
As an added note: When I first ordered my Karma they didn’t offer any shipping options other than UPS. I even emailed customer service and said I’d pay for faster shipping, but by the time they responded, the shipping department already sent it out. But now they have several other ways you can receive your wifi hotspot.
What I do like about the Karma GO
Amazing service. Even though the shipping and customer service was iffy, there’s no doubt the service works — and it works really well. I used it while sitting in the airport on a recent business trip, and was able to catch up on work while making all my deadlines.
Fairly priced. Paying $14 for 1GB of internet is very reasonable. Most people only use 500MG of data per month (and you can get that much free by clicking the link below). So this service could be even less than the DSL you’re paying every month. And the best news? The data never expires!
Get free data for sharing. The reason the company is named Karma is because it reinforces social sharing. When you turn on your hotspot, it will be open to others who want to pay to connect. They won’t be using your data, only theirs — and Karma will give you, and them, 100MB of data free! The more sharing = more free data.
Highly recommend it. For my online business, and the convenience of having internet access while I’m on the go, I highly recommend the Karma wifi hotspot. You might have to hound the customer service email (or Twitter account — I’m still waiting for them to reply back) to get an answer, but at least you won’t get disconnected all the time!
Total cost to buy Karma Wifi
If you’re ready to stay connected and get reasonably priced wifi, the first you want to do is check the coverage in your area. If you’re good to go, then you pre-order the Karma Go device for $149.
After that you can load your account up with as much data as you’ll need. Once you activate your device, using my link, you’ll save $10 on your purchase (thru 3/25/16)!
Right now you can purchase the new Karma Go and get a $10 off!
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Data never expires
- No contract, no subscription
- Only pay for the data you need
- Extra data is just $14 per GB
- One-time $149 fee for Karma GO device
- Get a $10 bonus via the link below