Privacy By Design For Everyone

News 2020

Meet Team CommUNITY, our newest grantee!

Calyx is excited to announce a general support grant to the Team CommUNITY program of ARTICLE 19, a leading freedom of expression nonprofit organization. Team CommUNITY cultivates digital rights and privacy communities throughout the world, offering services like facilitation for both online and offline gatherings, training on “secure organizing” and group threat modeling, and holistic security for community networks and events. You can read more about their work on their website.

Happy New Year!

Thanks again to all our wonderful members, old and new! Just a quick reminder that our shipping team is only two people, so we're not able to ship as fast as Amazon or other online entities with vast resources and staffs. We're a small, scrappy organization doing our absolute best to protect online privacy, empower internet users and bridge the digitial divide with the limited resources we have. Your enthusiasm for our mission and our memberships is amazing, and we thank you so much for bearing with us while we get your new member benefits packages out to you ASAP!

Holiday Hours

Our staff are taking time off from their normal schedules over the next week, so please be patient if our replies are slower than expected!

Also, just a reminder that our hardware provider no longer carries the Mifi 8000, so we don't expect to have it in stock again. We do plan to have advanced hotspots of a different model available again next year, but we haven't yet decided what model will be available or when we will be ready, so please stay tuned to our website and social media for updates!

Mifi 8000 having issues? Try this!

If your Mifi 8000 has recently started exhibiting issues, please try the following process that has helped several member regain internet access, originally suggested by communty member Hadet the Undying: Go into the advanced settings on my MiFi, click Network. Turn off automatic network selection. Click through, manually selecting the the network selected Sprint 310320 and reboot. Might take a couple attempts.

If that does not work, please call tech support at 877-216-9603

Our latest grant recipient: The Library Freedom Project

The Calyx Institute is pleased to announce that we are providing a grant to the Library Freedom Project (LFP) to support its work in collaborating with teens to create a set of privacy resources for people ages 13-19 with special attention to the needs of youth in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and LGBTQ communities. Teenagers have unique concerns and needs when it comes to protecting their privacy online, and The Calyx Institute looks forward to working with LFP to make sure teens have the resources they need to use the internet safely and without surveillance.

As a leader in the library world, LFP has nearly 100 Privacy Advocates representing privacy and free access to information everywhere from the largest urban public libraries to rural communities. Rather than buying into the myth that “teenagers don’t care about privacy” when it comes to interacting online, LFP’s Privacy Advocates know that the youth in their communities recognize privacy as a critical component of personal agency. LFP’s community of librarians will work with teen library patrons to create high-quality privacy resources for young people to meet the need for a robust set of privacy resources made just for teens, on topics they care about, using language and formats they understand. LFP will build this shareable set of resources with teen patrons for availability to all teens online.

Libraries have always worked to create opportunities for access and close the information gap that often confronts marginalized communities. LFP has exemplified this by pioneering the creation of resources that bring digital privacy education and tech programs into libraries. Since libraries are some communities’ most accessible place to get free computer help and internet access, LFP's efforts are critical in the work of expanding access and agency to the most underserved. To learn more about LFP, please visit https://libraryfreedom.org/.


LFP is a privacy-focused nonprofit fiscally sponsored by The Tor Project, one of The Calyx Institute's favorite pro-privacy organizations. To learn more about our work with the Tor Project, please visit https://calyxinstitute.org/projects/digital-services/tor-anonymity.

The Calyx Institute’s Micrgrants and Small Project Support program is designed to sustain digital security and privacy education and software development through low overhead financial support to external organizations and individuals. Grants and project support are currently by invitation only. Please visit https://calyxinstitute.org/projects/microgrants-and-small-project-support to see the projects we have supported and learn more about the program.

Mifi 8000 Update

Hi all! We've been getting a lot of questions about the Mifi 8000, which we no longer have in stock. We're no longer offering this device because our hardware provider no longer carries it. We don't expect this device to become available again as one of our membership offerings in the future, and we don't yet know when we'll have another Contributor Plus level hotspot with advanced features picked out to offer in its stead.

