Getting your laptop hooked up to the Internet while you’re away from the office has never been quite as simple as it should. It’s not so bad if you’re somewhere where you set up a dial-up connection but this is a far from perfect solution, ideally people should simply be able to get online wherever and whenever they want. Vodafone’s 3G datacard promises to deliver the closest thing to that ideal that the current technology will allow.

The card allows a laptop to connect to the Internet via Vodafone’s 3G network with a maximum download speed of 384kbps – not quite as fast as a typical broadband connection, but not far off it. The company’s 3G coverage is growing, but there’s still quite a lot of the country that is not covered so when you move out of 3G range the card automatically switches to the existing GPRS network. This gives you a data transfer speed comparable to that of a dial-up connection.

The card is compatible with systems based on Windows 98SE, NT4(SP6a) or higher. Several price plans are available to suit different types of users, the mid-range option will cost £150 (inc. VAT) for the datacard and £23.50 per month inclusive of 25Mb of data, with additional data charged at £1.76 per Mb. The datacard can be bought through Vodafone’s online store.

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