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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Recall Issued for HP and Compaq Laptops

A WARNING to those who may have purchased any HP or Compaq laptop between September 2010 and June 2012: You may have a faulty power cord! This fault is potentially capable of causing skin burns or fires, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It has resulted in a recall by Hewlett-Packard of approximately six million power leads.

The power lead (pictured below) is the part of the AC Adapter that extends from the power brick to the wall outlet. The recall specifically targets the LS-15 AC power cord, which was distributed globally with HP and Compaq notebooks, mini-notebooks, and certain AC adapter-powered accessories like docking stations. To check yours, look for the “LS-15″ mark branded into the cord itself.

 

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So far, HP indicates that they’ve received “29 separate reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.” According to the company, this affects 5.5 million power cords in the US, and 446,000 in Canada. They’re urging customers to stop using the laptop and unplug the power cord immediately, and just use them off the battery power for the time being.

If this has affected you, OR you’re unsure, HP is offering a free replacement. Whether you’re positive or not, you can contact them 1 of 2 ways: Go to: HP.com , navigate to the bottom of the page and click “Recalls” followed by “Power Cord Recall,” -OR- call their customer service line at (877) 219-6676 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT.

 

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Verizon Says VoLTE is On Its Way!

Verizon Wireless recently announced that it would be launching the much talked about VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) service in the coming weeks. This means customers will soon experience clearer phone calls and even a FaceTime/Skype-like video chat service.

VoLTE is like HD voice service, so it’s like comparing a vinyl record to an MP3. Even the video service has evolved a bit - you’ll be able to make or accept video calls right from the phone section, no having to open a separate app to do so. Even better yet, Verizon doesn’t plan on charging anything extra for these services - your device just has to be capable of supporting it. While video chats will count towards your data usage, HD phone calls will still count as regular calls, just as they do now over the CDMA network.

Until VoLTE, Verizon and other cellular carriers have used circuit-switched networks to transmit voice calls over and customers use the newer IP-based 4G LTE network to access the Internet and other data services. VoLTE service enables wireless operators to use the data network to transmit voice services in the same way they transmit data. In doing so, they are able to offer high quality voice calls, and overall, a more efficient operation because once the old spectrum is freed up, it allows the companies to use it to deploy more high-speed data services.

Naturally, there are some limitations. Both services will only work when calls are placed between two Verizon customers - as long as each one has a VoLTE-capable phone, AND they are within Verizon's LTE coverage area. Users who do have VoLTE capable devices will also have the option to turn this feature ON or OFF. You would think all users would want to try the service if possible, but because it’s so new and may be prone to issues, Verizon wants to give customers the choice.

Unfortunately, no actual date has been released for the launch of the service, nor the devices that will initially support it - BUT, a couple representatives from Verizon did demonstrate the services on an LG G2.

With this update, it’s no surprise that AT&T and T-Mobile have already announced their own VoLTE services. Both Verizon and T-Mobile are planning nationwide launches, but AT&T's service will only be available in a few select markets.




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 August 2014 )
 
Thursday, 21 August 2014

Peplink High Availability Mode

 

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Peplink routers have an impressive track record for long up time and reliability. Did you know that certain routers from Peplink offer a High Availability (HA) mode as well? HA mode is built on VRRP, or Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol. This is essentially hardware failover. You run two identical Peplink routers where you would normally install just one. In the event of a power outage or catastrophic failure, the second router will take over the responsibility of running your network and keeping your business online.

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The diagram above shows a basic HA configuration. The internet connection comes into a switch, which is then split between the first WAN port on each router. The LAN side is then separated into another switch, where the VRRP packets are handed off. If the Slave router detects the Master router is not functioning, it wil take over the job of running the network until it is replaced or comes back online.

We have created a video below demonstrating a HA setup, and showing a Master to Slave handoff taking place.

High Availability mode is available on select Peplink routers at no additonal charge. Keep your business online no matter the situation with a pair of Peplink routers and HA mode.

For More Information on Peplink Hardware, Visit 3Gstore.com

 


View Compatible Peplink Hardware

 




Last Updated ( Friday, 22 August 2014 )
 
Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sprint, It’s a new day for unlimited data

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 21, 2014 - It's a new day for unlimited data in the wireless industry as Sprint (NYSE: S) announces the best unlimited wireless plan available from a national carrier with the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan. This plan provides consumers unlimited talk, text and data while on America’s Newest Network for just $60 per month, a $20 savings compared to T-Mobile's $80 per month unlimited plan. Simple, easy, affordable – the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan is available to both new and existing Sprint customers starting tomorrow, August 22. To qualify for the plan, customers must purchase their device through Sprint Easy Pay, pay full retail price or bring their own compatible device.

