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Old 07-13-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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Is there a way to improve the speed on a AT&T air card in remote areas?

I have a new AT&T air card that I have been messing with a couple of weeks now. It's a long story so I'll save it for a better time...but at this point I have a new antenna mounted on the coach and a new router with the air card mounted to the router.

Internet works...some of the time.

I'm almost to the point of returning the air card...but I thought I'd hit the forum and see what you guys do when Wi-Fi is not available and you are in areas of weak reception with only an air card to get internet with.

I have looked at the archives...most have verizon it seems...but all my stuff is AT&T..

The question is how to make an AT&T air card work better if there is a way....when you out in the sticks?
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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Stan, There's most likely someone with a better answer.
We also use an ATT air card in a remote area. When plugging the air card directly into the router the speed is slow and not acceptable. So, I used a USB extension cord and placed the air card at a higher, remote location. It provides a stronger signal. Hope this helps you.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Stan, There's most likely someone with a better answer.
We also use an ATT air card in a remote area. When plugging the air card directly into the router the speed is slow and not acceptable. So, I used a USB extension cord and placed the air card at a higher, remote location. It provides a stronger signal. Hope this helps you.
Hi Kix..

That may be an issue with mine too..I don't know.

I have an antenna attached to the air card...which is plugged into the router.

I thought that was the way to do it to keep from stringing wires all over the place.

With the air car installed in the computer..it's a stretch to get the antenna cableto reach the air card. (Probably a waste of time because I can't tell that the antenna helps anyway...)

$$$$$$ spent and still ain't got spit...

It isn't a leased air card, I bought it outright so I could put the data plan on standby when I wasn't in the coach.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Hi Kix..

That may be an issue with mine too..I don't know.

I have an antenna attached to the air card...which is plugged into the router.

I thought that was the way to do it to keep from stringing wires all over the place.

With the air car installed in the computer..it's a stretch to get the antenna cableto reach the air card. (Probably a waste of time because I can't tell that the antenna helps anyway...)

$$$$$$ spent and still ain't got spit...

It isn't a leased air card, I bought it outright so I could put the data plan on standby when I wasn't in the coach.
Stan, It's my understanding that the air card itself is an antenna. Try the usb extension cord and see what you get.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #5
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Stan, It's my understanding that the air card itself is an antenna. Try the usb extension cord and see what you get.

Thats my understanding too...with a port for a larger antenna if needed ??

I don't have a usb cable with me...I'll have to get one tomorow I guess.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
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I replaced a Motosat Satellite Internet dish with the AT&T air card about and a Cradlepoint router about two years ago so I could use it as Wi-Fi in the coach. I would never go back to the satellite internet. We have traveled about 20,000 miles in that time and covered a lot of the western and southern U.S. with no significant issues. We find it very convenient, easy to use, and have no extra antenna on it. We also have found, like my I-Phone, if you don't have any cell coverage on E (Edge) or 3G networks, you won't have any air card reception. But once we have even one bar on E or 3G, we have internet reception. In the sticks, both can be an issue.'

Do you have AT&T cell reception on on E, at least, and can't get the air card to work? If so, you probably have an issue with your particular air card.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:15 AM   #7
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Like OldForester, we used to have DirecWay/HughesNet satellite internet and replaced it with a ATT USBConnect 881U (in our case) about 4 years ago. Since we also spent time in remote areas, with limited service, I added a Wilson Electronics amplifier and external antenna. This helped somewhat in fringe areas, improving signal strength usually by one to two bars. In some areas there just isn't any HSPA 3G type servcie, but often there is slow speed (like dial-up) available. This is usually OK for limited small sized email, but not much good for browsing the Internet.

As an alternative, if you can still return the AT&T USB modem, you can always try a smartphone with Hotspot capabilities. While AT&T's 3G overall bandwidth is a little better than Verizon's, Verizon's 3G coverage is, in my opinion, much better nationwide. A good friend and I both have the AT&T USB modems, but recently we both upgraded our Verizon service with iPhone 4s. I'm currently evaluating the Verizon 3G access while continuing the AT&T 3G USB service. My friend activated his Hotspot service and after a few days discontinued his AT&T 3G service. So far he's found that the only thing that is noticeable is online games sometimes run a little slower but overall the Hotspot allows him to do everything the AT&T 3G service provided. Since it will be some time before anyone's 4G service is available in "fringe" areas, the Verizon 3G network wide spread availabllity seems to be a good choice. I'm not trying to sell Verizon, just happy with what I've got.

