Reassessing mobile broadband options for the Eee PC

One consequence of Vodafone’s recent launch of a USB 3G broadband stick modem that I didn’t immediately realise was that it means that its older cabled USB modem is being taken off the market. Indeed, Vodafone’s own site says
that the device was no longer available as of August 11, but you might still be able to track down an older model if you visit a Vodafone store.
Why does this matter? For Windows or Mac users, not having the cable is a definite advantage. However, if you want to add mobile broadband to the Eee PC, the older E220 model is a better choice, because you can make it work out of the box, as I’ve detailed before on Lifehacker. Getting the E169 to work is trickier, because its dual-mode function confuses the standard Xandros install. Blogger Liam Green-Hughes has detailed one approach to solving this problem, but it’s a tad fiddly.
Of course, Vodafone isn’t the only choice in town — Optus and 3 both offer 3G packages using the U220, although they’re also increasingly promoting the stick-only option. Each has price complications you need to be aware of too: Optus’ new prepaid option has a hefty 10MB minimum download, and 3 users need to be careful about roaming charges, though that may change in the near future. What’s your preferred approach to keeping your Eee PC connected? Let’s hear about it in the comments. [Thanks Alex and Kaydo!]

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