Review: An afternoon with Autonet
Autonet is a 3G-enabled cellular router intended for use on the road: a mobile hotspot that provides Wi-Fi coverage for your car and anyone tailgating it.
It roams seamlessly on CDMA networks, including Evdo Rev. A: in testing, speeds generally hovered around 500 kbps, fast enough for YouTube and general web use, but not for HD streaming.
+ It worked, without fail and without drops, throughout hilly Pittsburgh.
+ $30 a month for 3G data is cheap, though it's capped at a gig of transfer a month. If you want more, it's $60 a month, just like a normal 3G modem.
+ 1 year contract short by U.S. standards for CDMA carriers.
- Takes a minute or two to activate when you turn the engine on, and has no internal battery. So it's great for road trips, but not so much for keeping the kids busy while you zip around town.
- It's nearly as big as the smallest desktop computers, and much uglier.
- There's a splash page every time you hook up to it, like the free Wifi in hotels and malls.
- $400 for the machine: pricey.
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