I travel for both business and pleasure about once a month. That doesn’t qualify me as a road warrior in the business world, but it certainly means I’m intimately familiar with the availability and limitations of various connectivity solutions throughout my travels. For several years I traveled with a 3G data card, first from AT&T and later from Verzon. When Sprint announced their Overdrive 4G data plan, I jumped at the opportunity to switch.I wrote a Sprint Overdrive review several months ago, but I’m going to elaborate here on some of the benefits for small business and travelers.
4G is reliable
One of the problems with 3G data plans is network overload. If you’ve ever been in a sports stadium or large convention hall where your data plan stops working (or worse you can’t make a call), you have experienced the limitations of 3G. Newer 4G data plans don’t suffer these limitations as they have considerably more bandwidth available for both data and voice communication.
4G is affordable
For the same price as getting a 3G data plan, you can get a 4G data plan instead. The great thing about this is that when 4G isn’t available, the devices automatically fall back to 3G, which means you always have some kind of connection available. If you travel more than a few days a month, it also saves paying the fees for connectivity at your hotel.
4G is more convenient
When you travel or need to check something on your way to a meeting with a client, having to track down an available WiFi hotspot wastes valuable time.
4G is more secure than WiFi
One of the key reasons I travel with a cellular data plan is security. While open WiFi network s are available for free at places like Starbucks, they aren’t secure. Anyone else in the vicinity of the connection can see everything you’re doing and capture your data if they have the right tools. It’s much harder to accomplish this same type of security breach when you’re using a 4G data plan (or 3G) instead. No matter what you do, you should connect to sites using encryption and https pages whenever possible, but simply switching to a cellular data plan is more secure than open WiFi networks.
Watch this interview for more on the benefits of 4G data plans.