Verizon UML290 Mac Configuration Warning & Fix

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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Verizon UML290 Mac Configuration Warning & Fix


UPDATE 2/01/2011: Verizon has released a version of VZAccess Manager that adds official UML290 support for Mac OS X. More info at: Verizon Officially Adds Mac OS X support for UML290


As soon as the Verizon UML290 USB 3G/4G was released, many noticed that Verizon didn't support Macs. Over the years, there have been many ways to get data cards to work with Macs - even if the carrier didn't officially support it (here is a tip we published way back in 2005!). Within days of the UML290 being released, many web sites published a simple way to get the UML290 to work with Macs. We tested it as well and confirmed that the configuration steps did indeed allow the UML290 to be used on a Mac with Apple's WWAN drivers.

Our friends at Verizon contacted us and told us there was a major problem with applying this configuration to the UML290. When the setup directions are followed, the UML290 will allow the 3G/4G card to work with Mac OS X. However, after being used in a Mac, users are finding that the card will no longer function in a Windows PC running the current version of VZAccess manager.

Don't worry, there is a solution - but first, a little more on what is happening:

In the Mac directions floating around the internet, one of the steps is to enter "vzwinternet" in the "apn" field. While this allows your UML290 to connect on the Mac, this command changes the way the card "authenticates" with Verizon's 4G network. The problem is that this command is written into the UML290's memory and it ultimately changes how the card communicates with Verizon. Once you plug the card back into a Windows PC, VZAccess Manager is expecting the UML290 to be configured a certain way and it no longer has the necessary authentication setting, causing the UML290 to appear "broken".

If you've performed the Mac configuration steps and need to use your UML290 in a Windows computer, don't panic. Below is a fix to undo this settings change so that you can use the UML290 in a Windows computer again.

One more note: Verizon will be releasing a new version of VZAccess Manager specifically for Mac computers in the coming weeks; this will allow you to use the UML290 on a Mac without the need for special configuration. If you're a Mac user considering doing the special configuration to use the UML290 on your computer, you may just want to wait until the new VZAccess Manager is released. If you've already done the configuration but plan to use the Mac version of VZAccess Manager when it becomes available, you may need to run the below fix before you'll be able to use the card in VZAccess Manager.

To the restore the UML290 back to its original state, connect it to a Windows computer and open VZAccess Manager.

First, check to ensure that the Mac configuration changes is what is causing your issues:

In VZAM, type “Control-T

A command prompt box will appear. Type: at+cgdcont? and hit enter.

Several lines of text will appear. If the first line says “IPV6”, “vzwims” (as shown below), you do NOT need to run this fix - your problem is being caused by something unrelated and you should contact Verizon for support.

The above results indicate that the Mac configuration you did is NOT causing your problem. Do not run this fix, it will not help you.

If the first line does NOT look like that and says “vzwinternet” instead (as shown below), you need to run the fix below.

The above results indicate that the Mac configuration IS causing your problem. Follow the below instructions to fix the problem.

In the command prompt box (if you need to access it again, type "control + T"), type: at+cgdcont=1,“IPV6”,”vzwims” and hit enter. Type it with no spaces, and note that it is case-sensitive, so type it exactly as shown! Then close the command box.

This will reset the apn authentication from "vzwinternet" to "vzims", which Verizon 4G (VZ4G) requires for 4G authentication to connect from VZAccess Manager.

This testing and solution was done using VZAM 7.6.0 (2495t). The problem should be resolved in a future release of VZAM.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 February 2011 )
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