Wireless Broadband (AT&T, Verizon, Clearwire) with MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chadsteruw, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. chadsteruw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    I was curious if anyone's used Wireless Broadband with their MacBook Pro and their opinions on how it runs... I'm thinking about starting service but I wanted some direction on what companies to look at?

    Thanks
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Are you talking about getting an ExpressCard EDGE / EVDO / whatever modem, using a phone with bluetooth or a USB cable, or using a WiMAX type of system?

    If you're talking about WiMAX (what it seems like), then is there any difference really between that and any other high speed internet? Don't you just plug your router into the modem like anything else you'd use?
     
  3. dap1215 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #3
    Well I never have had broadband wireless on my MacBook Pro, but I did have verizon on my PC and had pretty decent luck with it.. It was nice and fast in big cities and decent in smaller towns.. My bro has a sprint card and says the new Rev A is fast as all get out, and also provides great pings.. Well at least for wireless.

    I am proly gonna get a Merlin card with sprint.. From what I have heard, sprint is the only provider that has true unlimited for the $59 a month.. I guess Verizon cuts you off once you reach a certian limit. Plus I currently have sprint, so it just makes sence.

    Peace
     
  4. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #4
    Uhmm, do you know what WiMAX is? It doesn't seem like you do.

    WiMAX is essentially a 4G cellular data network technology, and it's currently not available in the US (only a few Asian sectors). Sprint is releasing it's WiMax network in limited areas this winter (Baltimore, DC, and similar big city areas). It's most likely going to start out as a Express/PC Card solution with limited cell phone integration and limited UMPC / ultra-portable laptop integration.

    WiMax has potential (with the right marketing -- i.e. NOT tied to one device -- more of a blanket monthly wireless internet for all your devices plan) to expand to more markets with integrated WiMax on lots of devices (iPods and other gadgets).

    Regardless, I think he's talking about an ExpressCard solution.

    Cheapest / widest data coverage: Sprint

    Fastest, but more limited coverage: AT&T
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #6
    Sprint has great solutions. Sierra Wireless and Novatel Wireless both have USB attached and Sierra Wireless have an Expresscard/34 EV-DO card available from Sprint.

    I can vouch for Sprint's coverage and consistent operation in several areas of the country.
     
  7. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #7
    Clearwire's current solution is nothing like WiMax. It needs an AC powered receiver. WiMax is meant to be mobile internet, not just "wireless" internet.

    How would Clearwire's current solution even be applicable to use for laptop internet?
     
  8. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #8
    I use the Verizon ExpressCard offering, the pre Rev A version, and I have no problems with it.

    If I had it to do over again, I would get the Rev A card (not available when I purchased) and choose one with a USB connection. None of the cards are graceful, and they should be taken out of the conputer when not in use, and the USB card gives you many more options.

    The only thing to consider is it is expensive. I have been thinking off and on about cancelling mine, but the times that I need it have been worth it.
     
  9. delphi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #9
    new at this

    Hi ...
    I'm new to this forum and don't know the proper lingo, but am hoping to get some answers to help me make a decision about internet server for my new MacBook.
    We'll be retiring soon and spending winters in Savannah and summers on a boat in a marina on Lake Champlain in upstate NY near Plattsburgh. So... how do I find the most economical internet plan?
    I've considered a mobile plan through Verizon or ATT that will have a modem to plug into my USB port. We have internet access provided at our marina, but I will need to set up some service in Savannah.
    I'm also wondering whether to get an iPod or the new Verizon DARE... so I need to figure out which telephone service to get to support my MacBook, as well.
    Decisions, decisions... Thanks for your help!
     
  10. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #10
    Would tethering a 3G phone give you comparable performance?

    Cheers,
     
  11. Regaj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Yes. I run a Verizon V740 Broadband card (that's an express card form factor) in my MBP and it works perfectly. Get close to T1 speeds.

    Highly recommended.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    They work great; I don't have much experience about the USB ones, but I know the ExpressCard data cards draw a lot of power and they decrease battery from my usual 4.5 hrs to a sad 3 hrs.
     
  13. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #13
    As far as wireless cellular broadband goes it's always going to depend on your location as to who is the best. Your distance to the closest cell tower and whether or not that tower is equipped for EVDO Rev0/RevA or HSDPA/HSUPA is what you wanna look at. Things between you and the tower and heavy loads on that tower can impact speeds a lot.

    I recently had AT&T mobile broadband and out here in the rural area that I'm at in the country all I could get was their Edge network. It was a step up from dial-up that's for sure but I was certainly ready for my most recent upgrade to Alltel since I can now get EVDO Rev0 and good speeds at that. Right now my max downstream with the USB air card UTStarcom UM175 on my MacBookPro at Speedtest.net is around 1250 kbps. Max upload is only around 100 kbps though since I'm not in one of the upgrade EVDO RevA areas yet. I expect my download speeds to increase to probably around 1400-1600 kbps hopefully once I get my outdoor antenna setup in the next week or so.

    If you have good Alltel coverage in your area I would definitely go with them over anyone else since they are currently the only provider that still offers unlimited service. Verizon is the worst followed by Sprint. AT&T has the 5GB/month cap as well but they never enforced it on me but of course with being on Edge I never went more than 6-8GB/month usually.
     
  14. tlapple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #14
    ExpressCard vs. USB Wireless Cards for MBP


    This has been a big concern of mine with these wireless broadband cards. Hoping someone who has tried either the ExpressCard option or USB (or both) can help. On my PC laptop, it has built in WAN with Sprint. Not much of a battery life issue as far as I could tell compared to use of WiFi on my PC.

    Anyone know how the USB options compare to the ExpressCards in terms of both speed and battery life (all else being equal) in real world conditions?
     
  15. ben.mcmahan macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #15
    Speed of the USB is great. I'm "throttled" right now on my Verizon UM150 (i went waaaay over my 5GB cap), but when I'm at full speed (and on the EV network, i get
    Download Speed: 2487 kbps (310.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 384 kbps (48 KB/sec transfer rate)

    from speakeasy.net/speedtest

    It does take a hit on the power. My MBP runs 3-5 hours depending on what i'm doing, and with the USB modem running, this drops at least 30 minutes to an hour off the run time. Again, depends on what I'm doing...watching multi-media content takes a bigger bite than checking/sending email.

    Also, the USB modem gets HOT
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    I should mention that the USB modem has a battery so when the reception is weak, the card can still get a signal. When the reception is good, the battery gets charged by USB. With an ExpressCard modem, the more power needed, the power is drawn from the computer.
     
  17. Fabiano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Palmas, Brazil
    #17
    Well, I have a ZTE MF622 USB Modem, and based on my experience I can say that it drains a lot of power. My Macbook Pro usually last 4 hours with Wi-Fi; when using 3G network I get only 3 hours. Of course Im not in the US, But I know that this modem is used by many carriers worldwide, so this information may be relevant to someone :)
     

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