Karma sells mobile hotspots that let you get online a few different ways. You can pay for a monthly plan or pay per gigabyte.
Last year the company tried launching an unlimited plan, but figured out that wasn’t sustainable when people actually used unlimited data, so it was replaced with the monthly data plan.
Now Karma is retooling its prices again with the launch of DRIFT, a pay-as-you-go service with a pretty competitive price (if you don’t use too much data).
Here’s the idea: you pay $3 per month no matter how much data you use. But then you just pay $10 per gigabyte.
So if you need 3GB one month, your price is $33. If you use 1GB another month, you pay $13. And if you don’t use any data at all, you pay $3 just to keep the service active.
And those are just the round numbers. KARMA will also refund you for any unused data at the end of the month.
If you need a lot of data every month, you’re probably better off either going with one of Karma’s subscription plans or with a competing service. But for occasional users who may go a month or two at a time without needing a hotspot, but who take business trips or work out of coffee shops periodically, it could come in handy.
Karma also gets its name through a connection-sharing feature: if someone else connects to your hotspot, they get 100MB of data for free, and you get a credit. For DRIFT customers, Karma will provide a $1 credit for every guest that connects to your hotspot.
Note that you do need to pay $99 for a Karma Go hotspot to use the service.
The problem is that existing Refuel users purchased data that would supposedly never expire or have a monthly fee. On May 12, 2017, an email went out saying that in order to keep our accounts (and keep using our date) we would need “Grandfather” our accounts over by June 1 and pay a “Small $2.95 monthly Grandfather account fee.” I use Karma just as backup internet, so the lack of any kind of monthly fee is what appealed to me. And I took advantage of a “buy 10 GB get 10 GB free” special. So now I have a lot of data stockpiled, and now need to pay a monthly fee to keep it! I get that the Refuel plans might not have been profitable, but I’d expect that I could keep my existing data under the terms in place when I purchased.
> I’d expect that I could keep my existing data under the terms in place when I purchased.
I agree. I’m *really* ticked off. I have about 100GB that I’ve stockpiled, and I typically use 1-2 GB 2-3 months, and maybe twice a year use 10-20GB in a month… the rest of the year I don’t use any. Paying a monthly fee completely erases the reason I purchased the Karma device in the first place. This is almost class-action suit worthy.
I don’t see how this is any better than their original refuel plan, and in some ways it’s worse.
How is this worse? After doing some research, this is the absolute best priced plan of it’s type. Compared to other services like Google-Fi which charges $20 per month + $10 per GB. There are are few other carriers that offer similar pricing, but the monthly is anywhere from $10-20 per month to keep service active.
Just for your information, Google Fi charges $20 per month for unlimited talk and text (including international text) and you pay $10 per GB of data.
Thats not competative pricing at all, especially with the new round of unlimited data plans from the big carriers. Looks like Karma is having some trouble after they backed out of their original data promises….
When talking about “unlimited data plans” you have to define the parameters. There is no carrier that will offer unlimited data that is un-throttled. Read the fine print. Karma may limit data packages / pricing, but they do not throttle bandwidth which means as fast as your wireless connection allows you can send / receive data at maximum possible speeds. Unlimited data is an unsustainable business model as demonstrated by other carriers also pulling back or limiting data speeds for so-called unlimited data plans.
or you can just use freedompop and pay nothing
This is pretty good pricing, if you’re using it as a backup-connection for a security system or mission-critical systems. That way even if physical connections are severed, you can still access systems remotely, or even channel mission-critical services over the 4G network.
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