If you want to buy a data card and confused about the features, companies and pricing. Then this topic will definitely help you and give some good data card buying tips. When it comes to electronics gadgets, many times we are misled by retailers and e-commerce websites. Why? Because we are not aware about that technology and how it works. If it comes to data cards, I have seen many people buying and complaining about WCDMA. WCDMA is old technology. It will not give you enough speed. Let’s get rid of these confusions and proceed to buying tips for data cards.
1. How much connectivity speed a data card supports?
This is the most important factor about data cards. Many of us do not know about the technical information like what is WCDMA, HSDPA and so on.
we will not going to discuss the details of the technology (It will be a very long story, even if we will just define and differentiate the technical terms). You may check this awesome wikipedia article to know about mobile broadband. But, you have to make sure that data card, you are going to buy, is not just a 384 Kbps speed device. To get the good internet speed buy data card having 7.2 Mbps (or 21Mbps will be a future proof option) connectivity speed. All modems show this information on the product manual or description on the box. If you are looking on e-commerce websites then check the description.
2. What should be the price range?
Another important factor is pricing. A Rs. 1500 modem is better than Rs. 4500 ones, if you can’t cover the cost within a year or two. Since, Mobile technology is changing and getting better and better than there is no need to waste money if it is not cost-effective.
Also, 3G modem will have no role in status symbol so it will be a wise decision to choose a relatively cheap data card dongle. In a few months Reliance Jio will bring 4G technology and the tariff war will begun. You should consider a relatively a chip and performing dongle like Huawei E8231. It has enough features and inbuilt WiFi to connect upto 10 devices.
3. Which company I should rely?
Deciding the brand is not hard with Dongles or modem for people. Choose a relatively established company who have good support in your local area.
So, Brand does not matters a lot.
4. Is my data card locked by network?
Another important factor about the data card is it locked or unlocked. This is more important factor than brand if you are going to buy a cheap data card. Normally, If you buy a data card from your operator. It is good chance to get a networked locked Dongle. And in this conditions, you can’t use that data card with other networks.
Choose an unlocked data card dongle instead of locked unless there is a huge margin in the price.
5. Where to buy a data card?
I guess this will be the last question in your mind. And the best answer in short is “Compare data cards online” and choose the best one for you. Then go to your local market and compare the price (if you care about a a hundred or two).
Purchase the device from local market or online shopping. The choice is yours. There will be no difference where you buy the data cards. The only thing you should consider is pricing. Also If you choose to go local market then you may include the cost of convenience in the price of the modem, If you don’t have anything else to do nearby the market or shop. 😉
6. Additional tips for buying Data cards:
- Look for builtin WiFi functionality to connect many devices, simultaneously.
- If you are buying online then check the product rating and sort with popularity to get the best in your country. This will short the good devices quickly.
- If you live in India, then I will prefer Huawei E8231 (inbuilt WiFi) or Huawei E303F series. (Both have Call and SMS facility.
- Some 3G modems comes with inbuilt call functionality also. However, I always doubt over usability of modem as phone. Also check this if it matters to you.
- At last, Check for USSD functionality to check the remaining balance. At least, All indian telecom operator support this feature. It might be sometimes frustrating if you have limited usage 3g plans and have no other way to know remaining balance in your account.
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