So you want to get wireless internet for your laptop, but you're not sure what you're options are huh? This short article will help you to choose the best mobile internet provider based on your circumstances. There a few criteria you should consider when choosing a mobile internet provider to receive wireless internet for laptops. They are:
Monthly Rate: Wireless internet for laptops is generally a little more expensive than internet for your home. A mobile internet provider generally charges $45-80 a month for their service with $60 a month being average.
-Lowest Cost Provider: CLEAR Wireless 4G, Cricket Wireless 3G ($45/month)
-Highest Cost Provider: Sprint Wireless 3G/4G, CLEAR Wireless 3G/4G, Qwest Wireless ($80/month)
Contract: Wireless internet providers generally require a 2 year contract. There are some however that do not require 2 year contracts and offer a month-to-month agreement option. Generally the cell phone companies will require 2 year contracts.
-Companies that Offer Monthly Agreements: CLEAR Wireless and Cricket Wireless
-Companies that Require 2 Year Contracts: Verizon, Qwest, AT&T, and Sprint
Download Speed: There is a large variance in download speeds amongst mobile internet providers. The slowest provider, Cricket Wireless, provides download speeds of 0.5-1.5 Mbps. The cell phone companies (Verizon, Qwest, Sprint 3G, and T-Mobile) offer wireless internet speeds of 0.5-2.0 Mbps. CLEAR Wireless offers mobile internet speeds of 2.5-10 Mbps. The reason for the great difference in download speeds is that CLEAR and Sprint operate a 4G wireless broadband network, whereas Cricket and the other cell phone providers use a 3G network.
-Slowest Download Speeds: Cricket Wireless, Qwest Wireless
-Fastest Download Speeds: CLEAR Wireless and Sprint Wireless (4G)
Coverage: There are differences in mobile internet coverage amongst the wireless internet providers also. 4G wireless networks have not been built nationwide yet so its coverage is somewhat limited. Currently 4G is available in over 25+ metropolitan areas nationwide (as of Jan 2010). Some of the larger city areas with coverage include Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Baltimore and Chicago. Because of this limited coverage, 4G coverage with CLEAR and Sprint are only offered in certain areas. By the end of 2010 however, 4G will be available in 80+ cities. 3G on the other hand is available pretty much nationwide, although it is somewhat limited for rural coverage.
-3G Coverage Only: Verizon, Qwest, T-Mobile
-4G Only Option: CLEAR Wireless
-Both 3G and 4G: CLEAR Wireless and Sprint Wireless
As you have probably now gathered, you have lots of options when it comes to mobile internet for laptops. What wireless internet provider you decide on will probably depend on the preceding criteria I have discussed. I hope that this article helps you to make an informed decision in choosing your wireless internet provider. If you require further assistance, please check out my resource box and website below.