I'm dealing with some medical issues again. When under personal stress some people eat. Some people smoke or drink. I buy and play with tech. Can't help it.
After months of debating all the mobile broadband options, and getting thisclose to Comcast's mobile 4G option (which would have saved me $10/month until I found out it couldn't be used at all on a Mac and canceled my order), this morning I picked up a Sprint 3G/4G Overdrive. It's a wireless modem/router just released this month that can allow up to 5 remote connections and works over 3G and 4G networks. Next time Comcast goes down in our home like it did this morning, Eric and I can both be online at the same time rather than passing the USB modem back and forth.
I couldn't see myself doing another 2-year contract for anything that wasn't 4G, even though the network is only currently available in some major cities. Thankfully, I live near one of them.
$99 for the device after rebate, same monthly fee as I was paying before ($68 with fees & insurance). Seems like a lot when I don't use it, worth every penny and then some when I do.
This one will get a lot more use.
I live about 30 miles outside of Philadelphia which has 4G coverage. I knew I was taking my chances since it was hard to tell from their coverage maps if my home was in the 4G zone. I'm happy to report that yes, indeed I can get 4G from my home. Sprint says that Washington, DC will be on 4G at some point in 2010.
Upgrading from an USB 3G AirCard is kind of like going from a black & white TV with rabbit ears to an HDTV. Whoa.
For starters, setup was an absolute breeze compared to the activation hoops I had to jump through last time. Turn it on. Join the network. Set your own SSID & passwords. Done.
When you connect via wifi, you simply go to http://overdrive in your browser to configure/monitor. There's an LCD screen on the device itself, but as the router may be buried at the bottom of a laptop bag or in another room, the LCD is helpfully recreated and dynamically updated on the configuration screen. It works perfectly from my iPhone and my MacBook.
I didn't try watching movies with it, but surfing around on my laptop for a bit I had to double check to make sure I didn't slip back over to the cable modem. Respectable speed (for some reason Speedtest.net thought I was in KS by the IP) for access on the go.
We'll see how it does away from Philadelphia, particularly when I'm Amtrak and hit areas in Delaware that the old AirCard always gave up. For now, I think I made the right choice.