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  1. #1

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    Default Maintaining a persistent connection with 3G modem & router

    Question re: Huawei E169 3G modem and Netcomm N3G005W 3G Wi-Fi Router combo for you networking gurus:

    A while back I got myself an Optus (Huawei E169) pre-paid 3G modem to use with my MacBook Air when travelling. Recently I've also been using the two at work, where Internet access is somewhat restricted. However, I found that using the modem for extended periods caused the Air's fan to go into overdrive, and that the connection would be lost whenever the Air went to sleep (I tried preventing it from sleeping, but thought that would probably shorten its life).

    Partly for these reasons I just got myself a Netcomm N3G005W 3G Wi-Fi Router (and also to simply networking my Air to my iPhone, and in case I ever wanted to share my 3G Internet connection with my mates). The plan was that with the modem connected to the router I wouldn't have the power drain on the Air, and also with the router not sleeping I wouldn't lose the Internet connection when the Air went to sleep.

    However, in my second full day of use, I found (today) when checking my Optus usage that the modem connected to Optus 12 times during the course of the day. I never noticed any disconnections, so I'm thinking maybe this coincided with the Air sleeping and not accessing the network? Although it apparently reconnected whenever I wanted to use the net, the problem is that Optus charge usage in minimum 10MB blocks, so this means I'm making a fair dent in my data allowance with a minimum of 10MB being deducted for every connection.

    So, my question is, does anyone have any ideas on how I get the modem/router combo to maintain a persistent connection? If I can connect just once per day I shouldn't have any drams with using up my data allowance too quickly.

  2. #2

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    hmm, whilst searching the inter-webs I have seen some ppl running ping scripts etc to keep the connection, also there's a guy in the us that made a modified usb cord that kept power to the dongle as like u have found it fluxes. I haven't found d the answer, but I find if I run msn messenger it keeps the connection thinking it's active, and doesn't use more than 3mb per day. It's not a solution but I've had the single connection running for 56 hours with no dramas and I finished the test @ that.

  3. #3

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    i have found a similar problem, can't fix the situation myself. I have an even bigger problem now that i can't even use the internet. I have a vodfone pen drive for broadband wireless that now won't even connect to the internet. The vodafone application just flashes away and won't open. I have tried to delete the application and start from scratch and it won't. Says that Mac_Swapper_Demon is in use.

    I found out this Swapper Demon is a bit of an evil file. Have no idea how it got there, but all google searches in the world can't find a way to delete this thing. Got Any idea's?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil rolla View Post
    hmm, whilst searching the inter-webs I have seen some ppl running ping scripts etc to keep the connection, also there's a guy in the us that made a modified usb cord that kept power to the dongle as like u have found it fluxes. I haven't found d the answer, but I find if I run msn messenger it keeps the connection thinking it's active, and doesn't use more than 3mb per day. It's not a solution but I've had the single connection running for 56 hours with no dramas and I finished the test @ that.
    That might work, but the problem is I'd like the Air to be able to go to sleep when I'm not using it. I'm hoping their might be a way to get the router to maintain the persistent connection.

  5. #5

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    Page 31 of the manual

    http://netcomm.com.au/__data/assets/...3G005W_UG1.pdf

    have you played with the auto connect and keep alive settings?

    this will be whats happening.
    Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese
    Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese
    Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese

  6. #6

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    Multiple connections are normal, in fact, recommended -- the 3G network does not like having connections remain in place for long periods, so the whole system is designed to only connect when the network is actually required.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by asphotos View Post
    Page 31 of the manual

    http://netcomm.com.au/__data/assets/...3G005W_UG1.pdf

    have you played with the auto connect and keep alive settings?

    this will be whats happening.
    Thanks. I reckon that is it.

    I'd looked through the manual earlier, but obviously missed it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brains View Post
    Multiple connections are normal, in fact, recommended -- the 3G network does not like having connections remain in place for long periods, so the whole system is designed to only connect when the network is actually required.
    The only problem with that is that Optus deduct in 10MB minimums for each connection, so I lose 10 x the data I actually use.

  9. #9

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    Consider: Broadband over 3G is a hack in much the same way ADSL over phone lines is a hack -- it's a service grafted onto an infrastructure which was not designed for it. The whole mobile telephone network (including 3G, and all wireless broadband networks use the mobile phone network) is designed as a switching system with an average point to point connection time of five minutes. Long-term connections tie up infrastructure resources.