Unfortunately, we have a contract with our hardware provider that prohibits us from authorizing any hardware other than what they provide. We can't physically prevent you from swapping the SIM to another device, but our hardware provider does perform occasional audits, and if your SIM is detected outside the original hotspot they may interrupt your service. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to let us know at helpdesk@ calyxinstitute.org

T-Mobile Roaming on Calyx Hotspots

Good news! Calyx devices will gain roaming capabilities on to the T-Mobile network through a Preferred Roaming List (PRL) update from Sprint. Once a Calyx device accepts the PRL update, Calyx service will continue on the Sprint network as well as the T-Mobile network. Calyx devices will stay on the Sprint network as long as it’s available. Roaming on the T-Mobile network will only occur when a Calyx device is no longer on the Sprint network and when the T-Mobile network is available.

To take advantage of this PRL update, devices should be turned on to during the timeframes outlined below. If your device is not on during this period, it may not gain the ability to roam onto T-Mobile's network. Aside from the expanded benefit of roaming, there will be no other change to your plan – it will still include unlimited data as our gift to you, in thanks for your support of our mission to support free expression and internet privacy worldwide!

The following devices will automatically receive the PRL update within 7 days beginning on 11/18/2020, if the device is turned on, or upon a device restart: Coolpad Surf, Franklin T9, LinkZone 2, MiFi 8000.

The following devices will automatically receive the PRL update within 5 days beginning on 11/18/2020, if the device is turned on, or upon a device restart: Franklin R850, Franklin R910, ZTE Warp.

The following devices will receive the PRL update later in December. We will provide additional information before this occurs, however, the general approach is expected to be similar: Pocket WiFi.

Your device must be turned on during the timeframes outlined above so you can take advantage of the roaming capabilities provided with this update. You can expect to see a notification letting you know if the update was accepted and you can also check the web portal for information about recent updates. If you don’t see a notification, try restarting the device.

Please do not leave your device plugged in and charging, as this can cause serious damage to the battery and void the warranty. When your device is fully charged, you must unplug it to avoid this damage.

Some Calyx devices have already been connecting to the T-Mobile network in areas where the Sprint and T-Mobile networks have already merged. We anticipate that this change will largely affect areas where the networks have not yet fully merged. Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile has given us any timeline on when any given area will see its' Sprint coverage merge with T-Mobile's. To join the discussion and chat with other members in your area about their experience with their hotspots, please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/calyxinstitute

You can contact our hardware provider Mobile Citizen at 877-216-9603 for assistance with a manual update. Unfortunately, Calyx staff are unable to assist with a manual update and we will only be able to direct you to Mobile Citizen if you request our assistance with this.

New Device Offerings In Stock!

We are excited to announce that Franklin T9 hotspots are now in stock! These devices include the following great features:

  • 4G LTE technology, connecting up to 15 Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Band-locking capability
  • User-friendly display allows you to see text and icons on the device
  • Can be run without a battery, directly from wall power
  • Pocket-sized and lightweight yet durable

We haven't yet chosen any new device for our Contributor Plus membership level. Unfortunately, we are completely out of stock of Mifi 8000s, and our hardware provider will not be making any more available to us to distribute. We apologize for the inconvenience, but hope that you find our new device offerings as exciting as we do!

We're hiring: Junior Membership Coordinator

Update: We are no longer accepting applications for the Junior Membership Coordinator position. Thank you for your interest!

The Calyx Institute is hiring a Junior Membership Coordinator to play a key role in communicating with and facilitating support for our members, assisting with our administrative backend, and creating and maintaining record-keeping systems. The Junior Membership Coordinator will represent Calyx through professional, responsive communication with the members who support the Institute, pack and ship membership benefits to donors, and improve our administrative processes.

As a small but growing nonprofit, Calyx is looking for someone who can work both independently and in close collaboration with our team. Information about the position and how to apply is available here.

Linkzone 2 Hotspots will ship soon!

Hi all! We're so excited to offer you new device options for your Calyx Institute memberships.

If you have already signed up to recieve a new Linkzone 2 hotspot, we will be shipping these out as soon as they reach our office. As of this moment, we are expecting them to arrive on Monday September 21, at which point we will be packing and shipping them out as fast as possible. The Franklin T9 hotspots are still en route from our supplier, and we hope to have them ready to ship from our office very soon.

Any members who have experienced a delay between their signup and recieving their device will receive a membership extension to compensate for the delay. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org.