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Wireless Networking Portables Hardware

Linux Support for Wireless Laptop Internet? 243

Posted by Cliff
from the portable-penguins-w/-no-wires dept.
scubacuda asks: "I'm looking for a good "all you can eat" cellular data plan for my laptop. So far, I've looked into T-mobile, Earthlink, and Verizon's wireless Internet options. Any suggestions on price, availability, and speed? The real kicker for me is Linux support, which, I've been told by all three companies, is NOT available. (Any and all hacks would be greatly appreciated!)" This particular market is still in a great degree of flux, especially with landscape-changing deals like the AT&T/Cingular merger going on in the background and issue of going for cellular or WiFi connectivity service. Are there any wireless carriers that you've been able to get working on a Linux laptop? If so, what did you have to do to attain your wireless laptop nirvana?
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Linux Support for Wireless Laptop Internet?

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  • by vwpau227 (462957) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:21PM (#10939587) Homepage
    I'm a Canadian, but I've successfully used wireless Internet connections in the U.S. using GSM (AT&T Wireless) and iDEN (NexTel) networks with a linux laptop. The idea is to think simple, and set up the wireless connection with an existing mobile phone and a PPP connection!

    In the case of GSM, all that was necessary was a USB cable to a Motorola C333 to the laptop, then using PPP over the connection. Setting up was no harder than setting up a regular modem connection. The phone was free (after signing up to a plan) and the USB cable was less than $20. Data plans vary, but GSM coverage is decent in all the metropolitan areas that I was in (including Detriot, Chicago and New Jersey).

    Similarly, I was able to use a Motorola iDEN phone with a serial cable to connect to the serial port of the computer and the specialized Motorola serial port on the phone. Once again, with a PPP connection to the Internet, there is nothing more to the connection than what's necessary to the dial-up modem connection. The phone itself is a wireless modem that is detected as a serial modem device. A data plan was included with the phone package (as I recall) and coverage was decent in all the metropolitan areas that I was in (see above).

    We tried using various PCMCIA and PC Card based solutions for our connections, but we always seemed to have driver problems both in Windows and in linux. Sometimes the devices would seem to work, and then sometimes it wouldn't. For doing demos on the road for a web application, this was not acceptable. We found the best way was to use a phone-based solution for reliability for our mobile applications.

    All in all, setting up a wireless connection is easy once you have the cables. With the price of phones these days dropping, getting your linux-based laptop (or any laptop for that matter) on the Internet wirelessly is easier and more cost effective than ever.
    • How much bandwidth were you getting, and what were your ping times (I've heard horror stories about minute+ ping times for certain satellite services... probably bogus, but this is /. ;)
      • by vwpau227 (462957) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:34PM (#10939657) Homepage
        In response to your question: Latency (ping times) were decent and the connection seemed fine for normal web browsing (as I mentioned, we were doing a demo a web application). We didn't do any bandwidth tests so I don't have that data, but the system seemed to be more responsive than with dial-up connection, with would probably have been the alternative we would have had to put up with, so that was fine with us.

        I've heard some others in the industry with bad luck with satellite-based system, but I haven't had those sorts of issues with mobile phone type systems. However, your mileage, as they say, may vary...
      • For my GSM data plan (Cingular), ping was roughly 400-600ms and throughput seemed to be in the 4-6 kbps range.
      • As someone thats supported Satellite customers, I can say that you don't want to go with it.

        Not only is it a cashcow for the ISP, but its unreliable, even in the best conditions. Talk to anyone that has supported it and they will probably tell you that they'd rather deal with dialup than Satellite...
    • by SenatorOrrinHatch (741838) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:28PM (#10939632)
      I use Verizon "mobile office" w/ my laptop and windows XP, but apparently there's a fairly simple hack (you can google for) to get it working with linux machines.
      It's just a USB connection to the phone, and the best part is that the internet use is free, it just costs you minutes on your phone, which is great since I get free weekends and that's when I use it most.
      Sound like just what you need. Speed is about like dial-up.
      • by josh3736 (745265) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:51PM (#10939963) Homepage
        Yep. I use my Samsung phone with a $14 data cable I got off eBay. The phone is connected by USB and gets recognized as a regular old modem.

        Verizon's coverage is everywhere, so it will usually Just Works®. I took a 2 hour trip and the connection was up the whole way.

        Best part is this will cost you $0 extra (unless you connect during peak hours). VZW obviously doesn't say much about this service, and as long as you're not using at as your primary connection, you'll have no problems.

        Speed is equivalent to that of a dial-up modem, but what more could you want at 80mph in the boon docks?

    • by The Asylum (149817) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:40PM (#10939686)
      I encountered problems signing on to PPP using Nextel and IDEN - it turned out to be that the phone would try to sign on to the Nextel ISP plan via an immediate PPP connection (at $40 a month) unless you first sent an "ATZ" - that made the phone listen to the ATDT string and actually dial the number you asked for. The other problem is that you can have strong signal, but >2000 ms ping times - it can be an excruciatingly slow data link.
    • by KZigurs (638781) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:41PM (#10939688)
      And Bluetooth. I'm not avare of bluetooth support in recent linux releases, but I happily use bluetooth with my ibook laptop and Nokia 6600 wherever I go. Bluetooth defines wireless modem profile, and from there, it's a piece of cake.
      • by Homburg (213427) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:53PM (#10939742) Homepage
        Linux bluetooth support is pretty good, I think. I'm using a Belkin USB bluetooth adaptor, connected to my Erricson T630 over GPRS. On Debian unstable (2.6.8 kernel), setup was surprisingly simple - apt-get install bluez, then set up a standard PPP connection using /dev/rfcomm0 and dialling to the GPRS psedo numbers (*98*2# means 'use the second GPRS profile defined on the phone').
      • Bluetooth has been supported on Linux for quite some time and is very stable. I use it occasionally with my phone when there's no WiFi around. Pop in the bluetooth dongle, turn on the phone and run an init script I wrote is all that is needed to get it up and running. http://www.bluez.org/
      • I'm thinking of upgrading my Palm Tungsten T to a Treo 650 (or its successor), to get rid of my Motorola Startac. Can the Treo get my laptop online via Bluetooth and DUN?

