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Thread: Uptime for Verizon Mobile Broadband versus AT&T DSL

  1. #46
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    Happy to report the older 727 modem is working great on the Frys / GroupAccess re-brand of Verizon Wireless.

    So far my fastest download speed on the several web pages I've downloaded is about 970 kilobits per second.

    Yeah, I can see a mobile broadband aircard is NOT for a desktop machine. You can easily blow through 5 gigs in no time. Still, the aircard will help me transition to St. Louis seamlessly when I move there soon. Then I'll decide which is the best broadband service there: AT&T U-verse, Clear, or something else.

    Does anyone know: Will turning off javascript in a web browser help to decrease the amount of megabytes downloaded?

    Since I almost always use Linux, but currently have the USB727 aircard installed on a Microsoft Windows XP partition, I don't have an anti-virus program except for the cloud anti-virus service operated by Panda. Will the Panda Cloud anti-virus service double the megabytes I use on the mobile broadband aircard? I hope not since 5 Gigs is a small quota.

    By the way, GroupAccess says you cannot bring your own device. They say they cannot activate the ESNs of aircards that weren't purchased through Frys. So I guess Ebay is out of the question, unless you find a Frys GroupAccess aircard there.

    I hope Page Plus offers broadband aircards soon and, like their phones, will allow any Verizon Wireless-branded device.

    Last night, Millenicom told me that maybe in a few weeks, they'll again allow you to bring your own device, but not for now. 10 gigs for $59.99 at Millenicom is quite the deal.

  2. #47
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    Hmm, I just noticed Cricket offers *unlimited* data per month on their mobile broadband service. After 5 gigs, they say they'll cut down your speed, but the Cricket fella on the phone said you might be cut down to 400 or 500 kilobits/sec instead of 600 max (600 is the max speed there, unlike the 1.5 Mbits/sec on Verizon, but how often do you download at high speed--not often).

    The unlimited broadband on Cricket for just $40 is tempting. Can anyone compare Verizon/Frys to Cricket? Is Cricket just as reliable on up-time as Verizon in the 63123 zip code of South St. Louis county (Affton)?

    Speed's not important to me. Up-time is.

  3. #48
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    Just spoke to an Office Depot employee while faxing something there. The Office Depot guy told me to avoid Cricket. He says it's [quote] "horrible" in every respect. Says it uses AT&T's old technology network, not the new one.

    The Office depot guy and I are both in Columbia, which has no Cricket service, so I asked if he was sure Cricket would be horrible in St. Louis, since St. Louis used to be Southwestern Bell's world headquarters. He still shook his head at the idea of Cricket.

    Of course, Office Depot sells Verizon's mobile broadband service, but he seemed pretty impartial.

  4. #49
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    I won't be keeping this Frys Verizon mobile broadband service for many months on my other computer, *unless* I can get the Novatel USB 727 modem to work in Linux. The 727 works great on my Windows XP computer, but right now I'm on my Linux computer with cable modem. I just don't like Windows--no offense to Microsoft fans.

    If I install Ubuntu Linux on my other computer that has the Frys / Verizon USB 727 aircard working on Windows XP, do you think the fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 will find and properly configure the 727 usb aircard? I'll install Ubuntu to a different partition.

    I've read on the web that the 727 can be made to work in Linux, but it seems like a lot of complicated fiddling that I'd rather avoid, so I'm hoping a fresh install of Ubuntu will find and properly set up the Verizon aircard?

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    Wow, it was so easy to get Ubuntu Linux to recognize my Frys Verizon USB 727 aircard. I just clicked the Network Manager applet in the upper right portion of the desktop, and was in business fast, thanks to the quick, simple instructions from this page at UbuntuForums.org:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...ghlight=USB727

    Easy as pie. I may keep this Verizon mobile broadband service for a good long while now that I got the 727 aircard to work in Linux.