    3G broadband should never be considered an "always on" internet connection; rather, you should think of it as "always available". If you truly need an internet connection that is "always on", then look at a different solution.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brains View Post
    Consider: Broadband over 3G is a hack in much the same way ADSL over phone lines is a hack -- it's a service grafted onto an infrastructure which was not designed for it. The whole mobile telephone network (including 3G, and all wireless broadband networks use the mobile phone network) is designed as a switching system with an average point to point connection time of five minutes. Long-term connections tie up infrastructure resources.

    3G broadband should never be considered an "always on" internet connection; rather, you should think of it as "always available". If you truly need an internet connection that is "always on", then look at a different solution.
    Understand what you are saying, but you may need to tell the Telcos. They are all now selling 3G solutions as alternatives to more traditional Internet connections, especially Telstra which touts its NextG network as its best technology broadband internet solution, especially in areas where other solutions aren't available.

    In my particular situation though, the only reason I am looking for a persistent connection is so that I don't burn my monthly data allowance within a week! Plus, using it at work I don't have any other options. My employer is hardly going to let me run my own phone line into their building for a DSL connection.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_in_tas View Post
    The only problem with that is that Optus deduct in 10MB minimums for each connection, so I lose 10 x the data I actually use.
    Haha, holy shit. Get off that contract as fast as your little legs can carry you. That is totally insane.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_in_tas View Post
    Understand what you are saying, but you may need to tell the Telcos.
    Oh, they know perfectly well what they're selling. It's a licence to print money, as far as they're concerned, as they're relying on to usual gormless gullibility of the consumer. It's their infrastructure after all, and they'll veil things and mis-represent things in order to leverage as much wampum out of the plebs as possible.

  13. #13
    Exocet's Avatar Exocet is offline We're gonna need to move you down into storage B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuffy27 View Post
    I found out this Swapper Demon is a bit of an evil file. Have no idea how it got there, but all google searches in the world can't find a way to delete this thing. Got Any idea's?
    Go to MacHD\Library\Launch Agents and delete the two ZTE items in there. Reboot and THEN you can trash the application. Nasty bit of software, I had to go hunting all over Google and through my system.log in order to kill it.

    Quote Originally Posted by luke_in_tas View Post
    The only problem with that is that Optus deduct in 10MB minimums for each connection, so I lose 10 x the data I actually use.
    Maybe that's their way of trying to stop people from running it as a persistent connection? Pretty suckful billing option anyway.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exocet View Post
    Maybe that's their way of trying to stop people from running it as a persistent connection? Pretty suckful billing option anyway.
    It actually encourages persistent connections. Logging on 5 times a day to check email costs a minimum of 50MB, whereas a single connection maintained over the whole day may only use a couple.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_in_tas View Post
    The only problem with that is that Optus deduct in 10MB minimums for each connection, so I lose 10 x the data I actually use.
    Anecdotal evidence suggests that Optus aggregate the data on a daily basis, rather than immediately slugging you 10MB on connection as you've assumed here. See http://forums.mactalk.com.au/23/5850...tml#post766434.

  16. #16

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    Enabled the ping keep alive function on Friday, but still had multiple connections through the day. Wondering if maybe it is a reception issue?

    Will try again some time this week with the separate antenna connected to the modem perhaps?

  17. #17
    Exocet's Avatar Exocet is offline We're gonna need to move you down into storage B.

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    Keep in mind the issue of network priority. Emergency calls have higher priority than voice calls, and voice calls have higher priority than data sessions. If a tower is congested with data and somebody initiates a voice call, at random one data session is dropped. Similarly, if a tower is congested with voice calls and somebody initiates an emergency call - one of the calls will be dropped.

  18. #18

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    cheers mate . Ill give this a go. Lets hope that when i reconnect to the internet that this file doesnt reappear

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuffy27 View Post
    i have found a similar problem, can't fix the situation myself. I have an even bigger problem now that i can't even use the internet. I have a vodfone pen drive for broadband wireless that now won't even connect to the internet. The vodafone application just flashes away and won't open. I have tried to delete the application and start from scratch and it won't. Says that Mac_Swapper_Demon is in use.

    I found out this Swapper Demon is a bit of an evil file. Have no idea how it got there, but all google searches in the world can't find a way to delete this thing. Got Any idea's?
    I simply turned AirPort off, forced Mac Swapper Demon to quit, went into applications and dragged "connection manager" to the trash. This connection manager is installed with the device you are/were using. In my case, a wireless internet dongle from Rogers, a Canadian ISP and cellular company. Of course the device is no longer working, but I have unhindered wifi again.

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