If you plug it into your Laptop, you are completely flexible and can access the Internet wherever you are – this can be an excellent option if you travel a lot, if DSL is not provided in your building or if you have decided you don’t need a normal phone line at home.
The downside is – of course – higher costs. Vodafone offers the UMTS PC-card for a flat-rate of around €35/month, but this package has a limited transfer volume of 5GB. Therefore, we recommend you to go for this option only if you don’t need to excessively load movies or music from the net.
As an alternative for the UMTS PC-card you can also go for an UMTS-enabled mobile phone. Connect it to your computer and get Internet access for the same rates as with the PC-card. As the telecom providers want to push UMTS handsets, you can get them very cheaply or even for free, and pay only the monthly fee. UMTS handsets will also enable you to capture and send still images and video (if this is what you have been waiting for!) In some areas (normally outside of urban areas), you may not be able to get UMTS network coverage, so UMTS handsets/PC cards switch to other transmission technologies (GPRS or EDGE or GSM) and this reduces the bandwidth – a lot, think slow modem. Therefore, if you don’t live in a big city, ask the provider if you will have UMTS coverage in your area before signing the contract.