As soon as you leave home, the hunt for a solid Wi-Fi connection begins, and it's not always easily found. The carriers will sell you a personal hotspots or you can turn your phone into one, but aren't necessarily usable in every country.
Amsterdam-based startup Anqor is looking to change that. The company has designed a new device that they believe will provide reliable and fast Wi-Fi wherever the user is (including international locales). The $333 Anqor personal hotspot tries to simplify the data usage problem by searching for region-specific networks and using a SIM card database to hook up with the fastest signal in the area. Users only have to pay a monthly subscription for the service; about $53 per month for 2GB of data.
By comparison, the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE 5510L costs $49.99 with a two-year contract. The monthly fee would then be $30 per month for 4GB. But you'll need to be in a Verizon coverage area to avoid roaming charges.
According Anqor's Kickstarter page, the hotspot should lasts for about 8 hours of active use. It relies on a Twelve Band LTE for broadcasting and can stream up to 100 Mbps DL. The Anqor can host up to 10 different devices, and it will constantly scan networks to determine if it can find a faster network.
Anqor is currently trying to raise more than $415,000 to finish its clunky-looking prototype. Backers can preorder one of 200 hotspots for $233. All other backers will have to pay $266. Backers also have the option of having their hotspots engraved, preorder a 3-month subscription as well as an opportunity to meet the development team behind the Anqor.
The Anqor personal hotspot simplifies data usage down to a monthly subscription and can shift from network to network in order to keep up the best speed. We would like to see a sleeker profile. While the product seems focused on a European market, we hope it will make it to the states before long.
[slideshow id="179630" name="Top 8 Kickstarter Gadgets"]