I’m often out of the office with my tablet where I don’t have wired or wireless connectivity. Where I’m at may have a wired or wireless network, but often they don’t want me to use it, presumably for security reasons. Or, in the case of airports or other public buildings, they have a wireless network, but the cost per minute is more than the Emperors Club VIP.
No problem. Tethering, or Plan B told you how I used a Windows Mobile device and Internet Sharing to enable my tablet to access the Internet when my hotel’s wired (and wireless) connection stopped working.
However, sometimes I’d rather not lug around a Windows Mobile device just so I can access the Internet with my tablet. Further, the combo of my tablet, the WinMo device and a USB cable (Bluetooth is doable but results in a slower connection) can be a bit clumsy, such as when sitting in a chair at the airport gate waiting for my plane to board.
The alternative is a data modem. Using Novatel Wireless products as an example, your choice of connections are USB, PCMCIA or ExpressCard.
All my tablets have an ExpressCard slot, some ExpressCard/34, others ExpressCard/54. Since an ExpressCard/34 can fit in an ExpressCard/54 slot, I chose that form factor. You also can buy adapters for ExpressCard to USB and ExpressCard to PCMCIA.
The package includes the ExpressCard modem, a small user’s guide and a CD I haven’t had to look at yet. I inserted the 950D into my XT’s ExpressCard/54 slot. The 950D was recognized, drivers were installed, and it was ready to be used.
My first priority was a speed test using, naturally, Speedtest.net. The first picture shows the results, which of course will differ depending on the connection available where you are. While I was smack in the middle of Downtown L.A., Speedtest.net chose a server in San Jose. My guess was this related to my using the AT&T data connection. As you can see, my need for speed was satisfied. And I haven’t even experimented yet with an external antenna, which could come in handy in areas where the connection is not as good as the middle of Downtown L.A.