Technology News & Product Reviews

Cellular Modems for Laptops

I have been successfully using the Verizon Wireless VZ Access PC Card Modem for my Windows PC for the past few years. I have tested it in several different PCs nationwide. It works wherever there is a cellular connection–pretty much most of the USA.

I took it cross-country and it worked great. If I was driving, I could have Google Maps loaded in the passenger seat. If I was a passenger, I could surf the net and even watch YouTube Videos while the PC was hooked-up to the Car Stereo. This really kept all the passengers entertained in the vehicle.

I pay $80 a month for this mobile access. Today, the price is lower at $50 a month, but the connection is capped at 5GB per month. My early adopter connection is unlimited data. I had one update to the VZ Access software since I have had it, and I was afraid they were going to push-out a limited monthly connection, but so far I am relatively ok. I may have noticed a slow down lately, after a long day on the net–or after I have downloaded a bunch of podcasts. But usually by the next day things are back to normal. Sometimes you just might have to restart Windows to clear the cache. That might have more to do with Windows or your prefered Browser than it does with the Verizon access.

In crowded apartment buildings, cellular access is horrible. However, in tall buildings and single family homes, the connection is fantastic. With an Intel Pentium 4 PC, I am able to upload data to my many websites with ease. I had a PC with an Intel Celleron processor that could not do so, even on WiFi. I am getting 3G speed, and it is as fast as the WiFi at the Public Library.

___________________________Note for Mac users__________________________

I bought a USB Cellular Modem from both AT&T and Sprint for my MacBook. NEITHER one worked with the Mac, even though they were advertised to do so. The employees at the stores I got these ASSURED me they would work on the Mac. I returned both within 24 hours, and had the contracts canceled.

AT&T was bought at a corporate kiosk in a mall. Sprint was bought at BestBuy. BestBuy gave me a problem nullifying the contract, although they accepted the USB Modem return the same day. They said their new “Mobile Manager” had left the company a few days after the return–I knew they were lying to me b/c the man gave me his card, said he was there in a new title, and was going to stay on for years. I know the other employee was lying to me to discourage my canceling of a contract on a product that DID NOT WORK WHATSOEVER, and the hardware was ALREADY returned. He made me contact Sprint directly, instead of taking the responsibility to do it himself. This is just one example of BestBuy’s horrible corporate culture. I will post more of my bad experiences at BestBuy and the other “Big Box Stores” that dominate the United States in other posts on this blog. Search the tag “frustrated” in the near future.

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