Review: Internet On Your Belt

by Alan S. Kay

Rating 90

The internet is truly everywhere these days. It’s on desktops, laptops, portable phones, PDAs, and now on pagers. GoAmerica’s GoWeb service takes on the challenge of delivering usable Web pages and information on the RIM 950 Inter@ctive Pager.

The GoWeb service is also available for different RIM pagers, PalmPilots with Minstrel wireless modems, and any laptop and CE device that use wireless modem cards. It’s a nifty idea for those who want basic Internet access in the smallest form factor possible.

The RIM 950 Inter@ctive Pager is a 2.5-by-3.5 inch device that has a 2.5-by-0.875 inch display. Web pages are displayed monochromatically without graphics in text only versions. The pages load a bit slowly, but if you need constant access to basic information on the Internet, and don’t want to carry around a laptop, the pager route may work for you.

For those that already own the RIM 950 pager, signing up is as simple as visiting the site and entering the pager number. If not, GoAmerica will sell you one for $259 when you sign up for a year of wireless Internet service.

The GoWeb Internet access will cost $9.95 per month (in addition to the BellSouth wireless service) for a very limited plan that allows downloading 25KB of data, or $59.95 per month for unlimited access. That price puts it beyond the impulse buy, but for access to news, stock market quotes, travel information, weather, pointers to local restaurants, and the like, it may well be worth it. Users can customize the pages that are offered, or search for a Web site or information about businesses or individuals.

Best of all, GoWeb allows you to set up a login to your ISP-based e-mail, so when you’re on the road you can read e-mail that was sent to your desktop.

If you want very basic access to the Web 24/7, but don’t want to carry a lot of hardware, the GoWeb service may be just the thing. The cost of the pager and service may be justified by the sheer convenience it provides.

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.
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