        Currently, I do dial-up networking on my laptop using my Startac and an Ositech card [ositech.com] but it's relatively slow--19.2kbps. I have a Verizon ISP dial-up account for $10/month, just a supplement to DSL for travel purposes or when DSL is down. If the Treo can replace this Ositech/Startac system, then it sounds like a great solution, but on
        • I'm thinking of upgrading my Palm Tungsten T to a Treo 650 (or its successor), to get rid of my Motorola Startac. Can the Treo get my laptop online via Bluetooth and DUN?

          Yes, the Treo 650 can do it. However, it is against the TOS of some service providers to use the phone as a modem unless you buy an expensive all-you-can eat data plan ~$80/mo ... so caveat emptor.

          They might threaten to cut you off, or just cut you off if they catch you - or they may do nothing.

          I've heard of all of the above scenario

    • http://www.emperorlinux.com and
      http://www.vectorlinux.com

      Good combo.
    • by ayn0r (771846) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:17PM (#10939842)
      All in all, setting up a wireless connection is easy once you have the cables.

      Ah, yes. Wireless indeed.

    • by WNGA (691629) *
      My experience with Verizon's new EV-DO service has been amazing. On a bad day, I get 500-700kbps down, on a good day, I'm pulling 1.2MBps down, 100k up, right out of the air ... while moving in a car at 80mph ... or at the airport .. or wherever. And YES, they do have a hack which will let the aircards work under linux. Just do a google for "verizon" "linux" "aircard", you're bound to find it. It's simply amazing to be able to have a broadband connection almost ANYWHERE I go! I can wander around town
  • Boo. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Heem (448667) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:23PM (#10939596) Homepage Journal
    I hate that something like this even need linux support. I mean, it's basicaly a modem - it should emulate a simple piece of hardware and work on any combination of hardware and software without fancy client software. Imagine if you had to have fancy client with all these unneeded bells and whistles for your 2400 Baud external modem back in the day.
    • Re:Boo. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by e9th (652576)
      Bear in mind that, especially in laptops, even modems don't emulate modems anymore.
    • Re:Boo. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:27PM (#10939629)
      Yes, but back then the packets were already used to going uphill both ways and didn't care for a fancy client waiting for them on arrival. Bah, packets these days... GET OFF MY LAWN!
    • I hate that something like this even need linux support.

      It doesn't for most phones. This is just the standard response I'd expect from customer support.

    • by KZigurs (638781) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:38PM (#10939679)
      Actually - it usually does. You have to figure out how to configure it yourself, of course - ether as an USB Phone modem or Bluetooth Modem, but apart from this all you need to know is gprs configuration parameters (gprs access *point* name, user, password).

      The best I have seen from this are motorolla phones with miniUsb connector. They have simple and proper support for usb modem.

      Those software packages and fancy config dialogs - screw them. provider can't avoid infrastructure standards, so - use them.
    • Re:Boo. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Otter (3800) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:10PM (#10939801) Journal
      I hate that something like this even need linux support.

      Note that "not supported" doesn't mean "it won't work". It means "We have no idea if it works or not so don't come crying to us if you can't get your Transmeta-based sublaptop running Ubuntu to work with our network."

    • Modems are not simple pieces of hardware, they're full, self-sufficient devices. And really, what's the point of that now that we have operating systems and device drivers? It was great back when DOS roamed the earth and software packages still were required to support the specific hardware they wanted to use, but now it's just silly.

      No hardware should emulate other hardware. Use open standards and specifications instead.

    • Re:Boo. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Prof. Pi (199260) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:01PM (#10940248)
      I hate that something like this even need linux support. I mean, it's basicaly a modem - it should emulate a simple piece of hardware and work on any combination of hardware and software without fancy client software.

      That would be the case if you had genuine hardware. If you actually had a modem, which is a "modulator-demodulator," you'd just talk to its serial interface.

      The problem is, most "modems," especially the ones in many laptops, cut out a lot of the modulating/demodulating circuitry, and leave it up to the CPU to do a lot of the signal processing. This shaves a few bucks off the cost of a unit, which is big in a low-margin, highly-competitive market, especially if the laptop vendor doesn't mention to the customer that his CPU will slow down every time he uses his "modem."

      Unfortunately, a lot of vendors feel that exposing the API's to their "modems," wireless cards, etc., would expose the designs to their competitors (who presumably don't have debuggers and other such tools). The annoying thing is that many of them turn around and say they can't afford to write a Linux driver to support a "fringe" market.

  • SprintPCS (Score:5, Informative)

    by swordboy (472941) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:23PM (#10939601) Journal
    I've found that a typical SprintPCS phone will appear as a modem when connected with the optional USB connection. If you dial #777 (which equates to #PPP), you'll be connected through the "Vision" inet service. Sprint doesn't advertise this and, naturally, doesn't want people using their "all you can eat" inet service with a laptop or desktop for that matter. The speed is underwhelming but I haven't found anything good in this respect unless you've got the new Verizon service in the select cities.
    • Re:SprintPCS (Score:5, Informative)

      by swordboy (472941) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:25PM (#10939617) Journal
    • This kind of usage (phone link to PC) is also not supported by your PCS Vision contract, or so Sprint claims. If you're just using it to check your email, I doubt Sprint would ever notice, but I would think twice about downloading the Fedora Core 3 DVD over it.

      If you don't need much bandwidth, need the voice service, and can live with possibly being shut off[1], it's not a bad option for $15-$20 extra a month.

      -Erwos

      [1] Can anyone provide a link to a story about this actually happening? It seems more like
    • I've used this quite frequently. By no means do I attempt using it as a primary connection, but it's proven useful for checking email on the road or in hotels, and especially handy for grabbing road maps and finding Wi-Fi hotspots via Yahoo's service.
    • I've done this as well. The latency is a pain ( sometimes as high as 2.5 seconds ), but the thouroughput is nice. I've pulled 144KBps, with compression.

      I did the bandwidth test over at bandwidthplace, they refused to give me results, saying it was too fast for a cellular modem. I finally had to tell it was WIFI, and they tested me at 125KBps. Not too bad.
      • I've got it as a backup/mobile connection.

