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  1. #1
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    Wireless devices: From desktop to mountaintop




    BEST HARDWARE

    Wireless devices: From desktop to mountaintop

    By Michael Lasky

    Cutting the cord is an essential part of our shift from a desktop PC-centric world to mobile computing. New devices help solve some of the drawbacks of portable devices and wireless connections.This month, I checked out a quartet of products that offer enhanced data archiving, help unclutter our desktops, expand Wi-Fi, and secure our keyboards.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-hardware/wireless-devices-from-desktop-to-mountaintop/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2015-03-25 at 16:10.

  2. #2
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    Alternate option for Wi-Fi over cellular for occasional use-

    As Michael Lasky points out, the AT&T Velocity is an expensive option for only occasional use. I have created an account with Skyroam and purchased their 3G Mate cellular to Wi-Fi adapter. Skyroam charges US $10/day for unlimited 3G data - by unlimited, Skyroam warns in some locations the rate will throttle to 2G after 2GB. Other than using the account approximately every six months, you pay only for the days you use - - and Skyroam works across a large portion of the world for the same $10/day.

    The 3G Mate has a virtual SIM that allows Skyroam to connect through multiple cellular providers - transparent to the user. In the U.S. both AT&T and Verizon networks are available. The 3G Mate chooses whichever is strongest in your current location.

    The 3G Mate costs roughly US $100 and comes with five days of use. You will use one of those days right away setting up your account. You can purchase use one day at a time through the 3G Mate and a browser equipped device with a credit card, or purchase multiple days and use them when you want.

    While the 3G Mate will support up to 5 devices simultaneously, you do have to have a phone with Wi-Fi, browser and SMS (text) capabilities to activate the account. The Skyroam literature doesn't make that very clear. I also suggest you activate the account and establish connections with each of your devices before you travel.

    In summary, if you are a regular cellular to Wi-Fi user within the same carrier, an account with that carrier might be less expensive. But if you are an occasional cellular to Wi-Fi user, especially one who travels to various international locations, a Skyroam account is the least expensive option I have found.
    Jim Johnson
    Michigan's Lake Superior region
    How much snow do we have now?
    Visit Agate Reef

  3. #3
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    Modern phones can act as a wifi access point for occasional access. Cheaper and no extra device required.

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    I purchased one of the iDrives based on this write up and ran into nothing but problems. The instructions are horrible just to connect it. Once connected via Wifi, I couldn't access the internet during the backup. So I disconnected that and decided to plug an ethernet cable directly into the unit. The software tells me it is not connected even though Windows 8.1 sees the drive. Support was worthless. So sorry I paid $150 for this junk. Now I am trying to get them to give me my money back. Haven't heard from them for a week, so I figure i am screwed. So very pissed off. Don't buy one of these unless you are super advanced because you won't get much help.

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