Sprint Broadband

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
rmaughan
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Sprint Broadband

Postby rmaughan » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:05 am

We have an older building (brick/mortar) in our Stake that does not currently have DSL or Cable modem service available. We are considering using a Sprint Broadband connection using their EVDO cellular service. The coverage is great for the area where the building is located and the nice thing about this service is that it can be located anywhere in the building. The monthly cost is the same as DSL service would be. We will need to buy the EVDO USB dongle/air card and an EVDO router. I'm considering a Cradlepoint MBR1000 router ($250), but it has way more features that we will use (i.e. LAN switch, wifi, etc.) since the output will go directly to the Cisco 5505 and all users will attach downstream of the Cisco. I've been looking for a less expensive, basic EVDO router that just has an ethernet port to connect to the Cisco 5505, but no luck so far. So the start up equipment cost for this type of connection is looking to be around $300.

Has anyone implemented a meetinghouse interent connection using a cellular broadband (3G) service?

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:49 pm

You might want to consider the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST at about 1/2 the price. All if it's advanced features (WiFi, firewall, NAT, DHCP, etc.) can be easily disabled which might make it better suited for the ASA firewall.

Disclaimer #1: I don't have direct experience passing EVDO signals directly through to a Cisco ASA firewall, so additional research would need be done at your end to ensure end-to-end compatibility.

Disclaimer #2: I'm in no way endorsing Amazon.com, just using it as a pricing example. I would encourage anyone to shop around and to also strongly consider the support you would be receiving with your purchase.

(Are all the lawyers happy now? :rolleyes:)
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:56 am

I can highly endorse CradlePoint equipment. I have a CTR350 that I have been using as a portable WiFi access solution for the past ten months. It has been an excellent piece of equipment and the folks at CradlePoint are VERY responsive to solving problems.

I have tried several other cellular to WiFi solutions and the CradlePoint has by far been the best.

rmaughan
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Cradlepoint CTR-350

Postby rmaughan » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:30 am

Does anyone have any experience estabilshing the VPN using the Cradlepoint CTR-350 and the Cisco ASA5505 firewall? My initial attempt failed and any help or ideas would be appreciated. I can establish an internet connection with the Cradlepoint using an ethernet cable to my laptop, but the VPN light will not come on when the same ethernet cable is plugged into the Cisco firewall.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:52 am

robm wrote:Does anyone have any experience estabilshing the VPN using the Cradlepoint CTR-350 and the Cisco ASA5505 firewall? My initial attempt failed and any help or ideas would be appreciated. I can establish an internet connection with the Cradlepoint using an ethernet cable to my laptop, but the VPN light will not come on when the same ethernet cable is plugged into the Cisco firewall.
Have you followed the procedures for Intstalling the Church Managed Firewall? The last step is to call the GSD to activate the firewall. You will not get the VPN light on untill the firewall is activated.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:08 pm

jdlessley wrote:Have you followed the procedures for Intstalling the Church Managed Firewall? The last step is to call the GSD to activate the firewall. You will not get the VPN light on untill the firewall is activated.


The VPN light must be on before the GSD can connect to the firewall to activate it.
If you are not getting the VPN light, then the signal is being blocked somewhere. I'm not familiar with the modem you're using but I just went through the hoops regarding the VPN light problem. It turned out to be a bad DSL connection.

There's a couple of ways that the GSD can connect to your 5505 to activate it, but in my humble opinion I'd try and find out why you're not getting the VPN signal and not use any backdoor approaches. We recently returned a 5505 because it was corrupted after several unsuccessful attempts to activate it.

Check your modem configuration to insure that it's correctly configured. If unsure, contact your ISP.
However, the VPN lamp must be on before you can activate the box. This is also indicated in the instructions that come with the 5505.

rmaughan
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Postby rmaughan » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:07 pm

For closure of this issue, here's an update.

Here's my setup:

Compass 597 (USB EVDO dongle) -> Cradlepoint CTR-350 router -> Cisco ASA5505 -> laptop

To debug this, I disconnected my laptop from the ASA5505 and was using my laptop's Wifi connection to the CTR-350 to login and view the router config page. (the CTR-350 only has one ethernet port that operates in either WAN/LAN mode).

Looking at the Cradlepoint router config page, I verified that the Ethernet port was in LAN mode, but I never saw a dyamic address given to Cisco in the DCHP status page.

After various attempts and reboots, I decided to use the serial console cable to the Cisco and configure the WAN port to a static IP address. This was painless by following the instructions in the setup guide

Next, in the Cradlepoint router config page, I put the static IP address I gave to the Cisco in the DMZ field and then rebooted the Cradlepoint router. Whala...poof...the VPN light came on and turned green!

I didn't try this without using the DMZ feature -- next time I have a chance, I'm going to try and remove that DMZ setting and see if that makes a difference.

On a side note, I have second Cisco ASA5505 for another bulidng that has DSL and when I plugged it into the Actiontec DSL modem at the building, the VPN light came on and everything just worked. During my troubleshooting, I even tried using this second Cisco instead of the other one, but the result was the same.

Note that DHCP from the Cradlepoint was working fine because I could plug in my laptop and get a DHCP address (and it was listed in the DHCP table on the status page of the router config). For some reason I couldn't get it to work with the Cisco ASA.

ldsrussp
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Postby ldsrussp » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:44 am

One of our buildings might have to go this route for the same reasons. My question is what has been your experience with the Sprint service so far? Data rates you are actually gettting? I'm skeptical but might have no choice for this newer building as it was built in a lightly populated area, but does have Sprint coverage.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:48 am

Something you might check is if there are any limits on the service. I've heard that "unlimited" service for mobile phones is limited to 2GB/month. Go beyond that and the service gets canceled. Since this sounds like the same technology, it might be wise to read any contract very carefully.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:52 am

robm wrote:For closure of this issue, here's an update.

Here's my setup:

Compass 597 (USB EVDO dongle) -> Cradlepoint CTR-350 router -> Cisco ASA5505 -> laptop



If I'm reading you correctly you have the ASA 5505 connected through another router then to the DSL modem. If this is what you have try removing the router and connect the ASA directly to the DSL modem. The ASA acts as a DHCP host and multiple routers can cause problems. At least this has been my experience. You shouldn't really need the router anyway since the ASA has multiple ports.


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