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Mobile Broadband

Broadband is great, right? I use Comcast cable at home and for as much flack as Comcast gets (I have had my own set of customer service issues with them), the cable internet is fast and reliable (in two months we haven’t had any downtime).

So that’s great when I’m at home, but things are different when you’re on the road. I’m noticing a frightening trend - every WiFi hotspot I try to connect to wants me to pay money or join some sort of a service. Not cool…

I finally just sucked it up and got a Sprint EVDO card for my Dell. The card worked pretty well, but dropped out at times. I don’t know if this was Sprint or Dell’s fault (the wireless management tools didn’t seem to like each other).

Recently, though, I “upgraded” (depending on your point of view) to a Macbook Air. I love the laptop for traveling, but getting 3G on it from Verizon or Sprint requires a USB card, meaning I would have to get a new broadband card. I wouldn’t really have minded doing this, but with the speed of innovation it seems like within a year or two I’m going to have to upgrade again to get a 4G card (this may be wishful thinking).

Instead I just got a mobile broadband router (another type is the Kyocera KR2). The cool thing about these routers is that you can just plug your PCMCIA or USB 3G adapter and the router will auto-detect your settings and just give you a WiFi signal. You can also have several people share your connection (or lock them out if your selfish).

The one thing to keep in mind when you travel is that in order to use the router you will need to find an available power outlet for the router. I have had some challenges in the airport, but in general it’s not too hard.


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