Gone are the days when data cards were only meant for accessing the internet. Today they offer many other features like storage slot and WiFi routing. Also, unlike earlier when only operators used to offer data cards, today many companies are offering such products at different price points and with many more features.
We have chosen five devices on the basis of their features and price. However we cannot swear by their quality or performance.
It is currently available for around Rs 3,600. The device comes with 21.6 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload speeds. It also acts as a WiFi router and allows eight connections.
There is a 1500 mAh battery in the E5331 that claims to provide 5 hours of continuous usage, 30 hours of WiFi, or 250 hours of WiFi standby. There are several indicators in the data card that show network connectivity, WiFi status, battery level and SMS. The device has a power button as well. Besides, it has a 32 GB micro SD card slot and you can charge it with its USB 2.0 port.
For those who do not want to spend Rs 3,600 on the E5331, Huawei has a cheaper alternative -the E355.
Huawei E355 too comes with 21.6 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload speeds. It too acts as a WiFi router but allows five connections against eight connections of E5331.
Also, it does not have a battery of its own; so you have to plug this dongle to your laptop or tablet to make it work. However, like the E5331, the Huawei E355 comes with a 32 GB micro SD card slot.
This is currently available in the market for around Rs 1,800. This 9.5 mm thick data card weighs 30 gram. It looks like an ordinary card but it can be used as a WiFi router.
This 3G data card has download speeds of 14.4 Mbps. Plus there is a 32 GB micro SD card slot in the ZTE AW3632. It comes with USB 2.0, which allows it to connect to a laptop or computer, or to your tablet.
E3131 too is a WiFi data card and is available for around Rs 2,000. It has 21.6 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload speeds. You can use it to create a WiFi hotspot in your surrounding to connect up to five devices to the internet.
Any 2G/3G SIM can be used with this dongle. Moreover, it allows voice calling-all you need is a microphone and PC speaker. Plus, it has a 32 GB micro SD card slot.
Airtel 4G LTE Modem
Though it does not have WiFi router capability, we had to include this here as it is the only 4G modem currently available in India. However, it is currently available for Pune users only though Airtel has rolled out its services in Kolkata, Chandigarh and Bangalore as well.
It is available for Rs 4,999 and allows users to connect to Airtel’s 4G network in the said region. It has a 32 GB micro SD card slot and comes with a USB 2.0 connector using which you can connect it to a laptop.