Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

As you may be aware, broadband internet is finally in use at the Wolf’s Den.  If you missed the news, check out Finally.  Some of you may be wondering how I settled on Rogers and the Rocket Hub (aka Ericsson W35 Broadband Router) vs. other cellular options available, so I’ll do a quick run down of what transpired.  I’ll also add in the factors that affected the decision to use cellular rather than the satellite or wireless technologies.

Update If you have questions about using an antenna with the Rocket Hub then check out my article on antennas.

The Need

There were several important factors that went into the decision.  There are currently three basic options in our area: Satellite, Wireless and Cellular, so let’s look at the decision points for each.  With the cellular, there are actually 4 different products (2 from each of 2 networks) that we considered.

Keep in mind that most of the information I used was gleaned from the web sites of various providers and some of the information may have changed during the past few months (except the cellular stuff — that’s fresh since I did that research last week).  Also, I round the costs to the nearest reasonable amount to simplify things, so $149.99 becomes $150.  I find it much easier to process that way.


Speed

We were really looking for a significant speed of connection. Living with dial up for so many years had us craving for the most speed we could get.

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Satellite internet tends to run in the Kbps rather than Mbps range unless you’re willing to shell out the big bucks. Even with the big bucks the connection speeds are in the 1 – 1.2 Mbps range.

There are also mega bucks (business) plans that offer up to 5 Mbps but there is no way I’m spending $300/month (oops got ahead of myself here). Coupled with the lag time, this wasn’t a suitable option for us.

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Wireless would run at speeds in the 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. Not bad if you actually get those speeds. With our terrain and the location of the towers, I’m not sure we’d get that consistently

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Bell Turbo Stick/Rogers Rocket Stick both run on the HSPA+ networks and promise a download speed of up to 21 Mbps.

I actually tried the Turbo Stick but it didn’t work out for a number of reasons. It was amazingly fast when I got it connected but other factors bumped it off of the list. The Rocket Stick offering had similar features and I figured it would have similar limitations. While the 21 Mbps was very tempting, the arguments against these were too strong.

Bell MiFi/Rogers Rocket Hub also run on the HSPA networks but only at the lower speeds of 7.2 Mbps. For connection speed these two devices offered the same but as we’ll see below, the Rocket Hub excelled in a couple of the other important areas.

customer_serviceBottom Line

So, in the speed game, cellular is the clear winner. The slower devices run at 7.2 Mbps which is more than double what wireless offers.


Monthly Transfer

The second area is the amount of data you are allowed to transfer over the network during a month. Given the nature of my business, I intend to do a lot of data transfer in a month. Add to that my wife’s computer (mostly email at this point, but she will gradually do more research and searching of case law, etc) and my kids’ (playing a WebKinz World and school research) then I expect that 5 to 10 GB is only a starting point.

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Satellite doesn’t have a monthly bandwidth limit, but some plans to have a download threshold. Once you exceed that your speed will be throttled for 24 hours to promote fair use of the resources. Given the low limits on the basic plans (200 – 300 MB) Windows updates will trigger that a couple times a month. Don’t even think about YouTube.

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The wireless plans I looked at didn’t seem to have any limits on your monthly downloads, but getting much detail on the plans is difficult as none of the providers have great websites.

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For the USB modems, both Bell and Roger have similar plans. The Bell MiFi has the same plan as the Turbo Stick. You are allowed 500 MB/month for the basic rate of $35. Are they kidding? Apparently not. The plans are flexible and if you go up to 1 GB you are charged $45, 2 GB is $60, 3 GB is $70 and 5 GB is $90. Beyond that is $0.05/MB. Ouch!

For the Rocket Hub, Rogers added a new data plan. This is much better than the one described above. This is also a flex plan, but the $35 level allows up to 3 GB, $45 is 5 GB and $60 is 10 GB. Still somewhat steep, but far better than the other cellular plans.

customer_serviceBottom Line

In this category, wireless seems to be the winner, but amongst the cellular options, the Rocket Hub is the clear choice in this department.


Cost

There are two parts to the cost equation — initial setup costs and monthly costs. This gets tricky since the monthly costs vary depending on the speed and/or allowable data transfer, making it hard to do a true comparison.

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The satellite requires an up front installation of a satellite dish and related equipment. This is about $200 and there is an activation fee that varies from $100 to $400 depending on how long of a contract you sign up for.

The monthly fees range from $50 to $80 for speeds of 512 Mbps to 1.2 Mbps.

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For wireless, you need to buy the antenna and modem (which I recall run in the $300 – $400 range). For us, the need for a high gain antenna was a distinct possibility, adding about $100.

Then, there was the issue of where to put the antenna. Since our house is tucked up against a ridge, a tower would have to be built up on the ridge and several hundred feet of cable would need to be run to the house. The cable alone would cost $1/foot. The tower would be at least $1,000 and there is no guarantee that there would even be a signal up there.

The monthly costs are hard to track down, but it think that $50/month was the range I was quoted (it has been some time since I talked to anyone at the wireless ISP’s — I haven’t been impressed with them).

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All of the cellular units have a $35 activation fee plus an initial cost for the device. The inital costs were lower if you commit to a 2 or 3 year plan. Given a 2 year plan, both the MiFi and Rocket Hub were $150. The Turbo Stick was $30 and the Rocket Stick is $0.

We’ve already seen the monthly pricing plans for the cellular units. There is also a regulatory recovery fee which varies based on your province/provider. The Rogers charge is $2.58 here in Ontario. Bell is similar although they also add an extra $2 if you want a paper bill.

Given my expected usage, I envision a monthly bill of $48 to $63 per month (plus taxes of course) on the Rocket Hub. The other units would have put me into the $95 + range pretty easily.

customer_serviceBottom Line

Monthly costs seem to be pretty consistent around the $50/month mark, but the up front costs clearly lean towards cellular. The USB sticks take this category, but the hubs aren’t far behind.


Networking

We have three computers that we need to use on the internet. There will eventually be more. There is also the Wii as well as 2 Nintendo DS’s that the kids want to use to play with their friends. So the connection needs to be shared in some way.

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Both the satellite and wireless options require a router to be installed to allow sharing of the connection. This isn’t a problem since I already have a wireless router for our home network. I’ve just never had a sharable connection to use it with — until now.

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With the Bell Turbo Stick, I figured that I could use this on my laptop and share the connection with the others through the wireless router. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The software only allowed the Turbo Stick to connect if the wireless was disconnected. This is the #1 reason that the Turbo Stick was returned.

I was also concerned that the other computers would only be able to use the connection if my laptop was present and connected which is not always the case, so even with the sharing there would have been difficulties. The 21 Mbps was tempting though and I would have liked to make it work. However, I think it would take a dedicated PC to act as a server/gateway. It’s an option to consider for the future.

I don’t know if the Rocket Stick had the same difficult with sharing, but the idea of having to move the stick from one computer to another if I needed to take my laptop somewhere was still an issue.

Both the Rocket Hub and the MiFi are actually wireless hubs as well as cellular modems. They provide for multiple computers and devices to connect to the hub without being physically attached to any of them.

However, the Rocket Hub goes way beyond what the MiFi offers.

  • 10 wireless connections vs 5
  • 4 ethernet connections vs 0
  • Each has 1 USB port
  • The Rocket Hub also allows you to connect a phone (the monthly plan goes up by about $15 and the typical mobile phone costs such as 911 fee, etc) with voice mail, caller id, etc
  • The only area that the MiFi beats the Rocket Hub is portability. The MiFi using a rechargable Lithium Ion battery while the Rocket Hub is tethered to 110 volt outlet. Not an issue for my situation.

The Rocket Hub was actually very easy to install.  I just plugged it in, waited a minute and then started connecting!  Easey-peasey (I’ve always wanted to write that in a post 8=)  We had everything up and running in less that 10 minutes.

customer_serviceBottom Line

The Rocket Hub is the clear winner in this category. No need for an extra router and it can handle both wired and wireless connections (not to mention the phone if you’re so inclined).


Portability

This is a very minor area for us, but it might be important for people who move a lot or who own a cottage.

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Satellite service can be moved although it isn’t a simple process. You would need to re-install the equipment every time.

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You can move wireless as well (provided you’re moving into an area that is covered), but once again, it isn’t a simple process.

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All the cellular options are easily portable. In fact, they are mobile and can work as you travel provided you’ve got a cellular signal to work with. Anywhere that the networks cover, you can set up your computer and access the internet.

The Rocket Hub is the most difficult to deal with since you’ll actually have to unplug it from the wall and plug it back in at the new location — the horror!

customer_serviceBottom Line

Clearly the cellular options are much more portable. This wasn’t a consideration for us, but it is nice to know we can move it if we ever need to.

Conclusion

Rogers Rocket Hub (Ericsson W35)So, there you have it.  The satellite and wireless options pretty much took themselves out of the running with low speed and high up front costs. Narrowing the cellular choices down involved looking at our needs for sharing the connection more that pure speed. That left the 2 hubs. The features and the data allowances of the Rogers Rocket Hub simply blew the Bell MiFi out of the water here. The only hurdle it had to face was whether the network coverage was sufficient to give us a signal.  Thankfully, it was and we haven’t looked back.

You can read my review of the Rogers Rocket Hub over on HubPages.

I’m hoping that the data allowances will grow over time, but the bottom line is that we’re very pleased with the performance of this device so far. I think we found the perfect solution.

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213 Comments on Adventures in Internet Access

  1. Robin Majumdar says:

    Excellent indepth review of the options – I happen to be investigating exactly these very solutions for a family member living in a rural area with only satellite, dial-up and wireless (Targo)…

    Looks like we’ll be going with the cellular (Rocket Hub) solution from Rogers.

  2. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Robin.

    We’ve been using this for just over a week now and I’m still smilin’ like the surfer dude in the cartoon for this post!

    As long as you get a reasonable Rogers signal you should be happy with the results. We’ve got a relatively weak signal and we’ve not had any connectivity issues at all. If you don’t have good Rogers coverage you could try the Bell MiFi but the data plan gives less transfer/month.

    Both Rogers and Bell give you 15 days to try the units out, so if you don’t get a signal you can return it.

    Happy surfing!

  3. Doreen says:

    Hi, LoneWolf, I have been researching different internet and phone providers because of the high cost of Bell services and the bad customer service they provide, that’s if they bother to provide any customer service. For many years I have had Bell satellite tv, Bell phone and Bell internet. They want their money pronto but leave me hanging when i have a problem..No customer loyalty. And what’s with the calling late at night or very early in the morning to get you to add to your services. I am going with the the Rogers Rocket Hub for my phone and internet and with the money I will be saving I will be purchasing the internet tv software that you can hook up to your tv and save even more money. Thank you for verifying just how good the Rocket Hub is. Bye.

  4. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Doreen

    I’ve found that Bell and Rogers are pretty comparable when it comes to price, and so far I’ve only had 1 experience with Rogers customer support so it’s hard to say if it is any better or worse. I’ve heard some bad stories about both of them but my experience has been so-so.

    The Rocket Hub does beat Bell’s MiFi in the price department and I like the features of it much better as well (although I don’t use the phone feature).

    Before going with the internet TV option, find out how much bandwidth it uses and look at what that would cost you in bandwidth charges. I suspect that you’d be better off with sticking with one of the satellite systems. You should also check out whether you can get the kind of quality that you’d expect.

    Be sure to drop by and let us know how the hub works for you.

  5. Frank Hemmelder says:

    Very interesting articles on the Rocket Hub. Seems (based on the articles) I made a good decision to go for the Rocket Hub. Mine is located in the basement so I added an external antenna (upping the indicator bar from 1 or 2 to mostly 4 bars). Speedtest.net gives me a 5 MB link and compared to my satellite link I used before, this is plain sailing. Just seems that the worse the wetter, the better the signal 🙂

  6. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks for dropping by Frank. I’m glad that you’re having success with the Rocket Hub as well.

    I haven’t had to use an antenna. My signal is on the low end, but it is reliable. What antenna did you get? I’ve had some people asking about antennas, so it’s nice to hear someone having a good result using it.

    I suspect that nicer weather is going to affect my signal as well — I live in the middle of cottage country and all the Rogers cell phones, Rocket Sticks (and probably a few Rocket Hubs) will start moving into the area and chew up my bandwidth 8=( Part of the price for living in paradise I guess.

  7. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Lonewolf, thanks for the info, but I find the cellular plans will be costly if I do a lot of downloads for my computer upgrade and repair work, and live stream internet TV or Youtube/video use on a regular basis for all of my four computers. I don’t use internet games but I’m sure a lot of people will use them on the internet and see their bills get inflated when their bills are adjusted with data usage.

    I’m planning to take down my Expressvu dish and replace it with Xplornet and use it with live stream internet TV, so my dial up and satellite TV services that add up to $60/month combined will be replaced with one satellite internet service which is $60/month just the same.

    There is no broadband, cable or not even wireless signals in my neck of the woods. I found the only solution for me with my usage is to go for the Xplornet satellite services, a little slow (1 Mbps for basic package) but I don’t see any pricing plans for the number of GB data usage, the pricing plans are based on different speeds, not data usage. The satellite dish is on all the time, and I’m not sure but correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there is no throttling on huge file downloads. Also, there is a free long distance plan for 4.9 cents/minute anywhere in North America, so the $60/month seems to offer a decent bargain for a heavy video viewing and long distance caller like me.

    Do you think it is wise for me to go for the satellite services for my kind of situation? I’m just not sure what my monthly data usage will be, but I think it will add up quite substantially. Please let me know what you think, and thanks again for all the different comparisons.

    • LoneWolf says:

      Hi Tim

      I’d have to agree with you that the usage will add up. I’m hoping that the price/GB will drop substantially, but in the mean time I have to closely monitor what I’m doing online. We’ve kept it under 10 GB per month so far, but it is tough. The kids all want to do YouTube and there is a lot of bandwidth used just updating the 3 pc’s.

      I’ve heard that Xplornet is not as fast as you might hope, but I’m sure that it’s better than dialup which is what I had before. The upfront cost was a concern for us, especially with the possibility of wireless coming to our area so we held off. Then the cellular came in as we despaired of waiting so it was a no brainer (which is good for me 8=)

      I don’t know about the throttling, but I do recall that there may be some if your usage exceeds the average under heavy load periods. You’d have to read the fine print in the contract to know for sure. You also need to factor in the lag time for satellite. There are a lot of things that don’t work well with the lag time.

      Let me know which way you decide to go and how it works for you.

  8. Antenna, Antenna, Antenna -- Anybody Need an Antenna? says:

    […] Router) for almost 4 months now.  I’ve written about it over on HubPages as well as here at Ramblings.  One thing that has come up quite regularly in the discussion is the issue of an antenna to boost […]

  9. Interenet says:

    is it normal for my connection to go in and out all day every day?
    .-= Interenet´s last blog ..How To Configure Wireless Routers For Gaming =-.

  10. LoneWolf says:

    @Internet no, it isn’t normal.

  11. Geoff Smith says:

    I think I will be too late to comment for Tim about Xplornet as he posted in March.
    So others will be warned Xplornet is horrible. It is slow much of the time. Not slow like dial up but because of how they are booked on the satellite itself transfers get backed up. This is not lag time this is too many signals bottle necking at the sat itself. Once you get through it moves quickly. Sending an email may take 40 seconds then suddenly it goes. This allows them to make claims of certain speeds which is true but think of it as lining up at the on ramp to the 401. But each time you click to load a page or send an email you are lined up again.
    Throttling happens all the time. Updates will have to be downloaded at night when the system is less busy and they allow more lee way before throttling.
    Weather…..moderate rain, put away the laptop there is no way you will get online, snow storms has been less of a problem.
    Upgrading your package will not help the sat is simply over taxed. Check online for several blogs where people have documented this. In the US there are class action suits against many Sat internet companies .

  12. Geoff Smith says:

    LoneWolf I would like to say thanks for a great bit of info!
    I use to run the Backpackers hostel in Port Mouton NS but am now on the other side of the park from you running a cottage resort near Barry’s Bay.
    For the resort they got this Sat service in January which lead to my previous post.
    I can not talk to my kids over Skype the transmission is just garbled at their end.
    I have no idea what kind of usage I would have in a month and was wondering how you have found your bill to be now that you have been on for awhile.
    When I was out East in a tiny place, not even a town of 400 people we had highspeed internet over cable from Eastlink.
    I have no idea why Ontario is lagging in the development of its rural internet connectivity…grrrrrr

    Thanks guy
    Geoff

  13. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Geoff — welcome to Ontario. You’re almost in Muskoka so you’re in the right direction 8=)

    Anyway, thanks for your update on the satellite. I’ve heard similar stories about the service. One person couldn’t get rid of it fast enough once another option became available for them.

    As for the usage, we’re running 3 PC’s. My daughter is 11 and loves the WebKinz, Tamagotchi type sites. She also loves sending out the cute picture emails.

    My wife uses hers for email and file transfers and online research for her work.

    I’m the big user with all my blogging, studying various online business opportunities and techniques (which unfortunately is becoming more video oriented), etc. Most months we’re running between 10 and 12 GB.

