Sierra 880u Next G not connecting

January 7th, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet, wireless No Comments »

I’m using a Telstra Next G Sierra Aircard 880U modem to connect to the Bigpond Wireless Network

The connection seems okay but after a few minutes it freezes up, if I swap ports the status shows “Device not Connected” the only thing I can do is restart the computer.

This is a common problem we’ve been hearing a lot about. It appears to be a problem with the software and drivers provided on the CD.

The solution is to download the drivers and firmware for the 880u from the Sierra website, they have both Mac and Windows software. Make sure you download both the software and firmware upgrades and print out the instructions.

Follow the instructions, running the software update first. It’s important to let these installation wizards complete without interruption so make sure your laptop is plugged into a power source.

Be careful in the setup process with the service you choose; if you are Telstra subscriber the settings are different to the Bigpond service. You may have to contact Telstra or Bigpond for further instructions.

Securing a wireless network

December 29th, 2007 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, wireless 3 Comments »

I have home networked 2 computers, both running Windows XP, with a router. The router (Netgear) has both cable and wireless capabilities. I use the cable networking.

I know my teenage neighbours have hooked into my wireless connection because their father told me! I went to the Netgear site on the internet and placed a password. I have the wireless section firewalled.

I’ve read some information on the PC Rescue site about securing home wireless networking, but what I want to know is how do I now check whether or not my computer is safer from people using the wireless. How do they do it?

First, I hope your neighbour has told the kids to get off your network. If they use up your data allowance for the month you’ll end up footing the bill or putting up with a slow connection.

Worse, if another neighbour decides to do something illegal, it’s in their interests to do it through your unsecured wireless connection. That way, the police will be raiding your place rather than theirs.

So it’s absolutely essential you get the security settings right on your wireless network.

To do this you’ll have to log onto your router and change the wireless security settings. We suggest setting the wireless encryption to WPA and using a passkey of at least ten letters and numbers that isn’t immediately obvious to your neighbours, that means not using the dog’s or kid’s names.

Doing this varies with the model router you have, basically you have to log onto the management website built into the router and look for the wireless security settings.

This should be explained in your router’s manual. If you don’t understand it, then call for some assistance.

Securing your wireless network is absolutely essential. If you fail to do this you can be exposed to large bills and embarrassing accusations. Do it now.