With the continued advancement in technology, it is now possible to enjoy high-speed internet on the go. And whether you’re traveling for leisure or for business, you can now seamlessly surf the internet, stream your favorite movies, TV shows and play HD games using an Aircard.
Thanks to AirCard, you wouldn’t have to spend hours looking for a reliable hotspot or Wi-FI connection, simply pull out your AirCard and start enjoying high-speed internet connection on the go. Here, check everything you need to know about a USB AirCard.
What is an Aircard?
An AirCard is a high-speed wireless broadband card that allows users to easily connect their netbook or laptop to a high-speed internet connection that is within the range of a cellphone signal. Interestingly, this device can also be connected to a desktop PC, including older PCs.
Considering the efficiency and reliability delivered by an Aircard Wi-Fi, it is a must-have for people who require high-speed internet on the go. More so, using this wireless connectivity option will cost you around $45-$60 a month.
The major players in this industry include big names like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. For people who already have a cellphone service with one of these providers, simply apply for their AirCard, and you’re good to go.
Also, it is wise to research which company provides the best 4G/3G connectivity around your location or places you’re likely to travel to. This way, you’ll opt for a provider that meets your high-speed internet need.
How does an Aircard Work?
Using an AirCard has to be among the easiest things to do nowadays. All you’ve to do is, get an Aircard from a trusted provider and install the software needed to set up your laptop to work with the AirCard.
Most times, the software comes in a CD offered by providers, while in some cases, the software may already be embedded within the memory of the AirCard. Once you have successfully installed the software on your laptop, simply connect the Aircard to your Laptop’s USB port to start enjoying high-speed internet.
With AirCard to the rescue, you wouldn’t have to stress yourself looking for the nearest hotspot as this device allows you to surf the internet anywhere you go.
Aircard Data Transfer Limits
When you decide to get an AirCard, please have it at the back of your mind that some providers have put in place data transfer limit while other providers simply cap data transfer according to megabytes.
What this means is that you have a certain amount of megabytes included on your AirCard, and once you exceed this limit, you’ll be charged per megabyte that you used for subsequent data transfer.
One incredible thing about using an Aircard is that you get to enjoy other services, including real-time GPS information. As a matter of fact, internet providers like
Verizon have Aircards that offer users GPS services they can use as long as their smartphones have GPS functionality. Using this type of AirCard will allow you to enjoy broadband internet access while simultaneously exploring GPS services.
To activate this service, all you have to do is configure GPS directly from the Verizon Access Manager Software and tap the start button on the control panel designed for the GPS functionality on your mobile device.
Setting Up a Network with Your Aircard
If you’re traveling and looking to set up multiple PC users, your AirCard will allow you to easily create a network so you can share files and folders.
The exciting part is that it is easy to set up, plus it will enable you to communicate with other PC users’ on the network.
To do this, start by connecting your AirCard to your computer; and hit the start option on the main toolbar of your computer.
Now, select “Control Panel” from the menu, navigate to the “Network” icon, and choose “Set up a Network.” A new window should pop up, now, click on wireless and enable the feature that allows for file sharing.
You should see an option for workgroup, under that option, enter “AIRCARD,” close the window and restart your computer to allow the changes to come into effect.
Using an Aircard to Travel Abroad
With AirCards, providers usually offer users a specific amount of gigabytes for an agreed monthly fee. If you travel outside the US, then you’ll most likely attract roaming fees that can cost close to $20 per megabyte of data. And for people who travel a lot, this can become very expensive.
Thankfully, you can opt for a provider that offers a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card you can use to connect to the network.
With this option, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card you can use while you travel abroad. Amazingly, international pricing is very close to the monthly fee you pay while using Aircard within the United States.
How to improve the Aircard Signal during Travel
For people who travel a lot, chances are you’ll likely travel to areas with weak AirCard signals, especially if you’re far away from the nearest cellphone tower. In such a scenario, it would be smart to travel with a signal booster uniquely designed to work with AirCards. And although a signal booster can be a tad expensive, if you find yourself on the road a lot, it will come in pretty handy.
