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Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Changing Sprint Home Agent Speeds Up EVDO

Do you have great signal, BUT your EVDO speeds are not that great? Are you getting poor ping times with a good signal?

Built-in to Sprint's Connection Manager is a secret way to optimize the path that your Sprint mobile broadband card uses. There are many "Home Locations" or HAs throughout the country. If your Sprint EVDO Card is programmed to connect to the Los Angeles HA and you are in Chicago, you can "shorten the path" by picking a server that is closer to Chicago.

Here is how it works.

You need to get your 6-digit MSL/Activation code from Sprint (If you purchased your Sprint card from, we can get your code for you - just contact us - we can only do this if you purchased your card from us - otherwise call Sprint).

  • Run Sprint Connection Manager
  • Must be disconnected from EVDO (disable NDIS if using it)
  • Move mouse over 'Go' button and leave pointer on top of it
  • Type in caps... ##DATA
  • Enter MSL code
  • A screen like this should appear

Experiment with primary/secondary addresses below but be sure to write down the original address on the card in case you need to go back to it. Update: Or you can do an 'Update Profile' in connection manager and it will set back to defaults. The primary address is first used when connecting. If that fails, it will use the secondary.
Here are the addresses of Home Agents around the country. It should be set to one near you (but try others). If traveling, set to the region of your travels. Thanks to cyb3rshad0w for checking this list... San Jose, CA Area 1 San Jose, CA Area 1 Anaheim, CA Area 1 San Jose, CA Area 7 (possible DNS config issue, likely Anaheim) Kansas City, KS Area 2 Kansas City, KS Area 2
(could be Omaha) Kansas City, MO Area 2 Kansas City, MO Area 2 Pennsauken, NJ Area 3 Pennsauken, NJ Area 3 New York, NY Area 3 New York, NY Area 3 Chicago, IL Area 4 Chicago, IL Area 4 Roachdale, IN Area 4 Roachdale, IN Area 4 Fort Worth, TX Area 7 Kansas City, KS Area 5 (possible DNS config issue, likely Ft. Worth) Atlanta, GA Area 5 Atlanta, GA Area 5
( says in Houston) Relay, MD Area 7 Relay, MD Area 7
( says in Florida) Atlanta, GA Area 7 Atlanta, GA Area 7
More details:

When traveling, the HA you are assigned to may cause traffic to bounce twice across country. If you live in NYC and are assigned to a NY HA, but then travel to LA and visit a website in LA, your traffic (worst case scenario) will bounce from the LA tower to the NY HA to the LA website back to the NY HA to the LA tower and to your laptop. That's a lot of unnecessary hopping across country. If you have performance problems when traveling, try setting the HA to the region of your travels. Statistically speaking, if traveling often around US and visiting websites everywhere, setting the HA to one in the Midwest may be the best compromise.

Mac/Linux and router users. You must change the HA with Connection Manager in Windows. The settings are stored in the card so when used with non-Windows, the HA setting will still work.

Thanks to EVDOforums user xenophon for posting this tip.


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 April 2007 )
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