Rocking Wirelessly: Verizon’s V640 EVDO Card

V640 WWAN Speed Test

After vacillating for a while (and waiting for it to become available), I finally purchased one of the Verizon / Novatel V640 Express Card EVDO adapters that everybody’s talking about for my MacBook Pro.

GearLog promised it would be easy — simply install drivers, plug in card — but they were wrong. Truth was that I didn’t even have to install the drivers. Mac OS X asked me if I wanted to “activate” the card when I plugged it in, then automatically went about configuring everything. Everything was done in short order, and moments after clicking connect I was online with wireless PPP and pinging the world. I don’t know how much of this can be credited to any configuration the folks at Booster Antenna (from whom I bought the card and service) may have done and how much is do to good plug-n-play in OS X. I can, however, say the price and service were excellent.

The 1xRTT speeds I’ve seen so far are fast enough to listen to 128K MP3 streams (though not without occasional hiccups), and the Speedtest reports consistently 125K or better downloads, with uploads that were never far behind and sometimes faster. In most of my use it actually feels faster than the numbers suggest, though scrolling in Google maps is noticeably slower than I’m used to (as are any other similarly graphic-heavy activities). I’ve not even tried surfing the likes of YouTube.