Whether communicating via email or text, socializing via picture-sharing or tweeting, or navigating with GPS, consumers rely on their smartphones for all of their daily needs. Last year U.S. wireless consumers devoured 3.23 trillion MB of data, according to CTIA’s annual survey1, which equates to watching more than 153 billion five minute cat videos on YouTube, or streaming more than 53.8 billion hours of music on Spotify. Meanwhile, millions of American consumers restrict their usage, fearful of data limits with overage charges. With the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan, consumers no longer have to worry about high bills based on how much data they are using. Enjoying daily life with the unlimited support of a smartphone has never been so easy.

“People know Sprint for Unlimited,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “We have long been the leader in offering customers unlimited data and that leadership continues today with our new $60 unlimited plan. Unlimited talk, text and data for $60 is the best unlimited postpaid plan available. And, we’ve listened to our loyal customers; we’re making the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan available to both new and existing customers.”

Sprint’s new everyday price of $60 a month for unlimited saves customers $480 over two years against T-Mobile’s $80 everyday pricing. And, customers can save $120 over two years versus T-Mobile’s promotional price…and they don’t have to jump through T-Mobile’s hoops and recruit their friends.

Just days ago, Sprint declared a new day for data and announced the Sprint Family Share Pack – a new shared-data plan that can give customers double the high-speed data at a lower price than AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Whether consumers prefer to share or have unlimited data, with Sprint, they can find just the plan they need to get the most out of their smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices.

“With the new Sprint Family Share pack and now the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan, Sprint is giving consumers what they want: choice, simplicity and value,” Claure said.

The Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan also is an ideal fit for small businesses, enabling their employees to be more productive in more places and providing the ability to stay on top of what matters most.


 
Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Un-Carrier Strikes Another Offer To New Customers AND Existing

Though T-Mobile may not be at the top of the wireless carrier totem pole, they sure are trying to claw their way to the top, at least with customer service. Now that the Sprint merger has been put to the wayside, T-Mobile is reaching out to ALL cellular customers (but mainly Sprint ones) and offering 1 FREE year of unlimited LTE data.

Starting August 29th, whenever an existing T-Mobile Simple Choice customer refers someone from one of the other top 3 carriers, they'll give them and the person they've recruited free unlimited LTE data for 1 year. What if you're already a T-Mobile Simple Choice customer with unlimited data? No problem, they'll credit you $10 each month for 1 year instead.

Naturally, there is a fine print - "Referee and referrer must maintain active service, and be in good standing on account, when credits are processed. Limit one $10 monthly credit or unlimited 4G LTE offer per referrer account. Referrer and referee must both maintain service without plan changes to continue receiving referral benefit." Oh yeah, and you've only got 30 days from the referees activation date to report it to T-Mobile. Referrers will have to go to T-Mobile's website to do this.

For more details, check out the full news release here.




Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 August 2014 )
 
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Introducing SimplyBonding from 3Gstore: the Simplest Internet Connection Bonding Solution

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There’s nothing more annoying than an unreliable or slow internet connection, and to companies whose livelihoods rely on the internet, the problem is more than just irritating: an internet outage or painfully slow connection means lost productivity, sales, and money. Companies in need of a fast, reliable internet connection (which is virtually ALL companies these days!) typically try to avoid these issues either by paying enormous monthly fees for an MPLS line or by using multiple internet connections with a failover or load balancing router. Unfortunately, none of those solutions are ideal. “Failover” routers have the ability to switch over to a secondary connection when one internet connection goes down, but you lose the connection during the switchover (and again when the primary connection comes up again and it switches back), and failover doesn’t help with connection speeds. “Load Balancing” routers split the traffic load amongst multiple internet connections, but they do not aid in reliability or increase speed. Failover and load balancing are useful features, but they are NOT the same as bonding.

SimplyBonding is a hosting service that allows you to bond multiple 3G, 4G, cable, and/or DSL internet connections into one super fast, super reliable, unbreakable connection with minimal equipment. Unlike failover or load balancing, a bonded connection takes multiple internet connections and COMBINES them. The resulting connection is both faster and more reliable: if you have 3 internet connections that are bonded together and one goes down, your connected devices and apps will never know there was a failure - even apps that maintain persistent connections!

