I’ve been using my Karma Go mobile hotspot for more than a year now, and I still really like it. It’s convenient to have access to relatively fast, mostly reliable Wi-Fi pretty much anywhere I go. I use it quite often at libraries, coffee shops, and airport waiting lounges.
However, despite how useful it is to me, the device does come with three three minor annoyances.
- You are unable to create a unique SSID. Instead, you’re given the choice of four different options from a drop-down list. (I usually go with “Free Wi-Fi by Karma.”)
- You can’t make your device private. Because Karma’s goal is to blanket the nation in easily accessible Wi-Fi, the Karma device is, by design, open to anyone. All a potential user needs is their own easily obtained Karma credentials, and they can log on and share your connection (but they use data from their own account).
- You can’t really share your data. The way Karma is set up, each individual has to have their own account to log on to a Karma device. However, you are able to log on to your Karma multiple times with the same account (to connect your phone and your laptop, for example), so you could give your friends and family your login credentials, but this is an inelegant solution.
And another thing that’s occasionally bothersome is that in order to connect to the Karma, a device needs to be browser-enabled. This means it’s nearly impossible to connect something like a Roku or a Chromecast. You can contact Karma and they may be able to add a device manually, but that’s a lot of work.
Enter Karma Go Premium Features
In a move to address these annoyances, Karma introduced Premium Features earlier this year. Now it’s possible to:
- Create a private network. Set your Karma to private and secure it with a passphrase.
- Make custom network names. Once your connection is private, you can create your own SSID (you can even use emojis in the name, if you’re into that sort of thing).
- Easily share your data. Now that you’ve got a private connection, you can give your passphrase to anyone you want and they can access your device and use your Karma data.
Additionally, the private setup makes it trivial to connect multiple devices to your Karma—even those devices that don’t have a built-in browser. All you need is the SSID and passphrase you’ve assigned.
Now these are called Premium Features for a reason—they come with a price. Karma users on Refuel (their pay-as-you-go service) can get this premium service for $10 for the first month and $15 per month after that. Pulse (Karma’s month-to-month service) users get premium free for the first month and $5 for each subsequent month.
In this day and age of unlimited cellular data, you may not need a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, but if you do, then this Karma Go referral link will save you $10—although I’m not sure if it can be combined with the discount prices they’re offering right now.
If you’re interested in the Karma Go, read GeekDad’s coverage of the difference between the two Karma Go data plans, and for more details on the Karma Go experience, check out the GeekDad Review of the Karma Go Mobile Hotspot.
Images courtesy of YourKarma.