Updated April 2017. 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 Go Wifi.
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
Anyways, 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 Go. Even though Best Buy doesn’t sell that service.
So I knew I had to check it out! After reading about them and checking out the website, I immediately ordered one for myself. I’ve been a fan and loyal customer since June 2013.
How does Karma Go work?
The Karma Wifi hotspot is a little white square box that has saved my life (and my business). #nojoke As I mentioned, I travel a lot for conferences, business retreats and personal getaways.
But I don’t travel enough to warrant paying a monthly data plan fee. This is why the Karma Go Wifi hotspot is perfect!
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. This is when the Karma Go is most helpful.
And I currently have an iPhone, iPad, Chromebook and laptop that ALL need to be connected to the internet! So 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 Go 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 $10 and it will still be there three or six months later for you to use.
How much does Karma Go cost?
As you know, I’ve been a customer of Karma Wifi since the summer of 2013. Over the years their pricing model has changed and evolved for the better. 1 GB of data now only costs $10 with a $3 fee — this is a one-time thing that you pay-as-you-go!
A few years ago you had to purchase 1GB of data for $14, so they simplified this and it’s actually $1 cheaper.
Karma also made it easier for anyone who travels a lot and allows you to purchase a regular data plan. As you can see this DOES cost a monthly fee but you get a good deal with the data you purchase.
They offer two different plans: monthly subscriptions and pay-as-you-go. It’s your choice and you can switch or cancel anytime. Plus, your data never expires! That’s the best feature of all, IMHO.
Get more out of Karma Go with premium features
If you’re worried about security, or need to connect multiple devices, or simply want to share your data with trusted users, you’ll want to consider Karma Go’s premium features.
Here are some of the things you can do with the premium features:
- Control who connects to your hotspot by creating a private network
- Personalize the Wifi name and add emojis
- Connect all of your electronics, including printers, streaming devices and more
- Share your network with trusted friends and family by creating a custom passcode
- Save data usage by controlling the Karma Go’s speed (coming soon!)
- Set data ceiling limits to ensure maximum usage (coming soon!)
What I don’t like about the Karma Go
Obviously not every business tool is perfect, and the Karma Go does have a few drawbacks.
Personal login only (unless you upgrade to the premium features)
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), or you can purchase the premium feature plan for $5-10 per month. 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
Obviously as a customer and fan of the Karma Go for nearly 4 years now, it’s my opinion that pros outweigh the cons. So here’s what I like about the hotspot!
Even though the shipping and customer service was iffy, there’s no doubt the service works — and it works really well. I use it while sitting in the airport on business trips, or while on a road trip across the country and am able to catch up on work while making all my freelance deadlines.
Paying $10 for 1GB of internet along with a $3 per month fee (that you can put on pause when you need to) is very reasonable. Most freelancers only use 500MG of data per month so this should last you a good while. So this service could be even less than the DSL you’re paying every month.
What does 1GB of data for $10 get you? Check out this graph from Karma!
Get free data for sharing
The reason the company is named Karma Go 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.
And the best news? The data never expires!
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 Go hotspot. You might have to hound the customer service email to get an answer, but at least you won’t get disconnected all the time!
Total cost to buy the Karma Go hotspot
If you’re ready to stay connected and get reasonably priced Wifi, you must first verify the coverage in your area or the areas you’ll be traveling around. If you’re good to go, then you order the Karma Go device for just $99 (usually costs $149).
The Karma Go hotspot device is a separate purchase from the data and pay-as-you-go plans. You can then choose the best data plan for your needs.
The next step is to load your account up with as much data as you want and then activate your device. Don’t forget, if you purchase the Karma Go Wifi hotspot, using my link, you’ll save $10 on your purchase!
It’s true! Right now you can purchase the new Karma Go and get a $10 off! (Limited time only.)
Here’s a quick rundown of the Karma Go Wifi Hotspot:
- Data never expires
- No contract, no subscription
- Only pay for the data you need
- Or upgrade to a monthly subscription to save money
- Extra data is just $10 per GB
- One-time $99 fee for Karma Go device
- Get a $10 bonus via the button below