Those who want to use AT&T’s 4G LTE network on their computers can check out AT&T Beam – a USB dongle modem for their 4G LTE service.
Some advantages over tethering (which costs an extra $15 to add onto your smartphone) can be found here – namely, that the modem can also act as a hotspot for up to ten machines. At its core, the Beam is here to grab 4G LTE from the skies and cram it down your computer’s USB hole. There’s also a small added bonus of a microSD card slot, good for up to 32 GB cards. The Beam also offers at-a-glance information about network, signal strength, and data usage. That last part’s the one you want to key in on.
That’s because you’ll actually need to add the Beam onto your wireless plan as a separate device, with its own data allotment. Not only that, you’ll need to sign up for another two-year contract for the thing just to get the $19.99 price tag. As for adding the Beam as a separate device, you have two options – get an individual plan, which will be the DataConnect 5 GB plan for $50 per month, or add it on to an existing wireless plan, which will be $20 per month. Either way, that also includes access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspots. The Beam hits AT&T stores on May 10.