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Note, this is not a buying recommendation question.

My question is simply this:

An SD card SIM adapter, like this one, can I plug a SIM data card into such an adapter, plug the SD card into my MacBook Pro, and get internet over a mobile connection using this?

Or are these adapters for other devices, things like microboards or arduinos?

Or perhaps the SIM part of the name isn't a "SIM Card" at all, but something else?

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3 Answers

Its mislabelled. Its an adaptor that lets you put a micro sd card into a sd card reader. As it says a little further down "TF MicroSD card inserted into the adapter, as the SD card, or SD card reader into the universal read and write operations."

It does not in any way let you read a sim card, and it certainly does not magically let you insert a sim card into a computer, and use it for mobile internet (that needs a specific sort of radio, though some laptops do come with that built in)

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As @JourneymanGeek posted, the thing I linked to is not what I asked about, here "SIM" means something else or is mislabelled.

However, such a thing that I ask for does apparently exist, although perhaps only in pre-sale limbo.

Huawei 3G Ultrastick SD Card was showcased in October 2013. No sign of it apparently being for sale yet, if it will ever be, but the amount of press it has gathered, reading between the lines would suggest this is the first, or only, such product at this time.

Engadget image of the Huawei 3G Ultrastick SD Card

(image belongs to Engadget)

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Similar devices have already existed in the market for years but with USB or PCI connectivity. The connectivity through SD card readers must have been a challenge though, since they were not designed for the purpose. –  ADTC Feb 25 at 11:49
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Actually, it might use SDIO - really old PDAs used to use SD based wifi cards - the Palm m515 had one as an option, as did some pocket PCs. There seem to be loads of information on that on google. I have no clue if this will work on a 'regular' PC or laptop though –  Journeyman Geek Feb 25 at 11:56
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Cards like the EyeFi have existed for years and continue to be popular among photogs. –  peelman Feb 25 at 13:03
    
SDIO can be used on a PC if you have operating system support. Linux supports it, but AFAIK Windows does not. I have no idea about Apple systems, but would expect that as they are rarely used in embedded devices (the primary market for SDIO adapters these days) it is unlikely to work. –  Jules Feb 25 at 17:59
    
The SD WiFi cards for cameras like the EyeFi stream files that have been written to the standard internal file system out to an external application via WiFi. They are a bit different to converting reads/writes to an SD interface into network IO. –  mtm Feb 25 at 17:59
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The device in question is just a micro-SD card adapter (converts it into a regular SD card), and has nothing to do with mobile SIM cards at all.

However, two types of devices do exist that can read mobile SIM cards. A simple SIM card reader (plugs in to an USB port) allows special software to read raw data from the SIM card, such as IMSI or contacts. However this device has no mobile radio and cannot communicate with any mobile network - you can't get internet, calls or SMS.

The other type of devices are mobile broadband modems (usually plugs into USB, sometimes PC-Card slots or other ports). They accept a SIM card just like your mobile phone does, so that they can connect to the mobile network and provide your computer with an internet data connection. With the bundled software, you may also be able to take calls, send or receive SMS, or edit contacts on the SIM card.

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Those are generally USB based in both cases. –  Journeyman Geek Feb 25 at 11:51
    
Thanks, corrected. –  ADTC Feb 25 at 11:54
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