HolidayBuyer's Guide

Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

Best Wireless Internet Providers (Laptop Cards)

by ninjames / November 9, 2009 6:53 AM PST

I was wondering, in your guys' experience what the best laptop card to go with is? Or rather, the best provider. Be it Sprint or Verizon, or whatever. I just got a laptop and I will be traveling a lot and I want a better speed than I get on my cell phone. Granted, when I had my Instinct on Sprint it seemed to be pretty fast and I wouldn't be too upset with that. I just have a normal phone now.

I was looking for something along the lines of Clearwire speeds, at least. I'm based in California. The reason I can't use Clearwire's cards are my laptop is very new and only has an express card 34mm slot which Clearwire doesn't support. Can anyone provide any insight as to what service I should look into for good speeds? Thank you.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Best Wireless Internet Providers (Laptop Cards)
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Best Wireless Internet Providers (Laptop Cards)
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
coverage coverage coverage
by bill091 / November 9, 2009 9:48 PM PST

Data coverage is getting there but has a long way to go.

You need to look exactly where you are traveling to and compare this to the providers coverage maps. Sometime you will get only the slowest data rate but just across the street you will get the max speed available. Choose your provider based on where you feel you need the high speed the most and which location you can live with lower speed.

Almost all newer "cards" are USB based but the pci cards come in handy if you every need a router to attach multiple machines.

The newest on the market is sprints new WIMAX service. If you are in the coverage area the speeds are the highest you can get and they offer unlimited data for $70. Of course the fine print says if you move to the slower 3g because you cannot get 4g coverage you are limited to 5gig/month with a huge overage charge.

Don't expect anything to be fast. If you get 1m down on any 3g system that is very good. You get on a busy tower and is drags. The little I have played with the sprint 4g seems to work fast but you don't know if that's because its fast or its just not overloaded yet. My house is in a dead spot for sprint 4G so I have to wait.

Read the fine print. This new sprint one is the first that for now is truly unlimited. You will find all kinds of extra fees for stuff if you are not careful. Some say you cannot stream video even though they have commercials showing streaming video to the phones.

I suspect this market will change very fast in the next year. Sprint is first to market with a 4g system but verizon is starting to role out their LTE based 4G. Lots of arguments if LTE is better than WIMAX but it will all come down to if you even have a choice because of coverage of a particular location.

Bottom line is to study and zoom in to very low level on the coverage maps. There are many more dead spots for data than for voice.

Collapse -
Wireless Laptop Card
by ambience2 / August 13, 2010 11:51 PM PDT

You mentioned that you are going to be traveling, that would mean that something like a WISP with a limited coverage zone won't work for your circumstances. Your best solution would be to go with a mobile network that provides a 3G service with a high coverage zone that you can even use in other countries.

I have found 3G to be very reliable and I seldom get slow speeds, but I guess that depends on your signal strength and the area you are accessing the network from.

With 3G I can download at 40kbps + although lately I have been using HSDPA which gives me about 1mbps. I don't know if you can get HSDPA for express cards as you mentioned (when I was buying an internet card a while back I managed to get some info from http://www.laptopwirelessinternetcard.net but you can always search Google and check).

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.