As you are aware, I switched from my PowerBook to my new MacBook in mid-January. I love the new computer, but I have had one problem with it — until today. Since it arrived, I have not been able to access the internet from anywhere as I could with the PowerBook. Allow me to explain…
For the last couple of years, I had a Verizon Wireless PC card to connect my PowerBook (and my PC laptop before it) to the internet from anywhere. The card I used was a Novatel PCMCIA Card, and it worked flawlessly on both PC and Mac platforms. I always had fast, reliable service, and I was able to connect to both my office network and the internet at large when I was away from my home or office.
However, the MacBook doesn’t have a PC card slot, which rendered my existing card useless. Verizon does offer a USB card, but their customer service department didn’t do anything to entice me to make the conversion. In fact, they offered me the same options as someone who had never been a Verizon customer, basically igoring our mutli-year relationship. Also, I was a little hesitant to lock myself into another long-term contract with all of the technological developments occuring almost weekly.
My regluar cellphone service is with Alltel, using a Motorola RAZR v3c. I have read where some people had been able to connect various laptops to the internet using only their cellphones, and I decided to find out if this option would work for me. After a quick Google search on this topic, I found an article by Michael Ash which explained how to connect a Mac to Alltel’s network using a RAZR. After spending less than five minutes following Mr. Ash’s procedure, I was able to connect as described.
Because I have excellent service from Alltel, I can once again access the internet from anywhere I have cellular service, which is almost everywhere. The access speed is somewhat slower than I had with Verizon, but it’s still fast enough to be functional. Also, $0 is much better than the $70 per month I was paying with Verizon. The setup for this new procecure was fast and easy… and it just works — very Mac-like.