Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seeking Wireless PC Card Advice from Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Readers

As my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers have learned, Rex and I have been spending more time in our New York office, which means lots more time commuting on New Jersey Transit from Bernardsville, NJ to Hoboken and home again, home again (jiggety jog). I'm thinking about getting an AT&T Wireless PC card for my HP notebook so I can access the Internet from the train.

Some questions for you, dear readers:

  • Have you had any luck with a wireless PC card while in motion... in the car (hopefully with someone else at the wheel), on a bus or train?
  • Is one wireless provider better for Internet access than another, and/or does it depend on your geography and AT&T and Verizon's coverage areas? I'm leaning towards AT&T Wireless because of my iPhone, but I'm not sure there's any financial benefit to being brand-loyal as a PC card doesn't seem to be part of the "family plan" packages
  • Is one PC card manufacturer better than another, or one form of connection? Looking at the AT&T Wireless web site, I see USBConnect Mercury, Sierra Wireless Aircard, and Option GT Ultra Express.... and I think there's also a way to connect through a "tethered Blackberry."
  • How does Internet access via a wireless PC card compare with an iPhone or Blackberry? I've read reviews that use terms like "lightning fast" and I can tell you neither my iPhone (on EDGE, not on the new 3G network) nor Rex's Blackberry does anything "lightning fast" on the train...
  • And ugh... $60/month seems a bit rich, and that's for 5GB of data... is that "enough data"? It looks like both AT&T and Verizon have the same $60/5GB plan, and Verizon was nice enough to pull together some examples supporting the theory that 5GB is plenty... a "typical web page lookup" is 150kb... based on this assumption, I would need to look up approximately 34,952 web pages in a month (or over one thousand per day) to reach 5GB. Now, my friends Mariuca and LadyJava may drop their EntreCards on 600 sites per day, but I doubt that even with a three hour round trip commute on the train that I'd go over the limit.


Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy, wishing u a nice relaxing weekend with the girls. Hope Rex is already home to join in the fun! :):):)

Mariuca said...

I'm gonna have a busy one, with the Chinese New Year coming this Mon. Hafta do some last min shopping and visit the hair salon! ;)

LadyJava said...

hmm.... I don't think I would ever drop when I'm travelling.. I get motion sickness when I read or even text... hehehe...

But if you can kill two birds with one stone.. why not eh

Have a great weekend dearie.. here on GG card.. will try to be by later with either LJL or LLP..;)

Talen said...

Don't buy it. I purchased the same card in December...the speed is fine but 5g is not a lot and you will eat it up fast especially is you download pictures or upload to your web site.

I went over 5g in 14 days by 300 mb...the overage charge for 300mb you ask? $904.00. I canceled and disputed the bill which they reduced to $0 finally.

RoxiticusDH said...

Thanks for commenting and warning me on the 5GB... that's an insane overage charge. While Verizon's examples would lead me to believe that 5GB is an enormous amount of data, I can imagine that all of the different things I'd use the card for (e-mail, visiting web sites, trying to upload/download to my site) could all add up quickly....have you just given up on wireless Internet access from y our computer or is their another option?


Talen said...

For the time being I've given up. You may want to check out Sprint's pc cards ...not sure what their limit is.

The thing that got me about ATT was that they let me go over then cut me off without notice...that's how I won my dispute because they shouldn't have let it go past the 5g.

When I got that bill I couldn't believe how much they wanted for 300mb when they were only charging $60 for 5g.

Peter (Worldman): said...

Question 1: Yes, the PC card works very well on the move.

Question 4: It is ligthening speed. Much better than iPhone. BTW, I bought the iPhone 3 month ago. I sold it and I replaced with Nokia 5800, the iPhone killer.

Question 5: 60 USD for 5 Giga is not bad. 5 Giga is quite ok and, unless you download movies whilst commuting, you should be able to go through the month. It would be interesting to know how much you pay when you exceed the 5 Giga.

As I am not living in the US, I cannot answer your other questions.

But all in all, a PC card is great. I am using one since 3 years. One that connects with UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, HSDA and GSM. Which means that even in remote locations where the network is not well developped, you can connect. But of course, with GSM it is a bit slow.

A personal remark: I have noticed (since long) with my mybloglog widget that you are (very frequently) on my blog. I just did not come around to visit you. But as I am now ready to start my postponed retirement, I will have time and will visit your blog too.

Mariuca said...

Hey Roxy, I am still so tired from my day trip yesterday. Came back home late, slept early and got up late, and yes I still am so sleepy now. Dropping by to say hello! :):):)