  6. #51
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    Just to give you an few responses:

    The Office Depot guy had no idea what he was talking about. Cricket uses their own network, which is CDMA Rev A (though I would agree it is old technology, especially compared with the newer/better HSPA on AT&T). Cricket coverage in STL is iffy, but if it works in your area then it may be something to consider. I do know someone who was terminated from Cricket's "unlimited" plan for using too much data (after throttling), so take that for what it is worth.

    If you want a mobile solution and don't necessarily care if it is the fastest, consider a Sprint data card (or WiFi hotspot). When you are on their WiMax network (which just launched in STL), you get truly unlimited, unthrottled data. Speeds for my overdrive have been 2-4mbps. Additionally, it falls back to EVDO Rev A, so if you go in an area without WiMax you can still have internet (albeit slower). It is 59.99/mo, but I'm sure you qualify for at least a 10% discount with Sprint (if you are a credit union member you get at least this). Pretty good deal for unlimited (truly!) data on WiMax and an additional 5gb to use on CDMA. AT&T's HSPA has been a little faster than Sprint's "4g" WiMax network for me, but you have a 5gb cap on AT&T that you don't on Sprint.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyork4me View Post
    consider a Sprint data card (or WiFi hotspot). When you are on their WiMax network (which just launched in STL), you get truly unlimited, unthrottled data. Speeds for my overdrive have been 2-4mbps. Additionally, it falls back to EVDO Rev A, so if you go in an area without WiMax you can still have internet (albeit slower). It is 59.99/mo, but I'm sure you qualify for at least a 10% discount with Sprint (if you are a credit union member you get at least this). Pretty good deal for unlimited (truly!) data on WiMax and an additional 5gb to use on CDMA. AT&T's HSPA has been a little faster than Sprint's "4g" WiMax network for me, but you have a 5gb cap on AT&T that you don't on Sprint.
    Thanks for that Sprint WiMax suggestion. Clear WiMax has also launched in St. Louis, or is about to. Which would you go with? So far, I gotta say I'm really happy with this 3G EVDO service from Verizon through Frys/GroupAccess.

    Maybe we need a GroupAccess forum on HoFo?

    There's one thing I'm concerned about with this 5 Gig per month GroupAccess account for $50 monthly. Even though I'm with the Frys/GroupAccess MVNO, I was able to set up a MyVerizon account at VerizonWireless.com/myverizon . When I log into MyVerizon, it correctly shows that I've download 43 megs so far. All fine and dandy. However, MyVerizon shows my plan as being [quote]:

    "MOBILE BROADBAND FOR B2B 250MB / $0.10 $39.99 0308"

    That worries me. Logging into MyVerizon shows I'm on the 250 Megabyte monthly plan for 39.99, and that's just not right. The email I got from GroupAccess says I'm on the 5 Gig monthly plan.

    I hope I won't find any unwanted billing surprises when GroupAccess bills me in the next cycle, because I'll blow through 250 megs in just a few more days. Has any other GroupAccess/Frys member created a MyVerizon account online at VerizonWireless.com and also seen this discrepancy?

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built_Well View Post
    Thanks for that Sprint WiMax suggestion. Clear WiMax has also launched in St. Louis, or is about to. Which would you go with? So far, I gotta say I'm really happy with this 3G EVDO service from Verizon through Frys/GroupAccess.
    They are actually one in the same. Sprint owns 51% of Clear, and thus their WiMax service is actually provided by Clear. Of course, if the Frys card works well for you (and you can use less than 5gb of data) then that seems like a great option too...

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyork4me View Post
    Just to give you an few responses:

    The Office Depot guy had no idea what he was talking about. Cricket uses their own network, which is CDMA Rev A (though I would agree it is old technology, especially compared with the newer/better HSPA on AT&T). Cricket coverage in STL is iffy, but if it works in your area then it may be something to consider. I do know someone who was terminated from Cricket's "unlimited" plan for using too much data (after throttling), so take that for what it is worth.
    Cricket's 3G seems like a good value, but it isn't really IMHO. I tried their prepaid USB data stick for a week because SLU's wireless network stinks (ask anyone who goes to SLU and they'll tell you the horrors of daily WiFi outages lol). While I got excellent signal throughout SLU, the CWE, and the Loop, I NEVER got more than 800Kbps. Sure it was quick enough for e-mail and facebook, but the big 4 carriers all seem to offer consistently faster 3G speeds throughout the metro.
    AT&T HSPA+_____________________________________________ ____________AT&T LTE

  10. #55
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    What made you decide to go with Group Access over Millenicom? Just the $10 price difference?

