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Networking

I need to get wireless Internet on my laptop, but can't find anyone offering ExpressCards.

I need to get wireless Internet on my laptop, but can't find anyone offering ExpressCards.

An ExpressCard slot is the newer kind of laptop port for wireless cards. It is now standard on all Apple MacBook Pro laptops, and is increasingly being seen in models from other manufacturers. ExpressCard replaces the bigger PC cards (sometimes referred to as PCMCIA Type II).

Wireless Internet providers have been a little slow off the mark when it comes to offering ExpressCard hardware, but there are now some available.

We recently reviewed several wireless Internet cards that operate on HSDPA. HSDPA is a mobile phone network offered by Telstra, 3 and Vodafone, and allows faster download speeds than those you can get from standard wireless Internet providers (iBurst, Unwired). You can also roam internationally with an HSDPA connection.

For these reviews, and some more info on HSDPA, take a look at our roundup of wireless broadband cards. Of the products featured on that page, the first two (3 NetConnect Mobile Broadband Card and Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G HSDPA Card) are compatible with your ExpressCard slot.

Optus doesn't offer ExpressCards just yet, but according to their Web site, they will have them in "early 2007".

If you have a look at the Wireless Internet or Mobile Broadband sections of the 3, Vodafone and Telstra websites, you should be able to find out what their pricing plans are.

I hope I haven't confused you further with all that info! The main thing to note is that ExpressCard is certainly not some scam -- it's the new standard. It's just taken Internet providers a little while to catch up in terms of offering hardware.