How to Use a Verizon AirCard

By Michael Ryan

A Verizon AirCard provides Internet access, even where Wi-Fi hot spots and Ethernet Internet connections are unavailable. AirCards connect via USB or PC Card slots on computers, ultimately connecting to the Internet using the Verizon Wireless data network along with the networks of roaming partners when necessary. Although Verizon AirCards offer fast, near-broadband download speeds, the top-tier Verizon AirCard data plan offers only 5 GB of monthly bandwidth. In this sense, you'll need to monitor AirCard use to avoid expensive overuse charges.

Step 1

Connect the AirCard to your computer. With your computer turned on, insert the Verizon Wireless AirCard into the PC Card slot or an available USB port on the computer, depending on the type of interface used by your AirCard.

Step 2

Install the Verizon Wireless AirCard software. In Windows, wait for the contents of the AirCard to appear in Windows Explorer, then select "Install VZAccess Manager." On Mac, select "VZAccess Manager" to install Verizon's AirCard connectivity software.

Step 3

Activate the device. If your Verizon AirCard was not activated prior to installing the VZAccess software, you must follow the on-screen prompts to activate the device via the Verizon activation website.

Step 4

Launch the VZAccess software. (This step is necessary each time you use the AirCard.) By default, VZAccess launches automatically upon inserting the card into a computer that has the software installed. In Windows, the VZAccess icon appears on the desktop or in the "Start" menu, depending on the settings chosen during setup. On Macs, the icon appears in "Macintosh HD" or in the Dock, depending on your preferred settings.

Step 5

Connect to the Internet. Select the Verizon Wireless connection you want to use for the connection. Most Verizon AirCards support NationalAccess and BroadbandAccess for high-speed mobile data. Click "Connect WWAN" to finalize your selection and go online using a Verizon AirCard.

Step 6

Disconnect the modem by ending the WWAN connection in VZAccess and pulling the device out of the PC Card or USB port on your computer. If your AirCard also stores data, eject it by using the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the Windows system tray or by right-clicking "VZAccess Manager" on the Mac desktop and selecting "Eject."