2 bars on my new at&t air card

Tutor

2 bars on my new at&t air card

After receiving my new at&t air-card today I was very excited that at last I would have the top of the line Broadband connection...
I'm not so happy now that it's finally up & running. Only after 1 1/2 hours of setup time did it start working to the beat of only 2 bars on the 5 bars scale. WOW! Is this how it's going to be or am i missing something?
My lap top is new with all the latest bells and whistles...One last thing, every time we try to login we get the message=
Heavy network traffic, busy time of day, try later...Isn't this suppose to be an always on type of connection???
Please help!!!
 
Message 1 of 11 (22,088 Views)
Professor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Aircards are not intended to replace a regular internet connection. They're for mobile browsing. They are not always-on or guaranteed uptime connections.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 2 of 11 (22,078 Views)
Tutor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

It was explained over the phone by one of their friendly operators that this was my answer to all my connection needs...
It was never expressed that the card was primarily used for mobile use only & that it wasn't sufficient for home use.
Message 3 of 11 (22,070 Views)
Professor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Wait, what card you do have? Is it a card that plugs into a PC Card slot or an Express Card slot or a USB port on your laptop? Does it say Option or Sierra Wireless or Novatel anywhere on it?

That error message you get doesn't sound familiar, so I may be mistaking what kind of device you are using to get online.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 4 of 11 (22,067 Views)
Professor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

If your card is the Sierra Wireless 881, than it is one of the LaptopConnect cards which are not intended for use as the primary internet connection. If you read your terms and conditions before agreeing to them, you would know this.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 5 of 11 (22,062 Views)
Master

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

What I believe the other poster meant about your situation is that signal strength is not guaranteed.  You can check the coverage viewer to see if you're in a good 3G coverage area.  But even then geography can affect signal.  Hills, mountains, buildings, even building materials will affect your signal.  Metal walls and concrete walls block more signal than wood, for example.  I live in a good coverage area, but my home is in a slight depression so I get 0-1 bar.  I walk up the hill less than 100 yards away and I get 4+ bars.
 
You can try moving your computer sightly.  Closer to a window, outdoors, second floor, etc.  I think the 881 has an external antenna port but don't expect much from the smaller portable antenna units.  You can try, but any antenna needs to "see" a signal.  If your laptop can't see a signal, then having a antenna sitting next to you won't help much.  I have a 875u USB model and I put the Aircard on a USB extension cable.  This way I can move the antenna independant of my laptop..  You would be able to do the same with an external antenna.
 
Otherwise, if you bought directly from AT&T, you have 30days to return or cancel.  You'll want to keep this in mind if you try the external antenna.
Message 6 of 11 (22,058 Views)
Tutor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Sierra wireless 881
Message 7 of 11 (22,054 Views)
Tutor

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Thanks' for the reply,  I will try to move the laptop around to rec. a better signal,  but the pc is not movable.
We don't have any mountains or large valley's here in northern Indiana south of Gary in.( 35 min. South ).
I'm not sure I want to start buying all kinds of gadgets just to find out it not much better than our 56k we presently have...
Any ideas we be greatly appr.
Message 8 of 11 (22,053 Views)
Scholar

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Checking the coverage for your specific address as was suggested (see coverage viewer at top of page) would be one way to see if you have 3G coverage where you are using the device.  If not and you only get the EDGE indicator your speeds will not be too much better than dial up, regardless of what other tweaks you try.  I have had 2 bars and great speeds on the 3G network, and 4 bars and very poor speeds when connected to the EDGE network.
 
Also I have had better performance with my 881USB using the Sierra Wireless 3G software versus the ATT Communication Manager software.  You can download at www.sierrawireless.com.
 
If moving the laptop does make a difference, you could return the 881 and get a 881USB.  With a USB extension cable (fairly inexpensive) the USB version gives the option to position the air card versus the machine.
 
  
Message 9 of 11 (22,041 Views)

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

Judging by your comment you are 30 mi south of Gary, IN. That would put you down around Lowell, Hebron, Lake Village??
You are definitely OUT of the 3G area and if you are only showing 2 Bars on EDGE service, your connectionn WILL be slow and hardly usable.

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/

Enter your location and you will see what type service you can expect. Sadly,, i think you have been given some wrong info byy the sales people.
Sorry you have such terrible service.
Best to get to a Corporate store and get out of the contract before your 30 days are up.
Message 10 of 11 (22,013 Views)
Highlighted
Scholar

Re: 2 bars on my new at&t air card

If using a carriers broadband service is something you want to stay with, you may want to check out other carriers coverage maps to see if there is enhanced coverage in your area.
Message 11 of 11 (3,274 Views)
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