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ATT wireless device


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#1 millipede

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:01 PM

My friend's laptop is connected to the internet through an ATT usb device, wireless thing.

His issue isn't a big deal but an inconvenience. Before when he used it, he could just plug the thing into a usb port and it would connect to the internet. Then, sometimes it would and sometimes it wouldn't.
Now, most of the time it will not connect, he has to reboot his computer and then it will connect to the internet.

I am guessing that if it didn't connect you could point your computer to fix that issue each time. My friend is blind however and this wouldn't be so easy for him.
We're wondering, is there something that could be changed or looked at so he can get it to connect to the internet by just plugging it in?

I hope this is the right section to post this in. It mentioned usb devices so I thought it was a safe place. My apologies if it needs to go somewhere else.
any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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#2 thrillhouse

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

I don't know if At&t works the same as Verizon, which I have, but on Verizon there is a program that controls the usb modem and in there is an option to dial in automatically. If you have this program load at startup and this option checked than it should work. Sorry I am not more familiar with at&t but just mess around with it, it should be in there.

#3 millipede

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:46 PM

I might not get back over to his apartment for another day or three, but I'll give that a try. Thanks.

#4 thrillhouse

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:13 PM

no problem, these things are a pain, hopefully you can figure it out for your friend.

One thing to consider might be a 3g router. This is a router you can just plug the usb modem into and it distributes a wireless signal to as many computers as you want with a connection that is always on. Stay away from anything that says Kyocera, I had one and it barely worked. I have a Cradlepoint CTR-350 now. It works great. Here it is on amazon for $78 with reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FWH0A0/ref=asc_df_B001FWH0A01447645?smid=A2CN1URH4P01KB&tag=dealtmp2017-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395129&creativeASIN=B001FWH0A0

#5 millipede

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:30 PM

interesting... He's not fond of his att setup. I'll have to have him check to make sure but, he says there's limits to bandwidth per month. That would stink.
He and his wife both have laptops, and he has a desktop as well(though I have it in my house for other issues)
Basically at the moment he has to plug that thing into whichever computer he decides to be online with. And he tries to be careful how much he does, listens to, or downloads because he doesn't want to go over his limit.
He plans on going dsl or something eventually but he's on a contract right now. Ends sometime in june or july I think, I forget.

#6 thrillhouse

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:09 PM

That's a bummer. Luckily I bought at the right time when the contract was truly unlimited and then I just never upgraded. The cap for most I am told is 5 gb/month and then overage charges. Ridiculous. I can download as much as I want but if it gets out of hand they throttle me back to below dial up speed. At least your friend doesn't live in a place like I do where that's the only internet available.

Anyway, I hate to plug another board on here, but the place where I learned about this stuff is: http://www.evdoforums.com

#7 s1lents0ul

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:14 PM

Is it a 3G/4G reciever that gets a signal from a MIFI device, or from a regular cell phone signal from a tower?

I would recommend getting your friend something like a MIFI device, if he is stuck with the contract, it replaces the USB device so all computers would always have a signal, wirelessly, if they have a normal wireless internet receiver that would normally get internet from a modem--router setup.
<EDIT>Sorry, by all computers being connected, I mean it can connect up to 5 devices VIA a MIFI router.</EDIT>

Go into the wireless internet properties and check the saved wireless connections, delete all the profiles related to his USB device and plug the USB device in, let it find the signal, connect, and it should create a new fresh profile that should connect.

You can hold down the windows key and hit R type in msconfig, goto the startup and services tabs, and make sure the box is checked next to whatever services are required for that USB device to work, so the drivers will load on start up.

When you friend makes the transition to DSL...if he prefers speed and needs it, if CABLE internet is available, go with that...AT&T DSL is crap.

Edited by s1lents0ul, 27 February 2011 - 10:15 PM.

==]--s1lents0ul-->

#8 millipede

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:37 PM

interesting... never heard of those. (I don't even own a cell phone personally so I'm out of touch with all that stuff)
A few concerns/thoughts come to mind.
1. What are the chances of other people using the connection, as in people you don't want to use it?
2. One page I found selling them, people complained about monthly fees... are there monthly fees for such a device? I'm certain he wouldn't want to bother with that.
3. I believe it would be a little more difficult for him to monitor his internet usage if it was setup like that. Any computer turned on in the house would be talking to the internet from time to time.