        This is similar to my experences. Generally latency is 500ms, Generally ranging 400-600ms, the highest I've personally seen is 1100ms.
        (Compared to any other type of home connection, that's horrible.) Also, TRY to have 4 bars, otherwise the latency goes way up.

        Sanyo 8100, Sanyo 4900, and Sanyo VM5040 (Whatever the one that can take video as well is) all work. Same instructions. (#777 etc) (And have the same cable interface)

        From looking at usenet it appears, or at
      • I have used this quite a bit and have never gotten better than 56K. What phone are you using? Have you altered the settings that are widely available?

        I have also found it to be strangely unreliable on certain towers. I have not yet theorized a suitable explanation for this. But the Vision service itself is unreliable on those towers so it must be junk equipment or bad wiring.
    • Re:SprintPCS (Score:3, Informative)

      by C10H14N2 (640033)
      I haven't tried this under Linux, but I did some speed tests using a Treo300 on Sprint and it quickly hit 150Kbps sustained. Frankly, for the coverage area and the price (damn near free), 150Kbps ain't to shabby. Sprint are complete assholes about just saying "yes, you may use that phone as a modem and you will not incur additional charges" (I spent an hour twisting that out of them while they tried to sell me a modem card and a per-KB metered plan), even though there is no way they can tell the difference
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:24PM (#10939604)
    I bet if you ask them if they supported Firefox, the answer would be no, too. Support means they have easy instructions to repeat to the caller, not that other things don't work with it.
    • Exactly. Support means they will *help* you with any problems you may have and make it work for you(this rarely actually happens, but that's the theory). Not supported means the company isn't responsible for and won't help you with your problems, not that there actually are any problems.
  • verizon works... (Score:5, Informative)

    by loony (37622) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:25PM (#10939612)
    http://www.ka9q.net/5220.html

    I have such a card and it works just fine for me... the only downside is you don't have a link stability /power display (that would be from the second serial port).. other than that, works fine, very stable...
    • Re:verizon works... (Score:4, Informative)

      by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:19PM (#10940314) Homepage
      I'm also using the Verizon 5220 and am pretty happy with it. In areas where the EVDO is strong (I've used it in Baltimore and NYC), I regularly get 300Kbps, and the reliability of the connection is average as such things go. Well worth the $80 a month to me because it serves both as a backup line to my cable modem at home should that go down and as a full solution when I'm on the road. It's also great fun to have something like this that works fairly well even when barreling down the highway; I recently submitted some work I had to get finished by the end of day from I95 at 65MPH while on a trip north.

      I used to connect over Sprint's PCS Vision network using the #777 hack through a Treo 300 with unlimited Vision use for $10/month. Speeds there were on the high end of ISDN when it was working well, but it rarely worked well. Lag in particular was extremely bad even with the average bandwidth once things go rolling was decent. It's been suggested to me that newer Treo models like the 600 are being more aggresively restricted by Sprint in regards to how you can get a cheap data connection out of them. My understanding is that they are better able to monitor high data use on the newer phones and force people over to a higher priced data plan if they find you're abusing the service. They certainly never noticed whatever I did on the Treo 300.
  • T-mobile Aircard 750 (Score:4, Informative)

    by dingletec (590572) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:26PM (#10939618)
    I've been using the Sierra Wireless Aircard 750 with Linux for over a year. I can't say I am excited about the service itself, which is supposed to be about 56k. In other words, it is slow. BUT, when I am patient, I can ssh to my servers at work and sometimes accomplish something. It works just fine for web browsing, email, instant messaging, and retrieving maps with gpsdrive.
  • T-Mobile (Score:5, Informative)

    by dieman (4814) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:26PM (#10939619) Homepage
    The T-Mobile GPRS cards usually Just Work(tm) since they use serial and the AT command set. Just have to use PPP and off you go.

    Its not the fastest, but its cheap. ($30/mo)

    Good luck!
    • Re:T-Mobile (Score:5, Informative)

      by numatrix (242325) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:58PM (#10939758)
      I actually just use my T610 bluetooth phone on T-Mobile and get a gprs connection just fine for $5/month.

      Technically, the $5/month is added on to my regular phone plan and is for the phone to be able to do mail and http itself (https, imap, pop, smtp and http being the only ports open). It turns out, with ANY t-mobile plan (as far as I've been able to see) you get port 80 access, so if you're up for tunneling anything across 80, you can do it for free with any tmo phone with data connectivity. I'm not sure whether t-mobile can't distinguish between a phone carrying data for a laptop, or simply doesn't care at this point, but it results in a darn cheap data connection.

      I have to admit, I've only done it with windows so far, but no special drivers were required, just the stock bluetooth kernel, so I'm positive it would work on linux as well.

      The phone shows up as a standard bluetooth modem and I dial #99* (or *99#, I can never remember and the laptop's off), use any user name or password and off we go.

      It's not great, however. Though the connection shows up as 115kb/s, the latency is so high that it's nearly unusable for many applications. I use it in a pinch if I have to to get on and ssh, web, or email, but occasionally the network is so flaky that it's not usable at all, so I definitely wouldn't recommend it for an always on service.

      That said, for a backup data connection plan if you've already got t-mobile, you can't beat it.

      I'm assuming the dedicated 'data' plans that t-mobile offers are using the same data network, and therefore would be approximately the same service levels, but I could be totally off.
      • I'll second that emotion. I've run ssh and a vnc tunnel over port 443 on my T610 using a bluetooth dongle from the laptop. It's not the kind of connection you can play Doom3 on, but it gets the job done...and it's *99#

        p.s. This also works well from a Palm m500 with a bluetooth card. Nothing like getting paid to read Slashdot while your clients are running late for a meeting.

      • I'm posting this over my T610 as we speak, but I've noticed that T-Mobile cracked down recently on what ports you can access. With the $5 tzones plan, I can only do HTTP/HTTPS now whereas a month ago I was able to do SSH as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:27PM (#10939627)
    I got a new Panasonic Toughbook CF-T2. It has a wireless net card built in. It has no built-in CD drive, so I bought an external USB CD drive, plugged it in, put in the Suse 9.2 install CD, powered it up, and selected my install options. After an hour and a few CD changes, the system was up and running. It correctly repartitioned the hard drive so it's dual boot. It detected everything correctly. The wireless net card was detected but not activated. I used Yast to activate it, and it detected the wireless link and got an IP address. At this point there was a problem, though: the wireless card was eth1 and the Ethernet card was eth0. Even though eth0 didn't have a link, it was for some reason trying to be the default route. No problem. I just used Yast to deactivate eth0 (since I never use it) and now everything works fine.

