[clug] Feedback

Scott Ferguson prettyfly.productions at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 15:09:26 MST 2009

> "The only caveat is Mobile Internet generally comes from a USB device 
> (or via USB from your phone).
> The lack of a hardware firewall means it's difficult to share a 
> connection and you give up some security."

"Hardware" firewall?? You've lost me, do you mean a stand-alone firewall?
Securing an UMTS (r99) connection is no different to any other form of 
internet (in that the RED is still the RED). Though it may not appear 
that way as you won't see the remote IP address.
If you don't trust the firewall on your laptop you could tun from a 

Nice article. Though you make no mention of the single and multi carrier 
protocols (CDMA, EDGE). I think Whirlpool have some good plan 
comparisons - high noise to signal ratio in the forums though.
When shopping for a 3G plan I would recommend selecting a modem first, 
then finding an ISP that will sell you it - or will sell you a SIM only. 
One feature you should look for is an external antennae connection - 
very useful in some areas. Check to make sure the model fits without 
interfering with access to other ports, and that it doesn't raise to 
laptop off the desk. I'd recomment a 5m USB repeater cable for better 
reception, and to allow placing the antennae away from the user.
Make sure your machine is capable of supplying >500ma to the USB ports. 
Consider buying a "split-tail" USB lead - one input for data and power, 
another for extra power from a second USB port if your machine is USB 
power taxed or lacking. For about $3 from JayCar you can buy a portable 
USB power supply - it takes 4 AA batteries and reduces the output to 5V, 
hack on another single AA carrier and it will supply 5V from Ni-MH 
batteries. Most of the UMTS (3G) modems I've looked at have the option 
of selecting HPSDA only (no roaming surcharges). I'd recomment setting 
your modem to that unless you are going into a bad signal area. Some 
plans do not include SMS.
Check the modem model numbers - when I was looking a couple of months 
ago I noticed that DS in Civic had 4 prepaid Dodo (dead, flightless 
bird?) Huawei.
I noticed that one of them had an extra alpha in the model number - one 
sales rep assured me the "G" model was the same as the non-G, another 
said it was better. A quick search on the internet showed the "G" as a 
lower powered model - supposedly no longer distributed. The Huawei has 
an external antennae connection.
What we need is for an Australian carrier to do what O2 did in Europe - 
offer very cheap unlimited data plans on a SIM only deal to try and lure 
IPhone owners from their existing carriers. You will hear reports of 
slow connection speeds under Linux with some modems - generally because 
the user has an old driver module with a very small maxSize (the module 
takes a vendor and product parameter only).
I use a ZTE MF627 from 3Mobile. It is connected to an old laptop running 
IPCop. Sharing is not a problem.
I've heard reports of people having difficulty with this modem - but it 
works fine for me (and was trivial to unlock). 3Mobile give a 
(relatively) good service. I live in Majura Valley where ADSL is not 
available. 3Mobile have the best (least worst) prepaid data plan ($49 
for 4GB - 30 days).
Have tried Optus and Dodo - slightly better transfer speeds.
I won't compare T@#!~* - I used to be a Complex Data Tester with 
them.... however, the person you speak to when you call in a fault with 
your internet (any form of internet) does NOT work for Telstra. They 
work for TeleTech who are contracted to LittlePuddle.

I'm about to try Longreach (wireless) - anyone had any experience using 
it under Linux??

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