gotW3 Internet Review 2019

This wireless internet connection could be revolutionary for some, but certainly not for most.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Price range: $79.99-$99.99/mo.
Speeds: 1–45 Mbps
Data cap: Unlimited

If you frequently travel or live in a rural area, gotW3 may have some advantages over your existing cell phone plan or satellite internet.

When I moved back out west a few years ago, I was eager to explore the vast red rock deserts and green mountain landscapes. So rather than renting an apartment, I bought a ‘92 Toyota pickup with a small camper. The wilderness became my home.

If I went back to my vagabond lifestyle today, I’d probably rig my camper with a 12V converter and get something like gotW3’s 4G and LTE router. It’s a completely wireless service that can connect to cell towers to offer surprisingly fast internet.

But gotW3’s service is not without its problems, like expensive equipment and service plans.

gotW3 pricing and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Urban America Unlimited Data Internet Plan
$79.99*1–45 Mbps (depending on location) View Plan
Rural America Unlimited Data Internet Plan$99.99*1–45 Mbps (depending on location) View Plan

Data effective 04/01/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Requires purchase of gotW3 router for a one-time cost of $205.79.

Pros

  • Completely wireless internet
  • Virtually no data caps

Cons

  • Expensive equipment and plans

gotW3 plans

Two plans, both unlimited. But are they really?

When you first sign up for gotW3’s services, you need to pay for two things: a gotW3 Wi-Fi router (it’s $205.79 and there’s no way around it) and your first month of service.

The company will then ship the router to you (from Arizona—it’s not clear if they use standard or expedited shipping). Open the box, plug in the router, and you’re online! Just make sure to prepay for your plan each month.

gotW3 plans comparison
PlanPriceDownload speed
Data limitDetails
Urban America Unlimited Data Internet Plan$79.99*1–45 Mbps (depending on location) Unlimited View Plan
Rural America Unlimited Data Internet Plan$99.99*1–45 Mbps (depending on location) Unlimited View Plan

Data effective 04/01/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Requires purchase of gotW3 router for a one-time cost of $205.79.

gotW3 only has two plans. Both will get your router connected to nearby cell towers for 4G and LTE internet. The difference is just in the cell towers that gotW3 uses: some are in more rural locations and others aren’t.

It’s unclear why the Rural America plan is more expensive, but presumably the company gets charged more for using rural cell towers.

So, you might ask, what makes gotW3 any different from just turning my cell phone into a hotspot?

First of all, you probably want to be using your phone for other things, like dominating in Candy Crush. Secondly, using your phone as a hotspot will eat up your cell phone’s precious battery life. Thirdly, your phone’s hotspot network doesn’t reach very far.

But the most important difference is . . . data caps.

gotW3 data caps

gotW3 offers unlimited data, and your cell phone plan almost certainly does not. Even so-called unlimited cell plans will have a cap on how much data can be used for hotspots or tethering.

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What’s tethering?
“Tethering” is when you open up a cell phone hotspot and connect another device to it. So if you’ve ever used a mobile hotspot to work on your laptop, you’ve done it before.

For example, AT&T’s top-tier Unlimited &More Premium plan comes with a 15 GB limit on hotspot data per month. And Verizon’s Above Unlimited plan will only get you 20 GB of hotspot data before it starts throttling your service to lower speeds.

(We should mention that gotW3 does have a Fair Use policy1 that potentially throttles data if you use absurd amounts—like 500 GB a month).

Streaming Netflix can use up to 1 GB of data per hour, though.2 The last thing you want when you’re binging Stranger Things is your data cap cutting you off mid-season.

gotW3 price comparison

One downside of using gotW3 instead of a cellular hotspot is that you’ll have another bill to pay. And it’s not a cheap one.

In fact, if you compare gotW3’s plan prices to some of the fastest plans from the best internet service providers (ISPs) in the industry, they’re about the same. So you could be cruising at 1,000 Mbps speeds on a fiber-optic network for a similar price. (Of course, you’d have less freedom to travel that way.)

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What are Mbps, anyway?
“Mbps” stands for “megabits per second.” The more you have, generally, the faster your internet connection is. Find out how much speed you need with our handy Mbps guide.

If what you’re looking for in gotW3 is a month-to-month plan, you could get a much cheaper month-to-month option from a company like RCN.

