My marriage is saved!
Our primary internet connection is through Verizon Wireless via a Sierra 595U usb aircard. It plugs into a usb port and provides internet service via a signal, called EVDO, which is similar to that of a cell phone. Most people get these because they want mobile internet access, but some people get them because they live in a land beyond cable and don’t have a lot of internet service options. That would be us. Using the aircard, we get decent connectivity, although not as good as real high speed, like DSL or cable.
The problem, until now, has been that it only plugs into one computer at a time. That means learning how to share, which can just kill a marriage. I tried to share using my own laptop as the access point, but that was a hassle (and also led to the previous post). I should add that my daughter usually connects via dial-up. Yes, dial-up. My son, for those who are wondering, doesn’t go online much and doesn’t have a computer.
So I finally ordered a cradlepoint ctr-350 from the 3Gstore. It arrived today and so far I am very happy with it. It is a wireless access point with a usb port that accepts an aircard, like our 595U. It is tiny; a little bigger than a deck of cards, and powered by a wall-wart about the size of a large cellphone charger. That’s small enough to take with us, should we ever travel together as a family (it could happen).
But the little box creates a usable area about as wide as that of most regular sized wireless routers. Although the specs don’t call out distance, I’ve read reviews saying it’s good for about 300 feet, and read one post from a person who said he connected from over 600 feet. So far, I’ve connected from a distance of over 50ft, and that distance is separated by a large storage trailer, essentially two big metal walls between the router and the laptop. The three of us have been online together and the signal seems to be good for all of us.
I was also impressed with the easy setup. I thought I was going to have to enter data about the aircard but it detected all the appropriate settings.
The new problem will be Verizon’s 5G per month limit. Now that we’re all online together though one aircard, we just might hit that limit. So unfortunately, we’ll still have to learn to share; either by managing a limited amount of gb or by pitching in to pay over-use charges.
The next marriage saving step is getting wireless connectivity at The Red Thread, where my wife sells yarn and often takes the aircard with her. And the signal just doesn’t go that far.