Cellular Internet is just about everywhere these days, but it’s contained within the devices that need it the most often: phones, tablets, computers. There’s also been a few generations of Wi-Fi hotspots, neat devices treasured by conference and convention go-ers and mobile businesspeople alike. One who fires up a Wi-Fi device at CES is likely to see scores of Wi-Fi access points. Most are secured and meant only for one or two users. A random passerby would rarely think to ask permission to use a stranger’s hotspot.
Karma is looking to change that. “Social Bandwidth,” they call it. Karma provides the access point, you buy the bandwidth you need: no monthly bill, no contracts, no minimum usage. On top of that, when someone wants Internet, they can use your hotspot without affecting your bandwidth balance. They get their own! In fact, Karma gives you and them 100 MB whenever they sign into your hotspot and they get their own bandwidth to use. Sign up a friend using a referral link and get 500 MB instead.
The only thing both users affect is the device’s throughput. There’s only so much data that can fit through those Internet tubes at one time.
ThinkComputers takes a look at the device and the service behind it.
I bought the hotspot in early December (paying with Bitcoin!) and it arrived two days later. Great turnaround time! I actually didn’t know what it was when it arrived – the package shipped so fast that I didn’t even bother to check the tracking to know that it was going to arrive.
The hotspot arrived in a small, brown, utilitarian box bearing naught but the Karma “K” logo and the text “Welcome to Social Bandwidth”.
Inside the box, there’s some documentation, stickers, a micro USB cable for charging, and the Karma Wi-Fi hotspot itself.
For a full unboxing and overview of the Karma Wi-Fi Hotspot be sure to check out our video below.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.