USB broadband "card" recommendations for very intermittent use?
February 19, 2010 5:15 AM   Subscribe

USB broadband "card" recommendations for very intermittent use?

Need to get one of those "no contract" USB gadgets for broadband access. Primary application is so our people can get web access (particularly email) when we're at trade shows (about 4 times a year).

Must be easy to swap between multiple laptops.

Bonus for international capability (Western Europe, Russia, China).

I've seen offerings recently from Verizon, Virgin, AT&T, but don't know where to start evaluating them for my specific need.

Are they all really "no contract?"

Are there any periodic fees even when no usage occurs?

Most importantly, what are my fellow MeFites' experiences, good and bad, in terms of coverage and support?
posted by ZenMasterThis to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I've used the verizon broadband card and it works pretty well. They have a little app that tells you your usage. I think it is 5 gb a month limit.
posted by nuke3ae at 5:34 AM on February 19, 2010

Typically they are contract or at least require a monthly flat fee even if you dont use it that month.

International is probably out of the question as the frequencies of 3G are different all over the world. With GSM you can probably get EDGE to work internationally when it cant get 3G to work, but thats dial-up speed.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:57 AM on February 19, 2010

Pay as you go mobile broadband is about £15 for 3 GB or 30 days, whichever comes first, plus the ±£30 cost of the gadget. Some networks (3, I'm looking at you) may have weird requirements to spend money every month to get the alleged cheap rate, but most don't. Using it internationally on a normal plan is hideously expensive and not always possible (Vodafone seems to have more international connections available, but is still hideously expensive). I like my O2 one, and was unimpressed with the Vodafone guy who told me that of course theirs would work on a Mac when oh guess what, it didn't (that was last year; things may have changed since then).

Of course, for people not in the UK, YMMV.
posted by Lebannen at 8:11 AM on February 19, 2010

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