Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of PhoneNews.com. Today, he leads the team building iConsole.tv - a new kind of Androidâ„¢ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at ChristopherPrice.net.

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16 responses to “Review: Novatel MiFi 4620L Jetpack (Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Hotspot)”

  1. JailBird

    I have a SCH-LC11. It drives me into a pure rage every time I use it.

    I have MUCH better reliability tethering than using that POS :(.

  2. Christopher Price

    Our current vote is to mow our worthless Samsung LC11 units down in a car. Any better ideas?

  3. hddoc

    I recently removed the micro-sim from the ipad and placed it into the 4620L. My only gripe is a tendency to go dormant, requiring a quick reboot. Would a firmware update take care of that and if so what is the link and process?

    Mugen has released a 5000mah extended battery that will run the Novatel’s all day and then some, but as you have noted the battery gauge is worthless with the larger batteries.

    Could you please say a bit about how to access the hidden (administrator) menu and how to customize the 4620L to one’s own preference?

    After much trial and error with several Cradlepoint routers, all is finally good on the home front with the pairing of the CBR-400 along with the Pantech UML290 modem. The 400 is the least expensive of the next generation Cradlepoint routers that has the automatic re-booting feature to handle any drop in service. None of the last generation do it and the feature was unfortunately made inoperative in the MBR95 software.

    Many thanks to you Christopher for being among the first to call out the value of those now precious unlimited data plans. The UML290 alone consumed 3GB/day last month, and I expect that will continue to rise along with our consumption of mobile 4G data as well. The LTE makeover became surprisingly quite cost effective, but on a meter the bills would be absurd…

    BTW Chris, could you also please clarify whether or not the AOL route to unlimited data has remained operative since the institution of the new Verizon pricing plans? You and others had indicated that AOL would no longer work after the 27th of June, but I have heard conflicting accounts on that issue.

  4. Christopher Price

    Our understanding, and what Verizon told us, is that you can still assume liability for an unlimited data plan, and keep the plan.

    Considering the fallout from those awkward communications to others (and the fallout from our somewhat errant-reporting), I doubt Verizon is going to change that. If anything, it gave Verizon an eye-opener about the problems that could come from yanking the ability to assume liability for an existing account, sans changes.

    I’m not sure what you mean about the 4620L’s administration menu, you just enter the router IP and password on the back of the router (unless you changed it). There’s no special debug panel, or second admin panel that we could find. The ability to change undocumented settings, such as enabling USB mode on the MiFi 2200, have been patched on the 4620L from what we can tell.

  5. Gary

    What happens when you put a non-Verizon micro sim in the 4620L? Does it ask for a subsidy unlock code? Or does it just not find service? The reason I ask is that the Razrs, once updated to ICS, accept a foreign SIM just fine, without a subsidy unlock code.

    Thanks, Gary

  6. Gary

    PS Thanks for a great review!

  7. ITLady

    I am glad the quality has improved, but showing the password on the display without being able to hide it is pure stupidity!!! I use these in a work enviroment all configued identical and if that password gets out I will have 116 passwords to change!!! Data overrage will be out of this world and they will be playing movies on their own devises!!! Not a Good thing!!! Verizion had no clue and had me call Novatel! They are aware and are supposedly coming out with a fix by the end of the month. Good thing I saw this before deploying this modle!!!

  8. ITLady

    Well, if we didn’t use these in a work environment things would be different. These actually are used for connectivity for ambulances. It was a temp fix until GoBi and new machines came out, however they kept the old ones and the new ones so they each have 2! And since they can handle more than one laptop at the same time and are much more affordable than a hard mounted router they wanted to stick with this solution. They are also configured differently, they are not broadcasting their connection and not everyone will want to play with the devise, however it only takes one person to figure out the password and SSID and it will spread like wildfire! Anyone with a personal laptop or phone will want to watch movies and videos while waiting for their next call! If data was unlimited, that would be one thing, but it is not. If they reset it then the MiFi will not work on the work laptops so it would be pointless and I also remove the sticker with the info on it. And to add over 100 of these to the list is a bit much to maintain. People just don’t understand how much Data a movie or streaming music will use and that’s a very common request I have to reject. X that by 100+ Mifi’s and that’s a lot of free roaming on the company’s dime!