    We’re still hoping for the rates to come down or for the bandwidth allowances to rise. There is still so much I’d like to be able to do but the budget doesn’t allow. Maybe once I hit that viral online product and the millions roll in …

    One thing to keep in mind is that Bell now offers the W35. Their pricing is a bit higher than Rogers, but they have more coverage. I’d recommend Rogers as your first choice and then try Bell if Rogers coverage doesn’t reach you.

  14. Geoff Smith says:

    The good news is that a neighbour brought the Hub over to my place and I got the full bars left to right. They are at the other end of the lake and only get 3 bars.
    Amazingly fast, as good as high speed over cable Skype worked perfectly with great video but I know I would have to be careful for the usage. Also not to leave it on as it eats up MB just idling.

    My next question for anyone is if you get the phone option can you have a mobile set to the same number as the Hub number?
    It would make perfect sense that when your not home you shut off the hub and get calls over the mobile. When your home the mobile is off and you get calls over the Hub.

  15. LoneWolf says:

    Glad to hear you can get an awesome signal. As for using a phone with the same number, I suppose it might be possible if you transfer the SIM card back and forth, but that would be a bit of a pain. You’d need to check with Rogers to know for sure though.

  16. homerqc says:

    Bonjour

    J’ai le rocket hub sa fonctionne bien, mais pour moi je l’utilise pour ma console de jeux xbox live. J’ai une bonne connexion sauf qu’après quelque temps même si le signal est fort 16 barres je lag Rogers dit que ce n’est pas fait pour les consoles sauf que ( boulshit ) une entente avec Ericksson un technicien du support technique me la dit.Je sais aussi que mon NAT est strict et je voudrais le changer car au bébut il était ouvert. Alors si quelqu’un a une solution écrivz-moi bart.qc@hotmail.com

  17. LoneWolf says:

    Bonjour homerqc

    Thanks for dropping in to visit. My french isn’t the greatest although I can read it fairly well. I see that you’re having some difficulty with the XBOX and you’re not the only one. I did find some information about what people are doing to get it up and running (despite Roger’s poor support on the matter) and a description can be found at http://hubpages.com/_lwm/hub/X.....Rocket-Hub.

    I’ll email this to you as well but if other people are looking for this information you can find it there. This may work with the Wii and other consoles as well from what I’ve heard.

  18. Technology Geek says:

    We are living in a marvelous time. The internet is changing everything. I really think that when our children get to the point when they will be taking decisions the Internet will be everywhere and very deep in our everyday life.

  19. Tim Freeman says:

    I completely forgot about my comment on this site, sorry. I decided to try out the Rocket Hub and had it for 3 months now, had a very consistent signal strength and download speed. I realized the Xplornet Satellite system was not a good option because of all the signal problems with my existing Expressvu TV dish, so I didn’t want more signal problems.

    I used the Data + Voice plan and found the telephone works well, but no fax service in North America because for some reason VoiP does not serve fax on the Ericcson W35 anywhere except in Australia. I also found the Voicemail feature was quite hard to set up at first, but got it going after the first month, and the Call Display wasn’t working at all despite all my emails and phone calls to the tech guys at Rogers. They say most of the Rocket Hub have the same issues with those features.

    Over all I am quite pleased with the prices, they waived the $35 activation fee in March when I took it. I’m able to download some huge files and not go over the 3GB/month usage. I found there is some internet throttling though when I downloaded over 1GB file, this took some 4 hours of downloading. Most files were under 1/2 GB and they downloaded at a fair speed, so for the most part, I am pleased with this affordable high speed and telephony service in the middle of nowhere!

    I found out that Bell started up the new Turbo Hub, the same device as the Rocket Hub Ericcson W35. Their plans are more pricey compared to the Rocket Hub, and they charge an extra $10 for Voicemail, Call Display and Call Waiting features. Why pay that extra when Rogers will include it for free? Bell is never cheap and they can’t compete!

  20. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks for the update Tim. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the Hub. I’m still really enjoying it although it still annoys me when it loses the internet and I have to restart it.

    When I heard about the Bell version of the hub I checked out the pricing. As you say, it is more expensive for the same service. The only advantage that Bell has over Rogers is coverage area — if you can get Rogers signal where you are then I’d stick with Rogers. Neither company has great tech support.

    I’m still hoping that the monthly costs will come down soon. <dream>Perhaps when they roll out 4G, the 3G services will come down in price.</dream>

  21. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi LoneWolf, I’m glad to take the Rocket Hub too. There are two questions I need to ask about the Cellular 3G network though, just out of curiosity.

    Why don’t they give Live TV services something like the Satellite TV service, only to be delivered through the 3G Network? It should not be too hard for them to find a way to give Live TV along with HS Internet and Voice services, all in one Hub package through the same 3G Cellular Network.

    Why don’t they keep up with the Rogers Rocket Stick speed of 21Mbps? A Rocket Hub that can go that fast in the middle of nowhere would be like Heaven at my neck of the woods.

    Some day I would love to see all this happen along with the 4G Network, but I hope I don’t have to wait too long at my old age before I am in Heaven.

  22. Tim Freeman says:

    For the second month in the row, I found their telephone billing to be quite sneaky and weird! Last month they charged extra for long distance calls I never made, but then without explaining what those calls were, the Rogers rep. said she will deduct it from last month’s bill, and it was deducted. But then this month again I got another hidden charge added for long distance charges for calls I never made and wrote to them again, but this seems to repeat itself every month, so I think Rogers is not honest with their billing procedures as it seems to occur every month and yet I never once made any long distance calls as I live alone and use this Hub alone! So far I’m not happy with the telephony service on the Rocket Hub as the Call Display feature is still not working!

  23. LoneWolf says:

    I hope that they get their act together soon on that. I had a problem the 2nd month with my data usage bill — they charged me the full price for my usage when there was supposed to be 2 months at the $35 rate. When I called they reset the bill, but it makes you wonder how often this happens and if people catch the mistakes.

  24. Sorry for the delay in replying. I have not been around for a while. The antenna I use is a Wilson 700 MHz – 2500 MHz Wide Band Directional Antenna. RF Connection in Quebec sells it for around 220 CA$ (incl. tax and S/H). Their website is at http://www.rfconnection.ca.

    Wilson has a website at http://www.wilsonelectronics.com and they are located in St. George, UT.

    The only problem (intermittent) seems to be one of my laptops losing the wireless connection 3 times or so a day. None of the other laptops have this problem. And it worked fine for a while (with no dropped connections) until I had to reset the Hub the hard way.

  25. Tim Freeman says:

    I had some slow connections too probably because of the summer leaves on the branches that were not there earlier this year in the spring, just under 1 bar and sometimes the connections get dropped. I found this Toronto eBay seller who sells this multi-band uni-directional 24dBi YAGI antenna with all the right cable accessories and hardware for just $85 US. I just installed this antenna today on an old mast and bracket made for satellite dishes and it worked wonders… absolutely consistent with the signal.

    I also found out the problem with my long distance bills was because they assigned the wrong area code on my Rocket Hub. Every time I dialed to get my voicemail messages I’m dialing long distance. They charged me for those calls, but then they deducted those ridiculous charges when they finally found the problem and gave me a new number for my area code.

  26. LoneWolf says:

    Do you have a link to the eBay seller where you got the antenna? I think there may be some people interested in that (I may be myself after seeing the performance drop when the leaves are in).

    I’m glad to hear that Rogers sorted out your long distance problem. While they are not the easiest people to get through to, they do seem to do the right thing when they’ve made a mistake.

  27. Tim Freeman says:

    Yes, I have the address…

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Ericsson-W.....5193ed06c7

    Sometimes the item gets relisted. The eBay seller (citywirelessca) will relist it now and then, his shipping was fast and reliable.

    Like I said before, the YAGI antenna came with all the necessary cables and hardware to connect this to the W35 Rocket Hub. The only thing not included was the mast to clamp it on to which I got from my old Expressvu satellite dish, and there is no amplifier in this kit. Some expensive kits will have an amplifier but I don’t think I need one here.

  28. Tim Freeman says:

    And here is a new listing from that same seller…

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Ericsson-W.....5193f00858

  29. Tim Freeman says:

    Does anybody know what happens if I aimed my external antenna for the Rocket Hub towards the U.S. border which is only 5 kilometres away? That is the only direction I can get with a consistent signal, but I’m starting to wonder if there will be roaming or other charges? I didn’t want to call Rogers on the phone because they don’t know what they are talking about, and I would rather have it in writing. Their email replies they say will take 4 days, too long if my bills are piling up with extra expenses while they take a good amount of time replying to it. I can’t find any forums on this subject.

  30. LoneWolf says:

    Tim, you might check out http://www.ertyu.org/steven_ni.....sites.html to see if there is a Rogers tower in the direction you’re aiming.

  31. Tim Freeman says:

    There are no Rogers towers at that direction, so I guess I will have to re-aim it the other way through some tall thick trees in my woodlot. That is the only other signal I can get, but it is very unstable. A heavy wet snowstorm will wipe out the signal in the winter when it covers all the branches. My situation here does not look good!

  32. LoneWolf says:

    Hopefully Rogers will be upgrading the towers around you to get a better signal.

    If you were getting a decent signal in the spring with the hub itself, you should have a better signal with the antenna although I don’t know how the snow will affect it. I found that winter storms didn’t seem to slow mine down at all but that could be a fluke.

    Anyway, hopefully you’ll get some good news from tech support when they email you back. I’m not holding my breath though 8=)

  33. Tim Freeman says:

    Okay, I called up Rogers and they called this “Accidental Roaming”. All I have to do is wait for the next bill and if there are extra charges I will have to apply for the deductions for this.

    Great News! I found out the neighbor’s big house was blocking a good signal, so all I had to do was move my antenna over to the other side of my house and then I received a great signal going right by their house! The signal is now 2 bars and holding steady!

    The only problem is I don’t see any transmission towers on that tower map facing that direction, so I will wait for their reply to my last email asking what tower this one is. This is nowhere close to the U.S. border though, so I think I am safe with this direction! Thanks.

  34. LoneWolf says:

    At least you didn’t have to move the neighbour’s house 8=)

  35. Guitarmaniak says:

    I used the Bell Turbo Hub for a month. I have three computers (it can handle up to 15 devices). Only problem was the bill. Watch out on useage. My first month bill was $1100…thats 1 thousand 100 hundred dollars. If your kids are on the computer a lot, watch out. The rates plans will not work for families unless all they do is email. Be warned., I cancelled my service because there is no way to control the usage and the costs add up like crazy.

  36. LoneWolf says:

    Guitarmaniak, if I do my math correctly and you are using Bell’s hub, then that is about 70 GB overage in one month. That is huge. I do quite a bit of video and my kids do a bit and we rarely go too far over the 10GB mark. The highest we’ve done so far is 12GB although we’re pretty careful about it.

    One thing that you should check into is whether there are some sort of other charges that you may be encountering (roaming or something).

    The Bell overage rate of $0.015/MB is about 3 times the Rogers rate of $5.00/GB although Rogers charges for each part of a GB, so if you only go over by 1 MB I believe they will still charge the full GB rate where Bell would only charge for the 1 MB you went over.

    Either way, they can both add up although I’ve heard rumors that Rogers has an upper limit or cap on what they’ll charge for overage. I’ve never come close to it, but I’ve heard that 10GB over is all they’ll charge.

  37. Kim says:

    To Tim Freeman:

    I am having difficulty setting up the voicemail for my W35. I have at&t service. Can you guide me on how to set it up. Is the incoming number the voicemail systems telephone number? Is the outgoing number your telephone number? Thanks! I have had it for almost a year and haven’t figured it out yet.

  38. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Kim, try self-dialing your own cell number on the Rocket Hub and set it up from there. That is what the technician told me to do, it was simple and it worked. I don’t understand what you mean by incoming number and outgoing number since all I ever had was only one number for the Hub. If your Hub still won’t work with this then I think it is best to call up the Rogers technicians to test your telephony connection and to help you set up Voicemail on your Hub. Rogers has a lot of telephony issues with their Hubs lately, and I still don’t get the Call Display service which they say most of the Hub users are not getting also.

    Guitarmaniak, $1100 is a shocking number! There must be some way to control the kids’ data usage, something like Parental Control, but some kind of a meter device that can control the amount of data that they consume every day. Now that would be a great invention!

  39. Tim Freeman says:

    Did anyone get this antenna from that eBay seller and install it yet? I’m having a great time here with a strong consistent signal ever since I solved all those antenna issues. I’m quite confused at the Rocket Hub reading of 3G+ with 2 bars strength and holding steady, while the personal Router address shows my Hub is at 3 yellowish green bars and intermitting to 4 green bars, while it is 3G most of the time and changing to 3G+ for a few short seconds now and then. Other than that, it seems to work better than expected with the outdoor YAGI antenna.

    I also solved the clamping issue on the mast by adding and installing a simple 3/4 inch machine screw into the clamp plate through the mast, so this will prevent the antenna from swinging or moving around in bad weather and it will firmly hold it on the mast nice and steady. Adding that screw has greatly increased the stability and will most likely extend the life of the antenna.

  40. Erin says:

    This is a great comparison of the available options!
    We’ve been through quite a few services, being out where wireless and such is your only choice. We tried Xplornet – which was great to start with, but the speeds quickly died down and became slow.
    They DO overload their towers.

    The latest attempt has been with the Bell TurboHub. The speeds are quite good, but we have a lot of disconnect issues. Their tech support doesn’t seem to know much about them other than to power them down and on again as a fix. To the point where we tried an antenna to fix the disconnect issue and it would shut the hub off. The tech person decided that it was too strong of a signal, and that must be the end of the antenna experiments. Very odd.

    The biggest problem we have at the moment, though (we’ve been with them for 2 months now), is that our data is pushing 10 GB every month. Granted, we do have 4 computers connected, and the family does game (WoW). Even so, I’ve used my phone to tether for a whole evening of gaming and used such a small amount of bandwidth that I find it hard to believe that our usage is that high!

    Would anyone here possibly know of a good way to monitor bandwidth usage? (We have 3 macs and 1 pc) I am not certain that the results would be acceptable to Bell in any case, but it would be nice to know.

  41. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Erin

    Thanks for visiting. I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your hub experience with Bell. The Ericsson unit is pretty nice, but a lot of people have experienced the disconnect.

    I sent an email to Rogers support for mine a couple months back, and their initial response was the same as you’re getting from Bell. Then they asked about the heat since some of the units overheat and need to be replaced.

    Finally, they sent me a link to an updated firmware from Ericsson. I installed it 2 days ago and so far I haven’t had to reboot the hub (knock on wood…fingers crossed). I’m not sure if your Bell hub can use the same update. I think the firmware is the same for all units and the vendor specific stuff is probably on top of that, but I’d check it out with Bell first.

    One trick I’ve learned for resetting the hub without having to physically power off the unit is to connect to it with the browser (http://192.168.1.1/) and log in (check your manual for the instructions here). Go to the System tab. Select Restart and it takes about 2 minutes to restart itself.

    As for the bandwidth, there are tools that you can use to monitor your usage. One that was recommended to me (although I never actually checked it out) is BitMeter 2 which you can download from CNet for free: http://download.cnet.com/1770-.....%2CWebware

    I’ve use NetLimiter myself which gives a pretty good idea of usage. You should be able to find that on CNet as well.

    I’m not sure if there are Mac versions of these tools though.

    The biggest usage of bandwidth would be video, followed by music downloads. WoW wouldn’t use very much as the graphics, etc. are all generated on your machine unlike video which sends that actual graphics across the internet.

    You probably have some bandwidth usage relating to operating system and application updates. This depends on the software that you’re using and whether you allow it to check for and download updates.

    You can also check the monthly transfer stats on the hub itself (it resets the first of every month) as it shows the current month to date as well as the previous month. It should be close to the Bell numbers although your Bell numbers will go from the billing date rather than the 1st.

  42. LoneWolf says:

    Oops! I forgot to put a link to the firmware upgrade for those of you who are brave enough to try it without contacting support 8=) Just remember, you do so at your own risk. Make sure you back up your hub settings just in case something goes wrong.

    The update file is located at http://www.ericssonw35.com/firmware/w35-006-R12C00 for those of you who want to try it.

  43. heywooood says:

    I should have known better, but I installed the above firmware without realizing that is was actually a downgrade over what the Rockethub ships with….13A vs this 12C. Now, when I login to the web UI, I get the following message:
    The system database cannot be accessed right now, since it is locked.
    Please wait and retry later.

    Press back and correct the error.

    Everything works fine, even the old settings are present (non-default) so I can use the hub, I just can’t login to change anything.
    Any ideas on how to manually reset (holding in the reset button did nothing) or get me back into some working state?

  44. LoneWolf says:

    Hi heywooood

    I never thought to check the version of the firmware that was on the machine, but I didn’t have any problems logging into it until today (to be honest, I’m not sure if I even tried to log in though). I’m getting the same login error.

    If you do manage to reset it (I did that once several months ago on the advice of tech support) then make sure you have an ethernet connection ready as you won’t be able to get back into the hub using WiFi. The password, etc will be reset to factory defaults which are different than the way it is shipped from Rogers.

