Posted Feb. 21, 2008
The one gadget that’s improved my life the most over the past few weeks isn’t much bigger than a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum. It looks just like a flash drive—it’s got a little USB plug that flips out and connects to your PC or Mac—but the Franklin CDU-680 is actually a wireless broadband modem that connects to Sprint’s nationwide EVDO network (EVDO stands for Evolution-Data Optimized, geek-speak for high-speed wireless). It’s about one-third the size of other USB modems, and cleverly includes a bit of flash memory so that it carries its own setup software (so you never need an installation CD). Sprint’s wireless broadband service isn’t cheap—$59.99 a month—but it’s unlimited, so you could theoretically use this modem as your main broadband connection at home, and then just slip it in your pocket to use on the road (so you’ll never have to search for a wi-fi hot spot ever again). The best place I’ve found to buy the CDU-680 and sign up for service is at 3Gstore.com, which provides free pre-activation—and tech support for Mac users (unlike Sprint).
$99.99 ($249.99 upfront with a two-year Sprint wireless broadband contract, less a $150 credit on your Sprint bill) at 3Gstore.com.