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Old 06-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

Were thinking of getting some type of Internet access on the road. Anyone using an Air-Card from any provider? How do you like it? How about using your Cell as a modem? Any input, drawbacks?

Thanks. Ray
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

I have an air card on our home laptop, and one for my work laptop, both with service provided by AT&T. Generally, I love the access they provide, and except for poor reception inside a few buildings I've worked in (poor for cell phones as well). The air cards are essentially just cell phones dedicated to data, and even have a phone number assigned to them.

The only drawback I could see with a cell phone modem, would be the lack of talking while surfing, but is that a bad thing?

If you get an air card, I'd recommend the unlimited data plan, because it can add up fast.


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Old 06-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

We have a Sprint air card and it works pretty well. Near big cities, you get much faster data rates than out in the sticks, but generally, if you can get cell phone service, you can get some kind of data connection. It cost $60 per month for unlimited service. We may switch to Verizon sometime as they are supposed to have better coverage.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

I've wanted one of those for some time, but considering the frequency of my time in the van when I need connectivity, the costs were unreasonable. I know I can get on at the Panamint Springs Resort camping area, and other times I keep the laptop on the passenger seat and drive around some town I'm in until I pick up some wireless. Last month I simply parked next to the Winneduma Hotel in Independence, CA, and surfed for a while on my way thru the valley
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

I love people who leave their networks open. I use my neighbor's wireless as a backup for the security camera uploads when we're travelling.

I wanted to do the combined cell thing until I found out that using it as a modem is an extra $30, still I think it would be more convenient provided you have a USB charger and extra USB ports. Personally after a week with the LG Dare I decided any data plan was a sucking waste of money so I'm possibly not the best person to have an opinion.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

I've had the verizon aircard for the past two years. The flexibility is excellent and the speed is reasonable. Plenty for basic email.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

I just dove into the Verizon MIFI card. (MIFI 2200). So far WOW!! Very nice, the size of a credit card just thicker, works like a hot spot, can wirelessly link up to 5 laptops, set was a breeze, and the overall speed is great so far. Cost is $150 with a $50 rebate and the service is $39 or $59 a month depending on usage plan. The smaller plan fit our needs. I really donít have anything negative to say about it. Three things I like the most about it: wireless means no card sticking out and no wires, itís a hot spot for multiple users (Laptops) and the connection speed is great.

We are off to Pinnacles, Lassen and beyond for the next two weeks I'll let you know how it works while on the road. heh, I'll have access now!


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Old 06-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

We use the Sprint card. It works great and is pretty fast as long as your not in Montana cause there aint no Sprint there.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:10 PM   #9
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

If you have a phone that has a data plan with verizon (for example a blackberry) and the phone is tethering capable it will only cost $30 a month to get the tethering (modem) capability instead of the 60 for the aircard (because you are already paying $30 for the unlimited data plan)

Even better you can turn the tethering on and off at any time and you only pay for the days used

This way if you only need it for some weeks of the year you only pay the time you actually need it.

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Old 06-14-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Air card Vs. Cell phone modem

Shouldn't cellularSteve be chiming in here?


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