Our network of sites >> talk | feed | free | tech | rock | xbox | homes | learn | game | pods | grab | blog | book | beep | help

What's the best all-over access card to use in a laptop?

Can't wait for a free call tonight or or the free ask-by-email service? Due to time constraints, I can only take questions these days during the times that my show is on the air live. You can call with your question anytime 24/7 at 1-800-39-ONLINE (1-800-396-6546) or 1-888-488-DAVID (1-888-488-3284), even if the show is not on the air. Due to the volume of questions, response is not guaranteed.

However, if you're in a hurry, be sure to take advantage of the premium AskDavidLawrence service when you ask your question below. It's guaranteed!

David answers all questions, including those on acting, advertising, Internet scams, music, podcasting, radio, sound, television, voiceovers, the Web, and on Macintosh, UNIX and Windows computers.

Previously: My Super Ex-ISP >>
Next: David Lawrence Unplugged for 7/22/2006: the premium podcast feed of Online Tonight with David Lawrence >>



I am looking for an Internet card for my laptop. Something that will give me the best allover coverage. I use Cingular as my cell provider. I drive a truck, and need something more than a Wi-Fi hotspot at a truck stop. Great show.




Getting access online is possible via many methods, including the ones you mentioned: Wi-FI (802.11 in its various flavors) and cell access (through the cell providers' third generation cell networks.

Companies like Sprint, Cingular and Verizon have options to both use your cell phone, connected to your laptop with a cable, as well as PCMCIA and PC Express cards that pick up the cell network's signal without a phone. The networks are now fast enough that you can achieve double ISDN speeds, and even faster, with their systems.

But things are changing. New networks and ways of getting online are starting to be tested and offered to the public - variously called Ultrawide Area Network, Metropolitan WiFi, Citywide, and, from Verizon, a new service that is truly nationwide coverage.

Read on... (more ahead)

The details are just beginning to emerge, but Verizon looks to be the first to give you city-to-city coverage, at very high speeds, and via a method other than WiFi or cell access. Contact your local Verizon office for details as to whether or not the service is available in the cities you usually travel to.

It also pays to pay attention to what is a rapidly changing landscape. Google, for example, is also looking to serve cities across the country with wide area broadband wireless access - although details are sketchy, they are looking to get San Francisco set up first, and move across the country, city by city.

There are tons of different methods of getting online wirelessly - and they are all vying for the attention of your cell company and ISP, and any of these could end up being a standard: 3G (third-generation wireless), 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), BREW (Binary Runtine Environment for Wireless), CDMA (code division multiple access), CDMA2000 (CDMA version of IMT-2000 standard), EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Environment), EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) or 1xEV-DO, FLO (Forward Link Only), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), GSM (Global System Mobile Communications), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access), WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access), WiBro (Wireless Broadband), Wi-Fi or WLAN (Wireless Local Area Networks) and WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access).


I believe that based on where we are right now, you should stick with your Cingular connection - and talk to them about their latest and greatest network access methods.

Also, shop for the best data plan. Usually you can get an all-you-can-eat plan for about $40 per month.

You can actually learn more about this process with my 10 Quick Steps Guide to W-Fi:

Thanks for listening, and for asking!

Comments? Questions of your own?

Was this helpful? Buy David a Starbucks® Mocha via PayPal!

David loves his Starbucks® mocha. Skim, no whip, please. To easily and painlessly send David a selection from Starbucks® and paying via PayPal, just click on the button below your choice:

Listeners who have bought David a Starbucks® Mocha:

Chuck Craig Becky Bob Chris Dana Dean Gary Heidi Jen Jim Faucett (link?) Kevin Leo Lili Linda Michael Randy Ray Scott Sophie Sophie (II) Warren (link?)

Digg This! article or tag it at del.icio.us

Link to this article from your own website

Just copy this HTML code block. Then, paste it into your own code:

Up To The Minute Bargains

Want an e-Mini-Mall for your site?

If you need help

You can always call in to the show at the number listed above, or send David an email using the link above.

To repeat: You can always call in to the show at the number listed above, or send David email using the link above.