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December 31, 2007

Using the Verizon High Speed Data Service for PC/MAC

I recently had the opportunity to test out the Verizon high speed cellular data service. This service uses Verizon's high-speed cellular data service. This service runs at approximately 600KB to 1Megabit a second. Putting this into perspective this is a little bit slower than Comcast but faster than the low-cost DSL and about 10-20 times faster than using the fastest dial up modem.

My test setup was purchasing a card for my Macintosh Powerbook Pro (15") that uses the Apple express card slot. This Verizon card comes in a USB and express card version. The express card slides into the Powerbook and has the antennae extends 1 inch outside the laptop. The USB version extends about 3 inches outside the laptop. The first time you install this on an Apple it is recognized and configured for your system. I set this up for me using the Apple System Preferences so that I had to click a button to connect, it is possible to have this auto-connect whenever you go to access the Internet.

What is good about this service is that it is very ubiquitous, meaning that if you have good cell-phone coverage in the location you are at then you have good data access. If you travel a lot and spend considerable time at the airport or hotels this is a great device to get access when you are out. Another use for this is taking a laptop and using it heavily in an outside setting for data collection. If you tend to be in outdoor areas where you have cell-phone coverage you are likely to have access to the high-speed data service. For basic email and web access you will think you are on a standard wireless connection. If you try to do streaming video you may notice a little sluggishness over standard wireless but it still performs well.

The cost for unlimited data from Verizon is $60 a month. This is not cheap but for those of you that spend a lot of downtime in airports this may be worth the cost to have access to your work.

Anyone interested in learning more should contact Jack Suess or Mike Carlin at OIT.


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