Mobile broadband

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K2
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Mobile broadband

Postby K2 » Jul 27th, 2007 at 3:51 am

Need some help here on picking a mobile broadband solution. I'm getting ready to leave for NTC (National Training Center) in Ft. Irwin, CA, gonna be there from late August til the middle of October. Internet usage there is heavily restricted (as in restricted sites) and slow, plus very hard to get access to as I learned the last time I was there last year. I'd like to be able to just use the net from my laptop, regardless of my location, whenever I want to, without restriction. I'm not looking to play any online games (I havent done that in the better part of a year anyways) - this is strictly for web surfing/email/IM, plus the occasional file send/receive.

I've been looking at what Sprint/Nextel offer, as well as Verizon. I'm curious to what the rest of ya recommend, and what experiences you have with mobile broadband, if any (speed, price, reliability, signal strength/dropouts, etc).

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Postby Maverick » Jul 27th, 2007 at 9:39 am

I'm wondering if there was a reason why you left off AT&T (formerly Cingular)?

I dunno about other carriers but I use their 3G and it's got a strong signal overall with speed that's as good as broadband.

I have the AT&T 8525 which is a Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone, and I can do almost everything regarding productivity (ie. email/web).

I can also tether it to my laptop (via bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi) and use it as a modem. So I can pretty much always have an internet connection.

I haven't had any complaints yet in my couple months of use.
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N2itivX
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Postby N2itivX » Jul 27th, 2007 at 10:10 am

Agreed with Mav.. AT&T's 3G service is pretty stout. I've tethered my Blackjack to a laptop before and it's smokin' fast. With an actual laptop card I bet it would be pretty tough also. When you get out of 3G territory it drops you to Edge, which isn't all that, but it's better than nothing ;)

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Postby K2 » Jul 27th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Reason why I didnt mention AT&T/Cingular was because for whatever reason, their service coverage at Ft. Irwin out 'in the box' was pretty weak. It may be different now a year and a half later. My phone is a Razor (v3), so I'm pretty sure it doesnt use 3G, and I dunno if I can even slave it to my laptop or not.

Thx for the feedback, keep it comin please - I am a noob in this particular area :P

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Postby Maverick » Jul 27th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

You're correct that V3 isn't 3G etc.

Get yourself a new phone imo. AT&T has some good online deals for their smartphones.

My recommendation is the AT&T 8525, which you can get for $299 or $399 with a service agreement. It's got just about everything you'd want/need all in one little package and it can sync with your Windows PC/laptop. It's a very cool toy.

But you can always just get a PC card for your laptop, if you don't wanna splurge for a new phone.

Also, you may already know this, but they make Wi-Fi routers for PC cards...so you can pretty much create a wi-fi network anywhere you can get a signal.
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Postby K2 » Jul 27th, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Well, I am still locked into my current phone contract for another full year, so upgrading is not an option. I'm gonna be in Iraq before xmas anyways, so moot point.

I took a look at AT&T's coverage of the Ft. Irwin area, and it looks like they've expanded their coverage since last year, so thats a good thing.

However - getting an add-in PC card for mobile broadband would require me to enter into a 1-2 year contract, regardless of which company I chose. I only need this for a couple months, tops. So what I have decided to do, was to upgrade my phone plan to allow unlimited data transfer, and then get one of those USB- bluetooth devices that allow you to slave your cellphone to your computer via a bluetooth link (my phone does not have any direct phone-to-computer connect options). So overall, my phone bill will be about 20 bucks extra for a couple months (I can add/remove features at will online), plus the cost of getting a bluetooth link adapter, which will be in the 20-40 dollar range.

It wont be blazing fast, but it should be enough for what I want to accomplish. Plus I wont have to enter into any extra contracts. Now if I could just find a way to hook up an external antenna to my RAZR v3 to boost the signal, I'd be all set ;)

EDIT - found one ;) - http://cgi.ebay.com/3dB-External-Antenn ... dZViewItem

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Postby N2itivX » Jul 27th, 2007 at 8:22 pm

You don't even need Bluetooth... you can just use a USB to Mini-USB cable which is much cheaper...

