Looking for a great, cheap way to download e-books when you can’t get a wi-fi signal, even if you don’t have a free-3G-enabled e-reader? TruConnect Mobile might just have you covered.
Last year I wrote about retrofitting 3G to wifi-enabled devices (such as e-readers) by use of a mobile hotspot such as a MiFi. Now Rick Broida’s latest “The Cheapskate” column on CNet points out what might be the best deal yet for such a device: $96 for the MiFi plus shipping, then $4.99 per month plus 3.9 cents per megabyte for service. The fee is charged only for months during which you actually use the device—if you leave it in a closet all summer, you don’t pay a thing.
The benefit of a 3G-enabled Kindle or Nook is that you can download e-books anywhere, but the drawback is that you really can’t do much else with that 3G. If you have a tablet that can surf the web, you could pay $100+ more for a 3G-enabled version, but if you want to tether your laptop to it you’re going to end up paying even more.
Now, this isn’t the mobile wifi you want to use if you’re going to download huge files, or stream movies. But e-books are teeny-tiny, and so is the bandwidth you would use from surfing the web or checking e-mail.
TruConnect Mobile’s MiFi deal tempts me in ways I have not been tempted by a MiFi device before. For the people who just hate being out of touch but can wait ‘til they get home to download huge files, it could be the best mobile wi-fi deal ever.