We get a lot of questions about what is the best way to connect and how much does it cost. The answer is “It Depends.”
We paid Verizon Wireless a little over $250 last month for a family plan with 3 phones and 1400 shared minutes. 2 of the phones have data plans, Razr is a 4G, the Droid 1 is 3G. We have “grandfathered” unlimited data plans for both smart phones. We also have a 4G Samsung Mobile Hotspot ($50/mo for 5GB.) We probably will discontinue the Samsung after the contract runs out next year.
All smart phones require a data plan. Verizon data is $30/mo above the qualifying voice plan. That currently provides 2GB/mo. 5GB is $50, 10GB is $80. This data is intended to be used solely by the phone. Not all phones or plans qualify. Unlimited data is no longer available from Verizon.
Tethering, wired or wireless, is additional from Verizon. For $20/mo, you get 2GB (4GB on special). If you go over your data limit, you are charged $10/GB.
We do not pay Verizon for tethering and are circumventing the terms of service by using a third party program called PDANet. There are other free and paid apps for tethering smart phones. PDANet uses the USB cable to connect the phone to the computer. It works great for Chris' Droid 1 and my Droid Razr.
I am using an app called FoxFi for the Razr that allows it to create a WiFi hotspot. I can connect multiple devices using the phone's data plan.