Should I buy a USB HSDPA modem?
I'm thinking of buying a USB HSDPA modem because I travel to a fair few places that don't have Wi-Fi. But... since I have a 56Kbps modem in my laptop is a 3G modem really worthwhile?
Yes, I know it should be much faster, but are they really? Reviews on Register Hardware suggest they're a long way off promised 7.2Mb/s speeds.
And I want one that's not tied to a network so that I can switch providers when I want to. Should I buy a SIM-free - and pricey - one, or are Vodafone/3/Orange etc offerings unlocked/unlockable?
A Phone also works with a couple of advantages
If you get a smartphone/PDA with similar dl/up speeds you also get to access the web with no laptop, no lock-in (or a free/cheap phone depending on contract), along with other possible goodies... A new Nokia N or E series comes with a brilliant Voip client for cheap/free calls, you can sync with an Exchange server with you have one at work, etc...
Of course it does add a layer of complication.
watch that battery!
Watch that battery usage! If your laptop's battery life is of a concern to you, a mobile phone that supports HSDPA will have its own battery, which will allow you to work longer on the move.
Get one that can be charged over USB and it'll still work if you forget to charge the phone - plus you have a spare phone to use. :)
Just to echo the point that it's worth checking coverage where you plan to use it first. Most trains lack the coverage while moving!
I have the latest Vodafone one, the one that resembles a Flash drive and it's fantastic.... incredibly fast, £15 a month for 5Gb transfer and i've yet to find an area where coverage is anything but 3G
I've not tried the "3" ones but if the modem service is anything like their phones i'd personally steer clear.
O2 i'd avoid like nobody's business, they may be improving their 3G network in view of the new iPhone, but as it is at the moment is way behind the others.
Ah the 4.3 was from memory
It's not the download speed I get, which as I said, is normally around 200KB/s it can go higher though, but rarely.
I remember being told that three were rolling out the 7.2 later this year when I bought it, but it is one of the 7.2 compatible modems.