    I’ve got other people using the hub right now so I can’t mess with it. Hopefully I can work on it tomorrow and get it back to normal.

  45. Tim Freeman says:

    I was on the other Rocket Hub sites and I discovered how many users have decided to hold on to this Hub during the 15 day trial with frequent disconnections and slow speeds. I guess they were still happy about the speed because it was still better than the old dial up, but then they turned into angry users when they discovered the Hub became totally useless after the 15 day trial was over!

    If the Rocket Hub is not performing to expectations then the best thing to do is to bring the Rocket Hub back and get the refund. Then it would be wise to try out the Turbo Hub if there is a Bell tower nearby, but keep the data well-checked and under control, or get the Xplornet if all others fail, or to go back to the old slow dial up. Always keep an eye on the date of the 15 day trial run and make sure it is returned before it expires, or face an early cancellation fee unless you decide to hold on to it when it becomes more useless.

    I feel very sad at the number of Hub users who became bitter because of this critical step in returning it on time! 🙁

  46. LoneWolf says:

    Tim, I’d have to agree. If it doesn’t work right away, return it. I tried the Bell TurboStick before getting the Hub and knew the first day that it wouldn’t work for me. Because of the location of my computer I couldn’t get a good signal. Also, I needed to allow access to more than 1 computer which it didn’t seem to allow. So it was returned within 3 days — no problem.

    So if you get something and it doesn’t work right away get it back to the store before you get locked in. If they’re going to get it working eventually, have them contact you when it’s working and try again if you haven’t found another acceptable solution.

  47. Tim Freeman says:

    This is very interesting. I asked a Rogers rep. by email if I can take the SIM card out of the Rocket Hub and use it in a cellphone for travels, and here was the reply…

    “Dear Tim Freeman,

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of online customer service.

    In your recent email, you were inquiring if your Rocket Hub SIM card can be used in a wireless device.

    I would like to inform you that this may be possible.

    I would ask that you place your Rocket Hub SIM card in your wireless device to see if your phone would accept the SIM card. If so, this would be possible.”

    So this Rogers rep. is saying I can actually use the Rocket Hub account with a cellphone and have unlimited local calls, data usage and so forth and not be charged as if using a separate cellphone. I’m planning to buy a cellphone soon to try this out. Has anyone ever heard of this? Or is it too good to be true?

  48. LoneWolf says:

    It would be interesting to see how this works. If you’re up for trying it let us know how it turns out.

    Make sure you keep a copy of the email you got so that you can document that you were told to do this by a Rogers rep in case they get upset about it.

  49. heywooood says:

    Lonewolf were you ever able to login to the Rockethub again after the firmware “downgrade”? Still no luck here…

  50. LoneWolf says:

    Hi heywooood. Still not able to do it and I haven’t heard from Rogers. I plan to resubmit a support request today. I hope that I don’t have to go the telephone support route (although I doubt that I would get to anyone able to solve it via phone anyway).

  51. Tim Freeman says:

    Seems like my upload speed in my Rocket Hub has gotten really slow for some reason in all 4 of my computers. Speed check shows download speed is normal with the same 3 bars on the Hub, but upload is extremely erratic. Did anyone else notice the browser pages are slower and needs reloading several times before finally getting there?

    I also noticed how slow their email replies are, over one week of waiting each time. Their phone support is also too slow with that same terrible elevator music playing all that time!

    • LoneWolf says:

      Hi Tim

      Have you recently changed AntiVirus software by any chance? I had some problems with uploading larger files to sites like YouTube and SermonNet. The weird thing was that it happened when I was connected to the network at the library and at church, so it wasn’t the network. I figured it was my machine (which is running Vista), so I tried my wife’s Win 7 machine. Same problem. Then I tried my daughter’s (one of my old hand-me-downs running XP). It worked fine. Turns out it was a problem with the AntiVirus I was using for my wife and I. My daughter’s machine had a different one installed.

      Your problem may be something similar, or it could just be the Rogers network being overworked. I think they didn’t plan for the success that the RocketHub and the RocketStick would have.

      Good luck with tech support. I’m still waiting to hear back about the firmware upgrade problem. Sigh.

  52. Tim Freeman says:

    No, the only change to the antivirus were some MAJOR updates from Kaspersky over the past few days since my uploading speed started to crawl. I use XP in all my computers and I’m thinking of downloading the new 2011 Kaspersky, but the uploading speed needs to improve first.

    I’m thinking about the foliage as a possible cause, and I hope the speed will improve in October when all the leaves fall off the branches.

  53. Well, trouble started with my Rocket Hub… I have to (hard) reset the hub several times a day, as I lose connection to the Internet. I can get to the hub without problems (both wired and wireless) or at least most of the time. The internet connection itself does not respond or is VERY slow. After resetting (and obtaining a new IP address) it seems to work again. It started just being in the evening, but yesterday the Hub shutdown all by itself (no lights except the blue power button). It seems evenings are worse, as 8 PM seems to be a time I have to reset.

    Called it in to Rogers. “We’ll respond in 24 hours”… yeah right, 72 hours later, no response. And Live Chat wasn’t any better… “We can’t help you with the Rocket Hub”.

    The hub itself is pretty warm. Running CXC 172 7031 R13A (Oct 16 2009) software level.

    The logging is pretty dumb by the looks of it. My logs show October 16 and September 15 entries… but it seems most of the times I have issues, the logs show the following:
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.3g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.3g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.3g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.2g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.2g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.2g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.2g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Sep 6 20:43:47 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2817]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied

    Anybody seen that before?
    Thanks for having this forum!
    CU, Frank.

  54. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Frank

    I had this problem as well. I think it may be due to the software not properly handling a temporary drop in the signal. Something gets crossed up and the hub thinks its still connected so it doesn’t properly reconnect.

    The heat thing is pretty normal although some people have had their hubs get so hot that they couldn’t touch it. If it’s that hot then get it replaced.

    Rogers support gave me two options for dealing with the problem. The first was to move the hub so that it got a better signal which is pretty hard to do way out in the boonies. The other was to upgrade the firmware. They provided me a link to the Ericsson website. I did this and while it solved the problem it introduced another problem. Now I can no longer log into the hub. It works great but I can no longer get to the admin menus.

    I’ve been waiting to hear back from support on this but no news yet. I don’t think Rogers has a very good handle on this device yet.

  55. Tim Freeman says:

    Well it seemed like yesterday was just a temporary hitch at the Rogers tower. This morning the uploading speed was normal, I downloaded 106 MB from Kaspersky to get the latest antivirus and internet security thing and it seems to run with updates and browsing with no problems.

    But just now I realized I can’t get into this Ramblings site with Internet Explorer but can easily get into here with Firefox. I didn’t think about using Firefox yesterday, next time I’ll remember.

    I wrote to Rogers the second time about the Rocket Hub SIM card and switching it to a cellphone, their reply will take another week. I’m not taking the other guy’s word for it from general inquiry, and I asked the technical support this time for a confirmation. I don’t think Rogers chat is helpful either, they say they know nothing about Rocket Hub problems and don’t want to say anything more. Sometimes I can’t rely on them, other times like now there has to be a confirmation regarding the SIM card.

  56. eric says:

    LoneWolf,

    Can you provide that link for the firmware update? And can you confirm it’s the older black Rocket Hub and not the new blue one? I have been pounding my head on the wall with these same errors and rogers’support only managed to amaze me on how inefficient and unorganized they are.

    Thanks

    Eric

    ps: I am aware I can shoot myself in the foot with a firmware update but since I am about to cancel the service I don’t have anything to lose.

    • LoneWolf says:

      Hi Eric

      The link to the firmware is [REMOVED — I should have removed this sooner as this is actually a downgrade and causes other problems with the unit — LW]

      I do have the black Ericsson unit. When you are talking about the blue one I’m not sure what you mean. As far as I know Rogers only offers the Ericsson which is black and the Netcomm unit which is white (although it is possible that they have other colours).

      I’m not sure why Rogers has so much trouble with the tech support on these units. I know that they’re relatively new but they should really be more on the ball with this stuff. And you can’t go to Ericsson for help, they direct you back to the carrier for support.

  57. eric says:

    Yes, by blue I meant the Netcomm unit (thought it was blue and white). I have the black one too.

    I inquired about that firmware update with Rogers and they say it doesn’t exists;))

    Thanks

    Eric

    • LoneWolf says:

      It’s funny that Rogers denies the firmware update. Support actually gave me the link in the first place. I was leery of that when I saw the warnings on the download site, but after a few weeks of frustration with the dropped connection I tried it. It was actually smooth sailing and I’ve had far fewer dropped connections that don’t sort themselves out after a minute or two. The only drawback was the screwed up login.

  58. eric says:

    I just looked at that firmware update. It is actually 6 months older that the one shipped with the Rogers unit. It’s R12 and the Rocket Hub ships with R13

  59. heywooood says:

    I would avoid any firmware updates…I’ve mistakenly done the “downgrade” and have not been able to login to the otherwise functioning hub ever since.

  60. LoneWolf says:

    Yes, it is a downgrade. And the site does warn that you should get your firmware from the carrier (i.e. Rogers). Rogers support gave me the link and it actually did solve most of the problems I was having with the unit (obviously the Roger’s firmware R13 was somehow flaky) but the login problem did crop up. I’ve been able to use the unit but not to access the menus.

    I finally heard a response from support on that issue. They’re suggesting a reset which will take more than a few minutes to test from my previous experience as it resets to factory settings, not Rogers settings. Maybe this weekend I’ll have some time to try it.

  61. eric says:

    Did Rogers’support mention any intention or providing a R14 firmware update? If all these issues are fixed by downgrading but that loses admin access they can’t push that as a long term solution, do they?

    Do you have the guy name at Rogers’support? I’m in contact with a upper layer support manager and if we can have that support tech name we might be able to push for a long term solution.

    thanks

    Eric

    • LoneWolf says:

      The only thing I have heard back from support on this issue is the reset option. No mention of a firmware upgrade was made. I would be interested to find out who wrote R13 since it didn’t come from Ericsson. They should be able to make an R14 fairly easily I would think. R12 seems work well except for the password database being locked. I’m not sure if other admin functions are affected though since I can’t get at them.

      I use the email support which gives me a ‘paper’ trail as well as ensuring my phone isn’t tied up for hours at a time. I’ll email you with the information about the support tech I dealt with.

  62. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Lonewolf, have you thought of returning for a replacement because of that firmware issue? I don’t know if that 12 month warranty will cover it, but since it is locked maybe you can call them about having someone at Rogers or Sony fix this firmware?

    I am glad someone at Rogers seems to know what they are talking about regarding the Rocket Hub SIM card. The other rep. from General Enquiry told me to try the SIM card in any cell phone, but here is what another rep. replied by email (after 10 days) this time from Technical Support…

    “Please note that SIM cards differ in the services and features, which
    are subscribed with them. In addition, there are various types of SIM
    (which vary in size).

    The Rogers Rocket Hub service offers Hi-Speed Internet access, landline telephony, and permits one to use Rogers Wireless phones, through the Rogers Rocket Hub service. However, the Rogers Rocket Hub SIM is locked to the Rocket Hub hardware itself, based on the IMEI number of the hardware. For this reason, you may not use a Rogers Rocket Hub SIM in another Rogers Wireless phone nor in a unlocked cellphone.”

    I’m glad someone can clear this up and I wonder if there are a lot of Rogers representatives like the other one from General Enquiry who should be fired for giving such false information?

    • LoneWolf says:

      Hi Tim

      Thanks for getting to the bottom of the SIM card issue for us. I guess that we’re learning that you can’t always trust the support folks on the front line.

      As for the firmware issue, I may have to get them to replace the unit. I am thinking about the reset, but if it changes all my settings and I still can’t get in then I’m toast, so that may be a better route to take.

  63. Tim Freeman says:

    Does anyone know how to contact Rogers to construct a cell tower on this potential land site? I have a perfect hill with roads and hydro, a lot of cell users can’t get any signals down in the valley and other low-lying areas. It would be nice if I can get them out here to boost my signal right on my property, but I tried two emails and no responses as of yet.

    Lately my Rocket Hub has slowed down even with the outdoor YAGI directional 24 dBi antenna. This is strange because my Motorola cell phone shows 5 bars indoors with no extra antenna, while the Hub will get only 2 bars with the outdoor antenna, and get disconnected with no signal bars without that antenna. Why is the Hub so different?

  64. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim. I don’t know how it works with Rogers, but I approached the local wi-fi guys about 1.5 years back about using the ridge behind my house as a tower location. I thought it would have filled the gap that I and several dozen other neighbours we sitting in because of terrain issues. There are a couple other locations that might have been a little better but I offered anyway.

    Their answer was that they don’t like to build towers on private land since there could be an ownership change and the new owners may not want the tower to be there. Then they’d have to move it. I suspect Rogers would have the same concerns.

    There are also environmental studies and zoning and other bureaucratic things that get in the way. They also need to determine if there is sufficient ROI for a tower (dang money 8=) and then put it into their rollout plans.

    As for why the hub gets a worse signal than your cell phone, it may have to do with the way you’re holding it 8=) All kidding aside, I don’t know enough to be able to answer that question for you, but I suspect it may have to do with the design of the antenna in the hub as well as the integrated wi-fi antenna for your local network. There is one guy I’ve corresponded with who found that moving the unit in small increments (i.e. less than an inch) can make a huge difference in both the signal strength and latency (i.e. lag time to get a response back).

    Hopefully you’ll hear back from Rogers about your potential site. It’s frustrating that it takes them so long to respond to those of us who don’t live in the big cities.

  65. My hub slowed down recently too. In the evenings it is really bad. Signal strength stays the same, but internet speed goes way down. Rogers support calls it congestion at the tower I connect to. However the lady in the Rogers shop here in Woodstock, ON, told me that Rogers is aware of an issue with the Rocket Hubs on their network. She showed me an e-mail and she told me more people had complained. ‘Rogers is working on a solution’ was what she told me. We know how long that can take…

    If the performance is not up to par, you can get out of your contract, she stated. As if I want to go back to satellite or dial-up…
    Frank Hemmelder recently posted…CFLMy Profile

  66. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Frank. I suspect that congestion is a big part of the problem and data links take a back seat to voice calls (i.e. cell phone traffic).

    There is also a problem with the Rogers firmware on the hub. I don’t think the hub itself has any issues. When I “downgraded” the firmware on mine to the Ericsson version the disconnect problem went away. However it locked the password database and I cannot log into the hub itself any more. It works fine for internet connection except for the odd lockup (once a week or so rather than 4 or more a day).

    Apparently tech support is now telling people asking about the firmware upgrade that there isn’t one. They’re also telling me that the solution is a factory reset. However, if it doesn’t clear the password database then I’ll be unable to access the unit.

    Now they want to try a “Resend to Switch” operation from their end. Not sure what it is so I have to do some research to figure it out, but I suspect it won’t do a thing.

    Have you talked to any of your neighbours that are using the Bell hub? It is the Ericsson W35 just like Rogers. Their plan is more expensive though, but it would be nice to hear how they are handling the traffic.

  67. Tim Freeman says:

    Well, October is different with my outdoor YAGI directional antenna. It appears the signal slow down with my Rocket Hub was fixed by re-aiming my antenna to another direction even though that direction didn’t work before in the summer. So it looks like I have to change between two directions about 5 degrees apart every time the leaves drop in autumn or the leaves start to grow in spring, now isn’t that weird! Anyway, I’m back to three bars so things are normal.

  68. LoneWolf says:

    Well, if that don’t beat all! I’m glad to hear that the signal is working better again, but it’s pretty weird. I’m sure there is some technical reason for what you’re experiencing. I suspect that if it was explained to us we’d not understand half of it 8=)

    When we moved in here there was a TV antenna (the antenna is still up there — never did take it down) that could be spun with a remote unit to get the best reception for the 3 different channels that can be pulled in by air. It might be worth an investment in such a device to help you tune your antenna, especially if it is mounted high up.

    Ciao

  69. Tim Freeman says:

    I was thinking of getting one of those motors too, but my long antenna is mounted on an old Expressvu mast low on the side of the house and rotating it the wrong direction might accidentally break it to pieces because the mast is too close to the house. I could put it up higher over the roof but then there is lightning. My new Expressvu dish was also set up low like my YAGI antenna. I feel it is safer and more convenient in case some work has to be done, but also I think aiming it lower below the tree branches level can give me a better signal than if I set it up higher at about the same level as the thickest branches of the trees (I’m in the woodlot).

    I may buy a tower next year and set it up 60 ft. high, but they say a well-grounded lightning rod should be installed at the highest point and the antenna should be installed around 5-10 ft. below it, so the lightning will hit the highest grounded point of the tower and not send the surge through the antenna, but there still has to be a lightning surge arrester connector on the coax cable to make this safe. If the cellular signal gets worse next year then I will have to take these extra steps into consideration.

