Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internet Access in Amerituckey

So from time to time I get requests for Internet access out of some back woods countrified hotel.  As anyone that has ever traveled anywhere in the U.S. knows...hotel Internet access is like a box of shitty chocolates.  You know it's gonna be horrible, but you're just not sure how horrible it's gonna be.  So I ran into this cellphone based router called Proxicast.


 imageYou can use any basic cell card you want. I chose the Alltel Huawei EC360 because...well....the Proxicast guy said it was the best!  Alltel, unlike other carriers, has not yet limited their unlimited Internet access  (gotta love telco providers).

The card needs to be activated by a PC first, but once that's done it plugs in and comes up pretty quickly in the Proxicast router.

Performance has been pretty decent..about what you would expect. If you've got occasional users an only a few (1-2) people driving it hard you'll be ok.

imageWe offer remote access through an SSL VPN box and we were able to get about 2-3 people running through the router successfully without constant complaining.  The big thing I noticed was that latency was pretty high.  I experienced latency in the range of 207ms all the way up and over a second. This is probably just the Alltel 3G network, but that's still pretty horrible. I wouldn't try and run Skype over this connection and expect not have to shout out "OVER" each time I finished a sentence.  In case you're curious here my speedtest.net results:


The nice thing about the Proxicast is you can plug it into the wall at the hotel and use the cell line as a backup.   If the hotel Internet goes down then you can swap over to cell access.  The fact that it's got a wireless access point baked in (a,b/g) makes it a nice piece of gear for a litigation lunchbox.

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