Advice on USBConnect 881

Teacher

Advice on USBConnect 881

Hello all last week I picked the USBConnect 881 and have it successfully working on my PC laptop and desktop, both running Window XP. The desktop is about 4 years old and the laptop is a couple of months old. The only reason we are going with the 881 is that we can only get dial up in our area and it has been painfully slow. Im a bit nervous about committing to a 2 year, $60 a month contract. Hopefully some of you more experienced users can help me make the decision before the 30 days is up.

I am in a 3G area and consistently connect at 3.6Mbps. The signal varies but it seems like Web pages load faster when I have a weaker signal but still connected at 3.6. All I have to compare to is the dial up, is 3.6 comparable to DSL or cable speeds?

Should I expect to get faster speeds when using the 881 in the new laptop with 2 gig RAM, dual core etc.

Does anybody have concerns with the longevity of the 881? Would it be reasonable to expect the unit to last 2 years? (I know this is hard to predict)

Any suggestions on maximizing the speed and efficiency of the 881. I thought I read on another post that the communication manager from Sierra is better than the AT&T one provided.

 

Sorry for the long post. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

[ Edited ]
You can check your speed at either of these websites:
 
 
 
If you are connecting to the 3G network, it will always say you're running at 3.6Mbps. That does NOT mean that's your current speed; think of it as merely an indicator of which pipeline you're using. At home, my computer says it's connected at 100Mbps, but that's simply telling me that it's using the ethernet cable and not the wireless.
 
I bought one of these devices (Air Connect 881) a couple of weeks ago. I'm using the AT&T Communications software that installed itself when I first plugged in the device. When it's logged in to the 3G network, it's been running in the neighborhood of 1.7Mbps download...which is really pretty fast, and equals what my 3.0Mbps home DSL service provides me.


Message Edited by rsnadel on 12-15-2007 10:09:51 AM
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

As far as reliability, I have never had a data card yet that has died on me. This is probably the only logical choice you have if there is no cable, no fios or dsl available.
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

I've never had anything but good things with my aircards (Sierra 860, Sierra 875, and Sierra 875u).

It's not near as fast as my Comcast cable internet at my house, but it blows away our DSL package at work.

Good luck with your decision.
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

[ Edited ]
I dont think AT&T has deployed the hsdpa 3.6 yet. So the maximum download speed that you can get is 1.8 mbps.
In reality you wont get a 1.8 mbps download speed though.The advertised download speed of 3g networks is  400-700 mbps which is still much better than dialup.
I have seen download speeds up to 1.2 mbps.

Personally I stay away from 2 year data contracts.
You never know, when the cable/dsl companiies are going to start covering your area.
If you already have a line (voice) with ATT you can add a tethering plan to your account.
If you have a 3g phone, you can tether it to your computer and you should get the same speed as you would get with an aircard.
The cost is going to be the same and you can always remove the tethering plan.

As long as you have one of the phones in this list, the set up is going to be rather easy.

http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/solutions/wireless-laptop/laptop-connect-devices.jsp





Message Edited by armadillo on 12-16-2007 04:38:54 PM
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

Thanks for the responses. So far the 881 has been working pretty well. I have only had it freeze up a couple of times. I downloaded the software from Sierra and am using that to connect. I have come to the conclusion that the 881 works better on the laptop in terms of speed. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like DSL or cable will be in our area anytime soon. We have Verizon as our land line provider; in looking into their wireless, it doesn't look like they have good coverage in our area.
 
I will continue to put the 881 through any test I can think of in the next 3 weeks. So far I'm pretty happy with it. To offset the $60 a month, we are thinking of disconnecting our land line which we never use. That may take a little getting use to.
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

[ Edited ]
Help!
 
I've never had wireless internet - just got new laptop
when I'm told a password text was sent to my  device how am I to retrieve it?