Cons of Using AirCards
One of the biggest letdowns of using AirCards has to do with latency. It’s been reported that AirCards experience high network latency that can sometimes be higher than those experienced when using a dial-up connection.
And unless you’re using a 3G/4G connection, you can expect to experience slow loading time when surfing the internet. Another thing you should remember is that network games can almost be unplayable when using AirCards.
Thankfully, with the newest AirCards, you should experience broadband quality high internet speed.
The Best Aircard internet Plans
We have compiled the best Aircard internet plans that are readily available that offer full nationwide USA coverage and are affordable to expensive, depending on what usage you are looking for.
Are aircards worth the money? Yes if you need high-speed internet on the go and you are in a rural area where satilite and internet plans are prohibitively expensive.
- Ideal for working on the go where there is no free wifi signal
- Affordable data plans that can be topped up without a hassle
- High speed internet access where ever you are in the US
Verizon AirCard offers users high-speed wireless data services they can use at home and abroad. For people looking for a reliable high-speed internet connection they can use on the go, you’ll not go wrong to opt for a
Verizon AirCard. This dongle plugs directly to the USB port of your computer and provides top-notch internet access. With Verizon AirCard, you’ll enjoy 3G/4G internet access as well as GPS services.
Benefits of using Verizon Aircard
Using Verizon AirCard comes with a lot of exciting benefits. First, you’ll enjoy high-speed 3G/4G internet access as well as GPS functionality that is easy to configure.
Secondly, Verizon Aircards does not require charging, simply connect it to your computer and you’re all set. With this, you wouldn’t have to bother about charging your AirCard while travelling.
Drawbacks of Verizon Aircards
Verizon AirCard is not all glitz and glam, as it has its disadvantages. Using AirCard provides you with only one connection. Unlike hotspot that allows you to connect multiple devices, AirCard only works with the computer it is connected to
AT&T AirCard is a robust dongle that provides cellular data directly to the computer it is connected to; this way, users always have a reliable and strong internet connection on the go.
AT&T AirCard comes with a pre-installed SIM card that connects the AirCard to your data plan. With windows 8, AT&T AllAcess software is automatically installed the very first time you attach the AirCard to your computer. Like other AirCard providers, AT&T delivers 3G/4G internet access that allows for hassle-free browsing.
Benefits of using AT&T AirCard
With AT&T AirCard, you’re poised to enjoy high-speed internet connection on the go.
Plus, their plans are reasonably priced, making it affordable for people looking for a high-speed internet connection option they can use on the go. What we love about AT&T AirCard is that it is also lightweight and easy to carry around.
Drawbacks of AT&T AirCard
One thing we don’t love about AT&T AirCard is that you can only use it with one machine at a time.
T-mobile AirCard is becoming a popular high-speed internet option, especially for people who want to access quality internet even while abroad. One thing that stands
T-Mobile AirCard out from others is its unique plug and play simplicity. Simply plug it to your computer, and voila, you have a broadband internet connection.
More so, you don’t need to charge it, so you wouldn’t have to worry about moving around with a charger.
Benefits of using T-mobile AirCard
T-mobile AirCard gives other AirCards a run for their money, and this is all thanks to their affordable AirCard plans.
With T-mobile AirCard, there is a plan for everybody. And besides the fact that their AirCard offers you a fast 4G connection, you will not need to charge it; this saves you the need to carry a charger around.
Drawbacks of using T-mobile AirCard
T-Mobile comes with a few letdowns you should be aware of. From huge latency issues to the fact that you can only use T-mobile AirCard with one device at a time, T-Mobile AirCard is not all glitz. More so, you may likely need a booster if you find yourself in areas with a weak connection, especially if you’re far from the nearest phone tower.
Top 4 Aircards
Netgear AirCard 770s
Netgear AirCard 770s is an incredible mobile hotspot that features a colorful touchscreen.
With this fantastic Aircard, users can easily view data usage, set up guest Wi-Fi network, block specific devices from accessing their connection as well as efficiently managing internet settings. Thanks to its durable battery, this mobile hotspot will deliver 10 hours of uninterrupted performance.
