One of our customers called us inquiring about 3G routers, concerned that using their aircard in a router would use up their 5GB faster than using it directly in a computer. A Verizon rep had "cautioned" the customer against using a router, telling him that having his aircard in a router would eat up his 5GB allowance quickly, no matter what the computers connected to the router were doing.
That is NOT true. Routers do NOT "use up" data themselves. All a router does is accept the internet connection from the aircard and then allow you to share it with multiple computers or WiFi devices. The only time you actually USE data is when the devices CONNECTING to the router (your laptops, TiVO, Playstation, XBox, etc) are using data. If the aircard is plugged into the router but all the computers/devices connected to the router are off or dormant, no data is being used. Of course, when you are sharing the connection with multiple devices/computers you may hit your 5GB limit faster then if you were only using computer, but that is not because of the router (remember that you can always check how much data you're using online - click here to find out how).
This obviously begs the question: why would a Verizon rep say such a thing? Shouldn't they know how their own products and services work? There are a couple reasons why a rep might not give you accurate information about mobile broadband and routers:
- They are not familiar with mobile broadband. Unfortunately, many carrier employees are simply under-trained when it comes to mobile broadband, or don't understand the technology. Many reps have truly never heard of an antenna or router for mobile broadband devices.
- Alternatively, some reps DO understand the technology but would rather you purchase another card and service than share one card in a router. After all, Verizon associates' main goal is to get new sales.