13 May 2010

Tech Note: Overwork in Overdrive

Air cards made travel easier; portable and personal hotspots now make travel with office peers/equipment easier. The purpose of both is to access the Internet via personal wireless accounts. Typically purchased from a cell phone provider, an air card is either card or USB stick for use in a laptop computer. Some computers and other devices (like the iPad) come with an air card built in ready to turn on for a month or a two-year contract.

A portable hotspot works the same way but it's a small network for you and nearby friends. The nearby element is important; Sprint's version, the Overdrive, has a reach of 150 feet for up to 5 devices at a time.

I have used both types of access and prefer the Sprint Overdrive. My cost went from $40 to $60/month but convenience and speed soared. The Overdrive connects to the web at 3G and 4G speeds. Any web device can join the network with the password you provide; I have confirmed connection with several laptops, iPhones, and a wireless printer. These pieces, along with a converter for the car, support the mobile office better than ever before.

Service coverage should be checked for any product. With Sprint service, I have found 3G speed along Interstate highways, and 4G speed at a local dog park. Portability of work can lead to overwork, of course.

© 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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