Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack Review: Affordable Personal Hotspot
The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack is a small portable hotspot that connects to the fast Verizon 4G LTE network to connect up to eight WiFi devices to the Internet anywhere you have a Verizon signal.
Dedicated personal hotspots like this are not as popular these days since the iPhone and Android device can quickly become a hotspot with no extra charge on Verizon Share Everything plans, but the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack is worth considering for some users especially at $19.99 on a two-year contract and just $20 a month on a Share Everything Plan.
During CES 2014 in Las Vegas and the 014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit I carried the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack even though my iPhone 5s and Nexus 5 can act as personal hotspot.
There are two main reasons I chose to use the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack over my smartphones or my iPad as a personal hotspot. The first reason is that using a phone as a personal hotspot drains battery life very quickly and when I am working at a trade show battery life is incredibly important. Even if I can plug my phone into a computer while using it as a hotspot I’m going to end up draining that battery faster. A dedicated device lets me keep my other devices charged and ready to use.
The second big reason is that a personal hotspot like the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack can go with anyone I need to keep connected to the Internet. At CES 2014 the Gotta Be Mobile team set up at an evening event and the provided WiFi was bad and many users did not have Ethernet ports on their notebooks. The Ellipsis Jetpack connected our team to 4G LTE for the duration of the event and I could leave the work area to do what I needed to do, something that I couldn’t easily do with an iPhone as a hotspot.
4G LTE speeds on the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack vary based on location, but matched what I experience on my iPhone and Verizon iPad mini.
Another factor that isn’t as big of an issue, but that can be annoying, is that my Verizon iPhone doesn’t let me talk and surf the web at the same time, so if I am using it as a hotspot and I get a phone call I can lose my connection.
The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack is a little slow to boot up, but in a minute or two it is online and connected to Verizon 4G LTE if it is available. The small device has one button and a small display to show the connectivity status, battery life, connected devices and data usage. That’s really all it needs. It charges with Micro USB cable, like most Android phones. There is a 4G LTE SIM card slot, but no Micro SD card slot like some other models offer. Personally i never have a use for the Micro SD card slot on a personal hotspot so I didn’t miss it.
After connecting to the device you can manage the settings and see status information by going to http://my.jetpack in a browser. The device lets you change the network name and password. The screen allows users to cycle through the network name and password so it is easy to share with friends or family without trying to remember a password or logging into settings.
On average the Ellipsis Jetpack lasts about six hours of continuous use. With four to five users connected inside a hotel the battery drained faster in about three to four hours. Users can plug the Jetpack in to a car charger, computer or backup battery for longer battery life.
Overall the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack is a great value for users that need a personal hotspot to keep their devices connected for work or for play. A device like this allows users to hand off a personal hotspot to a visiting family member or to keep kid’s devices connected on a road trip.