    I'm on the Millenicom 10GB plan (uses Verizon network) and you are right $59.99 (that's with no contract and out the door pricing - no extra fees or taxes on top) is hard to beat for 10GB. Millenicom used to offer Sprint as well unlimited @ $69.99 a month. Where I'm at though, Verizon 3G is much faster than Sprint 3G.

    Before I had Millenicom/Verizon I was using CenturyLink DSL and had more problems than it was worth. Some days it'd go down completely and I had to waste time with tech support, they had to send someone out to the phone box, and I'd waste half a day without internet. Sometimes speed would drop for no reason too - I had the 3.0mb package but often I'd only get 1.5mb. Had to keep calling in to get it fixed.
    In the end, DSL (at least through CenturyLink) just wasn't worth all the problems I was having. (And nevermind the jack in my bedroom where I really wanted to hook up to wasn't working - and they wanted hundreds $$ to rewire it!)

    Verizon 3G I've found to be perfectly acceptable for my main internet needs. (I started with Sprint but got pings in excess of 1000 and downloads of about 0.15mb - impossible for gaming even if the connection was unlimited.) I use a cradlepoint router, which you may want to look into - simply plug your usb modem into it and it creates an instant hotspot for your computer and any other device. (I use my PS3 to play online through it.)
    My Verizon speeds are usually always in the neighborhood of 1.3mb down and 0.4mb up. Sometimes spikes of 1.80mb up and 0.60mb down. Never less than 0.80mb down at high traffic times.
    At any time I've been able to play both PC and PS3 online with little to no lag. Having 10GB of data over Group's 5GB is a little easier not having to worry as much about going over your limit.

    And the best part about Verizon 3G is it's nearly nationwide, so no matter where you move or travel to, you have a mobile broadband connection with you. No worry about a contract to sign, or calling the DSL or cable company to setup a moving time, etc.. just pack up the usb modem and you're good to go, still works just the same.

    Millenicom has already stated they plan to offer Verizon LTE, completely unlimited, in the not too distant future. That's what I'm really looking for.. but in the mean time I have no problem with Millenicom/Verizon and my $59.99 10GB plan. Downtime so far has been never. Couldn't say the same about my DSL line through CenturyLink.



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    Quote Originally Posted by corrupt81
    I use a cradlepoint router, which you may want to look into - simply plug your usb modem into it and it creates an instant hotspot for your computer and any other device.
    You know, I asked the Office Depot guy if there exists something like the Cradlepoint router you're talking about, and he said, no, you need a Verizon MiFi 2200 for that. Glad to hear he was wrong, and I can just get a Cradlepoint if I need a router and plug the USB 727 air modem into it. Which is the better way to go: Plugging a usb air modem into a Cradlepoint or just buying a Verizon MiFi 2200 hotspot? I guess the MiFi can be taken anywhere easily since it's so small, but will both the Cradlepoint and the MiFi cover upstairs and downstairs computers equally well without a prob? Will each router's WiFi waves go through floors and ceilings equally well?

    Would you all go with a Cradlepoint or a MiFi 2200?

  12. #57
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    Wow, the USB 2.0 standard is capable of 480 Megabits per second. And USB 3.0 is crazy fast.

    The old USB 1.0 standard is 1.5 Megabits per second.

    Why would using a Verizon MiFi 2200 hot spot (or a Cradlepoint 802.11 Wireless-N or G router that's connected to a Verizon aircard) be slower than using a Verizon aircard connected directly to the computer's USB port? I mean the aircards are way slower than the 54 Megabits per second maximum speed of the Wireless-G router or 300 Mb/s max of the N-router. Assuming here that only one computer is downloading from the WiFi router at a time, I would think you shouldn't get much slower speeds with a Mi-Fi router than with an aircard connected directly to the computer's USB port. Yet someone earlier said bad things about the MiFi 2200.
    Last edited by Built_Well; 07-13-2010 at 08:34 PM.

