USB Edge Modems
What Is EDGE?
EDGE is a cellular signal technology and is also sometimes called "Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), or Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), or IMT Single Carrier (IMT-SC). This mobile phone technology evolved from the GSM/GPRS family of mobile technologies as an improved bandwidth option for those that want to be able to surf the internet or transfer larger files using their smart phone, laptop, or other portable device without being connected to a "land line" through either 802.11 style wifi or simply a direct line from an ethernet cable.
What Can EDGE Do For Me?
There are several ways to take advantage of EDGE without limiting yourself to using your smart phone, like an EDGE USB Modem. These modems allow you to place a SIM card from your carrier (like AT&T or T-Mobile) into the USB dongle, allowing your computer to get on an EDGE network. This will make it so you can use the internet anywhere in the World EDGE is being broadcast, freeing yourself from the limitations of only accessing the internet at home, work, or places that charge for internet access.
Why an EDGE USB Modem as opposed to my carrier's card?
Most cell phone carriers charge a lot more if you're wanting unlimited data on your laptop as opposed to unlimited data on your phone, and reason is obvious. Since you tend to use a lot more bandwidth typically when surfing the internet with your laptop, this uses more of their resources as well. The EDGE USB Modem is a great way around that. If your carrier charges $15 for monthly data on your phone but $60 a month for the laptop card, the EDGE USB Modem (which utilizes your phone's SIM card) will save you quite a bit every month. Be careful, however. Some carriers charge overage charges, so read the fine print and make sure your phone's data plan is truly unlimited.