Wireless technology continues to flourish, and as electronic hardware gets smaller and more sophisticated, high-speed wireless service is available for essentially all mobile devices. Whether you want to check your email from a laptop or download driving directions to your cell phone, wireless internet providers can get you the connectivity you need from anywhere in the country. A few services, like EV-DO and WiMax are able to provide broadband access that is just as fast or faster than the wired DSL and cable Internet services you use in your home.
Wireless Internet Speed
Gone are the days of relying on 56 Kbps dialup service to connect your laptop to the Internet. The most current Internet service providers offer wireless connections up to 2.0 Mbps, which is more than 35 times faster than the old connection speed. This means you can download your mail on the go without worrying about attached files stalling out the retrieval. While 2.0 Mbps is sufficient for email and surfing the web, if you rely on wireless Internet for streaming media or downloading video files, you may want to consider the WiMax technology, which just hit the market in 2009. WiMax can increase your Internet speed to 7.0 Mbps, whether you are working from your laptop, cell phone, home, or car. This service first gained popularity in 2010 when it became more widely available.
When switching from a wired to wireless Internet service, there are a few components you need to make sure you have. The first is a laptop or wireless device with a wireless adapter. Older models may require you to purchase an external adaptor that matches the Internet protocol (like Wi-Fi 802.11) that you are going to be using. Most Internet connectivity is not provided free of charge, so you will need to sign up for an access plan that suits your needs. Finally, you will need something called “sniffer” software that can locate hotspots or wireless access points for you. This software is available for free and can help you get the strongest wireless signal possible in your area.
Essentially all laptops and mobile phones or PDAs manufactured today contain a wireless adapter for on-the-go Internet access. The growth of the major wireless Internet providers is coupled with an ever-growing coverage area. You can now find wireless hotspots almost everywhere you travel. Thanks to new technology and a growing market, slow speeds and limited access are no longer insurmountable obstacles to remote Internet access.
Wireless Internet Service Providers
Wireless service providers use a network of towers, similar to those used by cell phone companies, to transmit the Internet signal to you. Some companies operate across the country, with wireless Internet towers that give coast-to-coast coverage. These companies have a lot of money invested in their service, and you’re probably familiar with the major competitors, like T-Mobile, Boingo, and Clearwire. If you don’t travel much, you can choose a plan through a local wireless Internet provider. These smaller companies are more accessible and they tend to focus on just a few cities or regions that can’t get DSL or Cable service.