FreedomPop tackles cheaper Internet, brings free wireless broadband to the home

freedompop tackles cheaper internet brings free wireless to home hub burst

FreedomPop, a new startup company receiving backing from Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, is working to change the landscape of Internet service providers with new services for wireless and sharing access.

The first angle of FreedomPop’s plan is to provide inexpensive and shared Internet access. Sharing access gives the user credits on the network, with nearly 40 percent of its members currently receiving some amount of free credits. FreedomPop has an iPod Touch case that uses WiMAX to turn the mobile gadget into an Internet device, as well as a 4G MiFi router and a 4G USB dongle for laptops that share and receive online access. 

The next step for FreedomPop is to release an “open Wi-Fi” local sharing service through those devices. CEO Stephen Stokols told Forbes that the new feature would let users share broadband access with any other nearby people through two SSIDs in addition to sharing with others on the network. On that note, FreedomPop is launching a home Internet product, FreedomPop Hub Burst (pictured above), which uses Clearwire WiMax for a connection that’s faster than DSL, but slower than cable. As with the open Wi-Fi products, home users can earn free access by adding friends to their network and taking advantage of promotional offers. The company is taking pre-orders on the Hub Burst and expects to ship the product next month.

Stokols said he expects his company to disrupt the other startups looking to alter the Internet provider market because FreedomPop doesn’t have to negotiate deals with large telecommunications companies. It also has undercut other hotspot companies on price, such as Boingo Wireless.

The combination of low cost and free credits certainly makes FreedomPop seem like a sure thing. Right now, it is designed to best handle light Internet activities. Anyone looking for more data-heavy capabilities, like streaming video, will need to pay an extra $10 a month, or sign up for the pay-as-you-go model. It’s still a far more cost-effective choice than most major Internet providers, but FreedomPop will surely be tested by issues of scale and security down the road.

Product Review

Flexible and fast, HP's Spectre x360 is the 2-in-1 for every occasion

HP’s late-2017 refresh of the Spectre x360 13 convertible 2-in-1 leverages Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs for significantly improved performance and battery life. The thin and light frame is also tweaked, and looks better than ever.
Smart Home

Abode System’s Iota DIY home security kit is now available

Abode Systems has an all-in-one security kit called Iota, and it's on sale now. It features a 1080p camera, motion sensor, and on-board Wi-Fi and ethernet so it can stay connected no matter where you put it.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Microsoft drops Surface Go price to $350 for Black Friday week

The Microsoft Surface Go convertible tablet has seen a large price drop this Black Friday sales season, lowering the base model to $350 and even the upgraded ones have seen $50 knocked off of their asking price.
Computing

M4A is great for quality, but not for storage. Here's how to convert to MP3

Despite its remarkable ability to retain audio fidelity at a smaller size, M4a files aren't the best when it comes to compatibility. Check out our basic guide on how to convert M4a files to MP3.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Computing

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Computing

Razer takes up to $500 off of its Blade gaming laptops for Black Friday

If you're a fan of Razer's understated aesthetics that earned the Blade comparisons with Apple's laptops, you can score some big savings on Black Friday, as Razer is offering up to $500 discounts off of its gaming notebooks.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Buying Guides

Solid-state drives are speedier than hard disk drives. Are they worth it?

As the price of solid-state drives comes down, it's reached a point where it's hard to recommend a system without at least a hybrid solution. In the battle of SSD vs. HDD, a clear winner has emerged.