    Oh, and I also used Yast to configure all the ACPI and powersaving features, and they work. I close it, it suspends to disk. It throttles the CPU, blanks the screen, etc, as needed. There are some bugs in the suspend-to-disk feature, though. It's usable but I'm looking forward to installing the next version.

    Summary: everything basically worked, no drivers to download, no kernel recompiles. I think it was easier than it would have been if I had tried to install Win XP. I think with Win XP I would have had to download drivers, etc. But I'm not sure; I've never tried it.
  • by Ducky (10802) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:29PM (#10939635) Homepage

    At least for Verizon's EVDO [evdo-coverage.com] we've got a horde of folk in our IT dept. using it thanks mostly to Phil Karn [ka9q.net]'s notes on getting the card working in Linux [ka9q.net].

    Might want to dig a little deeper and see if "no support" really just means "we don't know if it works and don't know how to support Linux." Hopefully some folks further down will have info on the other services.

    Disclaimer: I happen to work for one of the companies involved with EVDO.

  • Verizon works well (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alowishus (34824) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:29PM (#10939638) Homepage

    Verizon's Broadband Access works and is widely available, and if you're a heavy mobile user you can't really beat the $79/mo unlimited usage plan. In markets with the 3G equipment in place (San Diego for example) you get the faster EVDO speeds (throughput is good but latency is still a bit high - you won't be fragging in Quake over it), and everywhere else Verizon has coverage you get good ol' 1xRTT speed which is as functional as dialup and a helluva lot more convenient.

    The AirPrime PC5220 card that Verizon provides works under Windows and Mac OS X (one of the recent 10.3.x patches included official drivers), and can be used under Linux if you follow Phil Karn's excellent writeup [ka9q.net]. Only gotcha is that you need Windows for the initial activation, but from that point on you're fine on your alternative OS.

  • So right now I'm using a Motorola v710 on Verizon for my wireless Internet. Using Bluetooth. Dial-up networking is one of the few things that Verizon didn't disable on the v710's Bluetooth stack. I haven't tried it with Linux, but I do know that it's basicly like having a good old Hayes Compatable attached to the computer.

    However, that only gets you a maximum 128k theoretical, realistically 56k.

    I can give you a link to the AirPrime 5220 [ka9q.net] card. That can be hacked.
    • Actually it's 144kbps maximum, and I've seen 16KBps so it's not just theoretical. It's mostly a function of signal strength and I guess user saturation of the cell.
      • OK, so I checked out the CDMA Development Group and it's actually 153.6 kbps theoretical max. We're both wrong. ;)

        But, yeah, it's user saturation and carrier configuration. You always have your main channel, but you can also have up to 16 suplemental channels.
  • Sprint/Sanyo 8200 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Phs2501 (559902) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:30PM (#10939644)
    I have a Sanyo 8200 with Sprint, and have their Vision "Unlimited" data plan.

    It's my understanding that this setup will work under Linux [freeshell.org]. The 8200 is effectively the same as an 8100 for data access purposes.

    Note that this plan is not really "unlimited". If you use too much bandwidth they will come down on you. Also, using it with a computer is "not allowed", they want you to buy a real data plan for that. However, it works anyway!

    This setup has worked well for my needs (mostly voice service with occasional Internet access both from the phone and on a laptop). YMMV.

    www.sprintusers.com [sprintusers.com] are very active user forums where issues like this are discussed.

  • by hab136 (30884) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:33PM (#10939656) Journal
    I've used Sprint with both a Samsung 8500 and now a Samsung A500 and a Linux laptop. Just get a data cable [futuredial.com]. Linux sees it as a standard ACM USB modem (driver built into the kernel), just dial #777 and use PPP. Speed is.. well, 115k at 80mph isn't bad. :)

    Get their Vision plan, and you have unlimited data for $15/month. Just don't go crazy; there have been reports of people having their line disconnected because they were using data 24/7.

    Of course, Sprint won't tell you about this; they want to sell you a connection card [sprintpcs.com] and the extra phone line.

    As for reception it's simple: if you're near an interstate, it's great. If you're not, NO SOUP FOR YOU.

    • I've also used a Samsung 4900 phone with Linux without a problem. I turn off graphics in my browser to save bandwidth so Sprint doesn't get upset.

      As far as the Sprint PCMCIA connection cards, I borrowed and tried both models they offer on Linux a few months ago. The cheaper card worked fine, Linux saw it as a PCMCIA modem (just dial #777). The more expensive card couldn't be recognized under Linux. Sorry, but I don't remember the model numbers of the cards. FWIW, the cards seemed faster and lower lat
    • by Some Dumbass... (192298) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:51PM (#10940217)
      Speed is.. well, 115k at 80mph isn't bad. :)

      Not surprising. The doppler effect shouldn't come into play until more like 80,000mph. At that point your wireless connection will be unusable (the data will be corrupted). Also, you might notice increased latency as you move further away from Sprint's satellites and the Earth in general.
  • by billatq (544019) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:35PM (#10939667)
    I posted how to do this with a Motorola v66 on T-Mobile using Debian/Xbox Linux on my blog, but since that host is currently offline, here's the article for how I did it:

    Add usbserial
    # /etc/modules.xbox: kernel modules to load at boot time.
    #
    # This file should contain the names of kernel modules that are
    # to be loaded at boot time, one per line. Comments begin with
    # a "#", and everything on the line after them are ignored.

    loop
    input
    keybdev
    mousedev
    joydev
    sunrpc
    lockd
    nfs
    scsi_mod
    sd_mod
    lirc_dev
    lirc_xir
    usbserial # Need this to work with the phone (v66)
    The next step is to set up pppd for the T-Mobile GPRS service. I have the "VPN" service, but most users with unlimited access will have the regular one. The main difference is that the "VPN" service gets you a public IP address and must be specifically requested. In places where internet3.voicestream.com is used, internet2.voicestream.com should be replaced if this is the case.
    The /etc/ppp/peers/tmobile file:

