Aircard 875u provides blazing fast connection speeds for your mobile laptop
I recently posted a write up about how I used my Motorola Razr as a bluetooth modem for my laptop, which let me surf the web on the way to work each morning. Well, sort of... it was extremely slow! Remember how slow 28.8k dialup modems used to be? This setup was even slower, and dropped the connection ever few minutes.
And to make matters worse, I discovered during the second week that Cingular doesn't actually allow their MediaNet plan to be used in this way. They officially require tethered internet traffic to use one of their "data plans", which costs $59.99 a month for unlimited internet usage.
After insisting on a full refund from AT&T (after all, it was on the advice of their sales rep that I purchased the MediaNet plan in the first place), I upgraded to their unlimited data plan and bought a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875u (USB Data Card with broadband speeds).
I'm riding the bus home as I write this, using the Aircard to connect my laptop to the internet. It's smoking fast!
I performed a speed test using http://www.speedtest.net, and registered about 1.8 Mbps download speeds (it's rated at up to 3 Mbps). That's faster than my company's T1 LAN connection, and I don't have to worry anymore about trying to find a wifi hotspot. It's always connected, wherever there's cell phone coverage.
The Aircard is compatible with both PC and Mac computers running Windows or OSX. I'm using a Macbook with OSX 10.4, and downloaded the software from Sierra's website called Sierra Watcher. It installed flawlessly and required a system restart, but then I was good to go. I ran the Watcher program and then plugged the Aircard into my USB port. A few seconds later I was connected to the web and grinning ear to ear.
Amazon has a free Aircard offer for new service plans, or $49.95 if you already have an AT&T wireless plan like I did. I think that's pretty reasonable though, and I'll easily pay for it and the monthly service plan by being able to work a few extra hours on the bus ride to work each day.
You can also read reviews on the Sierra Wireless AC875U UMTS USB Modem at Amazon, and find out how much other users are liking it.
AT&T did an excellent job with this gadget, and it's perfect if you're doing any mobile work on your laptop.
In fact, if my wife didn't need her laptop at home during the day, I'd cancel my home internet connection plan and just use the Aircard connected to a wireless access point.