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Author Topic: Okay what in the heck is this !? "Access point"...  (Read 3552 times)
KE4JOY
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« on: April 02, 2011, 01:39:17 PM »

Okay ever since last summer when a hellacious thunderstorm took out a cell tower or at least most of it we have struggled for 'bars' here.

The wife called and complained and they sent us this gizmo. Its called an access point. "Your own cell tower" it says.

Let me try to explain how it is connected.

Cable->Modem->Accesspoint->router->etc.

The installation forewarns to not just jack the access point into the router rather the access point should be first. So long hardware firewall.

So basically if I understand it this is VOIP using your cell phone?! Thatll work good if the power goes down... but I digress.

The paranoid part of me looks at that architecture and says "Hrm... all data goes through the access point regardless of wether I am using it or not". That means the thing has the ability to broadcast my 'surfing' habits does it not?

Last but not least what frequency does this gizmo use?

Any insights are appreciated.

The sales pitch

http://reviews.sprint.com/5611v2/508/airave-access-point-reviews/reviews.htm
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 01:42:34 PM by KE4JOY » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 04:28:00 PM »

I have been using one for over a year and they are sweet. They also call them Femocells.  All they need a is a good broad band connection. Sprint recently upgraded me to a newer version for free that supports 3g and will replace it for free should I ever need it. Be advised when you first install them that can take several hours to self program and sync with system.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
N9RO
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 05:57:21 PM »

You lucky dog.  Most people have to pay extra for these units, I would like to have one but don't want to spend the extra $$ for it.  Your data will be carried over an encrypted IP connection and they use the existing 3G cell security protocol.  Like always, make sure you have WAP encryption and if your router allows it restrict access to specific MAC addresses.   These are Linux based cell devices and according to many in the industry are the future for providing worldwide cell service.  AT one time MagicJack was trying a creative offering  by allowing you to use a cell phone without a service provider, you connect via a their Femtocell, your cell  phone is like an old cordless phone, not sure whatever happened to this?   I have never sniffed one of these devices so I don't know how chatty they are?  If your broadband connection is a metered connection (pay extra after so many Gig of transfer) you may want to be careful regarding double billing, paying for data transfer/talk time  on the cell network and then in addition paying for the same data to be transferred over the Broadband network?   The range is usually around two Kilometers, they put out between 50-200mw and operate on the cell frequencies.  You are on the bleeding edge my friend have fun.
73
Tim
www.n9ro.com
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Real techies don't use knobs.
AJ3O
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 05:48:49 PM »

Forget about using it if the power goes out, unless you have one heck of a UPS backup... In any case, I would love to have one of these units for the house.

Basically, it connects to the phone as a mini-repeater on the phone's frequencies, then connects to the network via VoIP "Their trunk". The same exact way that the mobile provider does with their own system between towers and/or land-line phones. They are basically extending their network INTO your home.

The only other option (besides switching providers or moving) is to try a Wilson cellular repeater system. "Not cheap, but yours once bought" They have systems for vehicle, home, building, etc. You can pick from wireless and wired, single phone or multiple users at once. Again, NOT cheap. But this will only work if there is at least a certain level of service already. Roughly one bar showing. They are reputable, but if there is no signal, they won't work no matter what you do.

Oh, there is another way......

Just pay for a membership to a local ham club with a repeater capable of auto-patch and leave your privacy behind. hihi
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 06:18:47 PM »

Forget about using it if the power goes out, unless you have one heck of a UPS backup... In any case, I would love to have one of these units for the house.


Mine is on a pretty serious UPS that powers a HD TV too. I have another even bigger one powering modem feeding it and network router and ham computers. We recently lost power for 2 1/2 hrs and never lost access point for cell. BTW the device draws abt 20 watts when I measured it. You get excellent battery life in cell phone using one because phone usually sees a full scale signal and therefore operates at very low transmit power. 
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KE4JOY
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 12:23:29 PM »

Well I hooked it up and it works fairly well, still only have 2 bars out in the shack but that is better than none.

I have already learned that if you loose power to it it will be another hour before it gets re established.

The only other complaint is that right now its in my bedroom and has enough winking and blinking lights that the whole bedroom looks like a disco  Cheesy

I got to find a better spot for it.
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 03:46:24 PM »

I have mine in living room on a shelf near ceiling. It cover first floor and basement and part of outside area around house too. It is a good idea to get a UPS to plug it into.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 06:23:13 PM »

Those boxes are interesting, but to me the way T-mobile does it is much better. They use a protocol called UMA on Blackberries and some Android phones that just uses 802.11A/B/G and VoIP without needing any additional hardware. The downside is that phones have to have a WiFi radio, but any newer smartphones have it, so that's really becoming a non-issue.

An added bonus: it works anywhere you have a WiFi connection, including overseas. The femtocells have a GPS and will only work in areas where the cell phone company is licensed to operate.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 06:46:03 PM »

Well problem with a Blackberry (which I and my daughters in college have) is that they are very secure by design and some features are not available over WiFi (which is insecure encryption aside) With a Femocell my berry works same in house and on road and at home it is not effected my other cordless device or microwave ovens that can give WiFi a hard time (unless it is 802.11a 5ghz)  Plus WiFI does not make voice calls on phone work.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 09:11:18 AM »

Well, I use UMA with my Galaxy-S, an Android phone (BTW, where's the ham software for Android?), so I'm not familiar with Blackberry security problems over WiFi. However, if you have issues with a microwave oven taking out your AP it may have a comprised shield. I don't believe I've ever had a noticeable problem with WiFi due to a microwave oven.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 03:42:41 PM »

Well, I use UMA with my Galaxy-S, an Android phone (BTW, where's the ham software for Android?), so I'm not familiar with Blackberry security problems over WiFi. However, if you have issues with a microwave oven taking out your AP it may have a comprised shield. I don't believe I've ever had a noticeable problem with WiFi due to a microwave oven.

The security "problem" with BlackBerry is not a problem per say because it is designed that way to be very secure.  If you have never had microwave oven issues with WiFi you are darn lucky. Microwave oven operate in 802.11B/G/N 2.4ghz band and can cause headaches at times. Only 802.11A/N (5ghz) is immune to it
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
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