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3G / 4G Aircard Compatibility With Apple's MacBook Air

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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

3G / 4G Aircard Compatibility With Apple's MacBook Air

Because of our reputation as the "Mac + EVDO Experts", many people have asked us to do a definitive article on what does and does not work with the MacBook Air.

Though we've started a thread on EVDOforums, we've decided to do this pictorial article to show visually how different 3G and 3G/4G cards fit and work (or not!) with the MacBook Air.

last updated 7/13/10

The Sierra 250U 3G/4G USB modem for Sprint or CLEAR works perfectly with the MacBook Air! 

Sierra 250U and MacBook Air

The Sprint U301 can be inserted in the MBA's USB port, but it doesn't fit quite right - once it is inserted, you can't flip it up past about 45 degrees. We recommend the use of the USB flex adapter or USB extension cable sold by 3gstore.com


The Verizon MiFi can tether via USB cable or serve as ultra-portable hotspot for the MacBook Air! 
Verizon MiFi and MacBook Air

The Sprint 598U does not fit properly. It will not completely insert into MBA's USB port. We recommend the use of the USB flex adapter or USB extension cable sold by 3gstore.com


The Novatel Sprint U760 / Verizon USB760 will not fully insert into MBA USB port. We recommend the use of the USB flex adapter or USB extension cable sold by 3gstore.com

MacBookAir and Novatel U760 / USB760

The Sprint Compass 597 works perfectly with MacBook Air!


The Franklin CDU680 inserts properly and works without issue, but will not flip straight up.


The Verizon UM175 inserts properly and works without issue. OSX Leopard also appears to have built-in WWAN support!

Verizon UM175 inserts properly and works without issue. OSX Leopard also appears to have built-in WWAN support!

Verizon's UM150 inserts properly and works without issue. OSX Leopard also appears to have built-in WWAN support!

MacBookAir and Verizon UM150
 

Sierra Wireless AirCard 595U for both Sprint and Verizon, inserts properly and works great.

Bonus: Since the AT&T 875U and 881U use the same USB 'shell' as the 595U, those devices will also fit/work well

MacBookAir and Sierra Wireless 595U
 

Novatel U727 / USB727 only inserts into USB port about one-third as far as it should, and might work for some but not others. We recommend the use of the USB flex adapter or USB extension cable sold by 3gstore.com

MacBookAir and Novatel U727/USB727
 
MacBookAir and Novatel U727/USB727
 

Novatel U720 / USB720 barely reaches the USB port and does not insert at all. We recommend the use of the USB flex adapter or USB extension cable sold by 3gstore.com

MacBookAir and Novatel U720/USB720
 

What about ExpressCards like the Sprint's EX720 and 597E, or Verizon's V740 and KPC680? One solution is the combination of the USB Flex adapter and the  MicroUSB adapter both sold at 3Gstore. That combo allowed our EX720 expresscard to work perfectly as shown below:
 
MacBookAir with USB Flex and MicroUSB USB to ExpressCard adapter
 

One last option we'll mention is best suited for those folks who want to provide internet connectivity to MORE than just your MacBook Air... like maybe multiple Macs, or your iPhone or iPod Touch perhaps? The solution is to operate your compatible 3G or 4G device attached to a Cradlepoint router like the PHS300, shown below.
 

 




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 July 2010 )
 
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