Monthly Archives: May 2010

Mobile Internet providers in Canada

Its been over a decade since we first got connected on the internet and today we find ourselves wondering how we could ever live without the internet.  Its true! Today, we live in a truly connected society, at least in the western world and 3G networks are popping up everywhere and just about anywhere we go - airports, restaurants, coffee shops, school, work. The challenge today really is not about connectivity anymore, but rather how we can retain it as we travel from place to place. The follow article is a quick review of the competing internet services out there that will allow to to stay connect!

Mobilicity Option Data Stick 452

price: $99 CDN

The Option 452 stick offered by Mobilicity is a stylish and easy to use USB internet stick. It features a retractable USB connector and an LED status display. The stick is a simple plug and play and transmissions rates are listed at upload speeds up to 5.76Mbps and download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.

Monthly Data Plan: The data plan offered by Mobilicity is a flat $40 cdn for unlimited usage within Mobilicity’s coverage area.

Pros: Excellent data plan rates with Mobilicity. 3G speeds.

Cons: Small network coverage. Currently only available in parts of the Greater Torotno Area with Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa planned for in the near future.

Wind Mobile Huawei E181 Data Stick

price: $150 CDN

The E181 data stick is slightly larger than the Mobilicity one however still compact enough to sit comfortably in your pocket. The stick has a MirroSD card slot for additional storage and is also a plug and play USB. No setup needed. Data transmission is rated at upload speeds up to 5.76Mbps and download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.

Monthly Data Plan: $55 cdn for unlimited usage (going over 5GB, Wind Mobile will limit speeds). Currently Wind has a promotion for 6 months data plans are 50% off. Meaning it will be $27.50 per month.

Pros: Balance pricing and coverage. Lower plans than most of the other companies, and a larger coverage area across Canada

Cons: Upfront costs for a data stick and throttling your bandwidth if you go over 5GB per month

Telus Huawei E182E

price: $149 | $99 with 1yr contract | $0 with 3yr contract

The Huawei E182E is a simple and compact USB internet stick with manufacturer rated download speeds up to 21.1Mbps and upload speeds up to 5.7 Mbps. This unit supports plug and play and has an external memory card slot that allows you to be able to use it to store your data files.

Montlhy Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $40 (1gb) | $50 (2gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: Excellent data coverage and 3G+ speeds are much faster than competitors. Currently typical speeds on Telus is about 4-6mbps download until they complete their 3G+ rollout.. Don’t have to pay for the stick if you sign up for a contract.

Cons: Can get extremely expensive for heavy data users

Telus Sierra 306

price: $199 CDN | $149 w/ 1yr | $99 w/ 2yr | $49 w/ 3yr

The Sierra Wireless 306 internet stick is a very reliable device. From feedback users have been getting consistent connections speeds without any dropped signals. It is lightweight and compact.

Montly Data Plans: $30 cdn (500mb) | $40 (1gb) | $50 (2gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: Reliable and consistent connection. Wide network coverage.

Cons: Data plan is expensive. Upfront costs is a lot if you don’t sign up for contract

Bell Novatel Wireless U950

price: $0 with contract

The U950 is another USB data stick design to get you connected to the internet. It has rated download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. There is an LED light which indicates data transmission. It comes in white and is small enough to fit into your pocket.

Monthly Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $40 (1gb) | $55 (3gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: The Bell network is one of the largest networks in Canada and if you travel a lot and need access to internet almost anywhere, the Bell network is the one to choose.

Cons:

Bell Novatel Wireless U998

price: $0 with contract

The U998 is the high-end internet stick for Bell. It has rated download speeds of up to 21Mbps. Features include a LED light to indicate data transmission.

Monthly Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $40 (1gb) | $55 (3gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: The Bell network is one of the largest networks in Canada and if you travel a lot and need access to internet almost anywhere, the Bell network is the one to choose.

Cons:

Bell Portable 512kbs or 3Mbps

  • Access the Internet in 178 cities across Canada.
  • Go online in 3 easy steps – no software to install.
  • Surf the net anywhere there’s a power outlet.
  • Speeds of up to 9x faster than dial-up

Monthly Data Plan: $17.95 for 512kbs speeds and includes 10gb of bandwidth per month. $29.95 for 3Mbps speeds.

Pros: Consistent and fast speeds. Good enough to surf internet and watch videos online like Youtube.

Cons: Requires power outlet.

Bell Rural 2Mbs

  • Access the Internet in 178 cities across Canada.
  • Surf the net anywhere there’s a power outlet.
  • Speeds of up to 9x faster than dial-up

Monthly Data Plan: $40 includes 10gb of bandwidth per month. $5 modem rental fee per month.

Pros: Excellent network coverage. For those who live outside of the city or would like to have access to internet while they are out at the cottage or out camping, this is the modem to choose.

Cons: Again, requires power outlet.

Rogers Rocket Mobile Internet
(ZTE MF668)

price: $199 | $0 w/ 2yr

This is the bright red internet stick. Download speeds up to 21.6Mbps and upload speeds up to 5.76Mbps. The Rocket stick is completely plug and play. No installation required. Supports HSPA+/EDGE/GSM. It also has a multi-colour LED indicator for real-time service status, technology modes, and error conditions.

Monthly Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $35 (1gb) | $50 (2gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: compact and lightweight. Rogers Network coverage is excellent.

Cons: Data plan prices are steep. However, they do have flex rate plans which will adjust to your usage.

Rogers Mobile Hotspot – Novatel MiFi 2372

retail price: $249 CDN
| $49 w/ 3tr

The Novatel Mifi is a unique device offered by Rogers. It is basically a compact 3G modem with the addtion of an integrated Wi-Fi router (802.11 B/G). The unit measures 62mm x 98 mm x 15.3 mm. This device is battery powered and can last up to 4hrs and allows up to 5 wi-fi devices to connect at a time. Also built in is a microSD slot so that you can store and share files.

Monthly Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $35 (1gb) | $50 (2gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: Great value for all the features. Small and compact and is a wireless Wifi router on the go. Great for sharing your internet connection.

Cons: Wireless B/G are supported but not N.

Rogers Rocket Hub

This device is powered by Sony Ericsson, and is only about the size of a regular paperback novel. The Rocket Hub allows up to 10 computers to connect at the same time – all the is required is a power outlet.

Monthly Data Plan: $30 cdn (500mb) | $35 (1gb) | $50 (2gb) | $65 (5gb)

Pros: Simple setup. No need to connect to your computer. Just plug in the device and it creates a Wifi hotspot. Good if you’re connecting a variety of devices such as laptop, smartphones (e.g. iPhone), game consoles etc.

Cons: Runs at high temperatures and requires power outlet.