- Network Technology: Chipset – Qualcomm MDM 9215 and WTR1605L
- Wi-Fi protected setup (WPS)
- HSPA+ 850/1900 MHz w/ Type 3i Rx Diversity
- Removable Li-ion battery (2500 mAh) –up to 10 hours of continuous usage –up to 10 days of standby
- GPRS EDGE Class up to 10/12, 850/1900
- Supports up to 10 Wi-Fi devices (configurable)
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- 2X2 MIMO antenna for LTE
- Impressive battery life
- High-speed LTE speed
- Colorful and useful touchscreen
- Poor Wi-Fi range
- Has no microSD card storage slot
Call it the new industry-leading 4G mobile hotspot, and you’ll not be wrong. This fantastic USB modem with an LCD interface allows users to view signal strength, data usage, and network status.
With the new AirCard 340u, users will enjoy download speed up to 100mbps as well as an upload speed of 50mbps. Netgear AirCard 340u provides support for 4G LTE band 17 and band 4. Not just that, it also supports 3G UMTS & EGPRS.
- Type: 4G USB Aircard/ Modem
- LCD screen for a quick glance
- Network bands: LTE Band 2 / 4 / 5 / 17 (700/850/AWS/1900MHz)
- Operating system Support: Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP (32 and 64bit) Mac OS 10.8 and newer Ubuntu Linux 9.04
- UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz
- Expandable memory Slot
- GPRS EDGE Class up to 10/12, 850/900/1800/1900
- Fast 4G LTE speed
- Easy to use
- LCD screen for quick display
- Reasonably priced
- Does not provide support for Mac
Netgear AirCard 779s
Also known as AT&T Unite Express, this incredible Aircard allows users to enjoy fast LTE connectivity via any Wi-Fi enabled device with just a touch of a button. Netgear AirCard 779s features a slim and portable design that allows you to carry it around easily.
More so, it will enable you to connect up to 10 devices at a time and will last up to 10 hours from a single charge. Fitted with advanced security options, you can easily control who has access to your connection.
- Supports 4G LTE with 3G fallback
- Fitted with removable 2500 mAh Li-ion battery that
- delivers 10 hours of continuous use
- LCD touchscreen
- WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- Multiple SSID/Guest Wi-Fi support
- WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) enabled
- Expandable memory Slot
- LCD screen for a quick glance
- Easy to install and use
- Delivers high-Speed 4G LTE connections
- Poor Wi-Fi range
Netgear AirCard 815 also known as AT&T Unite Explore is a flagship hotspot modem that features an LCD screen that gives you a quick glance of signal strength, data usage and network information. This Aircard is reported to be the fastest LTE advanced cat-9 unit for AT&T.
AirCard 815s provides support for LTE Cat 11 and delivers high speed up to 600Mbps. One thing we like about AirCard 815s is that it is rugged, secure and portable.
Featuring advanced features like parental control and guest Wi-Fi with optional timer; this mobile hotspot is just what you need to surf the internet without hassle.
- Type: Netgear AC815S
- Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X12 LTE Modem
- Provides support for LTE bands like: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5,
- B7, B12, B17, B29, and B30
- LTE Category: LTE Cat 9
- WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n/ac (dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz)
- Supports up to 10 users
- Delivers up to 22 hours of continuous use
- Captive LCD touchscreen
- Provide support for 4G, 3G and 2G
- Solid and rugged design
- Huge battery
- Supports all AT&T’s frequency band as well as LTE roaming
- AT&T service plans are a tad pricy, especially abroad.
In a nutshell
If you ever wonder what an AirCard is then you would know its a flexible piece of hardware that gives you access to a plethora of internet services with hotspot capabilities, which is perfect for people on the go and people who live in remote areas. Its become the mainstream way to enjoy high-speed internet on the go without opting for a Fiber or DSL connection.
This is especially important for people that are always on the road. With many providers on the market today, you’ll find an AirCard provider that is affordable, reliable and everything in between.