Personally, I'm curios as to what the penalties are for dropping it early. I don't believe he gets much for what he pays.

Around here there aren't many options for internet. Local phone company and local cable company. Not much beyond that. I'm not sure what the cable prices are but around here it seems like everything is high unless you bundle. He and his wife don't have cable, it's available, they just choose not to spend their money in that way.
Was only a few years back(literally) that he and I were both on dialup... so, even the crappiest DSL is tolerable for people like myself...
I don't quite understand why there's such a HUGE price difference in the different speeds. The cost difference for them sure can't be that steep.
With so few options, I guess they can afford to take all your money around here. :(

#9 thrillhouse

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

1. You can use a password
2. no monthly fee for the thing I had a link to. Mifi is a router/modem combo from the carrier (at&t in this case) and different carriers may charge a rental fee. You would have to read the upgrade contract for the Mifi to find out.
3. On the site that you pay the bill on there is a usage statistics for your account and you just click on the device you are registered to and data usage and it shows you.
4. Penalties for dropping are really high, I wouldn't do it.

If you have any other option than dial up or wireless go for it. I would in a heartbeat. There is no value in paying a high monthly fee for something that is so limited. Like I said before most caps are 5 gb per month, I downloaded 5 gb in a day before, it's too small of a limit.

#10 s1lents0ul

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:14 AM

Using a cell phone signal for internet is one of the worst ways to do it, for home usage daily. It's main purpose when designed was for everyone traveling and hated finding hotspots for WIFI. Now they can stay connected to office and email via 3G signals and they can keep busy and working away from home. The prices are high because convienence is high for the service. You should tell your friend that he should switch to dsl, no download limits, and the price is lower per month. Cable is better, but you say speeds arent that important to you an the price diff/cost effectiveness for him seems to be unreasonable to get cable. AT&T is one of the most exspensive carriers for cell phone internet, and the "go over your limit" fees are the highest of any providers. The DSL service they provide is crappy too, if there are other DSL options, then look into those first..
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#11 millipede

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:06 AM

I poked around his laptop last week, tried to make sure things were set to run automatically... changed a few settings. He still has to reboot to get the laptop to see the usb device and connect.
When I plugged it in, one light(out of two) would light up. When he puts the thing in the desktop, it finds it and connects no problem... and it used to do that with the laptop... for whatever reason, it just doesn't do that anymore.
I may check it out some more next time I'm there but I'm not entirely sure why it would do that.
Thanks for the thoughts guys...

#12 thrillhouse

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:12 AM

try to install the manager software on the laptop. go to at&t's site and look for the version that your card supports. The manager software comes with the latest driver for the card as part of the install, maybe the desktop has this and the laptop doesn't.

#13 MrBruce1959

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:22 AM

I just posted this same information for another member who is experiencing USB printer issue.

By default, Windows has a feature that can turn off the USB ports during idle computer time.

This feature is on both desktop and laptop computers.

The USB ports go to sleep after a period of time and anything in each port also stops functioning.

This feature is in Windows XP right up to Windows 7 and is on by default.

Please have your friend try this on their computer.

Go to control panel then device manager and looking for universal serial bus controllers. Expand this and look for USB root hub, right click each one you see and choose properties then look for the power management tab, then un-check allow windows to turn off this device to save power.


Do this for each USB ROOT HUB entry you see under universal serial bus controllers.

Please let me know if this resolve the issue.

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#14 millipede

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:29 AM

I'll give that a try Bruce. I might be stopping by his apartment today.
I was just thinking about it though...
The usb device has two lights on it, when it is connected. When I plugged it in while I was there, only one light came on. Later when I tried again, and it worked, both lights came on.
My thought at the moment is, if the usb port was asleep, would that one light come on like that? What causes the port to awaken when they're asleep?
I'll give it a try and see what happens.

I'm on the phone with him at the moment, he says when he plugs something else in he usually doesn't have any trouble. We'll see.

Edited by millipede, 09 March 2011 - 11:32 AM.


#15 thrillhouse

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

maybe one light is for power and one is for bars (once dialed in)? If you go to the network connection that he uses and into properties there is one in there to dial automatically.

So right click the connection, select properties, click the options tab, and deselect prompt for phone number and makes sure redial attempts is on more than 1.




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