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Postby K2 » Jul 27th, 2007 at 8:31 pm

N2itivX wrote:You don't even need Bluetooth... you can just use a USB to Mini-USB cable which is much cheaper...


Any special software involved? Plus, wouldnt the usb to mini-usb cable go thru the power port on the phone? Didnt think you could transfer data thru it.

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Postby Maverick » Jul 27th, 2007 at 8:59 pm

It's the same as a PC usb port...just a powered data port.

Just a plain old USB to mini-USB cable will do ya, plus you can also re-charge your phone from USB. But you will at least need the proper drivers if you want the pc to recognize the phone.

But to fully utilize the data capabillities, especially as a wireless connection...you'll probably have to buy the "Motorola Phone Tools" software. Which is about $50 retail.

http://www.store.motorola.com/mot/en/US ... utton=true
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Postby K2 » Jul 27th, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Good to know, thx for link Mav, and both of ya for the info.

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Postby JayPhat » Jul 27th, 2007 at 9:19 pm

K2 wrote:
N2itivX wrote:You don't even need Bluetooth... you can just use a USB to Mini-USB cable which is much cheaper...


Any special software involved? Plus, wouldnt the usb to mini-usb cable go thru the power port on the phone? Didnt think you could transfer data thru it.


HOLY SHIT I GET TO PIMP WAL-MART!!!

I have the same phone, differenet carrier. THe program you want is called Motorola Phone Tools. Lets you do EVERYTHING with the phone, regardless of the carrier. Also, (heres the wal-mart connection), you can get a mim-USB port cable for $9 and change at the store in the section that has IPOD/Headphone accesories. I use mine everynight to not only charge my phone, but sen data back and forth in the morning(I get tired of the same music playlist). Plus, it lets you make your own ringtones.(Sprints are a bitch and stop working after 90 days)

Fuck it. I'll pm you.
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Postby Maverick » Jul 28th, 2007 at 9:40 am

The download version of Motorola Phone Tools is only $34.99:

http://www.store.motorola.com/mot/en/US ... 1%2F600960
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K2
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Postby K2 » Jul 28th, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Awesome, thx Mav :P

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Postby JayPhat » Jul 28th, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Maverick wrote:The download version of Motorola Phone Tools is only $34.99:

http://www.store.motorola.com/mot/en/US ... 1%2F600960


The BitTorrent version is free :shock:
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Postby N2itivX » Jul 28th, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Wait 'til Tuesday and I'll hook you up with a direct d/l from my private stash..

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Postby N2itivX » Jul 28th, 2007 at 11:42 pm

Damn.. wish I hadn't sold my V3XX and I would've given it to you. It was basically a GSM (AT&T) Razr with 3G capability. Oh well.. sorry d00d.

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Postby K2 » Jul 29th, 2007 at 12:02 am

N2itivX wrote:Wait 'til Tuesday and I'll hook you up with a direct d/l from my private stash..


Deal. But why til Tuesday?

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Postby N2itivX » Jul 29th, 2007 at 12:08 am

Stash is at the office, but I'm not going to the office on Monday.. Gotta go to Oklahoma to visit a client :(

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Postby K2 » Jul 29th, 2007 at 2:50 am

OK, no worries :P

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Postby Maverick » Jul 29th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

N2itivX wrote:Wait 'til Tuesday and I'll hook you up with a direct d/l from my private stash..


May I also partake of this?
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing..."
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Postby N2itivX » Jul 29th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

I'm sure something can be arranged ;-)

BTW.. you need Voice Command for your 8525 or are you already hooked up?

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Postby Maverick » Jul 30th, 2007 at 6:19 am

N2itivX wrote:I'm sure something can be arranged ;-)

BTW.. you need Voice Command for your 8525 or are you already hooked up?


If you have version 1.5 or 1.6 of MS Voice Command, I could surely use that.
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sX
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Postby sX » Jul 30th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I use voice command on Maverick's mom.

Works like a charm. *ding*

~sX
(o )^( o) Tetas.


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