Interested in experiences with AT&T USB Wireless Adapters and your Macbook Air -

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by waikikiTed, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. waikikiTed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I am needing to buy a replacement USB Adapter for my AT&T Wireless Broadband now that I have the Air (existing PMCIA is gotta go bye-bye).

    I see that ST&T has two different ones - the 875U and the 881.

    -Which one is better, or more "Air friendly"?

    Thanks,
    Ted
     
  2. Nak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    waikikiTed,

    I'm using the 881 and it works great.

    With good reception (this is in the Portland, OR metro area) I've seen as high as 2Mbps according to the iStat network monitor up in the menubar. In most cases it's faster than the single T1 that supports my work office.

    It physically fits the USB port no problem without extenders and does not touch the work surface the MBA is sitting on.

    I highly recommend it.

    Nak
     
  3. waikikiTed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #3
    Hey! Thanks Nak!
    I just so happen to live in Portland myself! WA side.

    I guess I'll play it safe and go with the newest 881. I'd like to order it today, and hope it gets here by the weekend so I can use it on the road next week.

    I have to think of some way to use some inconspicuous velcro on the bottom on the Air to put that USB adapter, cuz I just can't make myself want to see that big honking modem dangling from my svelt and contoured cool AIR with delicate looking i/o port drawer.

    Didja splurge on the 3G iPhone yet? Almost gave in since the PDX Apple store had them in stock yesterday. The wife got one, Im going to hold tight w/my happy little unshackled Ver 1 iPhone. Love my apps too much and think a 32gig has to be on the roadmap for XMAS time.
     
  4. conradmaya macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #4
    love the att 881

    use the 881 through my MBA all over the country and it works great, better than the other companies I have tried in macbook pro. The ATT also works great attached to the t3hub so I have many options through my usb
    conradmaya:cool:
     
  5. debo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    #5
    Does anyone know if a person could use their iPhone SIM in one of these?
     
  6. ducatidoc macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    #6
    i remember seeing someone do a little surgery on their mba and actually fit the usb adapter INSIDE their air. not sure how risky of a person you are, but something to consider.....

    http://www.getlistedlocally.com/Business_Resources.html
     
  7. Nak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    waikikiTed,

    You won't need any velcro.

    The modem's USB plug is on a hinge and when set to its 90 degree angle, plugs straight into the MBA's USB port and the modem then sticks straight up.

    I think it looks pretty reasonable when its plugged in.

    [​IMG]

    I got my 3G last Saturday. It's a nice bump in features and the speed increase is great.

    Nak
     
  8. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #8
    I too have a Sierra Aircard 881U (USB version) and it works quite well. I never had a problem with it and 3G speeds in NYC is pretty nice. I just wish there was 3G in Long Island :(
     
  9. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #9
    hey check the review in my sig for a few pics of the USB air card for ATT. i've been using it for a few months now with great results. it really doesn't even drain the battery that much more than just running the laptop.
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Yeah, just put the SIM card in, changed the APN to wap.cingular instead of isp.cingular
     
  11. waikikiTed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #11
    OK, based on your helpful answers 9and I truly thank all for the replies!) - I ordered the 881. I got home from a couple days on the road, had the little AT&T box at my door last nite.

    I have to admit - it's not that ugly! You guys are right - it doesnt look too bad in the MB Air. I guess I was just hooked on the mammoth size of some of the other brands/carriers USB modems that Ive seen road warriors using on their laptops.

    Im bummed that I had to shell out the coupe hundred bucks out of my pocket tho.

    QUESTION - My wifes visiting family in Chicago and picked herself up a 3G iPhone whileout there. When they upgraded our AT&T account to add her iPhone to my existing iPhone account (family plan) - they inadvertently changed the account settings for my Wireless Data Card to look like its an iPhone. The only way I got it to work was by switching the login settings from the isp..... to the WAP@... settings. Am I losing some performance because of this?

    (PS - I only ask this question here instead of a different forum because ALPHAOD was nice enough to mention the WAP setting - and figure you guys would have the quick answer instead of me starting the process all over again!)

    Thanks
    Ted
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    The ISP setting offers data compression and the WAP setting does not; I think (not sure) on the network ISP data take priority over WAP data since one is for laptops and is expected to require more data while WAP is not expected to be a terribly data stringent part.

    Also what settings are you referring to that they require you to change? Are you using the Sierra Wireless Watcher?
     
  13. waikikiTed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #13
    Yeah, I am. But I first noticed the change using the AT&T Connect interface via Windows and my Sierra PMCIA card while on the road a week or so ago. I was baffled as to why Id get awesome 3G reception, but continuously fail to connect while in SanJose. This was coincidentally the day after the wife said the AT&T rep mentioned something about 'changes' when she added her iPhone to the account.

    I could not connect no matter what I did.

    When I did some forum searches to troubleshoot - I saw the WAP recommendation and sure enough it allowed me to connect. I had to change the login, and apn accordingly. This change is the only way I can connect on either the Dell Laptop or Mac, PMCIA modem or new USB Modem.

    Im just not confident that Im getting the level of service that Im paying for.

    I DO have to resolve this with AT&T as they are now charging my data card at the iPhone family connect rate even tho the web site clearly reflects what card Im using.I just dont want an AT&T rep tell me that the WAP access is the same as ISP - as Ive seen some discussions about this in the forums.
     

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