Top positive review
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Firmware update April 2012
on May 1, 2012
I purchased mine from AT&T immediately after it came out (and dropped "tethering" data service from my cell-phone). I cannot get decent broadband service at my home, and I wanted to be able to simultaneously connect my (base model) iPad, and my laptop. I've been pretty happy with it overall, with these caveats:
- All the wireless activity chews through the battery pretty fast (a few hours) and I always keep it connected to external power at home.
- Like virtually all cell phone data service, you're limited to 5 GB per month (unless you want to pay overage charges); thus its not intended for downloading/streaming video (i.e. Netflix). The display has the amazing feature of a progress-bar showing your current monthly usage, which resets every month.
- Like any wireless broadband service (including Clear WiMAX), its *VERY* dependent on the current load on the cell tower its attached to (which can change moment to moment) and on the tower's backhaul bandwidth. I've seen mine run under 1 Mbps up to 7 Mbps.
Tricks I've got it to do:
- Streaming Pandora music from my iPad while driving for miles down the freeway, with no dropouts.
- I added the obscure AT&T "i2gold" APN feature to my account, to enable Static IP and accept inbound connections via Port Forwarding, and it actually works.
Features I haven't tried:
- I inserted a MicroSD memory card, but haven't used it.
- AT&T has not lit up LTE in my area yet (waiting, waiting, waiting...)
- It has ports for special external antennas for use in weak signal areas.
Features I wish it included:
- DynDNS support, but I might be the only one on the planet to ever use it.
April 2012 I discovered a firmware update available for download on the Sierra Wireless website (first such update that I'm aware of). After typical hassles getting it installed (Windows only) I'm extremely happy with it:
- Resolves a strange problem with "stalled" web-browsing on the iPad; quite a relief that they got off the dime and fixed this.
- Adds a new "DMZ" feature to the configuration.