  9. questorfla

    Has anyone figured out a way to use the 4510L to access a mapped network resource?
    Laptop connects to MIFI. Then runs VPN. Connects to server. All OK. Try to access a previously active mapped resource. No Go. Try to “ping” the server. No problem. But will not allow you to create a new mapped resource. Problems “communicating” is the best I can get.
    Latest firmware update as of Aug 2012. No good.
    NEW Jetpack 4620L has no problem, Works fine. But people who just bought the 4510L maybe two months ago or even 4 months ago and have never gotten it to work are not happy when told they cannot exchange a “faulty unit” for one that works. Has anyone else ever seen this and found a way around it?

  10. Allen

    Did you actually get NMEA to work? I’ve tried connecting 3 ways:

    1) Using MS Streets & Maps (specifically cited by Novatel)
    2) Connecting to the COM port directly using putty. No data received at either 9600 or 4800 bps.
    3) Connecting to 192.168.1.1:10110 using putty. No data received.

    In cases 1 & 2, netstat reports that a connection is being opened to 192.168.1.1:10110, as one would expect, so at least that part is working.

    In cases 2 & 3, any attempt to send a CR results in the connection closing instantly. I’m not sure whether NMEA data is bi-directional as the spec is closed.

    Additionally, I couldn’t get port forwarding to work. I’m not sure whether this is because Verizon is blocking incoming traffic or whether the port forwarding feature on the device itself just doesn’t work, but after the problems with NMEA, I’m leaning toward the device as the culprit.

    Hopefully a firmware update is released to fix these problems soon, but hotspots seem to be the redheaded stepchild of wireless providers. How many promises of Android updates have gone unfulfilled, and those are devices with relatively high sales volume. I’m willing to bet Verizon and Novatel are already focused on bringing a successor to market rather than supporting the 4620Ls they’ve already sold, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  11. John

    Not sure why he holds such loyalty to Novatel.
    I had a ton of these devices and both Samsung and Novatel 3G and 4G devices where terrible. Only very recently with minor upgrades to the network has either company devices become just barely tolerable. Nothing award winning here. I figure at this rate we have many years to go before having any consistency of quality of service.
    And I do agree we should blend the lc11, but I feel they should all be blended.

  12. Brad

    I have a question about internet service in general in relation to the device you have reviewed. I currently have a 15-day trial through US Cellular using the SCH-LC11. Seems to work ok so far. I’m curious to see if anyone can tell me if the Novatel 4620LE would be that much faster than the SCH-LC11 where I live (Wisconsin). If so, have you heard of MIllenicom for mobile broadband service? They offer 20 gb of data for $69.99 a month with no contract (month to month). I have to buy the Novatel 4620LE device for $99 and there is a $50 setup fee. They apparently use Verizon’s cell towers? US Cellular rates are $25 for 2gb / $50/5gb or $90/10gb, and I have to sign a 2-year contract. (I have already looked into HughesNet and Wildblue, but I hear a lot of horror stories about those two satellite companies for internet service.)

  13. Me

    I have been using Millenicom for the last few months for my rural cabin. I also bought a router from them (CradlePoint MBR95) which has an amazing feature of creating a LAN from a WiFi hotspot. This allows me to put all of my devices behind the CradlePoint NAT and use the 4620LE as purely an internet device. In addition, the MBR95 has built in support for data usage monitoring. So, I’m never guessing how close I am to the 20GB monthly data cap. And because it uses Verizon’s LTE network, it is blazing fast (for a rural cabin anyway). Also, Millenicom is MUCH cheaper than the same level of service directly through Verizon. It was a no-brainer for my situation.

    The next thing I’m going to work on is installing a 4 camera security DVR with remote viewing capabilities. I’m curious how difficult it will be to punch through the Verizon firewall to allow access to my security system remotely. I may need a static IP address, which Millenicom sells for another $10/month.

    I’d highly recommend Millenicom!!!

  14. Jex

    Concerning Millenicom:
    Has anyone done this “static IP address for $10/month” ?
    Is it a public IPv4 IP? Does it solve the issue of not being able to access your JetPack over the Internet because Verizon [normally] gives it a private (10.) WAN address?
    Thanks.

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