Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cricket Wireless - 3g Modem Review

The internet is something that has become throughly ingrained in many of our lives today. It is how we stay connected with those around us and it is an extremely useful way of obtaining information. Most people have laptops or smart phones which they use to stay connected to the world wide web. Our laptops need a connection of some sort to access the information superhighway and while public wireless hot-spots are becoming more and more common, more often than not it always seems when you really need to get online to check on that important piece of information there is no wireless connection around (or they are all encrypted and you don't have time to crack one of them open). The obvious answer to this problem? Obtain your own wireless internet that you can bring around with you to use where ever you need it. Thankfully we have just that available to us in the form of 3g (and 4g) modems. There are quite a few different companies today who offer such services (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, ect.).

Thus brings me to my topic at hand today: Cricket Wireless. Cricket is still a relatively new company (by comparison) to the other competitors out there today. It prides itself on being "truly unlimited" and "affordable" compared to the other companies that are out there. I've been using their 3g service for just over six months now and I must say I have been decently happy with it. I'd just like to take a moment to summarize some of the keys things I like to tell people when I describe the Cricket Wireless service I have:

It's cheap by comparison - my service runs me 40$ a month, most other companies are about double this amount.
Theres no contract - Unlike most companies Cricket does not make you sign a service contract. You can drop your plan at any time with out an extra charge (the fee to reinstate service is only 25$ so even if you want to drop service for a single month you still save money)
It gets decent speeds - I've had the modem download as fast as 200kb/s and on average I see speeds of around 65kb/s. For the average user out there this means it is more than capable of providing web-surfing, email, instant messaging, streaming music, low-res video, and playing most video games online.
The service is "unlimited" - They provide you with "unlimited" bandwidth. I use the "" because once your data transfer hits 5gigs for a month they extremely throttle your transfer rate for the remainder of the month (I've never personally hit this cap so I'm unsure as to what it drops down to).
They don't support Linux - Its not uncommon for a company to ignore Linux and Cricket is no exception to this. However with a little bit of know how you can easily get the device working on most any platform.

All in all I am extremely happy with my little Cricket Modem - it is the perfect companion for my Asus EEE PC. If you are looking for a cheap 3g connection they are definitely one worth looking into. Also worth noting is that I live right near Chicago (a major city) and as such I mostly use my device in/around that area so they have strong coverage there. You should be sure to check if the Cricket coverage map includes where you live/plan to use the device if you are thinking of picking one up.

Happy Surfing All,
~Jeff Hoogland

3 comments:

  1. now you just have to solder it into the case to make it truly bad ass

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  2. hi, how do you configure it on eee pc linux?

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  3. What Linux distro are you using on your EEE PC? I have a HOWTO post for Ubuntu that can be easily adapted to other distros - http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.com/2009/10/howto-cricket-a600-modem-ubuntu.html

    ~Jeff

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