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Is a compact flash card modem or a wireless LAN card better for occasional use?

I have a HP 2215 PDA using Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software. What is the best choice to get on the Internet -- the compact flash card modem or the wireless LAN card 802.11b? It will only be for occasional use.
Your iPAQ h2215 has both SDIO and Compact Flash Type I or II slots. Wireless adapters that can be used with these slots include:
  • Socket's Wireless LAN Type 1 CF Card WL6000-320)
  • Socket's SDIO Wireless LAN Card (WL6200-480)
  • Sprint's PCS Vision CF2031 CDMA 1XRTT Type II CF Card (SPR-YCF2031CFC)
  • Audivox's GSM/GPRS Type I CF Card (RTM8000D)
Either 802.11b wireless LAN card will give you much better performance than wireless WAN cards. The SDIO card is smaller than the CF card, but power consumption is similar. Security options on the CF card are stronger. You might want to base your decision on price and if you'll use the remaining slot (e.g., for added storage).

I haven't used the Audiovox card but have used GPRS for Internet access and found it much slower than advertised. I have used the CF2031 card and found it both slow and unwieldy (see this column).

That said, wireless WANs are a better choice if you need to access the Internet from just about anywhere. Wireless LANs require you to be within a hundred feet or so of a wireless access point or hotspot. Also consider how much you're willing to pay for Internet access. Wireless WANs require an account with a carrier and usually incur monthly fees; wireless LAN hotspots offer daily/hourly pay-as-you-go rates that might make more sense for occasional use.

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