I am starting a new job next week where I will be traveling quite a bit. I will carry my laptop with me and I want to be able to connect to the Internet wherever I go. I have a BlackBerry 8330 and was wondering if I would get better performance (i.e. better download/upload speeds) by tethering my smartphone as a modem or would I be better off buying a USB or PC Express Card device dedicated solely to mobile broadband use? Of course, I don't want to pay any more for equipment or usage charges, but speed/performance is more important to me!
Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated!
Either way you go you're going to have to pay something additional. For the dedicated USB modem you'll be paying $59.99 for 5GB of use or $39.99 for 250MB of use.
For using your phone as a modem it depends what Blackberry plan you currently have. If you're on a Nationwide Email plan or have the $44.99 plan you'll be paying an additional $15 for tethering. If you're only paying $29.99 for your Blackberry plan then it will be an additional $30 to use the tethering.
Speed wise; most likely a new USB modem is going to be a bit quicker. Your Curve 8330 is Rev.0 on the EVDO network. Speeds are 400-800Kbps down and 50-100Kbps up. So pretty comparable to a slower DSL link.
However, if you were to get a newer USB modem it's going to be Rev. A capable which provides better speeds. 600-1,400Kbps down and 500-800Kbps.
If you were to get a dedicated USB modem and you buy one from VZW at a discount you would be required to sign either a 1 or 2 year contract. If you were to add the tethering feature to your phone you can add/remove it at any time.
So there are your pros/cons. It's up to you how much you're willing to pay, what speeds you're okay with and if you want a contract or not.