In short, if you’re not interested in the unique flexibility of gotW3’s service, then it’s just expensive, relatively slow internet.

gotW3 internet speed and data

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Have you ever tried checking Facebook with a 5 Mbps internet connection? It’s not pretty. With increasingly complex site code, advertisements, and tools, even regular web browsing can suck up slow connections like a vacuum.

So how fast does your internet need to be? It depends, but most people are going to want something closer to the high end (45 Mbps) than the low end (1 Mbps) of gotW3’s speed range.

One issue with gotW3’s service is that the company cannot guarantee your speed—there’s just more latency. Unlike cable and fiber connections, gotW3’s network will vary greatly depending on location, time of day, and even weather conditions. That’s just the reality of satellite internet.

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Why is satellite internet so slow?
With cable or fiber, the signal travels from your home computer through wires to a nearby cable box or hub. But with satellite, the signal has to travel hundreds of miles through Earth’s atmosphere up to a satellite orbiting the Earth.

Pretty cool, when you think about it. But also, because the signal travels farther, it gets back to you slower.

Another issue is that the company hasn’t been around very long, so there’s virtually no user feedback about how reliable or fast the speeds actually are. So if high-speed internet is a non-negotiable need for your household, you might want to look elsewhere.

gotW3 fees, contracts, and equipment

You may avoid a service contract, but the fees will find you . . . They always do.

gotW3 service contracts

There’s only one kind of contract for these prepaid plans, and that’s no contract at all. While this is generally a good thing, it does mean that gotW3 has the freedom to raise its prices at any time.

gotW3 service fees

Fees are like commercial breaks: there are too many of them, they come at the worst times, and they’re honestly just tacky. Here are the ones you’ll want to watch out for if you sign up for gotW3.

  • Return fee: If you decide to return your equipment during the 14-day return period, the company will charge you a $50 “restocking fee.”
  • Reconnection fee: If you do suspend your account for a month or two (by not paying), then it will cost you $25 to restart service.

gotW3 equipment and fees

As stated before, you’ll have to buy a router from gotW3 for $205.79. That’s a fixed cost—there’s no way around it.

You also have the option of buying an Outdoor Parabolic Directional Antenna (which sounds like it belongs on the Starship Enterprise) for $165.39. This antenna will help boost your connection to nearby cell towers.

gotW3 customer service

No one can write online complaints about you if they don’t know you exist. (Think about it.)

gotW3 is such a new company that there’s almost no information about customer satisfaction. We like to be optimistic over here, so we’ll just assume they’re really nice folks until we hear otherwise.

The company does provide plenty of ways to get in touch if you have an issue, so there’s that.

You can contact gotW3 online here:

Recap: Is gotW3 good?

gotW3 offers a decent but pricey internet solution for a niche market.

There are plenty of reasons that people can’t get a standard high-speed internet connection in their home: they live in RVs, or in rural areas, or maybe they just move every six months and can’t be bothered with constantly changing companies.

For these people, gotW3’s unlimited data and relatively high speeds could be the answer. It’s not cheap, but in terms of performance, it definitely beats the data caps and throttling that come with most cell phone hotspots in the long term.

But if you’re looking for reliable internet for gaming, or for perfect-quality streaming, then our advice is, don’t do it. In those situations, gotW3 probably won’t live up to the challenge.

Do you live in a place where it’s hard to get standard internet? Have you found a good solution? Have you tried gotW3? We’d love to read what you’ve learned in the comments section!

FAQs

Q: What’s with the name?

Got waffles $3.00? Game of Thrones wasted season 3? Go to Wyoming three times? Our guess is that it stands for “got www”—you know, like the World Wide Web?—but that’s boring. We couldn’t find the answer anywhere online, but you can comb through gotW3’s website and see for yourself.

Sources

1. gotW3, “Fair Use Policy
2. Netflix, “How Can I Control How Much Data Netflix Uses?

  • Chris Dudley

    First I will say I am also a customer. I think the Gotw3 product is great for the right customer. There are some errors with this review.
    #1- ITS NOT SATELLITE. Latency is exactly the same as cellular. They use T-mobile network for the Urban Plan and ATT for the Rural Plan. I just did a test in my office in San Diego and we are at 20ms ping, 17.8 mbps down and weirdly 27.8 up.
    #2- Streaming with Gotw3 is great. Stream away!
    #3- On the price, while its is high there are lots of people who are mobile that are speed a fortune to have enough data. I have met several people who have multiple phone with the mobile carrier solely for the data. There are also other who are just beyond the reach of cable or fiber that reliable internet is a struggle. If they are within cellular then Gotw3 is perfect!