Technology

Wi-Fi in a Box to Go

Jim Luff
Posted on November 1, 2008

DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER of corporate executives you transport, you can provide this valuable amenity for a relatively cheap one-time investment and about $60 a month. This same amenity offered to your client can benefit your chauffeur and even third parties who are within 200 feet of your “mobile router.” There are two methods to provide Internet service to your clients. One method is to simply carry a “broadband card” from a cellular provider. The other is the use of a mobile router which requires a broadband card as well, but can be used with laptops that lack a slot for a broadband card. This method also allows you to share your hotspot between the chauffeur and the client at the same time, and with others nearby.

 

MOBILE ROUTERS REVIEWED

Mobile routers vary greatly in cost, physical appearance, ease of installation, and compatibility with cellular service providers. The two comparisons below show general factors to consider when buying a mobile router.

 

KYOCERA KR2 - $219.00

The KR2 is small in size at 8.5 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches. It is capable of accepting a variety of broadband cards including PCMCIA, Express Cards, and USB broadband devices. It includes four Ethernet ports for multiple users to connect by cable. It has advance firewall protection and security features, and includes a configuration disk that makes it fast and easy to install. This unit only works with Verizon and Sprint broadband cards.

 

JUNXION BOX - $699.00

The Junxion Box is 6.25 x 10.25 x 1.3 inches. It is limited to accepting PCMCIA type cards but will work on virtually any cellular network system. It has two Ethernet ports for cable connections. It is easy to set up and readily detects the cellular system connection and self-configures for immediate use.

 

 

HOW THEY WORK

BROADBAND CARD - A broadband card is about the size of a playing card. It is inserted into a slot on a laptop computer and serves as a wireless modem using cellular technology. The card “dials” a phone number and connects to a carrier network such as Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T to connect you to the Internet.

 

MOBILE ROUTER - Using a broadband card as a connection method, a mobile router allows several users to share the signal of the broadband card connection either on a wireless basis if so equipped or by plugging a cable into the Ethernet ports on the router and laptop computer. In this method, even an older laptop that is not equipped for wireless communication can surf the web.

 

 

BROADBAND CARD COMPARISON

Broadband cards are available in a variety of types, including cards made to fit Express Slots, PC Card Slots, PC Card II Slots, and USB Ports models. It is important to get the proper card for the laptop you intend to use or the mobile router you plan to use. All plans include unlimited use.  

 

Carrier

Monthly Fee    

Card Purchase

Activation Fee

Coverage      

Early Term. Fee

AT&T $59.99 $49.99 $36 superior $175
T-Mobile $59.98  $149.99  $35  excellent  $200 
Sprint  $59.99  $49.99  $36  excellent  $200 
Verizon $59.99  $49.99  $35  average  $175 
USCellular  $60.00  n/a  $30  limited  n/a 
Alltel  $59.00  $99.99  $25  limited  $200 

 

Where to Buy It

BROADBAND CARDS

• AT&T

• Sprint

• Verizon

• T-Mobile

MOBILE ROUTERS

Kyocera www.kyocera-wireless.com

• Junxion Inc. www.junxion.com

• Top Global www.topglobalusa.com

• Autonet Mobile www.autonetmobile.com

  

Related Topics: Junxion Box, Kyocera, mobile internet, Wi-Fi access

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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