    # File: /etc/ppp/peers/tmobile
    #
    connect "/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/chatscripts/tmobile"
    /dev/usb/acm/0 # Motorola Phone Cable
    115200 # speed
    nodetach # don't fork
    debug # show debugging info
    defaultroute # set the default route
    replacedefaultroute # yes, override the default route
    usepeerdns # get the dns servers from the tunnel
    crtscts # do flow control
    noauth # no authentication required
    deflate 0 # don't compress
    asyncmap 0
    mtu 1500
    mru 1500
    noipdefault
    idle 600
    The /etc/ppp/chatscripts/tmobile file:
    ABORT ERROR
    '' AT&F
    OK AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","internet3.voicestream.com"
    OK ATDT*99#
    CONNECT ''
    The /etc/ppp/pap-secrets file:
    (none) * password
    '' tmobile
    With that configured, pon tmobile activates the GPRS connection and poff tmobile.
  • by doodleboy (263186) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:38PM (#10939678)
    What corporations mean by "support" is one or two OSes that are standardized enough for the bottom-end support people to walk the users through simple scripts, i.e. "ensure that the computer is plugged in and turned on, click start, click setting, click network and dialup connections, etc..."

    The last Verizon tech I talked to didn't know what dhcp was. There's no way these people could deal with something as varied *nix, and frankly you don't want them to. If the hardware works and the protocols are supported you're good to go. If you have a problem reboot the modem. You won't get much else in the way of useful information of the support staff anyway, even if you are running windows.
  • Just get a T-Mobile handset with the $20 unlimited data plan and a phone like the T610's successor (can't remember the model), then use a USB bluetooth adapter to dial up via GPRS. The coverage is pretty good and the speed is usually faster than dial-up.

    Overall, I've had great luck with this setup.
  • Helpful Site (Score:5, Informative)

    by Allnighterking (74212) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:47PM (#10939710) Homepage
    One Site that could help alot.

    Linux-wireless.com [linux-wireless.com] More info here than you probably want, and everything you need.
  • This maybe a bit offtopic, buyt I've written a 802.11b wifi HOWTO [gregorytoomey.com] to get cheap wifi working with linux.
  • My Friend (Score:4, Informative)

    by Apreche (239272) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:48PM (#10939720) Homepage Journal
    My friend has T-Mobile and a Nokia bluetooth phone. He has a little USB bluetooth dongle attached to his laptop. He connects wirelessly to his cell phone with the bluetooth. Then the cell phone's unlimited data service provides the laptop with an internet connection via the bluetooth. This required no support from T-Mobile.

    He set up a page about it here [staticfree.info].
  • Telus w/ Aircard 555 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by houseofmore (313324) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:50PM (#10939728) Homepage
    I use the Aircard 555 with telus wireless in Canada. Sierra has an "UNSUPPORTED" driver for the AirCard that took me only a few minutes to get going. The coverage and speeds telus claims are another story (only really good in major centers), but otherwise no problems.

    http://www.sierrawireless.com/SupportDownload/ac55 5_Linux.asp

    Note the linux drivers do not include support for "extra features" like voice mail etc.
  • I use T-mobile with bluetooth. I use the integrated Dial-In module in bluetooth on my phone to dial into WAP. It works fairly well, though it is a bit slow. I like being able to get on the internet anywhere I get cell signal.
  • Just use it (Score:4, Informative)

    by phr2 (545169) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @08:58PM (#10939757)
    The cellular modem looks like a regular modem to the laptop. It uses traditional AT commands and there's some special phone numbers you're supposed to send it. The O'Reilly book "Linux Unwired" has a good section about this. T-Mobile seems to have the best deal going, if you're in their coverage area.
  • How about GoMadic [gomadic.com]? I had to configure this with my father's notebook and Palm Pilot PDA. It works, but it is very slow (dial-up speed with EarthLink and PPP).
  • by spiritraveller (641174) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:01PM (#10939771)
    You didn't mention what kind of speed you require. If you're just doing the occasional checking of email and browsing only when necessary, T-Mobile is your best bet.

    You can get unlimited email and port 80 access with T-Mobile for $5/month through their "Unlimited T-Zones" service... although they only advertize it as "WAP Access". Some people report that T-Mobile is cracking down and preventing non-WAP use of port 80, but it still works for me. Check the T-Mobile board at HowardForums [howardforums.com] for more up to date info.

    Worst case scenario is that you might have to subscribe to their "Unlimited Internet" service for $20/month.

    If you need DSL-like speeds, go with someone else. T-Mobile's GPRS access is usually slower than dial-up.

    How you hook up the phone depends on the phone. All the Nokia symbian phones can hook up to a linux computer wirelessly using bluetooth. Others use cables. Here's one guide [teaparty.net] I just found using Google... there are many other's out there.

    I don't see the point of getting a dedicated pcmcia card for the connection. Even if you don't intend to use the phone, it will probably be cheaper than a PC card.

  • nextel broadband (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ddstreet (49825) * <ddstreet&ieee,org> on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:01PM (#10939772) Homepage
    If you live in Raleigh, NC (or anywhere in the Triangle) you can get Nextel Broadband. They just started rolling it out. I haven't tried it, but if you need mobile broadband, it's probably faster and cheaper than going through your cellphone.

    http://nextelbroadband.com [nextelbroadband.com]

    And, for hardware, you can choose between a PCMCIA card (which probably requires Windoze drivers) and a modem with an ethernet port [nextelbroadband.com]. I assume the modem with ethernet doesn't require any special drivers or software (although that could be a bad assumption).

  • T-mobile is great, no support needed. I just dial *99# on my Nokia 3650, no username or password needed. Periodically the phone will reboot, crash, or hang up, but otherwise it is serviceable. It also works fine with MacOS X.

    I'm sure that by "support" they mean some jackass in Timbuktu can walk you through a script over the phone. If you don't need that kind of service you should be fine.

