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Thursday
Oct012015

Review: Netgear AirCard 785S mobile hotspot on TELUS

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

For anyone tired of hunting for free WiFi hotpots while on-the-go, or who needs to constantly connect to more than two devices simultaneously, a device like the AirCard 785S quickly pays for itself.

Netgear and Telus recently launched the Aircard 785S, enabling connectivity to be shared for up to 15 Wi-Fi devices. The device connects to 4G LTE speeds providing fast and reliable internet anywhere you go. The coloured easy to use display makes monitoring data usage simple and helps avoid incurring expensive overage charges. 

One might wonder if standalone mobile hotspot devices are still relevant when we have the ability to turn our smartphones into pretty capable mobile hotspots right out of the box. I often wondered about that myself however, while I do open up my iPhone's LTE connection to a connected notebook or tablet when working away from the office, I sometimes find that it isn't always ideal. Sometimes, my network doesn't have a good connection to begin with, which means funneling data to a notebook or tablet is a non-starter

Netgear's AirCard 785S, available to TELUS subscribers, is a great option if you work on the go. Not only does it offer a standalone and dedicated mobile hotspot for up to 15 connected devices, it has a 10 hour battery which can power you through the day and free up your smartphone for more important things like calls, binge-stalking on Instagram or playing back your favourite music. 

 

Having used earlier Netgear devices, I liked the new look and feel as well as straightforward performance of the AirCard 785S. I was able to connect it to a Surface Pro 3 without any issue and even used it to stream HD video via my SlingBox app, which allowed me to watch Serena Williams's shocking US Open loss to Roberta Vinci (hey, stop blaming Drake for that one!) in detailed HD.

While that exercise quickly exceeded my data limit for the month (oops!), it was a good example of just how adept the Netgear AirCard was at managing demanding data and delivering it. Kudos goes to TELUS for their blazing fast connection which enabled.

I also tested the 15 device connectivity feature, throwing every smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac and gaming console I had at home on the AirCard's network. It worked at advertised but the connection was quite slow as one would imagine. 

The best thing about the AirCard 785S is that serious road warriors can expand its range and functionality by adding a few accessories. You can, for example, turn this mobile hotspot into a powerful LTE router with a irCard Smart Cradle. With high-gain internal 4G/3G antennas and external WiFi antennas, 1 USB port and 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, users can maximize the power of their mobile WiFi network and get the ultimate range and performance needed for homes and offices. 

There's also a MIMO antenna and an Ethernet Antenna and charging cable that likewise expands functionality, which is pretty impressive considering the mobile hotspot itself is a pocket-sized dynamo.

TELUS sells the Netgear AirCard 785S contract free for $200. It is also available for $50 on a two-year plan. For anyone tired of hunting for free WiFi hotpots while on-the-go or who needs to constantly connect to more than two devices simultaneously, a device like the AirCard 785S quickly pays for itself if you are reliant on a fast and trouble-free Internet connection.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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