Newest Wireless HSPA Internet Hubs Rock
Cutting the cord on landline phones, in favour of cellphones, may soon not be the only cutting going on.
Folks who get Internet via cable or ADSL may be cutting those cables too.
Why? Because of some pretty cool new technology from Bell and Rogers that is making fast Internet access easier, even possible in rural areas. Imagine downloading a 100 MB movie file in two minutes, wirelessly!
Rogers’ Rocket Hub, $149.95 with a plan, for example, is a cellular device in disguise. It looks like an upright modem with a power cord, four Ethernet connections and a phone plug. It uses Rogers HSPA network, like cellphones, for data-based wireless Internet from anywhere. Up to ten WiFi equipped computers (including four Ethernet cable desktop PCs) can access the Internet for email, surfing, gaming and more, at speeds equal, if no better to my current Shaw or Telus land connection.
You need to subscribe to a very reasonable data plan from Rogers, starting at $35 monthly for up to 3 GB, up to $60 for up to 10 GB. If you lowball your subscription, Rogers simply charges you the next level for going over for the month.
But it gets better.
You can plug any home phone into the Rocket Hub and talk and receive calls. You can port your home phone number to it and subscribe to a Rogers combo data-voice plan, starting at $50 for up to 3 GB data, unlimited local calling, voicemail, caller ID and call waiting.
Can your current home phone and Internet service beat that?
Rogers is selling the Rocket Hub for folks who live in fringe cellphone coverage areas with less capable and pricier Internet options. I think its for anyone who needs a “phone” and Internet package at a good price.
BTW, one GB of data get’s you 5,000 text emails + 1,000 web pages + 400 photo upload/downloads + 50 minutes on YouTube.
The MiFi 2372 from Bell, $99.95 with a plan, doesn’t have as many features but is ultra portable. It is rechargeable and works with up to five WiFi equipped computers. It comes with a USB cable and software to connect to desktop PCs too. The micro SD slot can hold up to 16 GB of memory as well. It doesn’t do voice (other than Internet based calls you run on computers) but you can carry it in your pocket wherever you go in Bell’s HSPA cell coverage area and have Internet access for computers and cellphones with WiFi capability.
The one downside to extreme portability for the MiFi is its data plan, considerably higher than Rogers, at $30 for 500 MB, $40 1 GB, $65 3GB and $85 5GB.
Which is faster? I tried both units from various parts of my home, as well as parking in different areas in town. Overall, I found the Bell MiFi to be a bit faster (maximum download speeds of 650 KB/sec versus 580 KB/sec.) The MiFi only dropped to 450 KB/sec when locked in my car’s trunk, parked inside my garage. Impressive. But the Rogers Rocket Hub did a better job of keeping connection speeds up, when hooking up several laptops with simultaneous downloads.
So, if you are not a hardcore Internet user, consider the convenience these unique hubs offer.
Both units come with pre-configured security, with passwords printed on the back or battery cover. After all, you don’t want your neighbours running down your data plan, do you?
For more information got to:
Check my cellphone gift guide roundup in today’s http://www.edmontonjournal.com