Priced at $100 with a two-year contract, it's hard to say Verizon's LG VL600 LTE USB Modem is a good deal, especially when you have to pay another $50 per month for a data plan capped at 5GB (or $80 per month for 10GB). However, if high-speed Internet on the go is your biggest need, it could actually be the best deal ever.
This is because the little (or not so little) modem offers Internet connection speeds comparable with those of full-size cable modems, if not faster in many cases. Apart from that, it also enables sending and receiving text messages.
Though we wish the VL600 were not a modem, but rather a mobile hot spot, such as Verizon's MiFi, which allows for sharing the connection with multiple users, we can't recommend any existing mobile hot-spot devices over it. Its fast connection is just too great to be blemished by its lack of multiple user support and the slightly bulky design.
Design, ease of use and features
The VL600 USB Modem is about the same size and shape as Verizon's Fivespot, a multiple-user mobile hot spot. That said, for a device that provides Internet access to only one computer at a time, the modem is bulky. It looks like an extra large and sleek USB thumbdrive.
On one side, the modem has a bendable lid that protects the USB connector when not in use. On top it has a little LED light that shows its status; flashing orange means it's trying to connect and flashing green means the connection is up and running.
The VL600 supports one SIM card with a slot on its bottom, the cover of which can be pushed open. It works with both 4G and 3G SIM cards. Even when used with a 4G SIM card, the device will automatically connect to an available 3G network when the 4G network is not available.
Despite looking like a USB thumbdrive, the VL600 doesn't have any built-in storage. This is rather disappointing, as you'll need to use the included CD to install the software, called Verizon VZAccess Manager, which is required to establish an Internet connection. Though this is not a big problem, it would be much more helpful if the software were embedded on the device itself to spare you from using the CD when you need to quickly use the VL600 with another computer.
Because of its rather bulky size, the VL600 might not be able to connect to all USB ports, especially the recessed ports in some laptops. To make up for this, it includes a 3-foot USB extension cord and a clip holster. Using these accessories, you can mount the modem on a laptop's screen.