Wireless options for a PocketPC?

I have an HP jornada 540 purchased through my office about 3 1/2 years ago. It works pretty well as an e-book reader, calendar (synchs w/ outlook) and can read and edit word and excel files pretty well. I’ve been happy with it. Recently, I’ve been curious about the pocket Internet Explorer it has pre-loaded. What would I need to get on-line with it? I assume I’d need a wireless card of some sort.

As it’s an older model, I had no luck on the HP site. Can I just buy a card/modem and surf? Will I need to pay a subscription fee? Most of my browsing on this thing will be in conference centers that already have free wireless access.

Or should i just scap it and buy a newer model? I have really not kept up with the wireless market, and don’t know how to guage the trouble/expense involved.


There are three major types of wireless communication that are compatible with current PDAs.

Bluetooth (BT): This is good for very short-range communication b/n two or more devices. Most common use is with the wireless keyboards and mice for desktop PCs and the wireless earpieces that are so popular for cell phones. PDAs use BT most often for communication to accessories or for short distance wireless communication to a particular PC.

WiFi: This is more widely used to allow wireless communication to the internet via an access point. This is what is used in hotels and coffee shops when they advertise, “Wireless internet capable”. It has a longer range (up to a few hundred feet depending on the hardware) and can allow for multiple users at one time.

The third uses cellular technology. Since this one requires a Phone/PDA hybrid device, I won’t go into that one too much. Just understand that with the new crop of Phone/PDA devices, you can get on the internet anywhere you have cellular signal. It costs more, but is pretty darn convenient.

What you are wanting is the WiFi type of wireless. You can buy a card like this one to plug into your Jornada. This will allow you to connect in places that have a publicly accessibly access point. I’m not endorsing this particular brand; just showing you what one looks like. You can buy a newer PDA that has this and other wireless capability internally installed. I have an Ipaq 2755 that has WiFi and BT. This means you don’t have to pull a card out each time you want to connect. Also there have been some real advances in the screen technology and memory size in these devices. You may want to check out some newer ones to see if you want some of these newer features.

I would suggest, however, that if you are happy with your Jornada, aren’t interested in newer features, and only need wireless infrequently, you buy a WiFi card and use that.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix/replace it…and all that.

Best of luck.


I have a HP IPaq 6340 which has phone, WiFi Bluetooth and the GPRS which is the wireless across the mobile network, not superfast but ok. Also runs pocket PC windows and so you can sync up with outlook and all that good stuff. I found the ability to use the exploerer and the wifi/GPRS very useful for staying in contact for work stuff when traveling / at home so could get of fast replies without boting up the laptop etc etc. Never found anywhere teh bluetooth was seful xcept for linking up to a handfree headset as the units are quite bulky.
The Windows explorer is a cut down version so found many websites with frames did not work well and some woudl not work at all (my credit union/bank website for example which used NET24). Hotmail and outlook were fine to use. But if you are an addicted websurfer or need online porn access wherever you are, you may find the exploer a little limited. That said WindowsMobil V5 is out so that may be a little better.

My HP6350 was pretty good, the touch screen just failed after 1.5 years so can’t use it anymore, but I don’t treat electronic items with the care they probably need.
HP have replaced the 6350 with 6500 so no chance of repair.

The other models out there which all do similar things (ie include the phone and Btooth and WiFi) are I-Mate with several models and Ipaq with about one model.

hope that is of some use