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Summary:

If you are looking for a EVDO card for Powerbook, I will recommend, Sierra Wireless Aircard 580, which after some hacking gives you better performance than any other PC card. However, it doesn’t work as well with Windows Laptops. It was giving me about 350 kbps […]

If you are looking for a EVDO card for Powerbook, I will recommend, Sierra Wireless Aircard 580, which after some hacking gives you better performance than any other PC card. However, it doesn’t work as well with Windows Laptops. It was giving me about 350 kbps on Mac and 115 kbps on a PC laptop. Novatel’s Merlin v620, however is a solid and brisk performer on Windows Machines, with average speed of about 270 kbps. It got 115-120 kbps on a Mac. The comparisons were carried out using Powerbook 15 (Tiger) and Averatec 1000. I sat in the same location for the two laptops, and repeated this experiment in four different spots in San Francisco. I look forward to your feedback from other cities. Kyocera 650 is known to work well with a Mac. Folks over at EVDOinfo.com have more details. These recommendations are only for Verizon’s EVDO service only.

  1. I use an EV-DO (verizon wireless) on my windows xp laptop in NY and Dallas, I get close to 1 Mbps with the Sierra card…I think your laptop is probably messing things up.

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  2. Did you run your tests more than once? We have found the KPC650 to be the best performer out of the 5 EVDO cards that are currently available. The KPC650 is the only card that Verizon supports on Macs, although, at http://www.EVDOinfo.com, you will find directions to get ALL cards working with PowerBooks for Verizon or Sprint.

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  3. EVDO Guy,

    actually i spent three weekends trying this out… pretty much the same result. I have not used KPC 650, but I am told it has pretty good performance.

    Java2king…. i think the top speeds are more dependent on the city one is in. San Francisco is not as EVDO robust as say NYC.

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  4. I have used a Vdata card from Tata Indicom and R-Connect card in India which is a Reliance InfoComm product.

    I get similar speed as you have mentioned in your post. And can be used in over 115 cities in India.

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  5. Sivaraman, I didn’t know that India had such extensive EVDO coverage – how exciting! I’d love to see coverage like that in East Africa. Or, Portland, Oregon USA for that matter! =)

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  6. FYI, I tried EVDO and found that it has poor latency (ping times in the range of 400ms) and CAN operate poorly with VPN client software.

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  7. Latency can be an issue, depending on what you are trying to do. Many VPN clients run just fine with EVDO. I just ran a latency test, on BroadbandAccess (EVDO), and I got 195ms – 230ms. If you are in NationalAccess, you will see ping times in the 400ms range, plus you will see 50K – 100K download speeds, vs 400K – 700K when in EVDO areas.

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  8. You can get a free EVDO Novatel 620 card or a Sierra Wireless 580 card and unlimited data for $59.99 at http://www.flypcs.com

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  9. Nadir H Karanjia Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Hi All
    If anyone knows where I can download drivers for a Sierra Wireless Aircard 555 to work on the Mac OS 10.4.2 please do let me know.

    I had found a german company once but since have misplaced their name and url and have been searching high and low with absolutely no luck.

    Cheers

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