UPDATE - 9/26/18: Visible is officially available to the general public - no 'early access codes' needed. The official FAQ on Visible's website continues to state that: "During early access our members will get mobile hotspot with unlimited data at a speed that’s perfect for streaming, up to 5 Mbps. You’ll be able to connect one phone at a time." So, for now, this looks to be Visible's hotspot policy in general.
UPDATE - 6/22/18: Visible officially enabled unlimited mobile hotspot (throttled to 5Mbps). However, the official FAQ states this is a feature that's enabled during the "early access" period and therefore it may or may not be included (or included for free) when the service officially launches to the general public in the future. The FAQ also states only one device at a time may connect.
UPDATE - 6/13/18: Last week, on 6/8/13, we were alerted that Visible had posted a tweet indicating an intent to add a mobile hotspot feature to their plans, as requested by a high volume of customers. Based on that alert, we have been actively tracking this possible change.
Today, we have reports from an MIA member, and have seen a few other reports on various forums, that the hotspot feature is live! However, on Visible's website, nothing has changed in relation to hotspot ability.
And, when we entered a chat conversation with a customer representative, they were unable to give any details as to if this feature is intended to be live. In addition, they were unable to give us any information on any limitations this new hotspot feature will have - including caps or throttle points, or other limitations.
We are monitoring this developing story closely, and will analyze any official statements, user reports, or changes in TOS in regards to how this plan can be used by those seeking mobile internet options. But, if (and likely when) a hotspot option is added to Visible service, it will likely make it a much more viable mobile internet option - even if it does have further restrictions.
ORIGINAL STORY - 5/11/18: A new Verizon plan has been making its way across the interwebs this week, and we've been fielding a number of questions about our thoughts on it.
While we love seeing new Verizon based plans pop-up, the new inexpensive, prepaid Verizon offering, called Visible, is pretty invisible in its application for mobile internet seekers.
Yes, we went there.
This new app based $40/month phone plan runs on Verizon service and offers customers unlimited calling, text, and slowed data on their mobile phone devices.
Data speeds are always capped at 5mbps, and all data usage is always subject to network management. Video is reduced to 420p resolution as well (DVD quality).
UPDATE: As of mid-June 2018, the service does include unlimited mobile hotspot throttled to 5Mbps.
Visible does not include any international calling, texting, or data usage - including use in our friendly neighbors to the North and South - Canada or Mexico.
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The way Visible works is kind of neat though. Similar in access to Project Fi, the service can be controlled completely from the Visible app - from set-up to termination.
As of this writing (May 2018) the app is available only to iOS users, and you must have a compatible Apple iPhone to use the service. Currently, most models of the iPhone will work with Visible, with the exception of the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 models. There is no current option to host the plan on a tablet device.
And initially, potential customers must have an invite code from an existing Visible customer to activate service. We've seen some codes circulating around the internet.
A $40/month price point with reportedly easy start-up and termination of service (you can do it on an app!) might make this an appealing smartphone plan to complement your data only options.
If you're looking for more than the ability to call, text, surf the web or watch media on your phone - you'll want to consider other plans.
Even those who are thrifty and utilize mirroring gear to use on-device data for watching movies and TV shows will find this plan lackluster - with video capped at 480p quality, you may find mirrored content obnoxiously grainy.