Which Aircard is the Best?

So, which aircard is best? This is sort of a trick question. You can compare and contrast the aircards from all the different companies and look at their cons and benefits, but that probably wouldn't give you the answer.

Alright, I'll get to the point already. In my opinion, the best aircard or broadband card ever made is the one that gets the best reception in the specific place where you'll be when you use it most. You could have the most expensive aircard ever made, with a three foot tall antenna on it, and it wouldn't do you any good if you were in a dead spot or out of range for the cell phone network that services it.

The best way to choose an aircard is probably to ask around and find out which cell phone company has the best service in your area. If you know someone that has an aircard, ask them how well it works in your area.

Once you find out which cell phone service is best, go to that company, whether it be AT&T, Alltel, Verizon, Sprint, or whatever. Talk to the customer support people and see what options they can offer you. Ask about their 3G or EVDO aircards or wireless modems. If you already get good cell service from one of these companies, you can probably use them and may be able to roll your data plan into your cell phone bill.

Also, you may be able to use your cell phone as an aircard by tethering it to your computer. Ask the customer support person about this option. You may need to press them about this alternative method, because they might rather sell you an aircard instead of upgrading your data plan and letting you use your phone as an aircard. Often tethering is cheaper, but each method has its advantages.

So, let's come back to our question. Which aircard is best? The truth is the aircard itself probably isn't as important as having the most powerful network in the area.

1 comment:

  1. By and large the most important element is the carrier and the coverage of the carrier where the card is to be used. I work with a company called RovAir (www.rovair.com). We rent aircards from Sprint and Verizon. In more rural areas we find Verizon has the better coverage. But in more populated areas both work great. When reviewing the coverage maps, take note there are differences in the network speeds. For instance Verizon has Broadband Access and something not quite as fast called "National Access".

    In terms of the physical card, myself personally prefer a PCMCIA card as it is better protected when inserted in the computer. Otherwise the 595U cards (offered by both Sprint and Verizon) are very durable.