Cellular Data: Check
out the article, "Using
a High-Speed Wireless Card" by Brian Jepson, in the premiere issue
of of Make:
technology on your time (Vol. 1, Feb. 2005, O'Reilly Media). The
article gives an overview of various cellular data services, costs,
performance, the new 1xEV-DO service from Verizon (which tested an
average of 370kbps!), and the use of external antennas.
|Would you sacrifice a few
meals each month for wireless networking away from home? By
Here's a rundown of all the data services
I've tested and who offers them:
Verizon Wireless (www.verizonwireless.com)
Cingular Wireless (www.cingular.com)
GPRS: General Packet
(Cingular Wirelss, T-Mobile, Cingular). Up to 13.2Kbps.
EDGE: Enchanced Data rates for GSM Evolution
1XRTT: Single Carrier Radio Transmission Technology
(Sprint, Verizon Wireless). Up to 144Kbps.
1xEV-DO: Single Carrier Evolution Data Only
(Verizon Wireless). 122-470kbps.
|1 year contract:
Verizon Wireless, 1xEV-DO, 122kbps - 470kbps
|Verizon Audiovox PC5220
|Patch Glass Mount Antenna
with Suction Cups
(part CA09-1G, www.cellantenna.com)
|Antenna Adapter Cable
(SKU 421575, www.yourwirelesssource.com)
IDSL: ISDN Digital Subscriber Line, a way of providing
DSL over existing ISDN lines. ISDN has two channels and may
have both voice and data in the circuit, has call setup delays and is
usually billed with a per minute fee. Providing DSL on ISDN gives you
transfer speeds of 144kbps, about the same as ISDN, but it only carries
data. The connection is always-on and has a flat billing rate. If you
live beyond DSL, IDSL may be a good option to consider compared to analog
modems though it probably will be priced higher than DSL. Another consideration
is VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you need VPN to securely connect
to a company network, Satellite (at this time) will not support VPN while
IDSL will. So, if you need VPN, you can't get DSL, and don't have
a "neighborhood network", IDSL may be your best choice even over Satellite.
Wi-Fi: Usually a great solution for wireless HotSpot networks
in businesses, or homes. People have accomplished line-of-sight Wi-Fi
over distances of 20 miles with proper equipment, and created Wi-Fi networks
in neighborhoods in dense forests that operate well in all but the hardest
of rain storms. Hotspots coverage
usually depends on effective antenna orientation and signal strength.
WiMAX: it's coming, but has not arrived in Nevada County
yet. Keep in mind, it is probably not a direct hotspot replacement.
WiMAX is more intended as a tower-to-rooftop solution - getting broadband
to "the last mile", then the customer uses a wired, or wireless,
LAN to distirbute the bandwidth. Eventually there may be WiMAX capable
cards for your laptop, but not currently.