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  >> Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G etc)


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Standard User simoneves
(newbie) Sat 31-Jul-10 18:52:13
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How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[link to this post]
 
Sorry for the very general question, from somebody with no experience in mobile broadband (other than my iPhone here in the US), but I can find very little documentation about this aspect.

Is it possible to configure a Mobile Broadband connection as "always on"?

My elderly mother in the UK currently has DSL on a BT line and a router to maintain the Internet connection for her Mac Mini.

We are about to move her into residential care, which means giving up the phone line, but she wants to keep the computer for our regular webcams with her grandson, so it seems that the only solution is a 3G dongle.

I have been reading the docs for the dongles from various networks, and it seems that they all require manual connection and disconnection with a application (eg. 3's "EasyConnect"), just like a Dial-Up or non-router DSL connection.

Right now, I rely on her DSL connection being permanent, so that I can use LogMeIn and/or VNC to connect to her computer (which is left on permanently) and control it at any time, and I am worried that this will no longer be possible.

Is it possible to configure these connections (on a Mac running OS X 10.6) to be "always on", in other words to never disconnect based purely on time or lack of use, and to automatically reconnect if disconnect based on on network load or whatever?

Obviously I would have to take care that there was nothing on her computer which would cause her to go over her data allowance (although for now we would be using a PAYG setup with a hard limit).

Yours hopeful for some prompt opinions, as I am flying to the UK today, and plan to buy a dongle tomorrow (Sunday).

Thanks in advance,

Simon
Standard User simoneves
(newbie) Sat 31-Jul-10 18:54:33
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
...and any recommendations (positive or negative) for the network which can provide the best 3G Mobile Broadband in the Jesmond Dene area of Newcastle would be most welcome too.
Standard User Rockh
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 31-Jul-10 20:38:58
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
Jesmond is a heavily populated student area so 3G bb might not be too good on any of the networks with all the iphones and crackberries etc lying round the student flats.

Is it not possible to have their own landline phone in the accomodation ??

Mobile site finder shows the location of mobile basestations. You can specify postcode to select an exact location or if you don't have that use Benton Bank or Jesmond Road as the street as these are a couple of the main roads in that area.

[edit: more info]

Dave

Edited by Rockh (Sat 31-Jul-10 20:44:54)


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Standard User simoneves
(newbie) Sat 31-Jul-10 21:39:48
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: Rockh] [link to this post]
 
Ugh... good point... frown

That site shows several UMTS (3G?) sites nearby, and all the major networks' coverage maps show full 3G/HSDPA coverage there, so I guess I just have to try it and see.

To be honest, the reports I've read so far of the various networks' performance are all universally terrible. I can but hope that only the worst is reported, and that it's not universal. Obviously performance depends on location (which will be fixed).

They all seem to be the same price for PAYG 3GB, so I think I'll try Three first (thus hopefully avoiding most of the iPhones and Crackberries) and if that's [censored] I'll take it back and try something else.

I don't know for certain about the phone line, but obviously if she CAN have a real line then I will just keep her on DSL, but that would get ugly as she's getting a temporary room at first and moving to a better one when available.

As long as we can still do reliable webcams... that's all she'll want.

Thoughts on the "always on" thing still welcomed, please!
Standard User Rockh
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 31-Jul-10 22:28:53
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
Yes, UMTS is 3G.
3 now share alot of backhaul / sites with T Mobile under a network sharing deal so that could impact on performance. The iphone is now available on 3.

Never tried using 3G always on as I tend to use it when out onsite, though that can be online for considerable periods but that is only vpn to company network for mail, etc.

I suppose it's a suck it and see situation. Could be try the dongle(s) until the permanent accommodation becomes available and then take it from there.

As it's currently the summer break, mobile BB performance might be considerably better since the students have gone home for a few months. Could degrade once they return in September.

Dave
Standard User simoneves
(newbie) Sat 31-Jul-10 22:43:29
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: Rockh] [link to this post]
 
More excellent points. I shall indeed just have to suck it and see. Thanks again! smile
Standard User Rockh
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 31-Jul-10 22:52:03
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
No problem, have a good flight.

Dave
Standard User bosie
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 31-Jul-10 23:03:27
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
It might be worth looking at 3G routers, something along these lines:

http://www.option.com/en/products/products/wireless-...

bosie
Standard User simoneves
(newbie) Sun 01-Aug-10 02:11:06
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: bosie] [link to this post]
 
Hmmm...

Are they configurable to maintain the connection, whereas a simple dongle might not be? How about the Three Mifi thing (Huawei E585)? Would it also be able to do that, or do they ALL drop the 3G connection if they have no connected clients or those clients are not requiring traffic? The better 3G modems are probably OTT for mum! (and a lot more expensive!)

When the connection IS dropped, will the IP change? I use no-ip.com right now but would probably have to switch to LogMeIn or something with more reliable IP mapping.
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Sun 01-Aug-10 08:43:10
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Re: How "Always On" can a Mobile Broadband connection be?


[re: simoneves] [link to this post]
 
3G connections are often in "Walled Gardens" on private IP addresses (RFC 1918) and connect through a NAT interface. It is therefore difficult or impossible to run VNC or similar for inbound connections.
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