Imagine surfing the Internet on your laptop at a job site. Your connection is a wireless modem. Your speed is comparable to what you get at home on a high-speed cable modem. It’s not a dream. It’s possible today. I’m doing it now.
I’ve been testing the just-released Verizon 4G LTE modem for almost a day. I’m using the LG VL600 on my personal Dell Vostro 1220 laptop. Verizon hasn’t released software drivers for Apple yet, but it’s working on it.
Here’s a quick primer on the alphabet soup associated with the technology. "4G" stands for fourth generation. "LTE" stands for long-term evolution. And this is indeed an evolution. Maybe even a revolution. Many people now run 3G modem cards on their laptops. The new technology isn’t just a little faster, it’s a lot faster. Verizon claims up to 10-times-faster-than-3G speeds.
I’ve tested the speeds I’m getting at speedtest.net. My download times have ranged between 13 and 17 megabits per second. My upload speeds range between 3 and 7 Mbps. Without getting too technical, I’ll just say, wow.
I’ve been watching streaming movies from Netflix and a live press conference via AP video on the reviewjournal.com site. There’s no buffering. No hesitation. No jerking. Just smooth, clean video. Surfing the World Wide Web is the way it’s supposed to be, easy and fast. Browser windows and tabs open quickly, videos play smoothly and jumping between windows is effortless.
I think this modem is actually lightning in a box, and a very small box, at that. It’s about the size of very small cell phone and connects directly into the universal serial port, or you can use a short universal serial bus extension cord to clip it to the top of the laptop screen. It’s screaming fast, especially when compared to the Verizon 3G wireless modem I’ve been using for a couple of years.
I’ll continue to put the 4G modem to work for the next few weeks and plan to do a full review in an upcoming column. I’ll pay close attention to how much data I’m consuming, as the VZAccess Manager software monitors session and ongoing usage. It’s important to know how much data you plan to use, as the pricing plans are set for either high or low usage. Pricing is $50 a month for 5 gigabytes of data or $80 for 10 GB. Overage fee is $10 per GB. The modem costs $99.99 after rebates. There are no service contracts at this time.
You can see more about the Verizon 4G LTE modems:
Read my earlier blog post about the Verizon 4G LTE product announcement: