Sprint 3G/4G Plug-in-Connect USB
The Sprint 3G/4G Plug-in-Connect USB (free with a two-year contract) is a inheritor to final year’s 3G/4G USB U600 (4 stars), a many new Editors’ Choice for cellular modems on Sprint. The Plug-in-Connect is radically a same accurate device, with one pivotal new feature: This is one of a initial mobile modems to work yet a need for tie software—simply block it in and you’re prepared to go. It’s a large step adult from carrying to understanding with Sprint’s strict SmartView software. And while it doesn’t support Sprint’s arriving 4G LTE network, a Plug-in-Connect pulled in some unequivocally quick download speeds on Sprint’s fated-to-shutter WiMAX network. All in all, this would be a latest Editors’ Choice, if usually it wasn’t so formidable for a Plug-in-Connect to settle a tie in a initial place.
Design and Plans
Manufactured by Franklin Wireless, a 3G/4G Plug-in-Connect looks physically matching to a U600. Testing a dual side-by-side, we had to symbol a modems in sequence to tell them apart. That’s not a bad thing: At 2.9 by 1.3 by .6 inches (HWD) and a super light 1.1 ounces, a Plug-in-Connect is small, portable, and attractive. When plugged into a USB port, a modem is able of 180 degrees of straight motion. This doesn’t have an outcome on reception, yet it’s useful if you’re looking to get only a right fit.
There are standing lights during a tip of a device that prove possibly it is in 3G or 4G mode. They’re elementary to understand, if a bit dim. Aside from those, there are outmost receiver ports on possibly corner of a modem if you’re looking to boost reception.
Sprint offers dual opposite skeleton for mobile broadband. $49.99 per month gets we 6GB of data, while $79.99 per month is good for 12GB. While possibly devise should be some-more than adequate if your primary regard is email and Web entrance while traveling, it’s not adequate information to reinstate your home connection—watch a few cinema on Netflix and we can bake by that 6GB devise before a weekend is over. If you’re a complicated information user, you’d be improved served by a device like a Clear Stick Atlas ($49.99, 4 stars), that gets we total WiMAX for $49.99 per month, yet it doesn’t support 3G where WiMAX isn’t available, like a Plug-in-Connect does.
Sprint also offers contract-free, pay-as-you go skeleton for a Plug-in-Connect, yet they’re flattering pricey. You can get 150MB of information for use over a singular 24-hour duration for $14.99. $29.99 gets we 500MB of information over a week, and $49.99 is good for 1.5GB of information for over 30 days.
Setup and Performance
Unlike a U600, that requires Sprint’s SmartView program in sequence to settle and conduct your Internet connection, a Plug-in-Connect stays loyal to a name. Simply block it into a giveaway USB pier and bond to a Internet. The modem uses your computer’s built-in networking protocols in sequence to settle a connection, and it worked only excellent on my iMac, as good as a laptop regulating Windows 7.
I tested a Plug-in-Connect opposite a U600. On a transparent open day, we trafficked between 11 opposite locations via New York City, contrast a modems in WiMAX mode in any location. we eliminated files over FTP, downloaded Web pages regulating curl, and ran a speed tester at speedtest.net.
Overall, a dual modems had identical speeds, yet a Plug-in-Connect is positively faster. Reception was normal on both devices, and WiMAX download speeds were surprisingly fast. On speedtest.net, that simulates Internet streaming, a U600 averaged 7.9Mbps down, while a Plug-in-Connect bested it with an normal of 9.7Mbps down. Upload speeds were significantly slower for both devices. The U600 averaged 1.1Mbps up, while a Plug-in-Connect came out forward again, during a medium 1.3Mbps. While those upload speeds are delayed in comparison to a 4G LTE information speeds we’ve seen on ATT and Verizon, a download speeds should be quick adequate to keep we happy. FTP and Web tests were also close, yet a Plug-in-Connect won again, entrance out forward 66% of a time.
While Sprint has announced that it will be abandoning a WiMAX network in preference of LTE, there’s still copiousness of time to get good use out of a Plug-in-Connect and other WiMAX devices. And given we don’t know a standing of a carrier’s LTE build out or a accessibility of LTE-capable modems in a future, we feel assured in recommending a WiMAX modem for a time being.
What we aren’t as assured in, however, is a Plug-in-Connect’s fussy attempts to bond to Sprint’s network. While a U600 worked reliably any time it was plugged in (albeit with a use of tie government software), a Plug-in-Connect could infrequently take adult to 5 mins to connect, and had to be private and reconnected in sequence to settle a tie on some-more than one occasion. While it always worked out in a end, it was mostly frustrating to use, and not a good choice if we need to get connected as fast as possible.
While we unequivocally like a Plug-in-Connect’s new, software-free process of removing we connected to a Internet, we wish it wasn’t such an distress to settle a tie some of a time. Although a Plug-in-Connect is an refurbish to a Editors’ Choice-winning 3G/4G USB U600 , it will not accept a latest Editors’ Choice endowment this time. Even so, a Plug-in-Connect is value it if we wish somewhat faster information speeds and are peaceful to put adult with a tie issues. But for everybody else, somewhat slower yet solid modems, like a Sierra Wireless AirCard 250U (Free, 4 stars), win a race.