Staying connected when you're away from the office usually means searching for phone jacks in airport lounges or untangling all of those cords that are stuffed into your computer case. The Ricochet GS Modem by Metricom Inc. promises easy, wireless connectivity at 128 KBPS — and it actually delivers. The PDA-sized device attaches to the outside of your laptop and plugs into the USB port. The software installs in under a minute. Then just click on the desktop icon to connect to the Internet or to your company's LAN. Ricochet's 11 service regions include Atlanta, Baltimore, Manhattan, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and 10 more cities are scheduled to join the network soon. The price? $300 for the modem itself, plus about $75 per month for service. Check out Ricochet on the Web (www.ricochet.com).
A version of this article appeared in the February 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.