How to Avoid Contracts by Using a Monthly Internet Card

by Aeyne Schriber on April 25, 2012 in Internet Access

If you are going to be on the road for an indefinite period of time and want to access the Internet without being required to commit to a long term contract, a monthly Internet card may be the way to go.  Regardless if you are going to be on a business trip for a week or you have decided to take a vacation, monthly Internet allows you to stay in touch without having to waste time trying to find the nearest hotspot or having to remain confined to your hotel room to stay connected.

When you acquire a monthly Internet card you can choose to rent the card or if your wireless carrier offers prepaid cards this may also be another option.  There are more and more broadband Internet rentals which are popping up online which allow you to get setup with a monthly Internet card without ever having to leave your home.

How Monthly Internet Card Rentals Work

Before you choose this option it is important to ensure that the service is being offered in the areas where you plan to travel.  Typically when you research monthly Internet card rentals the website will provide you with a map of the areas where Internet service is available.  That said when you find the service you want to work with the process works similar to this:

  • Place Your Order Online:  When you find the appropriate services which will provide you with the Internet access you need while on the road you can place your order online.  This usually involves choosing an Internet card which is compatible with the device you will be using and then selecting the carrier where you want to obtain Internet access.  Monthly Internet cards typically come in USB form or they are designed for use with an ExpressCard slot.

You will be then asked to indicate the duration for which you will be using your Internet card such as one, two, or three months or more.  You can also choose when you want the monthly Internet card to arrive and usually the rental cost begins upon arrival and ends as soon as your return is recorded for shipment tracking.

  • Arrival and Installation:  Depending upon the monthly Internet card rental service you choose you should receive the equipment within a few days or you can opt to pay extra for a rush order.  The monthly Internet card should already be activated and all that is required for installation is connection to the USB port or ExpressCard slot on your device.  If any additional software is necessary you will receive an accompanying CD along with additional instructions for properly installing the software on your device.
  •  Return the Internet Card:  When you are finished using the monthly Internet card all you have to do is return it to the rental provider.  Most Internet card services will provide you with a prepaid envelope that you can easily drop off at the nearest shipping location.  Once the tracking number is recorded into the system you are not charged for any additional usage.

In the event you will be needing a monthly Internet card for longer than you originally indicated, most rental providers will work with you and then you can return the card when you are finished using it.

In terms of pricing, the amount you pay for rental of a monthly Internet card will vary according to the provider you are using.  Usually the longer the duration of the Internet card rental the lower the rate you will pay but this is not always the case.  When it comes to pricing it is always a good idea to shop around to find a rental provider that offers the best coverage at a price that is affordable.

Monthly Internet Cards via Your Wireless Carrier

If monthly Internet card rental does not appeal to you or is simply not an option, most of the major wireless carriers offer monthly Internet cards.  One problem with this approach is that you are usually required to commit to paying for monthly Internet access for a specified amount of money plus you are required to purchase the Internet card.

Like monthly Internet card rental you are not restricted to spending time locating the nearest hotspot while traveling and you are not bound to your home or hotel room in order to remain connected.  Depending upon your wireless carrier you can choose mobile broadband access or you can go with a prepaid card which allows monthly Internet access that you pay for in advance.  If you are the type of person who is constantly on the go this may be an option for you to consider.

It is also necessary to check out the availability of your wireless carrier in the areas where you plan to travel.  What may work in your local area may not be available where you are traveling.  This may be especially true when traveling abroad. Your wireless carrier can clarify this by providing you with a map that indicates coverage areas.

Prepaid Internet Cards vs. Monthly Internet Card Rentals

If you are a postpaid customer with your wireless carrier it is easy to obtain a prepaid monthly Internet card and depending upon the carrier you use the equipment is sometimes included when you pay for the monthly service.  If your wireless carrier provides coverage in the area where you are traveling it seems to make sense to choose this route over a monthly Internet card rental service.

So why would anyone want to use a monthly Internet card rental service?  Well, it all comes down to different needs which suit different individuals.  If you are only going to need Internet access in specific places on occasion using a monthly Internet card service does not require you to purchase equipment which may become quickly outdated.  If you rent the equipment the monthly Internet card rental provider worries about replacing outdated devices.

Monthly Internet card rental providers also provide devices that support international roaming.  If you are using a prepaid monthly Internet card from your wireless carrier, there is a chance it may not be compatible when you are traveling abroad and then you will be required to pay roaming charges which can be quite costly.

So when weighing your options you must ask yourself if the cost of the service makes sense for your requirements and if there is any type of insurance in the event something happens to the equipment you are renting.  Additionally, you must consider whether or not a monthly Internet rental card is compatible with your device and any additional costs you must pay such as shipping, security deposit, and other unanticipated charges.  Then you should compare this to the service provided by your wireless carrier to determine the best solution for Internet access.

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