1. travelingfool's Avatar
    I'm getting ready to get an air card from VZW because I'm tired of tethering at Rev 0 and not getting phone calls while surfing. The 2 models I'm looking at are a free PCMCIA or a USB for $29.99. I'm thinking the USB would be the best choice for a few reasons:

    1) It can be used on desktop pc's too...not limited to laptops
    2) used with a usb extension, you can get it up in the air for better reception if needed
    3) my current laptop doesn't have a PC Express slot, and a new one may not have a PCMCIA slot, but everything has USB

    My main concern is the potential bandwidth of each one. Is PCMCIA faster than USB 2.0? Or will the rev. A speed not even come close to taxing the throughput if either one? i.e; bottleneck.

    Thanks.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-03-08 02:01 PM
  2. rockstar323's Avatar
    used both haven't seen really any difference in the speed of either. one thing you need to take into consideration is the durability of the usb card. one of the companies that i manage their Verizon account for has about 250 aircards. we have had to replace at least 25 of them this year from the users bumping into the usb aircard or hitting it with something. haven't had any problems with the express cards we replaced maybe 2. if your laptop is going to be stationary when the aircard is in it then usb will work. if you're going to be moving around with your aircard in it i would consider an express card.
    11-03-08 02:33 PM
  3. txladi29's Avatar
    I prefer the PCMCIA card. I've used one through VZW for about 6 years, upgraded twice. I think it is faster and more durable than USB.

    My neighbor and I tested by loading the same webpage at the same time. She is on a Sprint USB aircard. My page loaded completely before hers had loaded all of the pictures. (The page was CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News.)

    Another thing to keep in mind that many peripherial devices (ipod, printer, blackberry, camera) connect via a USB cable.
    If you have your aircard connected via USB, you lose a port.

    As Rockstar322 noted..the USB version breaks much more easily. My manager destroyed hers when her laptop shifted and slid from her lap one night. It didn't hit the floor, but bumped into the edge of the table she was sitting next to.

    The USB aircard snapped it completely off at the USB connector. VZ is pretty good about replacing, but for some reason, would only ship to her home billing address. So, the 10 day business trip turned into a 10 day business trip with 7 days lacking email.

    So I give VZW PCMCIA two thumbs up for durablity and speed!

    PS. Mines a Kyocera and I've not had nary a problem with it.
    Last edited by txladi29; 11-03-08 at 02:49 PM.
    11-03-08 02:46 PM
  4. travelingfool's Avatar
    used both haven't seen really any difference in the speed of either. one thing you need to take into consideration is the durability of the usb card. one of the companies that i manage their Verizon account for has about 250 aircards. we have had to replace at least 25 of them this year from the users bumping into the usb aircard or hitting it with something. haven't had any problems with the express cards we replaced maybe 2. if your laptop is going to be stationary when the aircard is in it then usb will work. if you're going to be moving around with your aircard in it i would consider an express card.

    Thanks for the great input! The reason I am thinking about USB is because my current laptop doesn't have an express slot, it only has PCMCIA. However, when I get a new laptop, it is likely to have express and not PCMCIA. Everything has USB though.

    Yeah, that's the first thing I thought when I saw the USB model...it's durability. Looks like it could snap off easily.

    Since you have real world experience with it and say that there really isn't a speed difference, I guess I'll go with the USB just because it's more universal. But I'll be VERY careful. I think it would be better protected if I use a USB extension cable.

    You ever use one with an extension cable or a USB hub? I'm guessing it should work.
    11-03-08 02:47 PM
  5. travelingfool's Avatar
    I prefer the PCMCIA card. I've used one through VZW for about 6 years, upgraded twice. I think it is faster and more durable than USB.

    My neighbor and I tested by loading the same webpage at the same time. She is on a Sprint USB aircard.

    Keep in mind that many peripherial devices (ipod, printer, blackberry, camera) connect via a USB cable.

    If you have your aircard connected via USB, you lose a port.

    In keeping with Rockstar322, my manager destroyed hers when her laptop shifted and slid from her lap one night. It didn't hit the floor, but bumped into the edge of the table she was sitting next to.

    The USB aircard snapped it completely off at the USB connector. VZ is pretty good about replacing, but for some reason, would only ship to her home billing address. So, the 10 day business trip turned into a 10 day business trip with 7 days lacking email.

    So I give VZW PCMCIA two thumbs up!
    PS. Mines a Kyocera and I've not had nary a problem with it.
    Uh oh. That makes two of you who say that the USB model is fragile. Hmmm. My main concern is the availability of PCMCIA slots on new laptops. I'll be ugrading within the next year. From what I've seen, most of the newer ones don't have PCMCIA slots, just PC Express slots, unless I'm mistaken. I'll have to do some online window shopping I guess. See what's out there.

    Thanks for the input.
    11-03-08 02:52 PM
  6. rockstar323's Avatar
    if you really want to get a USB you always have the option of getting a cable to extend it so its not just sticking out the side of your laptop if youre worried about breaking it. the sprint one i use came with a little flexible cable that you can plug it into and keep it off the side of the laptop. ive also got a friend that plugs his into a usb hub and doesnt have a problem with it.
    11-03-08 03:06 PM
  7. txladi29's Avatar
    I've seen the cables too...I've just never used them.
    You shouldn't see a speed difference.
    11-03-08 03:10 PM
  8. travelingfool's Avatar
    That's great to know. Glad I can use an extension cable. Well, I've been looking at laptops online, and PCMCIA is a thing of the past. It's either ExpressCard or USB, and since my current laptop doesn't have Express, I guess my decision's kind of made for me, eh? Thanks for all the input everyone! This is the best cell related forum on the Internet

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-03-08 03:19 PM
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