Spinal Modem is a dramatically underrated console.
2 can be more ICEbreaking power than Desperado provides: you'd need to make at least three successful runs on a turn to gain more credits than the 2 Spinal Modem provides. it provides those credits up-front, too, so you can start running with fewer credits in your pool. In comparison, Desperado requires you to have enough credits to complete the run in the first place.
is a little tight for use as a console in an Anarch deck, so you'll probably want to include other cards that provide memory. Dyson Mem Chip is a perfect complement to Spinal Modem: not only does it provide the extra memory that you might want, but it provides the you'll want to defend against traces.
Note that you only suffer brain damage for traces you lose during a run. This puts the console's drawback almost entirely under your control! If you're worried about traces then run more selectively until you're rigged up and can break tracing subroutines. Almost all tracer ICE are sentries, with the exceptions of Viper and Viktor 2.0. So once you install your killer, most traces from ICE simply won't occur in the first place.