Karma Mobility is a company that got its start by selling WiFi hotspots that are meant to create open mobile networks anywhere you go: you pay a monthly fee to use them, but you get extra data when other people create an account.
It’s an interesting notion that helps explain why the company calls itself Karma. But the company’s latest product isn’t so much about sharing your internet connection as protecting it.
It’s called Karma Black, and it’s a 4G LTE mobile hotspot that’s designed to offer security and privacy features. It’s up for pre-order now for $149 and ships January 15th. After that, the retail price will be $249.
But to really get the most out of a Karma Black, you’ll need to pay $20 per month for services that lets you use the internet anonymously by removing metadata from your surfing so that websites and apps will only know who you are if you’re logged in. That’s on top of the price you pay for a data plan.
Karma says additional features will be added in the future, possibly including malware filters, parental controls, ad blocking, virus protection, and Tor services.
One nifty thing about Karma Black is that it’s not just meant for use on the go. It can also be used to anonymize data on your home network without any additional wireless data charges.
When used as a mobile hotpsot, the Karma Black supports 4G LTE speeds of between 6 and 8 Mbps for downloads (with peaks up to 25 Mbps), and download sepeds between 2 and 3 MBps. It also supports 3G CMDA speeds if 4G isn’t available.
It should get up to 6 hours of battery life, and the gadget charges via a micro USB port. It measures about 2.9″ x 2.9″ x 0.5″ and weighs about 2.3 ounces.
Gee, unless you’re in the U.S. where everything is restricted and/or an expensive service plan add-on, just get a VPN account for a few dollars a month and turn VPN and Hotspot on in your Android phone (I dunno about iPhone). Works for cellular data or WiFi connections. Then there’s the free Orbot and Orfox for Tor.
That Karma box looks like a cheap Huawei LTE hotspot. They sell for around $30-$40 USD new & unsubsidized here in S.E. Asia. And Karma is going to charge $149 now/$249 later for the box PLUS $20/month and you STILL have to pay for data on top of that! Yeah… no thanks.
David, the $30 – $40 typically is a subsidized device meaning you have to have a plan under contract. Karma is no contract and there is a lot of R&D put into the device making it as simple & small as possible.
Hmm, ‘users benefit from an invisibility cloak’ – practically, it sounds like it’s just their normal service, but routed through a VPN? I haven’t used one their previous hotspots, but it sounds like it supports VPN passthrough… so not too different (except you need to already have a VPN provider / roll your own).
Toby, you can roll your own but that is client based. Karma Black allows any device connected to the Karma Black Hotspot to have the encrypted connection which means you don’t have to have a client on all your devices.
Data costs $7 per GB?
Data ranges from $7.50 and up depending on the promo it is purchased under.
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