I purchased a Sierra USB 881 on December 24. On Jan 21 the housing around the usb broke and the usb was not viable. Corporate store replaced with a new device (has different housing for port) This one worked great until Feb 27 when stopped allowing connection. Simply would be "waiting for network" . Initially told that network was down in my area. Waited 24 hours when still not working called tech support. Spent hours on diagnostics only to decide that card was bad. I refused to take a reconditioned one and wanted a replacement immediately ( as they only seem to last around 30 days) so customer support agreed to replace at my corporate store. Went to store - no USB 881- replaced with Option GT Ultra Express Card (non usb). Mangager offered to let me keep this one or come back for USB 881 when they get one in. Should I do that? How many others have had issues with the USB 881? Were my problems just a freak? Will this new card ( Option GT Ultra Express) work in newer laptops? It is long and narrow? I don't think that the manager knew a whole lot about computers but she told me this was the newer card style? We wanted the USB device as I can use it on my parents desktop to download as here in not important rural land we can only get painfully slow (26.4 bps) dial up and have no DSL or cable option- only satelite or this. We also will be purchasing another laptop and or desktop. This card seems to produce static periodicaly on my laptop. Also it seems slower to download- but could just be my imagination. Any insight appreciated. thanks in advance.
I have had my USB 881 now for around 2 months and have had no hardware issues, no disconnect issues, etc. The reason I originally chose the USB device versus a card style were the same as you, the ability to utilize in multiple PC's and not being tied to a specific configuration if I get a new notebook.
Not a exact study by any means, but considering all of the units that are sold, and looking at the number of complaints on this forum regarding problems, they do not seem to have any universal flaws.
The decision you make on which style to keep should depend on how you want to utilize the device, and which configuration works best for you.
I think that I am going to go back to the USB 881- in our travels this weekend while using the other card it seemed to me that download times were much slower. I also think that the antenna on the Option is very ill designed. I am encouraged that no one else has had my problems thanks and if anyone has more ideas please chime in as I have not made my final decision yet.