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It's fun, and maybe even useful, to surf the Web in a moving car. That's possible now with cell companies offering high-speed networks in hundreds of cities. Across one of those metro areas, the cell systems can make wireless surfing feel as fast as home broadband. But don't be fooled into thinking this is a flashy superhighway that goes both ways.

It's fun, and maybe even useful, to surf the Web in a moving car. That's possible now with cell companies offering high-speed networks in hundreds of cities. Across one of those metro areas, the cell systems can make wireless surfing feel as fast as home broadband. But don't be fooled into thinking this is a flashy superhighway that goes both ways.

The upload speeds are s-l-o-w, as became painfully clear when I've tested the new networks with a laptop computer. Grabbing info from the Internet is quick enough-Webpages and E-mails flow in quickly. But the cell nets show their downside when uploading. Sending a large photo to a friend can take minutes; don't even try to send video.

Download speeds on Verizon and Sprint Nextel can range as high as 700Kbps. That's not as fast as most broadband links at home but quick enough. Uploads rarely exceed 100Kbps, or more like a dial-up connection.

Sprint, for one, has great coverage for travelers at airports. But when traveling, I rely on remote computing. That is, I use a service like LogMeIn to gain access to my everyday computer as if I were sitting in front of it at my home office. But across the cell nets, the remote-control service is too slow to be useful, which I blame on the slow uploads.

The good news? The companies are planning upgrades. Sprint says it will have finished its next round by next summer, and that it will mean somewhat faster downloads-and much faster uploads, of at least 300Kbps. To get those speeds, users will have to buy new laptop cards, which cost $250, or $100 with a two-year service contract. And the service will still be pricey, starting at $40 a month. But at least it will be a true wireless interstate, and not a one-way fast lane.