The concept of bonding (AKA aggregating) internet connections has been around for years, but it has historically been prohibitively expensive and very complicated to deploy and manage. SimplyBonding solves both of those problems. Unlike other bonding options that require two expensive bonding routers in two locations with access to high-speed internet (one at the location where you need the bonded connection, and another at a secondary location with a high-speed internet connection to bond the connections and send the data back to the primary location via VPN), SimplyBonding eliminates the need for this dual-router setup. SimplyBonding requires just ONE router, which will be configured to connect to our hosted service - WE handle the bonding and VPN for you, and 90% of the setup and configuration is eliminated. With low start-up costs and one flat monthly fee that includes UNLIMITED bandwidth and usage, SimplyBonding is the most affordable and hassle-free way to ensure that your business has the fastest and most reliable internet connection possible.
 
Watch our video demonstrating SimplyBonding:

The benefits provided by a bonded connection are limitless, but here are just a few of the advantages companies will see from a SimplyBonding connection:
  • 99.99999% uptime, which translates to increased productivity, eliminating lost sales and missed transactions, etc
  • Unbreakable VPN
  • Unbreakable VOIP - never drop a call again, even if one of your connections dies right in the middle of a conversation
  • No need for expensive MPLS connections
  • Reduce network setup and management time
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Costs and Requirements: SimplyBonding requires a SpeedFusion-capable router, a one-time setup fee, and hosting service that can be billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

  • Router: You must use a Peplink or Pepwave router that supports SpeedFusion and has the necessary ports/connections for the internet links you'll be bonding (e.g. WAN ports for cable/DSL, USB ports for 3G/4G modems, etc). We will help you select an appropriate router if you don't already have one.
  • Hosting charge: SimplyBonding costs $250 per month, or you can choose to pay quarterly or yearly and save up to $575. All new users can test the service for FREE for 14 days. New users will only pay the setup fee at checkout, and the first service fee will not be charged for 14 days. If you decide to cancel within those 14 days, the service fee will not be charged.
  • Setup fee: There is a one-time non-refundable setup fee of $250 to get your SimplyBonding service provisioned and set up.
To get started, visit 3Gstore.com/simplybonding


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 )
 
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Verizon Leads the Pack Again in RootMetrics' Latest Report

Verizon topped the charts again. This time in network quality, which comes from RootMetrics' 2014 Midyear US National RootScore Report, released just yesterday. T-Mobile has also risen, beating Sprint for third place. According to Bill Moore, CEO for RootMetrics, "Overall the companies are neck and neck. When it comes to reliability, AT&T is getting closer to parity with Verizon."

The report compares network performance for the entire United States, including the 125 largest metro areas. 5.6 million tests were performed across all 50 states -- that includes covering a span of more than 234,000 miles and 6,400 indoor locations. They conducted tests to measure speed, reliability, call, and text messaging quality, among other metrics. Carriers are then ranked nationally, but RootMetrics also offers insights into performance based on individual states and local communities.

 

As you can see in the picture above, Verizon led the pack in overall performance, but also in network reliability, network speed, data and call categories -- this goes for state level as well as urban areas. AT&T, which had previously beat Verizon overall for speed, ranked a close second -- both in terms of speed and reliability -- however, they took first for text messaging.

Moore said the biggest change in rankings came from T-Mobile. With their LTE network ever growing, T-Mobile performed especially well in urban areas, where its service is concentrated. They topped or tied for speed in 32 of 125 metro markets.

 

 

Even though Sprint took 4th this time, Moore said it also saw improvement. He says they're still finding their way through a difficult network upgrade. "Sprint is in transition...They have not yet been able to take full advantage of the new Spark network" Moore said. This is work that has been ongoing for over the past year. Old infrastructure is being taken out and replaced with new equipment. This should make it easier to leverage the three different frequencies of spectrum it's using to build its 4G LTE network.

Moore noted that the improvements RootMetrics' testing saw in each carrier, and the dynamic nature of the rankings, shows that things are changing quickly in the US wireless market. This is to be expected, he said, as each of the major carriers has been upgrading their networks and adding capacity with more wireless spectrum. He added that the upgrades are happening much faster than anticipated. Just look at Verizon's deployment of the AWS spectrum (what they're calling XLTE) and T-Mobile's deployment of LTE. It's basically a contest -- anything you can do, I can do better! "These results show that the industry is constantly changing," Moore said. "Every network goes through a build out phase, where performance is high. Then they get some load on the network and it's not as fast."




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 )
 

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