Networking on the road can be difficult when you consider the wide range of connectivity options—or lack thereof—available at todays airports, hotels and everywhere in between.
Sometimes Web access is free, easy to find, and guaranteed. At others its, well, not. So what are you supposed to do when youre plagued by spotty signals, slow service, pay-for-play time restrictions and the like?
By now its fairly common to count on a cellular service provider for wireless Web access everywhere you go.
Indeed, with Starbucks and T-Mobile HotSpot joined at the hip and major cell networks like Sprint and Verizon growing stronger and extending further all the time, youre often better off using a cellular service than wandering from hot spot to hot spot in search of Wi-Fi.
Networking via cell carrier, however, has traditionally required each participating machine to have its own high-speed data plan.
But with a mobile router, which will let you share a cellular data connection, this is no longer the case.
Both the Kyocera KR1 and the Top Global Phoebus MB6000 are brand-new, portable EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) routers that can help you stay in touch with your team when youre out of the office on business. Setup is simple—just insert an activated EvDO card into the back of either router, connect, use its automatic wizard to configure your settings, and youre good to go.
The KR1, a four-star product, is a full-featured 802.11g wireless router built around D-Link hardware, so it boasts advanced capabilities like port triggering (which can be useful for videoconferencing).
It also includes a four-port switch for use with multiple devices, not to mention offering the unique capability to connect using a data-capable cell phone as a cellular modem. Unfortunately, the KR1 supports only EvDO technology, which means its limited to the Alltel, Sprint and Verizon networks. However, the units Wi-Fi capability is excellent.