Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why spending more money to ATT as necessary

Originally I did want to talk about the possibility to buy an iPad with Wifi only and then to buy a 3G/4G router from another provider. The idea came to me when a good old friend told me about his 3G router he bought in England and chose a cheap provider for 3G. Unfortunately here in the States are only a few providers who are offering data plans besides ATT and they are all similar. The best choice is T-Mobile. 500 minutes with unlimited Data transfer is $59.99 a month.
All other big providers have a limit to 5GB a month, which are just 3 movies in HD. But with T-mobile you need to get an unlocked 3G router. The only router right now available is the HUAWEI E5830 WiFi USB ROUTER/MODEM/DONGLE for around $120.
Huawei E5830 image:

Sprint and Verizon offer the Mifi 2200 (see description below), which costs $200 but user gets a $200 instant savings. Then there is the ultimative Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G which costs $99.99 after instant savings and for $40 you can buy a iPad cover which holds the overdrive.

The problem with all these extra devices is, that their battery life is shorter than the iPad battery life and they take between 15 and 45 seconds to boot. You will lose a lot of convenience.
I would have written more about this, but I changed my mind after I read (and posted the article yesterday) that the federal ruling allows to jailbreak the iPhone. This is awesome, if you don’t care to lose your warranty, you should jailbreak, and the cool part is you are not violating any law.

Why is this good?
We don’t need any 3rd party router to avoid the 3G charging for our iPad. We only need to jailbreak our iPhone and download from Cydia small software to make our iPhone to a Wifi hotspot.
A jailbroken iPhone allows us as well to sync with iTunes without cable over Wifi.
Therefore no long story how and why to buy a 3G router. Just jailbreak your iPhone, I allow it and I feel good that I can say this official without getting trouble from Apple.
But for the people who want to go through the process NOT to jailbreak their iPhone and don’t want to give ATT more money, then I recommend to get the Mifi 2200 as the only official 3G router in pocket size here in the US (besides the Overdrive 3G/4G) .

Here some facts about the Mifi 2200

Form Factors: Self contained router with embedded mobile broadband radio/module (essentially an aircard and router in one unit).
Wireless Range: Operates on Wireless "G". Range is approximately 30 feet, depending upon factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls. Range CANNOT be improved (no port for WiFi antenna). Limited to FIVE connected computers/devices.
Ethernet Ports: None but you can tether one Mac/Windows computer via USB port
Load Balancing: NO
Portability: This router is tinier than anything you want to provide internet connectivity to. Very compact and light - smallest 3G router available; cigarette lighter adapter available soon.
Manufacturer Support: Novatel makes the MiFi, and we have a great relationship with them. The MiFi is the first product of its kind, so the jury is still out on how well it will be supported/maintained.
PROs: Most portable 3G router. When bought with 2yr contract, it is also the most affordable way to share connectivity with up to five computers or wifi enabled devices.
CONs: Locked to ONE carrier. Cannot be used with any other carrier. NO cellular antenna jack! Wireless G radio with no option to add a WiFi antenna, signal strength can be seen only via web admin.

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