    • LoneWolf says:

      I guess it depends on the line of site to the tower you’re getting the signal from. Hopefully you won’t have to go the tower route as it is extra cost and labour. We’re actually in a valley tucked up against a ridge that acts as a lightning rod — although one storm it hit the tree that our clothes line is connected to. The other end is on the house. It was exciting that day! At least the house end is the far end of the garage and only some insulation and vinyl siding got damaged. But the clothes line was melted and the tree didn’t survive much longer after that.

      If you’re interested, check out Say Hi to Chainsaw for a funny video I made of the day we cut it down.

  70. Tim Freeman says:

    LOL! What a coincidence because I have a White Ash tree that was struck by lightning and it was only 20 ft. away from my house! I was lucky about the clothes line that used to attach between my house and that poor tree though, I took down the clothes line 10 yrs. ago and the lightning struck that tree 3 yrs. ago…very lucky! But I still have to cut the tree down soon with the help of a tractor’s winch and cable tied up high on that tree to pull it down the right direction as I am cutting, and this has to be done carefully!

    I forgot to say I do everything myself (DIY), so the cost of labour is not included with my tower construction. All it takes is a cement base and bolted sections added one at a time until I reach the required height, with a safety strap holding me to the tower in case I slip or something. The other way is to assemble it on the ground and winch it up with the tractor, but that is kind of tricky. The other problem is when the tower is slippery with ice, snow, or even rain, and the climbing will be hazzardous if I have to fix the antenna way up there.

    But I get the feeling the cellular carriers are in the planning stages for 4G, and I heard that this means the cellular signal will be more reachable somehow to more areas and give a stronger signal. I still don’t know how that works, but I am looking forward to it.

  71. LoneWolf says:

    It will be interesting to see what the 4G rollout brings. I don’t know if the hubs will be able to upgrade to the 4G signal. It would be nice though.

  72. Barb says:

    Does anyone know if the BTH is running up the MBs while in standby (voice only) mode? I know if you leave it on the internet signal, the meter’s running, even though you’re not browsing, which could explain some people’s high consumption.

  73. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Barb, I believe the Bell Turbo Hub is the same Ericsson W35 device as my Rogers Rocket Hub, unless they are using another device. My Ericsson according to the Rogers support will not use any data (MBs) while in standby, but now Rogers and perhaps Bell are using another device, I can’t be sure what Bell is using now.

    This Ericsson device with the computer will do some automatic updates for Windows or non-Windows software if the computer was configured to do this automatically. My computer will automatically update the Internet Security, Windows Security, Java and Adobe, etc.. Not all the data usage is from browsing.

  74. Tim Freeman says:

    I had only 1 bar about 2 weeks ago and ordered a dual band amplifier, re-aimed my outdoor antenna after and had 2-3 bars like I said before. Now with the 14dBi amplifier hooked up with my 24dBi antenna, my Hub is getting a steady 4 bars, so I guess it makes a small difference. The Web is flying by at over 4Mbps download and over 1.5Mbps upload, so I’m happy enought with this and glad I got rid of the old Sympatico dial up.

    The biggest advantage is when I switched to Rogers, there were no hackers sending me trojans or worms through the Rogers network. When I was on Bell Sympatico dial up there were 2-3 attacks on the network every day, not coming from the websites but coming directly on the network from another remote address, a busy hacker! Those kinds of attacks were all gone since I joined Rogers, and the only attacks I get with Rogers are coming from those geek websites, not the network server according to my Kaspersky Internet Security warnings.

    I wonder what the Bell Turbo Hub and Xplornet are like when it comes to hackers? I think Bell is one of the worst networks, hearing they have one of the worst Canadian record of trojans and worms on their servers, just like my experience before with Bell Sympatico. I don’t know what Xplornet is like.

  75. Jim says:

    Hi Tim,
    Which amplifier did you purchase?

  76. Tim Freeman says:

    Jim, it is a Wilson Direct Connect amplifier, costs only $100 at ebay. It needs an extra AC adapter for building use, or the DC adapter can be used in a car or camper for vacation or travelling.

  77. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim! You’ve been busier here than me lately 8=). Thanks for answering Barb’s question. Your answer is even more detailed than what I would have probably said.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re getting some good signals now. It’s nice when the technology actually works. It’s just too bad that there are still so many people who are having a bad experience. I think Rogers needs to be more careful about how they promote the unit and where they allow it to be sold. They also really need to get their act together on tech support.

  78. Jim says:

    wow,
    thanks for the quick response.

  79. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Barb

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing with us. How are you enjoying the Bell version? I’m assuming that you’ve got the same Ericsson unit that Rogers is selling (unless you’ve got one of the older MiFi units).

    Please let us know how your experience with it is going!

  80. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Jim

    Thanks for popping in. Are you using the W35 as well? If so, are you on Rogers or Bell? (By the way, this isn’t 30 questions — it just seems that way 8=)

  81. Jim says:

    I’m using the Rogers w35 with a Wilson yagi.

  82. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi LoneWolf, I agree that Tech Support has never been as bad as it is now, but strangely enough they will reply a lot faster with my cell phone (second) account. I think they are having a lot of issues and complaints with those Hubs and they can’t keep up.

    I think my Rogers tower is not too badly congested because I try my best not to let the word out to my neighbors. If more neighbors start using the Rocket Hub in my area I think the signal will be jammed with heavy traffic. I see only one Hub being promoted on display in town, and it is not Rogers, it is only the Bell Turbo Hub. 🙂

  83. Barb says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve had the BTH (W35) for a couple of months now. I chose it over the Rogers unit (Nexxcom – apparently they no longer carry the W35)for several reasons. One, Rogers unit can’t be put on standby – it’s either on or off; Second, Rogers unit is big by comparison, where to put it?; Third, Rogers signal at the time didn’t seem as strong as Bells (low only). And with Bell, I get the $5/mo bundle discount.

    I’ve been tracking my usage the past two months with Bitmeter2 and it looks to be in the 3G area. I don’t download music, videos, etc., so that probably accounts for the low mileage.

    I bought the W35 as backup to my current ISP who looks to be going under. Service has become more erratic and we were out completely last Saturday & Sunday. You can’t get in touch with them, they don’t return phone calls or email. It’s either the Hub or 295.ca dialup as an alternative.

    I did find the reception on the BTH was good initially, mostly 2-3 green bars and 3G+, however, now I’m mostly only getting 2 yellow bars and it’s timing out frequently. The signal seems to be up and down. Strange, given that the trees have dropped their leaves. I’m thinking of ordering the 24db antenna over ebay to see if that improves the signal. My problem is partly location – I’m between 5-10 km from the Bell tower, but in a low area surrounded by trees. Even if I put up an antenna, there’s no way I can clear the trees. One of my neighbours has Xplorenet and he’s having the same issue with line-of-sight.

  84. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi again Barb, the YAGI directional antenna does not need a clear line of sight like the satellite dishes. I aimed it through the trees and found it works good enough. I also used an old Expressvu mast and clamped it on to this, and with an extra machine screw on the clamp plate through the mast, it will hold steady against the strong winds and not swing around. I found no need to mount it up high, and on the side of the house is better for me in case I have to work on it. Also, if the signal is better and still not good enough, or if the signal worsens over time, I found the Wilson amplifier will increase the signal another bar or two.

    And even after all this, if my signal will still get worse next year, I will have to install a 60 ft. tower and mount the antenna close to the top, and still be able to use the amplifier with the longer coax cable, and this should give me a better result with the signal.

  85. Barb says:

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the YAGI info. For a temporary setup through the winter, I’m thinking of using a 4x4x10 in a deck block with the YAGI clamped to a satellite arm (I have a couple of extras). I can temporarily tie the 4×4 to a nearby tree to keep it stable and it’s on a side of the house where no one goes. I’m figuring on using this setup only through the winter. My present WIFI antenna is mounted on the chimney and that’s where the YAGI will eventually go. Location’s a problem because of the required 15′ distance from the YAGI to the W35 and the 33′ max cable length.

  86. sid gulick says:

    26 october 2010
    hello lonewolf–i got tired of my bell phone/internet bundle
    in downtown montreal and scrapped the service for a rocket
    hub from rogers. i use skype to call people and i think
    i pay something like $15/month for unlimited calls to canada
    and the us. an added benefit is that although i don’t pay
    for the rogers phone service there is a 911 link i can
    access with an ordinary phone through the rocket hub phone
    port. my problem comes from the fact that i spend my weekends
    in vermont and i’d like to be able to use the rocket hub to
    improve my internet service there; only dialup is available
    so far. i brought the rocket hub to barton, vt and was able
    to get some internet service–slow, about 150kilobits/sec down
    and 60k up, but better than the dialup. i installed an antenna
    and that improved the steadiness of the connection but here
    is my problem: when the strong signal is connected to what
    the admin server in the hub calls 2g i get a good internet/
    data connection but when the strong signal is connected to
    3g i can’t get any internet connection. i get 3 or even
    4 bars sometimes but although the signal strength is good
    the link is always down on 3g. i believe there are 2 towers
    i pick signal up from depending on the angle i set the antenna
    and one is about 29km from my vt place and one is slightly
    over 30km. is it possible there’s some sort of distance limit
    that’s set by the time delay to transmit/receive between tower
    and hub? is there any way around that if so? why would that
    not apply to the 2g service as well? by the way i experimented
    with the polarization of the yagi antenna i installed. from
    the website you recommended showing locations of rogers towers
    i determined that the signal from both towers was vertical
    but i found when the antenna was vertical i often got a roaming
    indication on the hub internet page that i was connecting to
    an att tower while when i set the antenna horizontal it was
    both less directional and less likely to pick up the att
    signal. i’ve never been able to connect to the 3g signal
    with internet either horizontally or vertically although the
    hub shows good signal strength with 3g in both orientations.
    sorry to be so windy but i’d love to get some sort of feedback
    on the vermont problems. the hub works really well in montreal
    so far; no problems like those reported by people in vancouver.
    sid gulick

  87. Barb says:

    Hi Tim,

    Back to the YAGI installation, I hooked it up and took it out on the deck towards the tower location. Absolutely no improvement in signal, in fact it was worse! I spoke with Bell Tech Support this am because of crappy dropping signal and he told me that since I’m in a valley surrounded by trees (heavy bush), I’m never going to get a better signal unless I raise the antenna. I get good down & upload speeds, it’s the intermittent timing out that’s driving me nuts.

    • LoneWolf says:

      I think that the dropping signal is something that the hubs have to deal with in situations that have a fluctuating signal (e.g. with trees in the way). The firmware doesn’t seem to handle this properly. When I downgraded mine (which Rogers recommended but I’ve since found out it is a mistake) the dropouts were reconnected automatically. The newer version doesn’t seem to recognize that the connection has been broken. This means that the hub thinks it’s connected when it isn’t. Having the antenna may alleviate this problem if it can get a better line of site to the tower.

  88. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Sid

    I’m assuming that you’re close enough to the Rogers towers when you’re in Vermont that you’re not picking up a US signal and getting dinged with roaming charges.

    2g is much slower technology than 3g, so it is easier to get a stable signal from but you don’t get anywhere near the speed that you would get from 3g. There is more “room” for error correction.

    I’m not sure what kind of limits there are on distance. Have you tried using a Rogers cell phone to see what service it connects to?

    Hopefully you can get this working.

  89. sid gulick says:

    hello lonewolf–i got the idea that i might be able to connect
    to the rogers tower from vt because my girlfriend’s son and
    daughter in law were always getting roaming charges from
    unknowingly connecting to rogers while visiting her. i don’t
    know whether his connection was 3g when he was roaming with
    rogers. i do know from the hub admin server when i’m connected
    to the rogers net and when i’m ‘roaming’ with at&t. and i
    know when the hub thinks it can link to 3g and when it thinks
    it can only get 2g. but the hub can only get data from 2g
    and sometimes it will only connect to 3g so i’m offline with
    a ‘better’ connection. no indication why there’s no link
    with 3g, only that ‘the net is down’ even though there
    are 3 bars on the signal strength indicator. i can’t decipher
    anything from the log. the admin server offers a few choices
    such as frequencies with which to connect on 2g and 3g but
    rogers won’t let me make any of the choices, they’re greyed
    out. i’m a little suspicious that for the 3g service they
    limit their range southward but i also know they love to
    stick people with big roaming charges. i wish i knew how
    to have more control over the options ericsson provides instead
    of being stuck with rogers’s choices but i think my troubles
    are more at the tower and less at the hub. thanks for
    your advice. sid

    • LoneWolf says:

      I’d have to agree with you Sid. The problems are more likely from the tower end of things. I’m not sure how all the radio stuff works but I’m sure that there are limitations to 3g that 2g doesn’t have (and vice versa of course). Have you had any luck contacting Rogers about it?

  90. After several completely useless mail exchanges with Rogers Support I decided to call them and after (only) a 25 minute wait got hold of somebody. To my surprise he actually new what he was talking about. We discussed my issues with the Rocket Hub not having any performance between 5 PM and 11 PM (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) and we did a test with speedtest.net, which gave a results as Ping test 1112 ms, download 1.5 Mbps, upload 0.02 Mbps.

    After a while he decided to create a 3rd line support call and have Rogers come out to look at the tower(s) I connect to. Woodstock, ON has several so it might be that I connect to a busy one anyway.

    We also discussed the issue I had with the ‘white list’ function not working. As soon as I enable it, all defined wireless MAC addresses were kicked off the hub.

    That last issue is clearly a hub issue, so he got me a (refurbished) replacement. Now at least the white list works and it even seems better in keeping connections during the trouble times.

    So I’m not too unhappy with Rogers at the moment.

    I spoke with Danny (employee# 808720) on phone number 1-866-894-9955 (press 1 for English than 2 for Tech Support)… just in case somebody else wants to talk to somebody who seems to know at least a decent amount about the Hub.

    Take care.
    CU, Frank.
    Frank Hemmelder recently posted…WorkMy Profile

  91. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Barb, at first I had the same signal issues with the antenna outside and I learned to be very flexible and roam around outside the whole circumference of my house and take a lot of time searching for the right location and angle of the antenna, this took me many days to find it. I discovered the neighbor’s house was blocking that signal and I had to place the antenna on the other side of my house to aim it east right by their house. Every slight move I make will show up on the Hub every 10 seconds, so this takes a lot of patience when handling the antenna outside.

    If your Hub was working well enough inside despite your low area, that antenna should improve that signal somewhere outside. Try aiming it around the whole house instead of just the direction of that tower, this is what I did and I was surprised the signal was from the east and yet my tower was up north. If you can safely climb up a ladder to your roof or chimney, or even a tree, then I think this might be worth a try. I tried it myself but couldn’t get any better results than on the ground level. The only way to get the antenna a clear line of sight for me is with a 60 ft. tower, but so far I don’t think it is necessary with my presently improved signal.

    If you find the right place for the best signal, it may not be where you are planning to install it, so this requires a little bit of flexibility. Also, the antenna has to be cleared all around it of any obstacles like branches, posts, rails etc… for at least five feet but 10 feet is better for me, and it has to be mounted at the edge of the house with no porch roof overhead if your deck has one. I had to mount my antenna on the edge of my porch on a post with my old Expressvu mast, now that was kind of tricky.

  92. TimC says:

    Just thought I would leave my experiences with the Bell TH and the Rogers Rocket Hub.

    We have been using Rocket Hubs(3) very successfully as remote links for a portable seismic array that we move around Eastern Ontario and Quebec on a periodic basis. We also use the Rogers unit as a portable Wifi spot in our service truck all over Canada. The experience with the Rogers units has been very very good, with solid connections ( although sometimes 2G ) in some very rural areas, including Southern Manitoba and Sask. In the rolling hills of Quebec, it has been less stable, but that is understandable. But a solid experience all around…

    Based on this, I went out last week and bought a Bell TH for my home connection. Same hardware exactly ( Ericcson W35 ). Totally different results. The Bell unit consistently drops the signal from the tower, and it is clear from the log files that it cannot negotitiate a reconnect request, either on 3G or 2G. Very frustrating. 30 seconds of use every ten minutes is not service! This is clearly a problem with Bells version of the firmware, and it will be going back to the retailer. My home is also in a region of very high signal ( Full bars all the time ) and the Rogers units I tested in this same location worked as advertised. In addition, my wife’s i-phone (Virgin) works flawlessly, all the time… So we are bathed in signal. ( Virgin >> piggybacks on Bells towers )

    I will also add, that it is normal for devices like these to be affected somewhat by meteoroligical and atmospheric conditions. For example during sunrise or sunset, or heavy rain, snow etc… This is normal. What is problematic with the Bell unit is it’s innability to renegotiate a connection at all times. Like now, as I finish typing this. lol.

    Tim.

  93. eric says:

    We had the same issues with the rogers unit than what you are reporting with Bell. After 2 months arguing with support and being lied at they finally fixed the tower. I manage 2 other rogers hubs elsewhere and they both started to have these same symptoms (including rogers’ support refusing to admit the problem is on their side).

    As far as I can tell when the service becomes too popular in a specific region the tower becomes overloaded and even an antenna + a signal booster won’t help. Rogers is aware of the problems but doesn’t want to admit it. Upgrading the hardware fixes the issue but it can take weeks or months until a specific antenna is upgraded because they have too many of them that requires fixing; that much was admitted by one support supervisor I talked too.

