Internet everywhere comes at a price
I'm sure you have seen the commercials from Rogers of late with a couple surfing the web with a bright red stick sticking out of their laptop. While using a laptop in a canoe is asking for it, IMHO, the idea is great, but is it the right one for you? Let me give you my experiences with mobile Internet as some food for thought.
I'm going to tell you right off that I have a similar product from Telus as the Rogers RocketStick. I've had it for well over a year and love the access and mobility that it gives me, however this mobility comes at a price (what it costs is irrelevant because the plan I have now isn't offered...not even close). It's exactly this price that you have to think about when deciding to get one.
Looking at any of the plans for mobile Internet you'll see that you will pay $x for yGB/MB of transfer, and while the cost of say $30 a month isn't too bad, if you exceed the amount of data allocated, the cost of additional data can be extreme.
Who is it best for?
These days WiFi is almost everywhere. Granted, it's not free everywhere, but there are lots of free places out there. How often have you needed to get online and just couldn't find a WiFi node? For most non-geeks, this isn't going to be often. If you have a smart phone like a Blackberry of iPhone, you have a lot of connectivity power there. I'd venture that while it might be cool, do you really need it?
That said, I use my stick when I need to be online and I need to know it will be there. When I just want to get online, I don't want to mess with finding an open WiFi node or messing with connecting to it. At conferences I hop on the available WiFi. If I know a café has good WiFi, I'll use it. If I'm at a client site, if I just need to get online, or am in an odd location (like in the car--not while driving!), my stick rules. When I was at the Yorkton (SK) Film Festival last week, I checked into my flight using my stick while riding in the van. Convenient to say the least.
These Internet everywhere sticks are cool, fun, and awesome when you need them. I love mine and can't imagine not having it to rely on. Before you sign up for a three year contract, maybe try one. Is it going to be fast enough? Is it compatible with your machine? How fast would you go through data? The last question is tough because "it just depends" is the only real answer. Yeah if you try downloading a few 300 meg files, you'll burn through 1 GB fast. If you only check email and make sure that when you use it you stay lean on using apps, you can stretch it out. The real issue is that it is hard to "just try it" and see how you like it for a week. If you could do a week trial, I'd say go for it, but because you can't I'm going to suggest thinking about how you plan on using it before you make the leap.
And to also be absolutely clear, these internet sticks are NOT intended to be a replacement for your home Internet service. They aren't fast enough and the cost of data is much higher than you can get from either your cable co, phone co, or other providers.
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