I'm a big believer in the old Boy Scout motto: be prepared.
That's why I always pack a prepaid modem in my travel bag, just in case there's no Wi-Fi available wherever I end up. This happens more often than you might think.
Through tomorrow, and while supplies last, you can get the T-Mobile Jet 2.0 prepaid 4G laptop stick for $19.99 shipped. Props to reader Harvey for sharing this deal.
Like the aircards of old, the Jet 2.0 plugs into your Mac or PC, endowing it with high-speed Internet access -- in this case T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G network, which supports data speeds of up to 21Mbps. All you need is a free USB port.
Best of all, there's no contract required with this modem. You pay for service as needed, to the tune of $15 for a 7-day, 300MB pass; $25 for one month/1.5GB; $35 for 3.5GB; or $50 for 5GB.
Remember, this isn't meant to be a full-time connectivity solution, just something you reach for when you need it -- like when you're hitting the road for a week, or the hotel's Wi-Fi isn't working. (Bonus: the Jet 2.0 doubles as a microSD card reader.)
Want to share that 4G goodness with other devices, like maybe your tablet? CNET's Sharon Vaknin recently explained how to turn your Windows 8 PC into a Wi-Fi hot spot.
One word of caution: be sure to check T-Mobile's coverage map before you buy this. The last thing you want is to discover that you barely have any service where you work and live. But if you're covered, it's hard to beat $20 out the door for mobile broadband. Grab it, toss it in your carry-on, then forget about it until you need it. Your thoughts?