    Bell probably has the same problems both I don’t know if they handle it any better. What made me real angry is being lied at so much. They refunded me 2 months of service but they obviously didn’t refund most customers who complained about the service; which is probably why they lie so much about the real cause.

  94. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences TimC and eric.

    It seems that this problem exists on both sides of the fence, depending on where you’re located. It is funny that my problems (which started in the summer with tourist season) pretty much went away when I took the advice of tech support and loaded the firmware from the ericsson site.

    However, I’ve just heard from the ericsson support that the problem this created with the user database is not fixable by an end user. I suspect that the entire system needs to be wiped and reloaded. That means I will need to get a new unit from Rogers.

    What I find frustrating (as you did eric) is the way that they lie about the problems. I remember my first call to support when I couldn’t get a 3G signal one day. I called to ask if there were problems with the tower. They said no and had me reset my unit and other things (took over an hour on the phone). Finally, I was told I’d have to take it back to the store I got it from (150km away) and get another. Next day everything was fine and my neighbour was complaining about lack of service for his iPhone during the exact same time I had trouble with the hub. Sure, nothing wrong with the tower. Grrr!

    Anyway, I do love the hub and for the most part the service is good here. Not a big fan of Rogers tech support though. There have even been people telling me that the Rogers forum is removing posts that complain about the hub/service. That is unfortunate and I think that it’s a really bad move on their part. Better to admit there is a problem and work on it than try to hide it.

  95. TimC says:

    So I returned my Bell unit after three days of frustration. It wouldn’t hold a connection for more than a few minutes at most. It remains to be seen if they will try to charge me a breach of contract fee, as I went well over the rediculous 50Mb trial limit.

    I brought one of Rogers units home for further testing. It has functioned almost without fail, but it did drop the connection a few times. However, it proved to me without a doubt that it is the provider that is at fault, and not the hardware. Read on….

    Picked up this tip from the Rogers support forum. Try setting the DNS ( domain name server ) properties to a public server, rather than relying on Bells or Rogers. This seems to have completely stopped the dropped connections to the outside world.

    I’m testing on Googles servers. 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. This is found in your tcpip settings for your wireless adapter. Windows defaults to ‘auto’ dns for example.

    Hope this helps.

    For those of you concerned about the heat generated by your modem, you can simply turn down the broadcast power in the modems settings. It comes set to 20db by default. I find that lowering it to 5db works absolutely fine if the modem is centrally located in your house. Your results may vary…

    Tim.

  96. eric says:

    That’s interesting. I have been using Google dns servers too for over a month now but didn’t relate this to better stability. It would be interesting if others could try it too

    Eric

  97. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi TimC, thanks for telling me about the Bell 50Mb trial run. I think that kind of trial run is worthless if people have to use a minimum of 100Mb a day like me, adding up to 3GB a month minimum usage. I say 50Mb is equal to half a day’s usage which makes no sense if Bell calls that a trial run for 14 days, the period of time which they will allow customers to use it on a trial run.

    I have heard of other Bell Turbo Hub users with a lot of issues similar to the Rogers Rocket Hub. I had Rocket Hub issues before that were fixed and now I am happy with my internet speed, but the Voicemail flasher on the Hub does not work whenever a voicemail message comes in, so I will have to bother those tech guys at Rogers again on the phone. I already called them last week but they couldn’t fix my voicemail issue and they don’t seem to help Hub users like me that much any more. Funny how the other week I wrote an email and waited 2 weeks for a reply, and they answered that email and told me this…

    “I would kindly advise you to contact customer service to be in contact wit our IT tech support and they will be able to assist you.
    We are pleased to have been able to address your inquiry.”

    That reminds me of those chats I started at Rogers Support with people who don’t know a thing about the Rocket Hub, they don’t know a thing about cell phone plans, they don’t know anything else except how to chat and direct you to a tech support phone number and then they say they are pleased to address my inquiry. Funny people working for Rogers! lol

  98. TimC says:

    50Mb is one 20 second download on these units. It’s absolutely criminal to hold people to this.

  99. Tim Freeman says:

    I heard recently that Rogers is testing the 4G/LTE wireless network in the Ottawa area. They are using the 700MHz band instead of the current 3G 850MHz band, and this is capable of speeds of up to 150Mbps. I am anxiously waiting for those test results to see whether it is good or not.

  100. LoneWolf says:

    Imagine how quickly you’d hit the 3GB limit with that kind of speed 8=)

    I just hope that the network infrastructure is built out to handle the use that it will see.

  101. Tim Freeman says:

    I guess Ottawa was the place where all the Rogers tech support guys have moved to so they can get this test rolling. They left us 3G customers out in the dark, and I’m still waiting for them to fix my Voicemail flasher on my Hub. Rogers support say this is common so I get the feeling the towers are the source of this problem.

  102. Tim Freeman says:

    Well for the first time, I am getting a very unstable connection since 4 am this morning on my W35. Before I was getting a steady 4 bars until last night, it is dropping signals and going up and down from 4 bars frequently, losing my internet and voice at the same time. I called Rogers with my cellphone and I got disconnected with that too, so the problem is not my phone or Hub, it’s the Rogers tower. Three phone calls to Rogers this morning, and all three tech support staff members were sounding sleepy on the phone. I kept getting disconnected from the phone on both the cellphone and the Hub phone, but the staff don’t seem to want to wake up and give a care. During my third call on the Hub with all the disconnections all he did was call me back about 5 times with the same sleepy voice and then gave me a ticket number and then said he will escalate a case with the network…that’s it and then he said goodbye! So now I’m stuck with a lousy network and no one at Rogers seems to care, except to expect me to keep paying them up while I am on a two year contract. So now I have nothing nice to talk about Rogers here, nothing to say but rants!

  103. LoneWolf says:

    Tim, I hope that your service is back up soon. Tech support is very frustrating to deal with. It must be quite difficult to get good people on the phone for a large company since they all have seem to have major problems in this area.

    I usually go the email route but sometimes you just need support NOW and Rogers just isn’t the best for that. When I had a similar problem to yours months ago they refused to admit that there was a problem with the tower. I spent over an hour on the phone, reset my hub and had to reconfigure it and then was told I would have to return it to the store I bought it at and get a new one (it was less than a month after I got it).

    Sure enough, the next day everything was fine and my neighbour was complaining about how is iPhone wasn’t getting a 3G signal all afternoon.

    Someone needs to tell them that honesty is the best policy. If there is a problem then be upfront and deal with it.

  104. Tim Freeman says:

    It seems to be more stable today but the speed and signal is not as stable and good as it was before when I had 4 steady green bars. I just found out from my neighbors my signal was not coming from a tower up north. All this time I was wondering why my antenna’s signal was facing east, but yesterday my neighbors said there is an antenna over there across the valley from my hill. So anything can interfere with that signal if the antenna is too low above the ground, which was my case yesterday.

    Did anybody read this news headline about dropped cell phone calls…

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calga.....ls-3g.html

    Amazing how the Rogers and Bell companies didn’t make any comments while the only company who commented was Telus. I’m starting to think this Telus company is winning the “Best Honesty” award for cellular service in Canada, while the other two companies just don’t want to care enough to open up their cellular issues!

  105. Tony Q. King says:

    Hi-
    Just perusing here… Nice website- lots of info.
    Giving DSLREPORTS a run for their money, huh?
    You can catch me there as “aqk”
    One particular thread of mine:
    http://www.dslreports.com/foru.....xperiences


    Briefly, a simple question:
    I live in the deep dark woods, and three months ago, signed up for Bell Mobility’s Turbo-hub deal.
    Of course I needed an external antenna, and quickly installed a small yagi on my roof.
    It was installed with the refractors (director elements) positioned vertically.
    I then noticed that the Bell 400 ft tower several miles away, and not visible from my house, had its lower yagi antenna elements positioned horizontally.
    I assume it was these 2 or 3 antennas at very near the base of the tower were used to power our local cellphone signals – indeed they pointed in the general direction of my house several miles away.

    So this afternoon (gorgeous weather for a change!) I got up on the roof and re-did the yagi so its elements were horizontal.
    Just before dark.
    Once I got back indoors – now night-time – I noticed that the T-hub’s blue bars had dropped from 8 to 4.

    Question: Is there some rule regarding how the yagi should be set up? Would Bell ever reply to my question about whether I should use horizontal or vertical polarization?
    Somehow, I suspect “Kimberley” in Mississauga, or “Pushtab” in Bangalore would not have the slightest WTF I was talking about.
    – Thanx
    Tony (aqk)

    And sorry for excessive verbiage above…

  106. sid gulick says:

    hello lonewolf and others–i have several bits of information
    which might prove of interest, and an unresolved question i’ll
    save till last.
    first, this website
    http://sd.ic.gc.ca/pls/engdoc_.....ical_input
    allows you to enter your geographical coordinates, which you can
    get by right clicking google maps, and a radius and will tell you
    all cell towers within that radius. it’s a bit of a haul but
    you can find out what the categories of information given are
    and one of the categories is polarisation. other entries are
    number of antennae, angles of broadcast coverage, distance from
    the coordinates you entered, frequencies, etc. i find however
    that although the polarisation is given as vertical for the
    2 towers i might be connecting to, my antenna orientation isn’t
    very critical nor is the antenna (20db yagi) as directional as
    i would have thought. i think over long distances there must be
    enough anisotropy in the path that things get pretty scrambled.
    second, i got my first and second bills from rogers. first bill,
    $45 or so. second bill, $600. i complained bitterly and was
    told that i had been roaming. i had checked the router info
    pages and made sure i was connected to rogers before downloading
    anything but the hub switched towers on me during the night or
    something. the person i talked to on the phone was helpful and
    my bill changed from $600 to $45 online over the course of a
    day; i also had a block on roaming put on my account so now
    it should be impossible to accrue these roaming charges. this
    might be useful information for some out there.
    third, most of the time i’m getting 2g coverage where i am. this
    is faster than the dialup we were enduring but not as fast as i
    would like. on the router info pages i’m informed that my signal
    strength varies between 2 and 3 bars. sometimes when i get the
    3 bar strength the hub connects to a 3g band and i get an assigned
    ip address and the link is listed as ‘up’ but i can’t connect to
    any websites. when i have a 2g connection there is no problem
    but with the 3g connection i get the following message on the
    log:
    Nov 14 08:11:14 (none) daemon.info wuid_log[2746]: doc text/link not set
    Nov 14 08:11:39 (none) daemon.info wuid_log[2746]: doc text/link not set
    Nov 14 08:11:39 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2746]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    Nov 14 08:11:39 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2746]: wuid_cdb.c:38:_get: cdba_get_value_c (cellular.3g_bands) failed: Permission denied
    Nov 14 08:11:39 (none) daemon.err wuid_log[2746]: wuid_cdb.c:65:_get: wuid_cdb_may_set: Permission denied
    i suspect there is some sort of range limit for the 3g service and
    i am out of it–according to the geographical area search the 2
    towers i can connect to are 28.99 and 32.47km away from me. does
    anyone have any ideas about what the above log entries mean or
    whether there’s a limit to the range of 3g that has nothing to do
    with signal strength? thanks for any help and i hope my information
    is useful to someone out there. sid

  107. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Sid, I used that government tower location site and I am quite puzzled about the source of my signal coming from the east. There is a Rogers tower up north but my antenna is facing east. I checked the tower location site and there is nothing east except one location on top of a small mountain east from here called “Paging Network of Canada Inc. Network Administrator” (no Rogers mentioned). I Googled it and can’t find anything about what this paging network is for. Do you or anyone else here know what this paging network does for Rogers? I don’t understand how I can get a Rogers signal from 5 Km. that direction for 8 months and still can’t find out what exactly the source is.

    Your towers are way too far and I wouldn’t use the telephony service on this Hub at that distance. The farther the tower the less likely the phone will work. I don’t know if you have a Wilson Dual Band amplifier, but if you don’t have one, you may need it for a stronger signal, but it won’t work good on the phone part if you ever plan to use it.

  108. LoneWolf says:

    Welcome Tony Q and Sid! Thanks for dropping in and sharing your experiences here.

    I don’t have any experience with antennas (thankfully, haven’t needed them). But the chatter I’ve heard is that distance is definitely an issue with the 3G.

    It would sure be nice if Bell and Rogers would just let people know what’s happening rather than all of us trying to figure it out.

    The CBC link that Tim provided above is an interesting read, especially the part about Rogers and Bell not commenting.

  109. Tim Freeman says:

    My signal appears to be back to normal now, a steady 4 green bars, and my Voice Mail flasher on the Hub is working again.

    I still want Rogers to build a cell tower up on this hill and did a little research on these Rogers cell towers. I discovered a tower that is 30 metres tall or less does not require an environmental impact study and is easier for cell companies to build but has to be installed on top of a high hill or a mountain. My hill is 1500 ft. above sea level, or 350 ft. above the valley down below, so I think they can build one up here with very little effort on their part, and this hill already has established hydro and public and logging roads. I called Rogers today and the lady didn’t know anything about cell tower structures or how Rogers will consider building them, but she will pass on my request to whatever branch in her company that handles them. I will also call up Telus and Bell and see if I can get them all interested. Did anybody know that a lot of these towers also have VHF/UHF and AM/FM antennas along with 3G cellular and pager network antennas, all on one tower? This is what I discovered when I went 5 KM to the other side of the valley to visit and take pictures of the tower where my antenna on my house is receiving its signal from the east. If I can get all that here on my hill, I can get rid of that Bell Expressvu satellite dish and save a lot of money!

    Obviously these cell companies need to build more tower structures whether they want to or not, so anyone who has a hill or mountain should call them up and complain about the service and ask them to build a tower on your land. This will be a great benefit to all the people in the area, and a lot of neighbors will be very happy to see you have one of those cell towers up there! 🙂

  110. LoneWolf says:

    Glad to hear that things are working better again Tim. If you got the rain that we did here last night then let us know if it had any impact (although there aren’t any leaves to hold the moisture anymore).

    I talked about setting up a tower on the ridge behind my house when I had the WiFi tech checking to see if we could get a WiFi signal here. He said that the main concern that they have about private land is that the ownership can change and the new owners may not like having the tower on their property. But they do use private land when they have to.

    If you can find the right people to contact, let us know so that we can pass the information on to others who are interested.

  111. Tim Freeman says:

    Yes LoneWolf, the rain we had out here dropped down the signal by about one bar which is normal to me. The real strange thing happening here is when it snows the signal gets better, but then when the snow melts and everything gets wet the signal will weaken until it dries up again and the signal strengthens.

    And that signal I had for the past eight months coming from the east was actually a brand new small tower right beside a very small old paging tower on a hill. That small cell tower had everything on it including cellular, TV and radio antennas. I’m sure they can build one like that over here real fast.

  112. LoneWolf says:

    I know that we had better speed during the winter (signal hasn’t really changed) which I assumed was due to low traffic patterns (no tourists — the W35 was just new on the market).

    I haven’t noticed any difference due to wet/dry but I think that the tower I’m picking up is high enough to clear the trees that are closest to me.

    I hope you can convince them to build a tower — make sure you rent the land to them 8=)

  113. Matthew Koster says:

    I would also like to not I don’t think its a placement issue as we get 3-4 bars consistently.

  114. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Matthew

    I’m going to need to get Rogers to replace my unit. I contacted Ericsson directly to ask them about the firmware and because it was a downgrade the format of the user database is not being recognized.

    The only way to fix that requires the unit to be redone at the factory or a repair center. It can’t be fixed on site.

    I haven’t been able to check my logs in a while, but I know that I did see similar types of messages months ago when I did look. Didn’t understand them exactly, but I got the feeling that what is happening is that there is some intermittent drop of the connection between the tower and the hub (whether it’s the hub or tower I don’t know). The older firmware seems to recover from this more gracefully while the newer firmware seems to think it is still connected and doesn’t reconnect.

    Getting 3-4 bars must be great. We sometimes get 2 but there are often none and we’re still up and running. So I suspect that you’re right about it not being a placement issue. Most likely it is traffic on the tower itself or a problem in the tower. I believe that both Bell and Rogers over sold their networks.

    Let us know what you hear from Bell. It would be interesting to know if their tech support is up to speed on the W35.

