gotW3 Internet Review 2020

This cellular 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 cellular service that connects to cell towers to offer surprisingly fast internet.

But it’s not without its problems. Let’s dig in and find out if gotW3’s right for you.

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 12/12/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Requires purchase of gotW3 router for a one-time cost of $227.49.

Pros

  • Cellular internet that goes where you go
  • Virtually no data caps
  • No contract

Cons

  • Outrageous equipment cost
  • Expensive plans
  • Equipment is lackluster at best

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 $227.49 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 12/12/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Requires purchase of gotW3 router for a one-time cost of $227.49.

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:

  • Urban America plan: T-Mobile
  • Rural America plan: AT&T

It’s unclear why the Rural America plan is more expensive, but presumably the company gets charged more for using those AT&T 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.

Light Bulb icon
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 Unlimited Extra plan comes with a 15 GB limit on hotspot data per month. And Verizon’s Get More Unlimited plan will only get you up to 30 GB of 4G LTE 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 Arrested Development 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.)

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 price comparison
ProviderPrice rangeDownload speedsDetails
gotW3$79.99–$99.99/mo.*1–45 MbpsView Plans
Viasat$50–$150/mo.**12–100 MbpsView Plans
RCN$24.99–$59.99/mo.†25–1,000 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity$29.99–$299.95/mo.††15–2,000 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 12/12/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*Requires purchase of gotW3 router for a one-time cost of $227.49.
**For the first 3 months.
†For the first 12 months.
††For the first 12 months with a 1- or 2-year agreement.

gotW3 internet speed and data

This subtitle is buffering. . . 47%. . . 48%. . . 49% . . .

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—gotW3’s network will vary greatly depending on your location, time of day, and even weather conditions.

We were told by gotW3 that you should see your speed pick up if you leave your router plugged in at the same location for at least 72 hours. That’s because the service tries to find a local cell tower that gets you the best data speed.

gotW3 also mentioned the average download speed most users get is 12–20 Mbps, but some lucky people get up to 70 Mbps. Not bad, not bad.

  • Average download speed: 12–20 Mbps
  • Advertised download speed: 1–45 Mbps
  • Top-end download speed: 70 Mbps

Our gotW3 speed tests

Our own gotW3 experience didn’t quite live up to those 70 Mbps dreams.

Part of the problem was we never got the router to establish a wired connection. So all of our testing happened over Wi-Fi, which will almost always be slower than connecting to the internet with an Ethernet cable.

We tested our gotW3 Urban America service three ways: a speed test, streaming The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, and playing Diablo 3.

Test 1: Speed test

Details: HighSpeedInternet.com speed test
Day of the week:
Friday
Time: 10:38 am MST
Device: iPhone SE

  • Download speed: 3.55 Mbps
  • Upload speed: 6.34 Mbps
  • Ping (latency): 281 ms

Test 2: Streaming

Details: Stream The Great British Baking Show on Netflix
Device:
iPhone SE

Experience: Streaming Paul Hollywood’s intense stares and the bakers’ sugary delights was pretty smooth. I only got a few seconds of buffering after skipping the intro and about a third of the way through the episode.

Test 3: Gaming

Details: Play Diablo 3
Device:
MacBook Air (Normally I’d play on my desktop, but it only works with a wired connection.)

Experience: Holy lag, Batman! I tried to complete a tier 13 Nephalem rift on my Demon Hunter character and couldn’t finish. My character stuttered across the screen, and getting some distance between me and the monsters was difficult because of the lag.

My gameplay had a lot of graphically intensive spells flashing across the screen nonstop, which likely overloaded both my Mac and my gotW3 connection.

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 $227.49. 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?

Additional contributors

Catherine McNally

  • 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!

  • Marty Main

    Your analysis is very timely. My wife and I are about to embark on RVing North America for the next few years and want reliable Internet for streaming HD video programming.
    We’ve been Verizon users primarily because their service is typically available in more locations. We currently live on a rural area and will spend a good deal of time Boondocking (dry camping) in rural areas.
    We will be talking to Verizon today about a Jetpack and plan options.