  • I've been able to get my mac powerbook to use T-Mobile's data service. Their service is a standard PPP access service (~ 56 K) and I was able to get it working with both a Nokia 6610 over a USB-serial converter cable, and on an N-Gage over bluetooth. The trick is getting your laptop/PC to see the phone as a standard modem. Once that's accomplished, you just dial the access number, and the rest of their system is standard enough to use. I used them as my only at-home internet access for about 2 years (di

  • I run MacOS X, not Linux (I've got an aluminum PowerBook 15"), but I'm at least familiar with the Cingular and Verizon data services. I tried to use T-Mobile's service a year or so ago with my old T68i phone, but never got it working. But that was also in the 10.2 days - 10.3 is slicker.

    Cingular's service over a cell phone is called MEdia net, and unlimited GPRS usage is an extra $20 per month. Speeds are poor (about a perceived 70k at peak), but you can use it virtually anywhere you get a GSM signal.
    • I also use Verizon (Mac OS X, bluetooth to Mot V710 phone) with 1XRTT. It works great. It's worth noting however, that you don't need the $80/month plan. It will just eat minutes out of your regular voice plan. Perfect for those of us for whom this is a "last resort" after home or work broadband or roaming 802.11.
      • I considered one of those options, but I'm using Cingular for my voice (as well as my wife and her parents - we're on a FamilyTalk plan). I figured I could save some money most months if I went to a minutes-based plan, but I'm doing this as a work thing and I like the predictability, since I never know whether I'll have access by any other means. Until I have a staff someday back at my office to keep track of things for me, it's just me. So I could be on it for 25 hours, or no hours. It all depends on t
    • I currently use a Motorola V66 with a $5 cable I got off of eBay with the T-Mobile services via Mac OS X. Works great.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:18PM (#10939845)
    If you're looking for support, you're screwed.

    If you're looking for functionality I have written documents for my company's knowledgebase.

    I do work for a large wireless carrier, and I have made this information available on my personal website as I haven't yet received approval to make it available on our external support site and can e-mail you my url(will not post it to avoid being slashdotted)if you want e-mail me at chiane25@hotmail.com if you are interested.

    Methods of tethering I've written about are IrDA, bluetooth, PC Cards(all that we sell) as well as USB.

    I really should create an account on slashdot to rake in some karma.
  • Verizon (Score:2, Informative)

    by Chaos Engine (54555)
    I use a Samsun a530s from Verizon and it uses the standard ACM drivers under linux just fine. If you can find a verizon phone with the 1x icon on it, you should be able to do 240kbps over their 1xRTT network (look at their National Access map).

    I got my cable from Radio Shack, see http://www.howardforums.com/ [howardforums.com] for more info on the phones that are compatable.

  • by alpha (8839) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:39PM (#10939925)

    I've used a Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 [sierrawireless.com] (verizon wireless) with linux. Although they claim the card is 144kbps, the ping round-trip time is pretty slow, and makes sshing pretty unpleasant.

    After initializing the card for the first time (using windows, it needs to update the firmware, etc.), the card works like a regular com-port/modem. Beware of wvdial though, i had to patch it to make it work reliably with the AirCard. Also see http://centerclick.org/aircard555/ [centerclick.org]

    I recently dumped the aircard and replaced it with a GSM phone Nokia 6820 [nokia.com]. Which not only has a fold-out QWERTY keyboard, both a commercial [idokorro.com] and a free [xk72.com] ssh client, and bluetooth, but also an IR port which emulates a modem when put next to the IR port on a laptop. Then just dial *99# and you're in business, even when traveling abroad. (The AirCard doesn't support data calls outside of the US.)

    I think it's a better deal than the dedicated wireless cards, unless you're planning on using it constantly. It appears that the speed on the 6820 (with AT&T / Cingular service) via IR is better than the AirCard too.

  • my experiences... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vsigma (154562)
    I got the T-Mobile unlimited data plan, and I have a Sony Ericcson T68i phone (I'm in the NYC area, so coverage is quite good in the area).

    What I do is connect my t68i via the serial cable or bluetooth to my laptop. and use it as a modem that way, havent had a problem in the major areas...

    My only wish is this: I can actually use my cell phone as a actual modem, and not have to depend on the network's gprs service (My regular mobile is off ATT/Cingular, and they charge by sheer data used). While I realiz
  • by meatspray (59961) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:54PM (#10939970) Homepage
    I have a 6620 and a belkin adapter on my pc. ATT/Cingular GSM Edge isn't wonderful but it's the best thing I've had since riccochet dropped Baltimore coverage.

    I do seem to get around the 40Kb / second they advertise with the edge service if I'm not driving. My pings are consistant with dialup.

    The ATT/Cingular coverage is a shade better than T-Mobile in my neck of the woods. (I started with T-Mobile and had no service in my appartment)

    It's not replacing my cablemodem anytime soon for the house but it's incredibly useful on the move. My next project is to put a bluetooth linux box in the car and play around with some GPS, net wired crosshair on a map i'm over here kinda fun.

  • by bluGill (862) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:04PM (#10940006)

    Everyone who is interested in this should call ALL providers before doing anything to find out. The answer will be no, but the goal is to make our voice heard. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Yes I know the guy on the other end of the line rarely collects these statics, but you never know when you talk to the one guy who will be asked. Once management hears that the question comes up they start keeping track of how often it comes up (this will happen withing warning so we don't slashdot their phone lines). If there is enough people calling, the message will be recieved. Make sure your voice isn't lost.

    If you get this working on an unsupported network (your only choice now), and suddenly it stops working with linux (make sure it is something they did, and not your mistake - check with others!), then it is time to slashdot their support lines, and don't accept "not supported" for an answer, talk to management (even though it is the guy at the next desk), and keep screaming. When nobody on a "supported OS" can get though because they broke the "unsupported OS", they will change.

  • The Ericsson pc card presents a standard serial port interface to the user, and a quick google will get you the needed commands and modifications to pppd to use it. I have done this with 100% success. Performance is roughly what you'd expect from a 56k modem; ie, not great, but it does work in a lot of places where no other connectivity is available.
  • Please tell me someone else caught the "Suport" spelling of the article title before I did.
  • Linux Unwired [oreilly.com], written by Roger Weeks, Edd Dumbill, Brian Jepson and published by our friends at O'Reilly [oreilly.com], is an invaluable reference for anything that is Linux and wireless. It has several chapters on 802.11 (picking a card, setting it up, using security, setting up or building a Linux access point), and also covers a variety of other systems: Bluetooth, IrDA, cellular networking, and GPS. Their wireless chapter gives instructions and suggested equipment for (IIRC) AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Verizon, and possibly one or two others. It's reasonably priced, and chock full of useful stuff--I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of it to learn how to do this.