  115. eric says:

    FYI, one of the hubs we are using is regularly under attack.
    Extract from the logs:

    Nov 14 06:00:57 (none) auth.info sshd[11102]: Illegal user evelyn from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:00:57 (none) auth.info sshd[11102]: Failed password for illegal user evelyn from 168.234.217.82 port 38444 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:00:59 (none) auth.info sshd[11104]: Illegal user fabian from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:00:59 (none) auth.info sshd[11104]: Failed password for illegal user fabian from 168.234.217.82 port 38821 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:01:01 (none) auth.info sshd[11106]: Illegal user faith from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:01:01 (none) auth.info sshd[11106]: Failed password for illegal user faith from 168.234.217.82 port 39212 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:01:03 (none) auth.info sshd[11146]: Illegal user fancy from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:01:03 (none) auth.info sshd[11146]: Failed password for illegal user fancy from 168.234.217.82 port 39599 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:01:05 (none) auth.info sshd[11214]: Illegal user fatima from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:01:05 (none) auth.info sshd[11214]: Failed password for illegal user fatima from 168.234.217.82 port 40037 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:01:07 (none) auth.info sshd[11216]: Illegal user faust from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:01:07 (none) auth.info sshd[11216]: Failed password for illegal user faust from 168.234.217.82 port 40365 ssh2
    Nov 14 06:01:08 (none) auth.info sshd[11218]: Illegal user fedora from 168.234.217.82
    Nov 14 06:01:08 (none) auth.info sshd[11218]: Failed password for illegal user fedora from 168.234.217.82 port 40708 ssh2

    This has been going on for weeks. I called Rogers’ support and they are supposed to investigate and call me back…never heard from them again. I am not too concerned with these user name (just a dictionary attack) but they also spent hours trying to crack the root user. It is also causing some DOS attack symptoms.

    Anybody else with that issue? (ps: the attack comes from central america. compromised pc probably)

    Eric

  116. Tony Q. King says:

    @lonewolf, @eric –
    Regarding the “time-outs” on the Bell Turbo hub:
    This is a well-known and still ongoing issue.
    For further details, see –
    this thread at DSLREPORTS

    I have a link in there for a small DOS BAT file that seems to alleviate the problem somewhat. But not completely.

    If I had a chance to do it again, I would have gone with Rogers instead of Bell’s 24-month contract, 20 months of which still remain.

  117. heywooood says:

    Just an update here, I ended up returning my Rockethub for a refurb after the firmware downgrade locked the system. the new hub shows the same systems, event log full of “cdba_get_value_c (cellular.3g_bands) failed: Permission denied” but at least I can access the settings.

  118. CrazyELF says:

    Hey guys I’m another Victim of Bell’s Turbo Hub from Ericsson any new on the Firm ware Update?
    I almost get the feeling like there will never be a fix since they (Bell) Have pushed out a new Turbo Hub NETGEAR MBR 1210 Turbo Hub.. I wonder if it will work better than the Hub we all get Suckered into using!
    [URL Removed by LoneWolf]

    • LoneWolf says:

      I’d have to agree with you CrazyELF. I doubt that there is a firmware upgrade coming from either Rogers or Bell. Neither one of them seem to be carrying the Ericsson unit anymore which is a shame — I like mine a lot.

      The downgrade of firmware has actually made it run much better other than the fact that I can’t log into the unit anymore.

  119. Bunny says:

    @lonewolf –
    I’d have to NOT agree with you CrazyELF.
    Your [URL removed] website tells me I have a virus!
    I DO NOT!
    And neither does my PC.
    Stop this silly business. I have enough problems with my turbo-hub timeouts already!

    • LoneWolf says:

      Bunny, thanks for alerting me to the bad link on CrazyELF’s comment. I’ve deleted the link. I’ve gotta wonder what your url is all about though. I can’t make much sense of it.

  120. Tony Q. King says:

    LOL!

    OKaaay! Here’s the real address for that new Turbo-hub-
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/1.....hspa-to-y/

    Actually, there are several links to it. Just google, and…

    Weep, all you 24-month Bell Turbo-Hub contract signees!

    (SOB!)

  121. CrazyELF says:

    Bad Link? The link was a news feed about the release of the new NETGEAR MBR 1210 Turbo Hub that Bell is Putting out there now.
    if there was a virus with the link I was unaware of it and am truly sorry.

  122. Tony Q. King says:

    And no wonder! NOW I understand! -!
    The past 3 or 4 days, my Turbo-Hub has been timing out incessantly!
    Almost every url that I click on, causes a timeout.
    Except for the fact that when a page DOES load VERY QUICKLY (with 2 out of 3 times resulting in Timeouts), it is almost as bad as my old dial-up situation.

    Now with the new Turbohub-Netgear thingee, it seems we old Ericcson-W35 Turbo-Hub guys are SOL.
    Rogers guys? You’re next! LOL!
    Anyone for a class-action suit?

    (sorry if this has been submitted 2 or 3 times- its the Turbo-hub timeouts I am getting)

  123. LoneWolf says:

    Tony, thanks for the link. And no worries about the bad link CrazyELF. I suspect that the site may have been hacked from the looks of things. I’ve removed the bad URL but if you find that it gets cleaned up you can send it to me again.

    The new hub looks like a sweet deal with the 21 Mbps option. And the price plans sound a lot better.

    Not sure what Rogers is planning yet. They still have the W35 and the MiFi on their web page but the latest flier I got in the mail showed what I believe is a NetComm unit (I’ll have to dig it out of the recycling and double check).

  124. Tony Q. King says:

    @CrazyELF
    Sorry- no offence- it wasn’t a virus-
    It was a “warning” on your url posted here- any link to http://www.laptopdrv.com url access (the url you had given) warns that the user’s computer may be compromised:
    and then “BUY OUR PRODUCT”
    Seems to originate with a website “cloudflare” who are developing some protection software for us all.
    Thanx, &#$@$ Cloudflare. Wonderful. Just what we need.

    Anyhow, there’s lots of urls out there now for this damn new Netgear turboHub- alas you managed to choose the wrong one. 😉
    But thanx for the bad Turbohub news…

  125. Tony Q. King says:

    @LoneWolf
    “Sweet deal” … “21Mbps option” …
    Heh. Are you willing to pick up the remainder of my 24-month contract? 😉
    Only 20 or so months to go.
    I believe there’s a buyout clause in it somewhere- I shoulda paid more attention!

    Anyhow. It’s war.
    See http://turbohub.tk – Just created now; wait a few hours for the DN to be propagated. Anyone for a class action suit?

    😉

  126. Tim Freeman says:

    Well, I tried real hard to get the three big wireless companies interested in my hill for a cellular tower, but I don’t think they are interested as they never write or phone back. I did some tree clearing to the direction of my outdoor antenna, and it seems to improve the signal quality with a faster delay time, so I think I will do some more tree clearing and branch pruning, but there are some neighbor’s trees that I need permission to clear by their house which may not be possible, but only time will tell.

    The new Netgear Hub from Bell looks promising, but did I read it right that it says you have to pay an extra $10 to get the faster 21 Mbps? I hope Rogers will provide this same service soon, it seems to have a lot of major fix-ups than the old Hub, but there is no telephony service with this Netgear device, so maybe Rogers will come up with something better than this with a phone plug in the back.

    I’m still waiting for the 4G reports from Ottawa, but it appears this experiment is taking a lot of time. I don’t think the 4G 150 Mbps speed is feasible because we still have to find a way to make the wireless LAN to all the other computers in the same house work faster to make this speed practical. There is no point in paying like $60-70 or so and only get the top speeds in the ethernet connections while the WLAN can only give so much speed, so I am out and not considering this 4G service.

  127. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim

    If you’re getting any good results from pruning and clearing then doing as much as you can will certainly be helpful. If your neighbour doesn’t want you to touch their trees you’ll still be ahead of the game.

    As for the 4G speeds, whatever device that replaces the W35 to access it would probably have an N wifi built in which will give higher speeds provided your computer has an N card rather than G.

    The biggest advantage, however, would be that multiple computers accessing the internet would not slow each other down as there is more bandwidth to share amongst them.

    It would be interesting to see how this extra bandwidth translates into the real world of the overall network. I suspect that usage demands will outstrip gains in bandwidth for the next several years. 4G will help but we’ll still be behind with all the “on demand” movies and tv they’re expecting us to buy.

  128. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Lonewolf, there may be some or all W35 users who have connection issues when using Vista OS on their computers. This Rogers Forum thread started by “Skinorth” may help those who use Vista to connect their wireless routers with the help of Microsoft’s Vista fix.

    http://communityforums.rogers......ead-id/345

    I suspected some of them to have computer problems when I heard about certain computers that can connect while others like XP and 7 have no connection issues. My XP with this W35 never had any problems so far except the one day when the tower was sending out unstable signals, that was all there was for 8 months. The signal got weaker during the late spring and summer months because of the leaves which gets worse when wet, and that was when I got the outdoor antenna.

    If Rogers will send out something similar to the Bell Netgear device, I may ask for an upgrade to the faster speed device. They did let iPhone users to upgrade to iPhone4, so I hope they will allow us W35 users to get the same opportunity without a contract change to get a faster device if and when it shows up at Rogers.

  129. Tony Q. King says:

    @LoneWolf –
    Yeah, the new Netgear Turbohub DOES have 802-11N capability, at least according to its specs.

    I already have an “n” wireless router hardwired to the W35 turbohub beside it, and have the W35 turbohub’s wireless turned off.

    Any gains in speed however will simply mean that your 3 gig / 5gig / 10 gig “bandwidth” will be eaten up so much sooner in your monthly miserly allotment. Bell are probably counting on this..!
    In the meantime, see the website in my name above (under development)
    I ain’t standing still…

  130. CrazyELF says:

    So too all those who are with bell here’s a tad bit for ya I spent 4 hours on the phone with client care Tech Support and finally they connected me with their Loyalty Department and They for 150$ gave me a Hardware Upgrade Credit to replace the Ericsson with the NetGear and Let me tell your the problems are gone the Device Works Great!!

  131. Tony Q. King says:

    Hey, crazyElf- don’t wanna disappoint you but all of our W35 TurboHub problems “seem solved”.
    SEEM is the operative word here. When Bell finally put their HSPA+ on this past weekend, the turbo-hub timeouts magically ceased. Mostly.
    It still times out occasionally. But I bet the new Netgear does also.

    Bell also released a firmware upgrade for the W35 Turbohub.
    What fixed those timeouts? We’ll probably never know.
    But my old turbo-hub and its new firmware seems pretty good at the moment.
    The Ericsson W35 latest firmware upgrade may be obtained here. – as supplied by Bell Mobility.

  132. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi CrazyELF, its great to hear Bell will allow you to upgrade to a better device with the $150 credit. Can you try a speed test and determine what the actual download/upload speed is on your Netgear? Did Bell change or extend your former contract that was with the old W35? I’m just curious and need to know more information on this, thanks.

  133. Mary says:

    So after 3 months of a Turbo Hub that doesn’t work and drops the connection every 2 minutes, I finally got the patch. Woo hoo right, not!!!!

    I did the firmware update, no issues, tried to log back into the management console, no luck. I keep getting an error message.

    “The system database cannot be accessed right now, since it is locked.
    Please wait and retry later.

    Press back and correct the error.”

    So now the connection is stable on DSL but I cannot get back into the console to turn the WiFi back on. Nothing is working to reset the darn thing, tried soft reset and hard reset.

    Any suggestions, Bell has none???

  134. Tony Q. King says:

    @Mary –
    OK- I’ll bite.
    What “management console” are you talking about?
    The Turbo-hub’s configuration “home page”?
    What happens when you click on http://192.168.1.1 ?
    Click the above to try it, and reply back here. Is this the “console” you are referring to?
    Don’t forget your password is “user” , unless you’ve changed it.
    What BLUE lights are lit on the turbo-hub?
    The “Little antenna” with 3G above it should be lit, as well as the globe below it. You should have at least 4 blue bars on either side of the antenna icon, indicating signal strength.
    If you are using its wireless, the “wireless” icon beside the globe should also be lit.
    Give us some details.

  135. Tony Q. King says:

    @CrazyELF –
    Bell’s wifi turbo-hub system seems fairly responsive now, ever since they upgraded their cellphone system last weekend (I assume) to support the HSPA+ rollout.
    I upgraded my firmware as per Bell’s advice at THIS HUMONGOUS BELL url , but I don’t think this was absolutely necessary.
    Anyhow for the most part, my Ericsson W35 is working pretty well now, but there still is the occasional timeout. I can live with it, if it doesn’t get any worse.
    Four hours on the phone to get a $150 rebate ain’t worth my time, especially if I have to alternately argue with Tiffany in Mississauga and Pushtab in Bangalore. Maybe if I got paid $85 per hour… 😉
    And upgrading to the newer Netgear will only cause me to use up my 3 /4 / 10 Gig cap that much faster.
    THIS is what now needs “adjusting” – those miserable monthly DL caps!

  136. LoneWolf says:

    Mary, it sounds like you had the same problem as me. The firmware version 13 changed the format of the database that is used for authentication. The firmware that Rogers told me to install was version 12 and cannot access the database. The only solution is to get a replacement unit as the software cannot be changed without special equipment.

  137. Tim Freeman says:

    So when is Rogers going to make this firmware available? Strange how Rogers was ahead of Bell last year with this Hub device, but now Bell is ahead of the firmware update and the new Netgear device which is better and faster. Also, Rogers claimed at their Redboard site they were the first to test the 4G in the Ottawa, but Bell was way ahead of them on that front also and were already testing 4G in other places in Canada. And while Rogers is so busy buying off sports teams the other big wireless companies are fixing everything up with their wireless customers, I am so disappointed with Rogers!

  138. Heywooood says:

    Anyone tried the Bell 13b firmware on a 13a Rogers branded device? I’m about to, but a little nervous after the 12 downgrade required a replacement hub.

  139. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Heywooood, I’m not sure if this is wise. The firmware update is made specifically for the firm which it is designed for, a Bell firmware may mess up the old Rogers firmware with different settings that are not compatible with Rogers and make it useless. If you want to be safe and sure with this risky idea, you can ask the Rogers forum or call up the tech support for Rogers Rocket Hub and get some safe advice from them.

    And I’m still waiting for this Rocket Hub firmware update too. I guess they are all sleeping through the holidays and using up the money we spent on this old firmware thingy!

  140. Heywooood says:

    I ended up doing it, and it works fine. The vendor-specific stuff seems to be outside of the firmware? All of the logos still say Rogers. Downloads this morning are in the 3-4Mb/s range, but that’s not totally unusual.

  141. Tim Freeman says:

    After waiting 7 days from my billing cycle on the 26th, I am still waiting for the bill to show up. No amount is shown at My Rogers either, so it seems the holidays really do slow them down! I never had a situation like this in any other company I dealt with over the many years, this is sloooooow!

  142. Tony Q. King says:

    @Tim Freeman-
    Huh. You still don’t understand, do you?
    It’s because their system is now computerized!
    Back two or three years ago, old man Rogers had Bob Cratchit doing the books.
    And he even toiled on Christmas day.
    Now, he and Tiny Tim sit at home, stuffed with turkey and watching Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” (sorry for the recursion) on the 47″ LCD.

    Not so the computerized accounting systems. They’re too busy setting the Boxing week prices.
    God bless us every one. Bah! Humbug!

  143. Tim Freeman says:

    It took long enough but I finally received my long-awaited bill, and it seems like the right amount so I am no longer anxious.

    This keeps getting strange because every time the weather gets mild like the last few days the signal bars get weaker to 2 bars, and when it gets cold again like today the signal bars go right back up to 4 steady bars. My antenna is aiming through the woods so I guess it has something to do with the wet branches and trees. Even in the summer it got weak when it rained and then it got stronger as the weather dried up.

    And what does this latest 13b firmware do to the Hub if the users have noticed little or no difference?

  144. LoneWolf says:

    Well, I’ve been really ignoring online things too much this Christmas/New Year season 8=)

    But I did get the replacement hub early in December. It is running the 13A firmware as before. I didn’t have any trouble with it locking up at all until just before New Year — the day the temps headed north of 0. During the thaw I had 2 to 4 disconnects/lockups that required restarting the hub every day. Now that we’re back in the freezer, no more trouble.

    I don’t know if it has to do with the temps or the humidity, but there is something there. I’m also not sure if it is the hub or the towers that is the source of trouble (I’m betting on the towers).

    I do know that when I had the version 12 firmware it recovered from the disconnects better. It would disconnect but then reconnect on its own. Hopefully 13B handles it without requiring a restart.

  145. Tim Freeman says:

    I may want to try that 13b firmware update too if anybody can say with absolute certainty that anything on the Hub is improved. I’m not having any lock issues or disconnections so far, so I’m in no hurry and would rather wait for good results.

  146. Tim Freeman says:

    The weather is very cold here in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, my normal 4-bar signal has strengthened up to a steady 5 bars. I know it will drop to 2-3 bars tomorrow when the weather gets milder. I think my TV satellite had the same problem as the signal weakens when the weather gets warmer, but then gets a lot better in the winter except when there is wet snow or ice on the dish. I think this is why satellite dishes are so popular up in the northern territories where the signal is the very best, as the warmer southern climates need larger dishes just to maintin a fair signal in the summer.

    Has anyone found any noticeable difference in the 13b firmware update for the W35 Rocket Hub?

  147. Tony Q. King says:

    @Tim Freeman –
    Yep. Them water-molecules sure suck up a lot of 900MHz waves.
    On the bright side, at least in warmer, more humid winter weather, your signal is helping to warm up the winter even more. 😉
    Let’s not discuss cold dry winter weather, or the humid summer.

