A wireless USB modem gives you the advantages of portability, the restriction of over-shooting your data limits and it also saves you the additional cost of getting an Ethernet modem and a LAN card to make such a modem work.
Assembling a desktop computer together is an act that can enable you to save costs on a number of peripherals. The ability to combine the parts that you need and want together yourself means that you do not have to rush to the market and buy a new machine every time you wish to upgrade your computer. You can analyze and predict your own needs and only use the computer parts that you will be using for sure.
Internet access is a given with each and every machine today, so you have to cater for this as well. The most common option is to use an Ethernet modem, which connects to the Ethernet port on your computer. The fact is that every machine has only one Ethernet port, so this could pose a problem for some people. A suitable solution to this is to use a wireless USB modem instead, and this is much more useful since every machine has multiple USB ports. By doing so you can also save on the cost of a LAN card, since this is something you will have to insert in the machine if you wish to use an Ethernet port and Ethernet modem.
These USB modems are also known as speed sticks, and they provide you with Internet access by simply plugging in the modem to a USB port. These modems are in the form factor of a simple flash drive, so they are very easy to carry around with you as well. Different companies offer many variations of speed sticks, and you can pick one that offers the speed and the download limit that you need.
Getting a Wireless USB Modem
The first thing that you will need to do is contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ask them if they sell USB modems. Most of the major companies do, and then you can pick a plan that suits you best. By contacting your ISP for this service, you can rest assured that the compatibility of your USB wireless modem with the service provided will be positive. This compatibility could be an issue if you go ahead and buy the USB modem yourself from a third party. If you are keen to follow this path, then you need to know what type of Internet connection your ISP provides, and then get a modem that is compatible with this type. The different types of Internet connections are GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data).
You also need to learn all that you can about the coverage area that the USB modem provider supports. The Internet connection will only work as long as you are within this area, so you need to plan this out properly. These wireless Internet connections work on the same concept as mobile phones, so you can also have access to the 3G and 4G wireless networks with them. Needless to say, these modems are not just restricted to desktop computers and they can be used with laptop computers as well.
AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel all provide such modems. So all you need to do is visit their websites or their stores and inquire about the availability and the features. T-Mobile also provides such modems, but since they have now merged with AT&T we will refer to them as AT&T itself. Other smaller service providers also have this option, but it is best to stick with the big three companies now, since they provide larger coverage area and better support infrastructure.
Another good source is the Internet. You can buy such modems off many online portals, and it will be absolutely no problem to do so. The only thing that you need to do is to be wary of the compatibility and the coverage of the wireless modem that you are purchasing. The security features of the modem you buy are also important, as these wireless modems are susceptible to many risks and dangers. Ensure that the modem that you are getting supports WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access).
The plans that you choose to get depend on your needs and your projected usage statistics. You will have to settle for pre-paid modems so there is no question of exceeding your data limits. The benefits are undoubtable now, and every computer owner should consider getting one for himself.