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No ATT hotspots near me. Want to get WiFi at restaurant. Will buying portable ATT hotspot be good idea?

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Hi. I like to use the free WiFi at the Subway sandwich shop a half mile away. For the past ten days, it's been acting up. The owner says they need a new router. YouTube videos will play alright for a while then freeze and buffer non-stop. I have to restart my tablet over and over to finish videos. I found playing them at a lower quality helps but they don't look as good, of course.


He says he has to fix some other things in his other restaurant first and will replace the router soon. I want to know if buying a portable ATT hot spot from amazon.com would be a good idea to have at hand for when the Subway router is down. My tablet doesn't pick up any ATT hot spots when I look. I see everything nearby like Xfinity WiFi and the free Subway connection  and nearby stores' WiFi but no ATT hot spots, which would be free for me as I have ATT wireless at home.


I was wondering if the portable hot spot would work at the Subway and pick up ATT and be free for me? I'd have to get a SIM card, I think.  I talked to an ATT tech on chat and he said that there's lots of ATT hotspots and I just need to connect to one when I go out, but, like I said, none show up on my tablet when I check.


I looked at a hot spot map for my area and no ATT ones show up there. I found out this is a common complaint with ATT customers on their forums. ATT says they have over 17,000 hot spots across the U.S.  but nobody can locate any. I go to ATT sites that say they'll show where they are but just show how to connect to one, or just show area coverage, but no hot spot locations. Why don't they show their customers where to find them if they're there?


So would getting a portable ATT hot spot from amazon.com

work for me, do you think? I'm not really knowledgeable about them. What's going on with the lack of ATT hot spots? 


Thanks for any advice.

Edited by jcr

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Hey jcr, 


By getting a hotpot from a mobile carrier, you'd essentially be paying for a mobile phone with no voice service. It will likely be limited on the amount of data you can use and be subject to throttling or overages. It won't allow you to connect to one of ATT's free wifi locations, it'd give you internet anywhere they have cell services.

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