Hope this isn't too much information... Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #8
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You mention you have your router connected to an antennae, Stan. Do you have an amplifier between the router and the antennae? I suggest you contact Cell Phone Signal Boosters and Antennas at Wilson Electronics - Wilson Electronics Inc. for their suggestions.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:23 AM   #9
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I replaced a Motosat Satellite Internet dish with the AT&T air card about and a Cradlepoint router about two years ago so I could use it as Wi-Fi in the coach. I would never go back to the satellite internet. We have traveled about 20,000 miles in that time and covered a lot of the western and southern U.S. with no significant issues. We find it very convenient, easy to use, and have no extra antenna on it. We also have found, like my I-Phone, if you don't have any cell coverage on E (Edge) or 3G networks, you won't have any air card reception. But once we have even one bar on E or 3G, we have internet reception. In the sticks, both can be an issue.'

Do you have AT&T cell reception on on E, at least, and can't get the air card to work? If so, you probably have an issue with your particular air card.
Forrester

I have cell phone service on E...but I migh add that my cell phone is an old candy bar phone . I have bought 3 newer phones...but the volume on the ringer and ear mic were so low I couldn't hear them . (Artillery hearing damage). Also the reception on the old phone is much better in outlying areas.

I am pleased to hear that I'm on the right track since you would not go back to a satelliet internet service....I wasn't even sure of that at this point.

Thanks
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:26 AM   #10
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Like OldForester, we used to have DirecWay/HughesNet satellite internet and replaced it with a ATT USBConnect 881U (in our case) about 4 years ago. Since we also spent time in remote areas, with limited service, I added a Wilson Electronics amplifier and external antenna. This helped somewhat in fringe areas, improving signal strength usually by one to two bars. In some areas there just isn't any HSPA 3G type servcie, but often there is slow speed (like dial-up) available. This is usually OK for limited small sized email, but not much good for browsing the Internet.

As an alternative, if you can still return the AT&T USB modem, you can always try a smartphone with Hotspot capabilities. While AT&T's 3G overall bandwidth is a little better than Verizon's, Verizon's 3G coverage is, in my opinion, much better nationwide. A good friend and I both have the AT&T USB modems, but recently we both upgraded our Verizon service with iPhone 4s. I'm currently evaluating the Verizon 3G access while continuing the AT&T 3G USB service. My friend activated his Hotspot service and after a few days discontinued his AT&T 3G service. So far he's found that the only thing that is noticeable is online games sometimes run a little slower but overall the Hotspot allows him to do everything the AT&T 3G service provided. Since it will be some time before anyone's 4G service is available in "fringe" areas, the Verizon 3G network wide spread availabllity seems to be a good choice. I'm not trying to sell Verizon, just happy with what I've got.

Hope this isn't too much information... Good luck.
Absolutely NOT too much information.. I need all the input I can get...

Best regards and thanks
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
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You mention you have your router connected to an antennae, Stan. Do you have an amplifier between the router and the antennae? I suggest you contact Cell Phone Signal Boosters and Antennas at Wilson Electronics - Wilson Electronics Inc. for their suggestions.
Ejim

I don't have an amplifier (between the router and antenna or any other place either)...I thought those were for WIFI enhancement.

I have the air card plugged into the router...but I have a antenna cable adapter that allows the antenna to be plugged directly into the air card (via a tiny slot on it.s edge)..
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:19 AM   #12
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Ejim

I don't have an amplifier (between the router and antenna or any other place either)...I thought those were for WIFI enhancement.

I have the air card plugged into the router...but I have a antenna cable adapter that allows the antenna to be plugged directly into the air card (via a tiny slot on it.s edge)..
I use Verizon with a Wilson Trucker Antennae and Wilson Amp for both my cell phone and for my MiFi. Give Wilson a call, they are great to work with and can tell you exactly what you need.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:54 AM   #13
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Get an amplifier. However, I am sold on using the smart phone as a wifi hot spot. No hassle at all and only the phone is required, not another system.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:33 AM   #14
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I use Verizon with a Wilson Trucker Antennae and Wilson Amp for both my cell phone and for my MiFi. Give Wilson a call, they are great to work with and can tell you exactly what you need.
Ejim

Ckeck..I just got off the phone with Wilson..

Did the Amplifier make a great deal of diffrerence...as compared to the truckers antenna alone, if you tried it both ways?

Also..I'm asuming that you are well satisfied with the performance of both the antenna and amp when in remote areas?

I can barely download my e-mail (takes a loooong time) and certainly have no luck with anything like a weather satellite image/pic.

With the amp..I'll have over $800 invested (including the outright purchase of the air card)...I'm about to throw in the towel if this doesn't work...

Thanks for the help
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