Prepaid wireless Internet a great idea, but can you afford it?

Fans of prepaid cellphones will love Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go, a USB device that provides pay-as-you go wireless Internet service without an annual contract.

What they may not love so much is the price, or at least the initial $150 to buy it.

On the plus side, Virgin Mobile's prices to buy megabytes to browse the Web, watch videos and read e-mails are fair enough if you don't mind paying $10 for about five hours of Web browsing or 25 minutes of video.

Virgin Mobile sent me one a few weeks ago to try out, and after about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to connect it with the help of a service representative, it worked well. Coverage was in and out and I got disconnected a few times, but overall I stayed connected long enough to be online for an hour or so at a time.