Wireless Broadband – Should You Choose A USB Modem Or A Pocket WiFi ?

Wireless BroadbandFor years now, USB modems have lead the pack in the Australian wireless broadband market. Telstra, Vodafone, Optus; just about every telco and ISP has a wireless USB broadband package.

Are they still the best choice for wireless Internet access? If you’re looking to purchase wireless broadband, you might want to think twice before signing up on a contract or purchasing a USB wireless pre-paid kit.

Here’s Why.

1 – USB wireless devices can break quite easily because they stick out the side of your laptop. If you’ve ever attempted the balancing act of placing your laptop onto of your lap, chances are you know how uncomfortable and difficult it can be with that device sticking out the side of the computer.

What’s worse is when you don’t notice it’s there and accidentally snap it off. There is always the potential to not only damage the modem but damage the USB socket in your computer.

2 - You can’t share a USB wireless connection with other devices. This never use to be a problem as smart phones, iPads and cheap netbooks simply didn’t exist. All you had was your bulky laptop and a Nokia (3310 if you were cool!). Times sure have changed! These days, you likely own a smart phone which has wireless Internet capability. Such phones like the iPhone and Android based phones have this as do many others.

Given how cheap and affordable laptops are now, if you don’t own more than one, chances are your partner, children and friends own them. Having a USB wireless modem to connect just one PC or Mac to the Internet just doesn’t cut it any more.

3 – Lastly, wireless broadband using a USB port doesn’t have it’s own power source and drains battery life while plugged into the laptop. That’s OK if you’re at home and plugged into a power outlet but if you’re out and about, you’ve probably experienced low battery after a short amount of use before. That sucks!

Is There A Solution? You Bet!

You be might familiar with products like the MiFi; which was only available in America. For a long time, these types of wireless broadband devices could not be purchased in Australia. In 2010, Australian telco’s and ISP’s slowly started to introduce them into the market. In 2011, they’re everywhere!

Here’s Why A Pocket WiFi Device Is The Better Choice For You.

1 – It can be shared amongst all your devices. That includes the iPhone, Android phones, iPad as well as laptops and desktops. If you’re a gamer, the PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 as well as the upcoming Nintendo 3DS are all capable of wireless Internet. Portable wifi allows all these devices to connect to just the one device. Pretty handy huh?!

2 – You can use them as a replacement for your home Internet connection with the added benefit of it being portable. Plus, as they have their own battery, your laptop won’t have to power it which means you’ll get more battery time.

3 – Because they’re relatively new to the market, there are some great deals you can take advantage of such as getting the wireless broadband device at zero cost upfront.

One great offer currently available is from Vodafone; you receive half price for the first 6 months AND the pocket wifi device at $0 upfront over 24 months. If contracts aren’t your thing and you prefer pre-paid, there’s plenty of other great deals to grab ahold of.

While USB wireless modems we’re great for their time, they no longer meet the demands and needs of users who have multiple devices.

If you’ve been shopping around for wireless broadband, I would strongly recommend purchasing a portable wifi modem instead as it’s future proof, cost effective and heavily discounted at the current time.

You can watch my Vodafone pocket wifi review or check out the details at their own webpage.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

daredevil191 February 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

How effective is the Xbox connection when you log on to it? Does it work well with games like Call of Duty eetc and other FPSs? Is there significant lag when you use a pocket wifi to connect to XBL?? I wanna know these things but its hard to find definitive answers?


admin February 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I can’t comment on Xbox or CoD but when using it for gaming on the PC it’s fine. I’m talking about games like Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft and Team Fortress 2. I would guess it works fine over XBL but I don’t have any personal experience using it with those services sorry.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: