You wouldn’t know it from hefting my backpack, but I’m always looking to lighten my load with clever, compact, versatile cables. With so many devices now using USB for both data and power, I’m always on the lookout for nifty new cables. Here’s a quick overview of a few cables that I found useful recently.
I would not hesitate to recommend Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It’s head-and-shoulders above Clear/Sprint WiMAX and will likely stay that way for a while thanks to their use of the 700MHz band. Verizon’s rapid network expansion and broad 3G network are reassuring enough to entice me into a 2-year contract. And the Novatel MiFi 4510l is a fairly solid device, though not perfect.
I would not hesitate to recommend the Huawei E585 for use in the UK, especially with Three’s generous prepaid data offer. Since it can be unlocked for use in other European countries, it becomes all that much more useful. But it is disappointing it’s not more useful in the USA!
As an IT guy, I know that outages sometimes happen. But a nationwide data outage that lasts almost a day and leaves devices unable to reconnect is serious. And a complete lack of any customer service availability or system status notification is absurd.
The Tech Field Day events I run are hotspots of social media, but it has been hard building an Internet presence to keep up. Constantly on the move, I need a flexible network with scalability and failover (and fail-back) between 3G/4G and wired Internet. My latest design relies on CradlePoint’s MBR1200 “Failover Router”, which can load-balance across multiple 3G and 4G data cards.
The MiFi 2200 requires a special charging cable. The bundled charger works, but normal folks (like me) might assume that any Micro-USB cable will work. They would be wrong.
I love my Cradlepoint PHS300 router. It’s been a constant companion for me for two years, providing Internet access for me and my friends at just about every conference I attend (and organize!) It’s a battery-powered box with a USB port and WiFi radio. Attach almost any 3G or 4G modem or smartphone (other than the iPhone) and you’re online and sharing. And it’s better than a MiFi: You can customize the experience, it’s faster (in my testing), and it scales to support way more users.