    (Note: I am not associated with O'Reilly in any relationship other than being a satisfied customer.)

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:28PM (#10940351) Homepage Journal
    I did this 3 years ago, for a cross-country drive (Tampa, FL to Los Angeles, CA, 2500 miles, 2.5 days). I wanted to "broadcast" my drive, so I had my Linux laptop capturing from a webcam, and sending the pictures back up to my web server.

    I used the Nextel im1100 [nextel.com]. The speed wasn't great (or even good most of the time), but it let me get the images up slowly. I could get one frame every 5 to 10 seconds sent up, which was more than enough to entertain my friends, who would check up on my progress every few hours.

    You have to do a ppp script, just like you would dialing up on a conventional modem to an ISP. The init string was something odd. I think it was AT&S0=0 . The dial string was simply "ATDT". If you search around on DejaNews, you can find the right init string, if I'm mistaken.

    There are other providers who's modems work exactly the same way. When I was researching it 3 years ago, they all acted like serial cards. I picked Nextel, because I already had a couple cell phones with them, and I could simply add it to my account. I don't know if things have really changed, but when I was looking at them, they advertise a "max" speed, which is *MUCH* higher than your real connection speed. In other words, you'll never see the speeds they offer. Generally it'll be 9600 baud, with really bad latency. 400ms+ pings were the norm.

    Nextel will tell you specifically that they won't work on anything but Windows, but trust me, it works fine. It's the difference between what the support people know, and the way it really is. :)

    The im1100 has it's own battery, it doesn't depend on the laptop for power. For my drive, I had the laptop and the modem plugged into a power inverter. I got pulled over twice on that drive. The cops gave my setup a really funny look, but didn't really say anything about it. Oddly enough, driving 2500 miles, you really start questioning if the speed limit should be so low..

    I kept asking myself, "My car can easily do 160mph. I'm doing 75mph. If I doubled my speed, I'd cut this drive time in half. It's 800 miles to the next state. At 75, that's 10.6hrs. at 100, that's 8hrs. At 130mph (a nice cruise speed for my car) that's 6.1 hours. 6.1 hours sounds a lot better than 10.6 hours."

    Right about the time I'd start trying it, is when I'd get pulled over. Since I was on I-10 in fuckin' Wyle E. Coyote country, where the cactus outnumber the humans 100000:1 they were ok with my 5mph over. They just wanted to remind me to slow down. I'm good with that. I like warnings a lot more than tickets.

    Oh, and if you try to figure out my average speed for the drive (41mph), I did stop in El Paso for 12 hours, and had 6 fuel stops (4 of them I was kinda fuzzy from lack of sleep and a constant caffeine buzz). I also hit shitty traffic in San Antonio, and tried to stop in Bum-stick Arizona for cigarettes (couldn't find my brand), and again in Phoenix (again, couldn't find my brand). I was twitching by the time I got to California, and it was 2 days to find a store that had my brand.

    It's an interesting drive. Everyone should try it once by themselves, just to say they did it. :) Oh, and never drive it in a U-Haul. It took 5 days with only one real sleep stop.

  • I am running a panasonic toughbook. LT modem onboard and wireless card. If I really want fast wireless net I go to the Seattle Public Library and get online free. No reg no pass, 802.11b - I downloaded three ISOs of Solaris 10 in about 90min. Our Tax Dollars well spent!!! The rest is by various net cafes w/ free wireless or from wifi dsl at home. The bulk of the posts here are modem by cell or some variation. If I want to just check my mail - modem is enough. If I want downloads, I just need to pick my time
  • by potus98 (741836) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:56PM (#10940452) Journal

    My experience with 3 different Internet connection providers has been that NONE of them had stated support for Linux. Linux as an unsupported platform for [fill in ISP here] is usually not a technology issue; rather, it's a tech support issue. Their techsupport staff needs to be able to walk Joe Average through 10 easy steps of "click this, click that, etc..." Troubleshooting via Linux would require one of two things: A) Far more complex read-response scripts. Or B) Far more educated techsupport staff. Neither seems likely to happen.

    My latest foray into high(ish) speed access at home resulted in yet another frustrating conversation: (I suspect the situation is similar for cell-based access.)

    What's my PPoE connection information?
    Huh? I need to login to your PC to complete the setup.
    No you don't, I just need the connection information to put in my firewall.
    The firewall is on your PC. It doesn't matter.
    No, the firewall is a dedicated piece of hardware.
    Sir, if you'll just let me use your computer...
    [I log him into a linux shell...]
    Uhhhh, we only support Windows. I don't think this computer can connect to the Internet. Has it logged into the Internet before?

    [rant]Why does everyone think you log-on, log-into, or log-onto the friggin Internet?!?[/rant]

    The un-supporting meat bags answering the phones have NO idea what a default gateway is (nevermind the knuckle-draggers they send to connect it), yet they are responsible for troubleshooting network connectivity! That is why so few service providers "support" Linux. The sad thing is, they could really save themselves a lot of grief if they would just put the 4 or 5 nuggets of useful information we need in the initial welcome e-mail. Instead, they bury the meaningful info in 40 pages of screen-by-screen click fests. Finally, on page 34 I find what I'm looking for: The IP of their DNS server! Yipee! Now it's back to my welcome e-mail to search for my login ID amongst 6 pages of marketing bullshit.

  • I have a customer who uses Raven CDMA modems on Verizon's network. He uses these like normal modems using a PPP connection to get data from earthquake recording systems, either intermittant connections or nearly continuous. The modem [airlink.com] connects via serial at 115200 baud and he is getting around 10K Bytes per second throughput. Since it pretty much looks like a hayes modem, it doesn't matter what operating system you have on your laptop. I have absolutely no idea what the equipment or service costs are.
  • Why don't you Jack Hasses learn how to spel, damnit?!???!!!???!?! The word "Support" has TWO P's, not one or three or four but TWO!! TWO P's! What am I supposed to do with an empty case?!???!?!
  • I've been happy using my Sony Ericsson T616 and the Cingular MediaWorks Package (costs around $20/month, see https://www.cingular.com/media/media_purchase [cingular.com]).