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    Today at about 4:45 PM I experienced about 20 or 30 seconds of downtime on the Verizon GroupAccess service. Google's web site wouldn't even come up for that 20 or 30 seconds. First time I've noticed an outage in the 5 or 6 days I've had the service. I guess 20 or 30 seconds isn't really an outage, though, and it did happen close to the end of the work day, when everybody must have been using the network. Still I was surprised by it, and almost panicked for a few seconds, but then I remembered I still had the cable modem hooked up if the Verizon downtime went longer than 20 or 30 seconds.

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    Does removing the Verizon USB 727 modem from your desktop 7 times a week in order to plug it into your laptop (and vice versa) take a physical toll on the USB connector of the modem? I'm concerned that all that inserting and re-inserting from desktop to laptop might damage the USB connectors of the modem and/or two computers over time. But I'd rather not use a Cradlepoint 500 or 1000 router because of the possible loss of speed of maybe 25 percent. Although, some folks say there's virtually no loss of speed with a Cradlepoint.

    I know I have inserted and removed the blue ethernet wire of my Motoroloa Surfboard cable modem twice a day for 5 years now without any damage to the cable modem or the ethernet wire. (I always unplug the blue ethernet wire from the modem at night when I go to sleep.)
    Last edited by Built_Well; 07-14-2010 at 10:14 PM.

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    Well, I guess you heard the news. The slippery folks at GroupAccess will soon (like at the end of the month) no longer offer the 3G EVDO service for $50 per month, or at any price. They are telling subscribers to "transition" to their new "partner" Coast2Coast Wireless. The price is hiking up to $60 per month, but the worst part is you have to get a new USB modem from Coast2Coast (it's free), and then return your GroupAccess / Fry's modem when the new modem comes. That's just too much hassle. So a few days ago, I signed a 2-year contract with Verizon for their 5-Gig/month Mobile Broadband EVDO service in St. Louis. Verizon sent me their super small USB760 modem, which is smaller than the USB727 modem I got from GroupAccess (both made by Novatel, of course).

    GroupAccess isn't even definitive about the exact date when service will end. When I called them, they said it might be at the end of the month or "sooner." Nice. How about being precise? Their email mentioned a late October date for something else, but I imagine a lot of folks are thinking the late October date is the cut-off service date. WRONG! I had to call GroupAccess to find out for sure, and was told probably the end of September or "sooner."

    So then I was frantic to get Verizon service started before I was left with no service at all. By the way, Verizon used FedEx to overnight me the 760 for free and they waived their $35 activation fee. The 760 was also free.

    For a day last week, I considered T-Mobile's 4G (or "3.5" G) service in St. Louis, since it's only $40/month for unlimited 4G and will automatically drop down to 3G in areas where 4G isn't yet available. However, since up-time and reliability is more important to me than speed, I went with Verizon.

    I guess I'll keep the GroupAccess/Fry's USB 727 modem in case the Verizon USB 760 modem ever goes bad. Maybe in 6 months or sooner, the GroupAccess modem/aircard can be activated on Verizon?? Sure hope Page Plus enters the Mobile Broadband game, but I'm stuck with Verizon's $60/month price for 2 years (that's $60 before taxes).

    After pressing GroupAccess on the phone, they admitted that I'm the owner of the 727 modem I bought from Frys. I would only need to return the modem if I opted to receive Coast2Coast's modem.

    GroupAccess must really want the modem back. They even offered to buy the modem back from me. Screw'em. GroupAccess is so duplicitous, I'll never deal with that group again.

    Just curious: has anyone tried the $40 per month T-Mobile 4G service in St. Louis? What's up-time like; how reliable is T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G service in St. Louis?
    Last edited by Built_Well; 09-19-2010 at 09:11 PM.

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