Best Aircard for iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PanolaProd., Feb 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #1
    I'm new here and need some input. I have an iMac my wife bought last year at the house. We live in the 'country' and the only internet we have been able to get is Hughes Net. It is terrible. Extremely slow and Extremely expensive. I upgraded to the best available package and it is still terrible. I have checked with every internet provider on the web I can find and no one has service in my area. I had the idea of using an air card instead. My iPhone has 3G and I opt to use it at home rather than my wireless connection due to speed. Are air cards compatible with iMac? Will I be able to have a wireless connection in the house? What are the best ones out there? Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. TEG
    macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    Any USB based 3G/4G card should work, without issue.

    TEG
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #3
    Awesome. Thanks alot. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best air cards?
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    PanolaProd,

    I'm in the same boat. I live in the country and am on HughesNet also. I upgraded my modem equipment last year to the D9000 and have seen noticeable speed increases. I'm using a 21" iMac wirelessly and think that it is working great.

    If you live where you have little to no internet access other than HughesNet, the air card might not work for you either. Do you have a decent wireless phone signal? If not, again the wireless card might not work well in your area. Maybe you know someone who would let you try one in your area? Just a thought.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #5
    I have 3G at my home. Full cell service. Fed up with hughesnet. It's just a rip off in my mind.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I agree wholeheartedly, but it beats the heck out of dial up. LOL

    Sounds like you're in good shape for the wireless card.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #7
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I have a Verizon USB air card. Best I get out here in the country is 3G. At times it works great, at times it is painfully slow. I think they will let you try it ? Ask. I hear bad things about Hughes Net. All in all where I live there is not a great Internet option. For whatever reason, my phone internet is better than the air card at most times.
     
  8. macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #8
    I'm not out in the country any more but we go camping quite a bit and I bought a Verizon MiFi 4G LTE to take with us. If you don't use a lot of bandwidth/month like 5GB or more then it may be right for you.

    Even with a somewhat weak 3G signal we've had 4 MacBook on it at once and it did fine pulling websites for all of us. Trying to watch YouTube or anything like that is a different story with a weaker signal but I've only had that problem out in the middle of BFE where we would be lucky to get a cell signal at all.

    It was the best option for us
    1. with it being WiFi so both of us could use it without being tethered to anything
    2. I picked the Verizon MiFi even though we have ATT on our phones. Verizon data tends to be a little more reliable where we go. ATT is very quick when I get a good signal but that is a 'when I get a signal'. I've yet to not be able to pull anything with the MiFi.

    It's $50/month for 5GB and $10 per GB if you go over. You can also turn it's service off for up to 3 months at a time if you will not be using it constantly.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #9
    Thanks guys for the info! Do you have AT&T cell service and use a verizon card as well? I have AT&T service and 3G at my house.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I have Verizon for both. I am not sure why the iPhone is a little better regarding internet speed at home. Neither do video or movies ...That said, I am ok with the air card as it really is my best option among the few I have. And it is portable!
     
  11. macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #11
    The phone may have a better antenna than the USB stick. I've noticed my MiFi which may or may not have a larger antenna, pulls a slightly better signal than my friends Verizon iPhone.
    Not 100% on it though.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Good point!
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #13
    fenskezen, do you know what model air card u have?
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    The problem with most air cards is that they have tiny data plans... and it is expensive when you go over.

    I have a Verizon Mifi 2200. It costs e $50/month for 5GB. I only use it for traveling, and I have never gone over 5GB. However, I am pretty careful to only use it for simple browsing, and email type of functions. I avoid watching video. When I first got it... you payed by the MB if you went over the 5GB cap. It was outrageously expensive. I witnessed a guy at the Verizon store who was livid because he was expecting to pay about $50/month, but his bill was $450. It ended up he was watching just a few movies... which pushed him into the stratosphere.

    Verizon changed their overage charges to $10/GB... which is MUCH more reasonable. I believe you can also set up email alerts as you approach your limits.

    The issue is that 5GB/month is still a very small amount of data for a household. I used to have Verizon FIOS which was unlimited... and now I have Comcast Xfinitiy which has a 250GB cap. I typically use about 50GB-70GB a month... but I have had a few months when I was over 200GB. Simple math will prove that even 50GB of data would be prohibitive... with a total cost of about $500/month.

    I am not too sure what every options you may have. Is there any chance that you can get even DSL in your area? It is not as good as fibre or cable... but still much better than an air card.

    /Jim
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #15
    Thanks for the info. I understand what you're saying. There are no other options where I am. Hughes net and AT&T U-verse (but all the slots in the neighborhood are filled, therefore I would have to wait for someone to drop their service). It is just frustrating because we have this big obnoxious satellite on our roof RIGHT BESIDE our Directv satellite. We were paying about $90/month for service, but it was sooo slow, so I upgraded to the fastest service they offer at a whopping $129/month. My iPhone 4 with AT&T 3G is probably at least 3X faster than hughesnet's fastest. Plus, when you reach your 'daily limit' the speed drops off the radar becoming almost impossible to get anything done online. My wife is getting her master's degree online and it's ridiculous how long it takes her because of the slow connection.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    I'd be calling AT&T U-verse daily trying to get an open slot. That is a real residential service.

    /Jim
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    It is a Verizon wireless UML290VW.
    Maybe it will work for you. We get 5G per month for 40 dollars. It is very hard to use that much data as our signal is poor so it works for us. In fact it's more than we can use given our speeds...
     

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