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
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.