    As far as a Rockethub firmware upgrade goes I don’t know.
    But I, and a lot of other Ericsson W35 Turbohub users coincidentally upgraded the Bell firmware to the 2010-11 version just as Bell finally deployed their 4G (or whatever) system and stopped testing it.
    The past month my T-Hub has been running GREAT!
    Many people think it was due to the firmware U/G.
    But I maintain it nothing to do with firmware upgrades, as a couple of friends still running the “old” 2009 firmware will attest to.
    Is Rogers also “upgrading” their cell network now?

  148. Did anybody else notice this?

    According to Rogers the largest data plan for the Rocket Hub is 10GB and every GB over that will cost $5. My last bill stated I used 55GB, which to me would be: $60 for the 10GB and 45GB * $5 = $225, totaling $285. However my bill was only $127 (and change). Previous bill I used 39GB of data, so $60 for the 10GB and 29GB * $5 = $145, totaling $205. Again, my bill was again only $127 and change. And so on for the previous bills. See the pattern?

    Did I miss a hidden plan? A 100 GB plan for 127 bucks? Is Rogers having more than the 10 GB plan?

    Not that I’m complaining. 🙂

    CU, Frank.

  149. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Frank

    I believe that there is a max rate that is equivalent to 20GB ($60 + 10 x $5) or something like that. I haven’t seen it documented anywhere and it may not apply to all accounts (it seems to be on older accounts when the Hub was first introduced). I also don’t know how long they will continue it.

    I’ve never hit anything higher than 12GB yet so I’ve not seen this myself. However, my daughter has a friend who moved and is using Skype periodically so that may change.

  150. Tim Freeman says:

    I found Rogers to be too slow in checking my data usage of the Rocket Hub W35. Usually it is every second day they will put down the updated usage at My Rogers, but this time I see they didn’t update it for over 3 days now. Is anyone else having the same slow experience with Rogers?

  151. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim

    I gave up on using the site to check my usage early in the game. It took a couple months for them to figure out how I should set the router so that I could even get to the Rogers pages — imagine a router that blocked access to the ISP’s home pages!

    Anyway, once I was able to see my account I saw the same reading for several weeks. The answer from tech support was just to use the router’s internal values to see what my usage was. I haven’t checked on the Rogers site for almost a year now so I don’t know if they’ve improved it at all.

  152. Lapole says:

    Hi,
    I need some advice…First excuse my english as french is my first language…
    I bought the rodgers rocket hub 4 days ago,I live in the Laurentians where my only two options for High Speed are Explorenet(which I heard too many bad coments and is $$$)
    and the Rogers device.I’ve been on Bell dial up for the last 10 years or so and last time I checked my very frustrating download speed was36kbp for 24$ a month!

    So I’m trying the hub for 15 days…I plugged it in and searched my house for the most bars…I found a place near a window that gives me 3G+ with 4 bars illuminated on each side of the “martini glass”that’s how I call it now 🙂
    I did speed tests and I get between 512kbp and 1mbp(even got 2 once!)
    I’ve had to restart it in the mornings(do you guys unplug it at night?)but mostly for me It’s been very fast(I can now watch a You Tube video which before use to take me several hours!)
    My worry is I have a lot of trees,and I’m afraid in the spring I won’t get as good a reception and be stuck with a 2 year contract…
    I also checked my usage on the Rogers site and yesterday I was at 88mo but today
    I was at 528!and I haven’t done a lot on the internet as far as I know!
    What do you think?Should I keep it or return it before the 15 days and try it again when the trees have leaves?
    Are any of you very happy with that device?…reading all the comments made me doubt
    it works for anyone….
    I don’t really have any other options…and the speed I get with it makes a world of difference for me but I see some people reporting that it slows down after the 15 days?

    I tried it at my parents where high speed is not available either and they get all the bars lit up and speed between 5 to 7(lucky them!)

    Thank you in advance for any advice that might help my decision making!

  153. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Lapole. Thanks for dropping in.

    It sounds like your speeds are a bit on the slow side, but that probably has to do with the segment of the cell network that you are on rather than the connection. They sure beat dialup though! And they’re probably on par or better than what you’d get from satellite unless it’s improved since I did my research on it.

    Some people have reported better signals and speed with that addition of an external antenna. I am in a highly treed area as well and haven’t noticed that the leaves make much of a difference unless they are wet. The big problem for me is the tourist season. In the middle of cottage country our population more than doubles with cottagers, campers and other tourists — all of whom bring their iPhones, Blackberries, etc. The data rates drop off quite a bit with all the voice traffic taking priority.

    The Rogers site reporting of usage doesn’t seem to update very regularly. It would be nice to see a daily usage breakdown but that doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon. Remember that video is a big bandwidth hog.

    I am quite pleased with this unit. It isn’t perfect by any stretch, but it provides fairly solid performance. It does need to be rebooted rather regularly. I found it worked better when I had installed an older revision of the firmware but other problems resulted from that and I had to get a replacement unit (the database for logging in is in a different format) so I wouldn’t recommend that.

    The only reason I can see for waiting would be to see if they are going to be bringing out a 4G unit soon. Eventually they’ll have the 4G network rolled out and it would be nice to have a hub that can handle that when it reaches you.

    Let us know what you decide.

  154. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Lapole. The Rocket Hub will be at its best performance during the winter months, so if I had that situation of a slow speed in February I would bring it back and wait until summer to test the speed on any of those Hubs like the Turbo Hub (Bell), the Smart Hub (Telus) or the Rocket Hub (Rogers). I bought my W35 almost a year ago in March, and when the leaves came out the signal got so much worse and I had to $buy$ an outdoor antenna and indoor amplifier to keep my 2-year contract going. I didn’t know back then but I do know now it is best to buy a Hub in the summer and test the speed for the first 2 weeks and then make the BIG decision!

    Hi Lonewolf, I called Rogers this morning about my data usage and even they don’t know where it is at today. They checked it and found it was never changed since the 20th, so this is 4 days. Before that it was 3 days, and before that, it used to be every single day. Their 4-hour data check claim was never implemented for several months now, and today I am getting upset and worried because I thought I used only 1.96 GB usage, but that was 4 days ago and I downloaded some huge files, watched some videos and did my taxes online since then, and my billing cycle is only a few days away! I better get my blood pressure checked!

  155. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim

    You can always check the usage on the hub itself if you log into it.

    If you’ve never done this before, go to http://192.168.1.1 in your browser and it will bring up the hub interface. You probably haven’t changed any of the setup so user is the word you’ll be looking for (hint, hint).

    Click on the Internet tab on the left and you’ll get a page showing you the status of the current internet connection and Traffic Statistics. Here you’ll see the data you’ve transmitted and received this month as well as last month. You can add the transmitted and received values together to get your usage.

    The hub bases this on a calendar month so it doesn’t exactly line up with your billing cycle, but you’ll get a pretty good idea of where you’re at with it.

  156. Barb says:

    Download Bitmeter II – it’s a free program that tracks your usage. Does the same thing as the Bell interface but in greater detail – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, plus you can set it to warn you when you near your limit.

  157. LoneWolf says:

    I’ve used Bitmeter II in the past and it works pretty good for a single computer. However, we are currently running 3 computers off the hub with guests using it as well (and now my daughter has an iPod).

    I don’t recall if Bitmeter can differentiate between traffic to the internet and local lan traffic though, but that shouldn’t be a big issue for someone who only has a single computer hooked up.

    It is a good program and it gave me a really good idea of what my usage was like over time since I’m the “power user” in the house. It really gave me a good feel for what the hub was going to be costing us.

  158. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Barb, how did it go with Bell and your outdoor antenna? I tried Bitmeter a long time ago and had some problems with it, but can’t remember what it was.

    Lonewolf, I tried the Hub like you said and found out I am way over my 3GB usage for this month! Strange how Rogers didn’t want to update my usage, but now I see they want to slap me with an overusage bill!

  159. Tony Q. King says:

    @Lapole – ( + Lonewolf + Barb)
    I have a Bell Turbohub – an Ericsson W35 – similar to the Rockethub, except their linux firmware, maintained by Ericsson, is different.
    When it was first installed last August, it had “no bars” and did not work at all.
    But I was prepared for that- I bought a small “indoor” whip antenna, which I clamped to my steel roof just outside the window.
    The result was dramatic- only 4 “bars”, but I had 3-5 mbs DL and 1-2 mbs UL speeds.
    So I quickly replaced the Ebay-China $19 whip antenna with a small $70 Yagi, just a bit higher- but the bars were now consistently 8.
    But the speed did not improve.
    I am in the middle of a HEAVILY TREED area! –
    see MY ROOFTOP ANTENNA for details.

    There MIGHT have been a bit of degradation when the tree leaves were very wet with rain, but at the time Bell was having a LOT of outages with their rollout of 4G, so I cannot really tell. I will see this summer.
    I do not do too many Youtube DLs, and with usual “mise a jour” stuff for Windows and Ubuntu, I rarely exceed 6 gig / month.

    Of course, and idea about torrents of large movies is verboten!

    For more info about where your Bell and Rogers towers are, see link inside TURBOHUB.TK

    @Barb –
    Thanx for the tip aboout Bitmeter. Will give it a try. I have been using Networx until now – It’s handy of you are doing more research- pings, traces, netstat etc, but is generally overkill if all you need is a count.
    But your 192.168.1.1 stats of the turbo hub give a generally good idea. When UL and DL start to go over 6 gig, it’s time to “step away from the PC, please!”

    -Tony

  160. Bob says:

    Make sure you turn off monitoring of local traffic.

  161. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tony

    From what I’ve seen of the firmware, the actual firmware is on the same base but there are some files that are tweaked to either the Rogers network or Bell network. For some reason Rogers is much slower at getting the newest firmware out compared to Bell.

    As for a stronger signal giving you a higher speed, that doesn’t appear to be the case provided that the signal is strong enough that it doesn’t drop out all the time. A weak but steady signal seems to give you the same speed as a strong one. The limiting factor is the network that your cell tower is on and how much traffic it is receiving.

    I find my router tends to drop out more when it’s wet (and without the firmware upgrade it tends to need a restart to get going again) but while it’s connected the speed stays constant.

  162. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Bob

    I assume you’re talking about Bitmeter. Can you let people know where to turn the local monitoring off? I don’t have a copy here anymore so I can’t play with it and won’t have time until at least next week.

    Thanks!

  163. Tony Q. King says:

    @LoneWolf
    Re “signal strength” Yeah I meant to add that: You either get it or you don’t” re the signal.
    I’m sure my li’l mag-base whip antenna woulda worked just as well on the roof as my “more robust” yagi, but by now it would have been down in 5 feet of snow under the eaves!
    Small digression: After the big “Verglas” of 1998?, we redid our roof- a steel roof was added on top of the shingles. Now when a BIG snow storm arrives and departs, the 50,000 tons of snow on the roof tends to move very suddenly in a thaw- Kinda like an Alberta avalanche. Anyone under the eaves will be buried. And the whole house shakes!
    LOL! I’m used to it. 10+ winters of CRASH! So now, my “secure” antenna is on the peak.
    Anyhow- You either get the 3.5 UL / 1.5 DL or you don’t.
    I do not know much about the Rogers or Bell linux firmware- Ericsson are silent obviously. But AFAS Bell goes they released the new firmware JUST as Bell resolved all their damn 4G cellphone problems. And many people think its the new firmware upgrade. It ain’t.
    Maybe Rogers customers are now experiencing the same torture. I dunno.
    I am not a fanboy. I go with what works. Currently Bell works here.
    A pox on BOTH their houses anyhow! 😉
    Sorry- too much plonque tonight.

  164. Wayne says:

    Hey all,
    Wonder if anyone has a had a problem like this:
    Got the hub in Dec…has worked flawlessly and I have perfect line of site to the tower which is like a km away and i always have full bars, live in a rural area and tower congestion has not been a problem…
    So, the other night I get home and I notice on my phone is on the Edge network…check the hub and it is also only getting 2g speeds….same with wifes phone, ok no big deal this happens….
    Next day still only edge…so I figure I better phone make sure they know…they said should be back on soon and they were right 3g came back on my phone and hour or so later…..
    I get home check the hub, still only 2g….so I turn it off and back on still only 2g…yet 3g is working fine on my cells…..soooooo I call Rogers and they say everything is fine, was on phone for 35 minutes, we did a reset and nothing happened….guy told me to wait a lil longer, might just take some more time as the tower resets etc etc.
    I am skeptical…..any suggestions or anyone have any problem like this before??
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated….download speeds of .18 and .10 going up….. :/
    -thanks

  165. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Wayne

    I’m not sure exactly how the networks work, but there may be some sort of time-release token that hasn’t expired yet. It may be in the tower end of the connection which would explain why restarting your hub didn’t change anything.

    I know that when our tower dropped the 3G it was back up to speed the next day. I had called support and was told there was no problem so there must have been something wrong with my hub. Thankfully I didn’t go through all the hassles of exchanging it (although they walked me through a factory reset — not fun). The next day I was talking with my neighbour who has an iPhone and he was complaining about the poor speeds the previous day so I knew it was a tower issue after all.

    Give it about 12 hours and see how it goes, but if it takes longer than that call support again. Let us know how it turns out.

  166. Tim Freeman says:

    I double-checked my Hub usage at my Hub address and it says I used 4GB so far this month alone, so I know I used a little over 4GB for this month plus a few days at the end of last month to count the billing cycle at the 26th. At My Rogers the data usage is climbing rapidly every day so I know they are trying to compensate and make it look like the actual usage. Yesterday the data usage climbed almost 100MB from 2.17GB the day before and went up to 2.24GB yesterday, today it is 2.85GB, and I know I used very little since yesterday (no videos, no big downloads, etc…) and it definitely was not 600MB. Rogers does have a sneaky way of showing a false data usage, and I am sure it will be up over 4GB when the final counting and billing is done at the end of today’s billing cycle! I was always careful to keep it under 3GB with all 4 computers, so now I know not to trust Rogers’ data usage and keep an eye at my Hub address’ data usage!

  167. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim

    You’re probably right about Rogers trying to catch up to the actual, but keep in mind that there are some things that may happen behind the scenes like Windows Updates. They can be big at times and if you have 4 machines updating then it could be a couple hundred MB fairly quickly.

    Let us know what the usage is when you get the actual bill. It will be interesting to see how well it matches to what the hub reads.

  168. Tim Freeman says:

    LOL! My Rogers is now showing 4.04GB after just a few hours, and I only used one computer this morning, no updates except 1MB for Kaspersky! Yesterday the only updates in all my computers were for my KIS which does not come anywhere close to 600MB. I knew Rogers is dishonest with their data usage, this is nothing new! I’m moving on to another wireless company after this contract is over next year for sure!

  169. Tim Freeman says:

    It’s at 4.65GB now and still climbing! It’s so dishonest of them to do this on my billing cycle date, and I just called Rogers about this and they pretended like everything is normal on their side and nothing happened! I just don’t trust Rogers anymore!

  170. Tony Q. King says:

    @Tim Freeman –
    Don’t forget (I’m assuming you have Windows-7) that MS came out with Service-Pack 1 (SP1) last Tuesday, and MS do not update all our computers at the same time- it takes several days.
    If you have Windows’ automatic updating turned on, this update could be from 150 meg to (theoretically) 1 Gig + for each Windows-7 system!
    This is why I keep my Win-update set to “notify me only” and then the updates are done when *I* decide.
    The other thing that comes to mind is- is this stuff DOWNLOADS? Or UPLOADS? Check your statistics.
    If it is almost all UPLOADS you may be infected by some zombie madly emailing out spam from your system. It’s been known to happen, in spite of the best virus protection.

    In any event, I am sure Rogers is not trying to cheat you.

  171. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi Tony Q. King, my Windows updates are set up to notify me also and I’m using XP. Earlier in my posts I explained that Rogers was not truthfully giving me a data usage reading at My Rogers. Then when the billing cycle came in today all of a sudden my reading sky-rocketed up to close to 5GB, and I noticed it climbed from 2.25GB yesterday to 2.85 this morning, 4.04 at noon and then 4.65 at 1 o’clock. I should have checked my Hub address usage all this time, but I thought My Rogers was supposed to be very accurate as they claimed to check it every 4 hours which was found to be more like every 5 days lately, and a shocking jump at the last day on my billing cycle!

    To me this is not an honest company when they show data usage at My Rogers like that, but I should have thought about checking my Hub address usage as it reflects a more honest reading than My Rogers. On the Hub the upload usage looks normal, mostly download, but I was going by the data usage at My Rogers which deliberately misled me to think I wasn’t using enough data for this month. I wonder how many other customers fell through this same trap and got slapped with the same overusage bill like me? I won’t know my bill amount for a few more days, but anyhow, I’m switching to another wireless company next year when my contract expires!

  172. LoneWolf says:

    It’s too bad that this has happened to you. I don’t know if this is intentional (it very well could be) or just incompetence on the part of Rogers. Either way, it isn’t very pleasant to deal with and you should definitely register a complaint about it.

    Tell them that you thought you had lots of data usage available before hitting the limit based on their site and describe how it suddenly increased so dramatically on the last day of the billing cycle. You might get them to cap it for you at the 3GB. Worth a try at least.