    I get unlimited data, so I don't have to worry about a per KB charge, and I've been able to get coverage anywhere I can get a signal from Cingular. The downside is that it's slow (dialup modem speed, at best), but that's still good enough for checking e-mail or looking up maps or phone numbers when I'm out on the road.

    I usually use it over Bluetooth f
  • by jafo (11982) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:12AM (#10940709) Homepage

    I've been using the Merlin C201 PCMCIA card under Linux for nearly 2 years now. The card shows up as a regular modem which you run PPP on. I've got an extensive page on how to do this setup at http://www.tummy.com/Community/Articles/merlin-c20 1/ [tummy.com].

    The service is through Sprint, and costs $80/month for all "you can eat". Apparently, the service agreement for the $10/month net with your phone prohibits the use of a laptop with it, but there are people using USB adapters or similar to access the net over the phone. The setup is similar to the PCMCIA card, using PPP.

    I also have a page on using the LG-5350 phone and USB cable to get net access using PPP with Linux at http://www.tummy.com/Community/Articles/lg5350/ [tummy.com]

    Sprint coverage is pretty good. The first trip I took with it was up into the mountains, where I was able to get extremely good coverage from my camp site. Another crowd would wonder WTF I was doing with a laptop when camping, but the /. crowd will understand, I'm sure.

    The speed is pretty good. I can do downloads at 12 to 15KB/sec, and at one point while camping I ran an incremental backup of my laptop up to a my server. I think it pushed 600MB of data across it, uploaded, at 7KB/sec average.

    The real killer is the latency. It runs, on average, 500ms (half a second). For web page downloads it's not so bad, but for anything interactive it's pretty nasty. Latency usually ranges between 250ms and 1000ms, but if coverage lapses or is spotty it can be several seconds.

    That said, I love the connectivity. These days you can get WiFi in most locations if you are willing to go to a place that has it. The CDMA is great for times when I want to use the net from a place that doesn't have it, or a place where their WiFi is wedged because of a flaky AP or a butt-head with a virus or running file sharing.

    Sean

  • by Chuqmystr (126045) on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:34AM (#10940768) Homepage
    First off, all of the services you mentioned DO work under Linux. In fact, Earthlink is just repackaged VZW 1X data services. VZW/Earthlink: The Audiovox 3220 and 5220, the later being an EVDO (320 Kbps) device, both work well under Linux and OS X (I've used the 3220 my last job working for VZW supplied me on both) and information on how-to is easily found via our pal Google. Tethering (using a data cable or bluetooth to establish a PPP connection, much like a dial-up modem), for the most part, seems to work well on Linux and OS X with most handsets. On LG phones beware the straight USB cable and go for the USB-serial converted type. $20 at Radio Shack or less on line from Futuredial dealers. /dev/ttyUSBx is your device. Also set the handset for serial and not USB data. The LX3100 is serial only. Motorola is the exact opposite and uses the acm module. The V710 supposedly tethers fine under bluetooth and can also use the acm module and a cable. Samsung, Sanyo and Audiovox all do acm for the most part unles your handset is beyond two years old. As for support from VZW, they can barely do it right on windbloze. Don't say Linux or Mac OS X in their presence or you may give them fits or get some government agency called upon you under suspicion of terrorist activities. VZW has great coverage and their 1X service feels about as good as 56k dial-up. All-you-can-eat is $80/mo. They have the faster EVDO up in 11 US markets and all international airports and at no additional cost.

    T-mobile, my carrier or choice, works as well. YMMV handset to handset but there's TONS of stuff out there on how to tether GSM handsets to most OSes. They offer GPRS service at $20/$30 per mo. unlimited web and mail only/full unblocked usage respectively. It's a bit slower than 1x - feels about like 33.6 dial-up. Honestly, sometimes, it can feel excruciatingly slow. Try killing the connect and redialing. That often cures it. But hey, it's ALL YOU CAN EAT at dial-up prices almost and not $80 a month. I use it with my ibook or pda on the train from San Bernardino area of SoCal to LA on my daily commute and can reliably stream 24k music streams and surf and email just fine. As for tethering, to date I've used an S/E T68i, unlocked S/E 637, Nokia 3650 and now I'm trying a Motorola unlocked V551. I've used them all via bluetooth on both OS X and Linux and a couple of those on windows. Also on Palm and PPC. As for support Tmobile has a fairly knowledgeable group. They seem to work both state-side and off-shore using a tier system. The t1-t2 group seems to be off-shore, are very helpful, still hard to understand at times and the t2's seem very knowledgeable. None of them will ever hesitate to escalate your call. The T3's will basically go to all ends to solve something. I know, I stumped one. I figured it out myself and called him back and gave him my findings. He seemed happy to hear it. Basically, they seem to honestly care about customer service. As for Linux support I think if you push the issue you might get help. Just go in with the ability to help them help you. Make them feel confident that you can translate the Mac and windows way of doing things into what you need. Their coverage isn't as good as VZW but is good enough where I use it. Farthest I've tried it was Cedar City, UT with decent coverage from here to there.

    Most important thing to remember. If you're going to get on a contract I strongly suggest that you do all of your research for the how-to's up front. Get the equipment all at once and get it going as fast as you can. The reason I say that is most carriers give you a roughly 15 day try-out before you must commit. Getting it all to work is half the battle. The user experience with the working product and getting comfortable with that is the rest of it. You may also want to consider Cingualr. Good network but they also charge $80/mo. for all-you-can-eat. However, they do support data useage over pre-pay. Only one I know of in the states. It's $0.02/kb though so be careful. A $50 card will be good enough to get

  • I have a web page [ka9q.net] with information on how to get the Sierra Wireless 5220 PC card working with Linux. The 5220 is, at present, the only supported device on Verizon's WirelessBroadband service (their name for CDMA 1xEV-DO).

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