Friday, September 11, 2009

Phone company wireless cards VS. home internet connection

Today's blog is going to be quick but interesting. Today a client for Simply Seniors Computer Tutor purchased a new laptop and was wondering which internet service provider she should choose. The client asked about the wireless cards that our cell phone carriers are offering and asked "how does that work" - Since I have only had a limited experience with these I decided to go a little research. Here is what I discovered.

I contacted my own cell carrier Att and asked about the AT&T USBConnect Quicksilver - a device that connects via USB to my laptop computer. The idea is that I plug in this device and now I can pick up the internet anywhere! Sounds really good, (especially to me as I am an avid camper). The cell company adds it as a device kind of like adding a second phone or line to my contract*. The monthly price for this device was $60 (plus an arm's long list of taxes and sir charges).

I discovered something VERY IMPORTANT - the $60 is only for a set amount of data transferring 5GB to be excact and he read it to me as 5000Mb (to make it sounds like a lot). Everything over that price was .48 cent per KILOBYTE!!! Why is this so alarming to me?

Knowing this is very helpful as well...
(1000 KB Kilobyte = 1mega byte + 1000 = 1GB gigabyte and 1000GB = 1 TB Terabyte).

I often download software from web sites. I download music, videos and other files that have bulk to them. For example, I just looked at a random song (mp3 file) and it was 4.90 MB
Then there's the 54MB software game I download (about 10 different ones so that's 54MB*10=540MB = almost 1GB and that is in just one session of me sitting down at my computer, I can transfer almost 1 GB of information very easily in just a few hours of sitting at my computer. Att Connect Card is going to allow me to download 5GB per month - you can see where that can become a problem for me very quickly and where I could ring up and Internet usage bill in the hundreds in a month...

So the bottom line on this one - if you have to travel - yes a great idea *but remember those contracts* these companies require. This isn't for the advanced user or gamer - it would cost too much! Sounds really great and i am all for being connected everywhere but I think the pricing is going to have to change before I will jump on the wagon.

I hope you've learned something today and if you know more about the topic please enlighten me as the ATT sales rep could not really tell me much. He INSISTED on sending me one (for all I know one is on the way) though I told him the item wouldn't work with my data usage.

Happy Computing!

Simply Seniors Computer Tutor

"The computer service you refer your own mother to!"

No comments:

Post a Comment