• Jan

    Bloody Expensive Aircard Service in the United States


    On this trip (December 18, 2009) I went to stay with my mother for awhile. She lives in a trailer park and I knew she wasn’t online and due to the layout of the park I suspected that few, if any of the residents would have wireless.

    As it turns out, I was right. Not one single signal and no hope of asking a neighbor if I could get permission to log on. Fortunately, I’d prepared for that in advance.

    I looked into buying myself an aircard, since I’d used one in Mexico last winter. I figured I could get something in the US that would work just as well. During a stopover in Grants Pass, I went to the local Radio Shack and bought a Virgin aircard. The cost was $100.00 and you could activate it online.

    So far, so good.

    When I got to the trailer park, I plugged it in and set it up. That’s when I learned about the limitations. Get this – you have to pay a fee of $60.00 and you only get 1GB of file transfer up/down.

    Supposedly you can make that last for 30 days, but if you’re into video, you could use up all the data in as little as 4 hours. WTF? Worse, the data transfer, even for web browsing was amazingly slow.

    It was way too slow to upload any data of significance. And if I was foolish enough to try, it would take hours or time out. My only solution was to go to a cyber cafe’ to get my work done, something I was trying to avoid.

    I was furious. This was robbery. And it got worse when I looked for another alternative. Essentially, there weren’t any. From what I could see, in the US they had a noose around data transfer using aircards and were soaking the public with outrageous fees.

    The worst part is that you can’t do anything about it. I ran into similar problems with cell phones, as well, which was really annoying.

    This will become even more apparent when you read my blog posts (soon to come) about aircards in Mexico, which are light years better (and less expensive) than those in the US.

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