    It will be interesting to see how the landscape looks in a year when 4G is rolled out in more areas. Hopefully there will be some rate competition to help bring the costs down. It would be nice to see one of the smaller providers jump in here like Virgin Mobile did in the US.

  173. Wayne says:

    Me again…
    Still stuck on 2g….
    no ideas…all my phones are getting 3g no problems…
    Gunna call on monday I guess.
    Let ya know whats up then.
    -w

  174. LoneWolf says:

    Wayne, I hope that you’re back up to the 3G before then. That really sucks.

  175. Tony Q. King says:

    @Wayne @lonewolf –
    If it’s anything like my old problem, and it still occurs but very rarely- The Bell tower drops signal somehow, so my turbohub goes roaming.
    It eventually picks up an AT&T 2G tower nearby in the USA.
    I can see this by the slow response and by the “cocktail glass” mentioned above somewhere- Flashing.
    So I quickly browse my http://192.168.1.1 and notice it’s no longer Bell.
    Roaming charges are now in effect! AT&T- $12 / minute or mb or whatever. So I shut off the hub and wait.
    This happened a few months ago- I got an extra $250 on my monthly Bell bill. But after a bit of protestation they reversed the charges.

    So Watch out! Watch out for that flashing “martini glass”!

    It happened in Dec or Jan – Bell stillowes me a $30 roaming rebate.. but I’m usually too tired to discuss it with them to get my $30 reversed. It ain’t worth my time.
    LOL!
    It is now late Saturday night, and fuelled by copious amounts of wine, I am now willing to argue with Bell! But at best I would get Pushtab in the Bangalore office:
    ” Goodness, Mr. Tony! We shall surely look into this terrible thing” after about about 30 minutes of mumblai-ing back and forth-
    “Say, Pushtab! What’s the temp there in Bangalore? It’s -15 here, and 18 inches of snow…”
    “Golly Mr. Tony – it is a sunny 29 degrees here! I am so sorry about your snow. And your bill. Call Bell on Monday!”
    Grrrr….
    Well, sooner or later, I will get that $30 roaming charge reversed by “Ashley” or “Kimberley” in Mississauga…
    Excuse my late-night digression… 😉

  176. Lapole says:

    Hi !thanks for all the answers and comments!
    Finally I returned my Rogers hub yesterday it was not stable enough and I had to restart it often…telling me I was connected but doing nothing!

    I found a place in my town who sells both (Bell and Rogers) and they came to my house to test the Bell Netgear (for free), They did not recommend installing it unless I got at least
    2mb of speed,which I got that day even with really bad snow and rain(versus 512kb with Rogers )…

    So they came back today to install and I get ,for now,3mb and up!
    I’m going to give it the 15 days test drive and see…cross my fingers!

    I had called and visited Bell many times and they always told me that the network didn’t reach my area!Seems that on my side of the lake Bell gets a better reception than Rogers!And the new Netgear is more powerfull I guess…

    My parents bought the Rogers last week and it works really well at their house,full bars lit up and between 5-7 mbps…

    So in conclusion ,I recommend testing both device to see which one has the better reception I think every case is different.I hope more stores do like the one in my town ,
    testing before installing,it would result in more satisfied customers and less returns!

    So I will keep you posted on what hapens in the next 2 weeks!
    Have a nice W-E!

  177. LoneWolf says:

    @Lapole, I’m glad that you managed to get the device that works well for your location. It does take some testing to find which is best when you’re in a rural location.

    I took the same approach and tried a Bell Turbo Stick at first. Unfortunately, it didn’t provide the network capability (I was initially drawn to the 21 Mbps). Then I tried the Rogers Hub as it was the cheaper of the network hub plans. It worked well for us out of the box so I never tried the Bell offering (it was the MiFi box at the time).

    I’ve heard some great things about the Netgear box. Too bad it wasn’t available when I first started looking.

  178. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi LoneWolf. Well, to update my February bill, Rogers technical rep. decided to investigate my case for nearly 2 months and their technical rep. told me today the usage readings at My Rogers was fixed. I wrote back to them to ask how any wireless company can give false readings for the last 6 days before the billing cycle and then presto, the usage reading at My Rogers jumped significantly well over my usual 3 GB monthly usage? I told them I felt I was cheated at the end of the billing cycle date in February because I was slapped with an extra $10. They said this usage reading at My Rogers was never *guaranteed*, but when they checked my monthly bills over the past year they found out my usage has never gone over 3 GB except that one month in Feb., so they decided to give me a one time good will credit of $10.

    This is not much money for me to bother with, but in the end if all customers were cheated the same way on the last billing date of each month we see this big corporation can make +$10 from each customer and the customers will each lose -$10, a $20 difference for each customer which is big money if Rogers wants to do this kind of billing practice. I still have a lot of suspicions on how this usage reading at My Rogers can jump so quickly on the last billing date, even if it was my actual usage. I can only rely on the Hub address to give me some idea at how much usage I used each day, and so I learned I can never trust Rogers’ readings but at least I can compare the two readings to keep it under 3 GB, my usual amount each and every month. Have a great day!

  179. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks for the update Tim. I think that this is one of the problems with usage billing — how can you trust that they are accurate? Rogers is not building up that trust with their system the way it is.

    It would be nice to have a 3rd party device that you could put downstream of the hub to record traffic in and out, but given the cellular nature it would have to be upstream. Perhaps a 2nd hub that handles all the wifi end and the W35 only handles internet traffic.

    I have managed to set up a 2nd router on my system to put a NAS and network printer on. For some reason the NAS would crash the W35 so it forced the issue.

  180. sid gulick says:

    hello lonewolf et al–i find that rogers isn’t necessarily deceitful
    but only very slow at updating their usage records on their website.
    i was convinced there was someone stealing my bandwidth when i found
    them claiming i’d used 2gb in the first 2 days of one of my monthly
    periods but it turned out they were just several days behind in
    updating my usage. i also find that the counter in the hub is
    unreliable, i can’t tell when it resets. i’ve been running networx
    on my laptop which gives me a reliable count on my one machine;
    other users’ usage on the hub is pretty sparse. i believe it’s
    possible to ‘sync’ networx over a home network to monitor several
    users if there’s more than one heavy user on a home network, or one
    could run separate instances on each computer and add them up to
    keep track. i read about running networx on multiple computers on
    the same network but haven’t tried it.
    i think it was on this site that networx was suggested
    to me and i’ve felt like i had a much better handle on my usage
    since i installed it. for general information i run my rocket hub
    both in montreal and in a questionable site just across the border
    in vermont–i suppose this is not really part of the contract but
    it works so badly i don’t think anyone would care. in montreal
    the service is pretty good although there are occasional dropouts
    but just south of mansonville i can only get a connection with 2g.
    i installed an antenna and get a good 3g connection with the antenna
    but i get a permission denied message on the log. perhaps 3g is
    smart enough to realise i’m logging on from vermont while 2g can’t
    figure it out…sid

  181. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks Sid

    How closely does the Rogers bill match up with your networx logs? I’m assuming it’s pretty close or you’d be complaining, but just thought I would ask.

    I’m sure it is just sloppy updates that make the online totals act up so much, but it still isn’t a way to build trust with your clients. They’d be better off just to cancel that page until they can get it to work properly.

  182. sid gulick says:

    hello lw–i only installed the networx program about a month
    ago and at some point i hit ‘reset’ which sets all the logs
    back to zero so this next month will be the first for which
    i have good statistics but from what i’ve observed for partial
    periods of a month rogers and networx agree pretty well except
    that rogers can be as much as a week behind. that makes rogers
    completely useless as a meter with which to monitor your usage
    and guard against going over. i’m not a heavy user so i haven’t
    gone over 3 gb in the 5 months i’ve had the hub; my average is
    about 2gb and that includes all the automatic updates. it is
    possible to set networx so it only monitors particular networks.
    that way if you’re running a laptop and take it to a wifi hotspot
    it doesn’t throw off your monitoring of the traffic you pass
    on the hub. sid

  183. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi LoneWolf and Sid. I checked the Networx and at first thought this was a good idea, but later I found out this software can only take the usage readings out of the computers and not get the actual usage readings on the Hub itself. There are other data usages that Rogers will use on the Hub that does not register on the computers, as far as I can understand from other users.

    I may have found out a solution, though. I asked Rogers by email if I can reset my billing cycle date to somewhere close to the 1st of each month to conform with the Hub’s cycle date. They replied and said I can reset it but not to the 1st, but either to the 31st or the 2nd of each month. She said there will be a normal charge from my present 26th billing cycle date to the date of either the 31st or 2nd, and then the next charge will apply as before for the next whole month. She mentioned no additional fees and no change to the contract, so I think I will try and move forward to this idea, so the billing cycle date at My Rogers will be almost the same as my Hub address cycle date, on the 31st, which is close enough to the 1st on the Hub. I think what they mean is if the month ends on the 30th, 28th or 29th of Feb. on a leap year, this 31st reset will fall into those dates also. Then I should not be getting any more surprises because the Hub adress will show a more accurate reading than My Rogers. I hope this works, but if anyone here thinks it might not work, please let me know, and thanks.

  184. Frank Hemmelder says:

    I just received a letter from Rogers warning me of excessive use of my Internet connection. Had to laugh, since I work for Canada’s largest software company and regularly download images that are several GB. On average my usage was 58 GB/month in the last 3 month. And they call that excessive? Geez, wait till I get a real Internet connection 🙂

    The weather is changing, leaves are returning and I noticed the speed of the Hub is going up and down after being steady for some time. Maybe time to adjust my antenna again…

  185. butt nuggetz says:

    The bell turbo hub is pretty crapy you can’t play online games and its slow as ****** internet its bad don’t buy or your ******

  186. T.Q. King says:

    @butt nuggetz
    Well said, young fellow!
    Your impressive erudition indicates you did not purchase a Turbohub as I foolishly did!

  187. LoneWolf says:

    @butt nuggetz, I’d like to point out that calling people names isn’t really appropriate and I’m not too happy with your language. I’ve had to slightly edit your comment.

    I don’t have any experience with the Bell network, but for someone with limited options like me, the Rogers version of the hub has been a blessing despite the network limitations — and its the network that is limiting, not the hub itself.

    If you live in an area that has ready access to other options like cable then this unit isn’t the best choice (unless you want the mobility of a cellular device).

  188. BeerHunter says:

    So far kinda enjoying my Rogers Hub compared to the alternatives available out here (20 miles south of Grande Prairie surrounded by 40+’ Aspen/Spruce).
    One major fault is the speed fluctuates so wildly RT online gaming is impossible.Kinda miss it a wee bit.
    Other than that , suits my needs perfectly and in the long run , much cheaper than my old WiFi was going to be (with a $4,000 tower needed to access their 3G network).

  189. Lapole says:

    Hi,
    A little update,I’ve been using my Bell Netgear for almost 6 months now and I am very happy with it!
    I’m surrounded by trees and saw no difference with the leaves…The speed is consistent and I never have to restart the device like I had to do often with the turbo hub!
    I don’t do much on the internet,don’t even Skype and always go above 3G/month so it comes to 53$(tax included) per month…
    I Think it is ridiculous that with that kind of rate plan ,I pay for the downloading of images from advertisers and even sometimes videos that start up automatically when you open a web page!
    Also,they should lower the rates for people who don’t have any other option than dial-up in their region…but I think I’m dreaming…. 🙂

  190. T.Q. King says:

    @beerhunter @Lapole –

    All that talk back in the winter about the Bell Turbohub being a piece of crap was basically misdirected.
    In February or March of this year, my Turbohub began acting as it was advertised to do. Without any intervention on my part.
    I never re-boot it. It’s been online now for several months.
    Once or twice in June it began to intermittently slow down and go offline, and I attributed this to the wet leaves in the trees. But again I did nothing. Two weeks later it all cleared up again, and works fine even in rainy weather. And last time I looked, I was still surrounded by dozens of big maples and all their leaves.
    Coincidentally when these problems developed I called some neighbours (about 20 miles away – these are RURAL neighbours) -they also had Turbohubs – and they also confirmed that their Turbohubs were also acting badly at the same few days.
    And they even were using a different cell-tower!
    So it’s not a turbohub problem. Case closed.
    It is Bell’s cellular network- some new system is being installed and being tweaked. THIS basically is the problem. And the technicians don’t care much.
    But I agree about the outrageous prices- My only alternative is dial-up. Need I say more?
    This month I’m up around 8 gigabytes, so I might as well go for the full ten gb, when I start paying 1.5 cents / megabyte!
    And yes! I HATE those websites with big Flash ads, and worse, the ones that automatically invoke a damn Youtube video, without my permission!
    Quick! Find the cursor and move it over to the X on the window’s corner!
    ’nuff said!

  191. T.Q. King says:

    Addendum- after shooting my mouth off here about my wonderful Turbohub, I thought I’d better put my ping where my mouth is- See
    http://www.speedtest.net/result/1451878779.png

    And you be the judge. 😉

  192. Lapole says:

    @T.Q.King
    I agree with you the problem is not the Turbohub it is the cellular network,since I have tried both
    Rogers and Bell… Rogers didn’t work well at my house and Bell worked like a charm…
    Neighbours just across the river have better results with Rogers..It all depends on the tower location..
    I was fortunate to find a place who sold both companies and they came and did tests (for free!)
    before I purchased … He didn’t even want to sell me one unless he got a certain speed…

    Does anybody know of a way to prevent these video ads to start automatically?

  193. LoneWolf says:

    Hey BeerHunter, Lapole, T.Q.

    Glad to hear your experiences with the hub being positive. The network is hit or miss, depending on where you are and what kind of access you have to a tower.

    As for stopping video ads, you might see if there is a plugin for your browser that can handle that. Try a search for “block video ads”. A few things came up that might be useful there when I tried it.

  194. Mike H says:

    To stop internet Flash ads from automatically downloading click on the “tools” menu button on your internet page and click on “internet options”.Click the “Programs” tab in the Internet Options window, then click the “Manage add-ons” button.This will bring up a window that shows internet add ons scroll down till you Locate “Shockwave Flash Object” on the right side of the window and click it.Click the “Disable” button, then click “Close” and “OK.” Flash content will no longer play automatically when you browse the Web. This content can be enabled again by repeating the steps in this section and clicking the “Enable” button.

  195. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Mike

    Thanks for the tip, but keep in mind that this will disable all flash objects, not just ads. Many sites today use flash players to display video.

    A plugin is still the best bet to block ads. They don’t always catch all of them, but they will stop most.

  196. Tim Freeman says:

    Well now, it is time for me to come back after so many months of no complaints against Rogers. I found this neck of the woods has a fairly consistent signal and all is well with Rogers. I guess they fixed all the issues and I think the digital TV switch for all users has added a bonus for stability for the 3G network. I heard this analog to digital TV switch will free some more signal for the cellular towers, and I think I saw a more stable signal on my Rocket Hub during the past week.

    Those flash ads are annoying, but I got rid of them years ago with my Kaspersky Internet Security by setting up my banner ad blocker. This worked on all those ads whether they are flash or non-flash, and it works perfectly and saved me more browsing time and data usage. I’m sure most of the internet security softwares will work the same, just check to make sure it has the banner ad blocker, and everything will move faster and save you more data usage.

  197. LoneWolf says:

    Tim, does that mean you don’t see my ads 8=)

    Unfortunately, ads are a part of the landscape (someone has to pay the bills) but I know that many of us don’t like the video ads that automatically play, or the flashy animated graphics.

    Unfortunately, I’m learning as I study how to make a go online, these types of ads have a much higher return so you’re likely to see more of them down the road rather than less.

    Even blocking regular ads will have a positive impact on your data usage as images do take a fair amount of bandwidth (although it is minimal by today’s standards).

    With your comment on the switch to digital TV signals, unfortunately I can’t comment since none of the networks in the area have opted to switch. We have less than 300,000 people in our region so they aren’t forced to. I’m quite disappointed since I was looking forward to Hockey Night in Canada in HD this fall 8=( Maybe I’ll have to get satellite tv after all…

  198. Tim Freeman says:

    Hi LoneWolf. Sorry about my KIS banner ad blocker, I didn’t realize you had an ad on this site until now. My advice does not seem to help you financially, but it still does help improve my browsing experience and lower my data usage every month. I wonder if those newer TVs will ever have a similar software that will block all those annoying ads…now wouldn’t that be great? Russell Oliver’s “I will buy your jewellery for cash” (or gold or silver for cash) ads are the most annoying to me! lol

  199. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Tim. I do have a couple ads (although I don’t often make much from them). I don’t mind people blocking ads since most people who block them wouldn’t click on them anyway which is how most ads pay. Although I think video ads pay per impression.

    This site was originally a “catch all” blog where I would write about anything that didn’t fit into my other blogs and web sites. It gradually got to be primarily about internet marketing, blogging, etc. so I split off a new site to deal with that stuff. However, most of the ads still relate to that topic (which is quite off topic for this post 8=)

    Eventually I will migrate some of the posts and the ads to the new site and this will become a more random topic site as it was intended.

    But the summer isn’t quite yet over so not much work is getting done around here!

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