Message Edited by Sherdog on 12-29-2007 10:07:55 AM

Message Edited by Sherdog on 12-29-2007 10:08:28 AM

Message Edited by Sherdog on 12-29-2007 10:16:24 AM
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

Check messaging in communication manager. You can send/recieve sms with your aircard from there.
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881



armadillo wrote:
I dont think AT&T has deployed the hsdpa 3.6 yet. So the maximum download speed that you can get is 1.8 mbps.
In reality you wont get a 1.8 mbps download speed though.The advertised download speed of 3g networks is  400-700 mbps which is still much better than dialup.
I have seen download speeds up to 1.2 mbps.

Personally I stay away from 2 year data contracts.
You never know, when the cable/dsl companiies are going to start covering your area.
If you already have a line (voice) with ATT you can add a tethering plan to your account.
If you have a 3g phone, you can tether it to your computer and you should get the same speed as you would get with an aircard.
The cost is going to be the same and you can always remove the tethering plan.

As long as you have one of the phones in this list, the set up is going to be rather easy.

http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/solutions/wireless-laptop/laptop-connect-devices.jsp





Message Edited by armadillo on 12-16-2007 04:38:54 PM





It's usually sloppily written drivers that cause one to only get 1.5 or less from a 1.8 tower. In Windows land you are pretty much stuck with what they give you. I homebrewed myself a router and patched the usbserial driver to have an adjustable endpoint buffer size and after that I started getting 1.76mbs consistently for hours at a time if downloading something that would have a Verizon user cancelled. Having said that, the cards fool people into thinking they are connecting at 3.6 when that is just the max interface speed, if the tower is restricted to 1.8, it's 1.8 no matter what. Kind of reminds me of some modem software that would report the serial port speed instead of the link speed. It was tough explaining to people that they were NOT connected at 115k on an analog modem.

AT&T was supposed to start giving us 7.2 speeds a year ago, and the year before that there was supposedly some 3.6 towers in my area for test purposes and the GT Max 1.8 was supposed to be able to take advantage of these pie in the sky speeds that supposedly existed in an unconfirmed location probably next to the municipality of Neverwas. Now months and even years later a reality check is needed. The original GT Max 1.8 of which I still have in my arsenal, is chipped with a Qualcomm MSM6275 so there is no way it is physically possible for it to ever be able to do 3.6mbs with a firmware update. I somehow think the 3.6mbs test towers of '06 were just as mythical as I have never met a soul who has run into one. Now through '07 as we wait for the 7.2mbs HSDPA that was just around the corner, then in the Summer we find out that in October, not only will AT&T finally up the HSDPA download speeds but add HSUPA as well in some locations. Now here we are in January '08 and the few people who have seen HSUPA report 700k or so in the upload direction and no real increase over 1.8 in the download or HSDPA direction. HSUPA is supposed to be able to upload to a maximum of 2mbs, the few that have even seen it don't see anything ground shaking above the 384kbs we already have with HSDPA only devices. We haven't really come very far from October '05 except for coverage in new cities. Heaven knows we have given AT&T the money to make this possible. They dangled the carrot and I chased it, I feel silly now, I never got the carrot and am still hungry. Arrgghhhh!!!!
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

Ive seen 2.2 mpbs on my Option 7.2 ready... So im guessing thats on the 3.6 towers...
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881



UniX696 wrote:
Ive seen 2.2 mpbs on my Option 7.2 ready... So im guessing thats on the 3.6 towers...


The only 7.2's that AT&T has available are the 881 lines.  Where did you get an Option 7.2, I didn't think AT&T had those.

 


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 11 of 15 (2,941 Views)
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

Its a Option GT Max 3.6 with the updated firmware that is supose to make it a GT MAX '7.2 Ready'
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

Please provide information as to where you were told it would be ready for 7.2?
A firmware update is not going to do anything when the issue is the chipset.
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881

http://www.option.com/products/globetrotter_gt_max_7.2.shtml
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Re: Advice on USBConnect 881



wymore wrote:
... the 881 works better on the laptop in terms of speed.
You did say before that your desktop is an older machine.  You might want to check if you are connecting the 881 to a USB 1.x port (instead of USB 2.0).  USB 1.x is much slower than USB 2.0 (12 MBits/sec vs 480MBits/sec), and that may be the bottleneck.  If you're desktop system does not have any USB 2.0 ports, you can easily get an add-on card to provide those.
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