Wednesday, August 20, 2014

3GStore Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Vendors and Partners



In the last month, the ALS Association has received more donation money than it did in the entire year of 2013. The vast majority of this burst in donations can be credited to the spreading phenomenon, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

As the donation money continues to “pour” in, 3GStore owner Michael Ginsberg challenged his employees to join the fight and raise awareness for ALS. Thus far, $900 dollars has been donated on behalf of 3Gstore, as the employees have exposed themselves to the dreaded flood of icy terror.

It is now up to the nominated Vendors and Partners of 3Gstore to step up and accept the challenge as well! The nominated companies include: Cradlepoint, Peplink, Surecall, Wilson Electronics, and Wyless.

See the 3GStore ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video in all its glory below:


And read more about the ALS Ice Bucket movement here.

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

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

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

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

Watch our video demonstrating SimplyBonding:

The benefits provided by a bonded connection are limitless, but here are just a few of the advantages companies will see from a SimplyBonding connection:
  • 99.99999% uptime, which translates to increased productivity, eliminating lost sales and missed transactions, etc
  • Unbreakable VPN
  • Unbreakable VOIP - never drop a call again, even if one of your connections dies right in the middle of a conversation
  • No need for expensive MPLS connections
  • Reduce network setup and management time
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Costs and Requirements: SimplyBonding requires a SpeedFusion-capable router, a one-time setup fee, and hosting service that can be billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
  • Router: You must use a Peplink or Pepwave router that supports SpeedFusion and has the necessary ports/connections for the internet links you'll be bonding (e.g. WAN ports for cable/DSL, USB ports for 3G/4G modems, etc). We will help you select an appropriate router if you don't already have one.
  • Hosting charge: SimplyBonding costs $250 per month, or you can choose to pay quarterly or yearly and save up to $575. All new users can test the service for FREE for 14 days. New users will only pay the setup fee at checkout, and the first service fee will not be charged for 14 days. If you decide to cancel within those 14 days, the service fee will not be charged.
  • Setup fee: There is a one-time non-refundable setup fee of $250 to get your SimplyBonding service provisioned and set up.
To get started, visit 3Gstore.com/simplybonding

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Verizon Leads the Pack Again in RootMetrics' Latest Report


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

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


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

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


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

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

New Sprint CEO announces lower pricing

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Recently the new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said he’d be changing Sprint pricing to make them more competitive on price because their network is behind both Verizon and AT&T’s network. Yesterday they made an announcement stating “It’s a New Day for Data for American Consumers” that will offer double the data at similar or lower prices than AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Sprint will also be giving customers up to $350 towards an ETF if they migrate over to the Sprint network in order to steal subscribers from other wireless carriers. The new Sprint Family Share Pack will allow a family to share up to 20GB of data, unlimited text and voice for $100/mo under a limited time promo. This promo is similar to T-Mobile’s $100/mo plan, but doubles the data giving customers a 20GB total pool instead of 10GB with T-Mobile. Sprint plans to release additional announcements later this week with new improved plans for individuals too.

Monday, August 18, 2014

FCC Extends 2nd Net Neutrality Deadline

The Federal Communications Commission is giving the public more time to reply to concerns about net neutrality.  In relation to the commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (which is in place to develop and promote the commission’s goals for the adoption of broadband and voice services), the announcement came on Friday.  The notice states, “To ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings, the Bureau today is extending the reply comment deadline by three business days.” This means you now have until September 15th to comment.

The FCC will hold a a series of six roundtable discussions about net neutrality beginning on September 16th, and ending October 7th. A Knight Foundation-commissioned analysis of the first round of comments uncovered that 15 percent of responses were opposed to a so-called “pay-to-play” Internet, suggesting such a system would “harm the diversity of the Internet.” Unfortunately, the report only covered a quarter of the total comments.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Congrats to 3Gstore Customer Andreas R. For Writing Review of a Remote Power Switch - 1 Outlet - Home Automation and Remote Rebooting (Routers, WebCams, Servers, etc)

Congrats to Andreas R. of Stamford, Connecticut who just won a $25.00 Restaurant.com gift code for writing a review for Remote Power Switch - 1 Outlet - Home Automation and Remote Rebooting (Routers, WebCams, Servers, etc) at 3Gstore.com! Every week we randomly pick one product review from the previous week and award the writer a $25.00 gift code. We appreciate ALL the reviews our customers write, whether they are positive or negative - honest reviews like Andreas R.\'s help other customers decide if the product is right for them. After you purchase a product from 3Gstore.com, we encourage you to log in and 3Gstore.com and leave a review letting people know how the product worked for you - you'll be helping others, and you'll automatically be entered to win a restaurant.com gift code!.

The device is okay for its price. Unfortunately there are remarkably few usable products like this in any price range. There are a few big problems with this device that seem like they would be very easy to fix. First and biggest is there is no password protect for the device interface. You can't open up access to it on the public Internet because anybody can just log into it. Also, I don't know what port the iOS app uses but that is not password protected either. So again, no public Internet access to it. Another thing that is very wrong with it, is the iOS app that controls it, does not let you enter a hostname for the device. So you can't do something like setup dynamic DNS to access it on the public Internet, even if it was password protected... Fix these things, and you have a first class little device for very cheap! Too bad because we are an IT consulting firm and could probably use a bunch of these if they revise it.


New Sprint CEO plans to compete on price

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New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has announced they plan to compete against Verizon and AT&T on pricing and we should soon see aggressive pricing updates from Sprint. Previously under Dan Hesse’s leadership he was reluctant to compete on pricing, but the new CEO see’s it differently. Claure even said when you’ve got a great network you don’t have to compete on pricing, but when you don’t have a great network price is something you have to consider. Their network is behind both Verizon and AT&T so that’s really the only option for them until they can complete their Sprint Spark plan and launch better coverage throughout the country. You can expect to see announcements as early as next week as Sprint changes their pricing structures, which should be interesting to see how both Verizon and AT&T respond.

Don't Get Caught Off Guard - Support for Windows 7 Will End in 2020!

Okay, so you've still got about 5 years to continue using Microsoft's most widely used OS, but that time can creep up on you! After all, even though there was news released about the ending of Windows XP support, some were still surprised! So, it’s never too early, especially for businesses, to start planning their move off of the now 5yr old OS. 

It would be in users' best interest to start planning migration to Windows 8 or 8.1 immediately. However, with Windows Threshold (Windows 9) scheduled for release next spring, you may consider holding out to upgrade then.  Of course, by that time, there may also be a 2nd update for Windows 8.1 as well - also expected by next spring.

We've heard reports that the vast majority of Win32 applications that run on Windows 7 should run on Windows 8 and beyond, but enterprises in some regulated industries may be restricted to using software that still uses formal ISV support.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Verizon to launch VoLTE by the end of 2014

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Recently Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told Wall Street investors at a conference on Tuesday that they’ll be offering voice calls over LTE by the end of the year. By moving voice to the 4G LTE networks they can improve efficiency and offer higher quality audio and features like cloud-based video address books. Users will still be able to use the older legacy 3G network as a backup too, if 4G LTE coverage isn’t available at a specific location. Before going live Verizon wants to have their 4G rolled out through the country and currently sits at about 97% market coverage with LTE service. In addition to improved voice quality 4G chips are cheaper too, which could bring down the cost of smartphones when VoLTE is finally released.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Sprint CEO hinting at job cuts

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Sprint recently announced that Marcelo Claure will replace Dan Hesse as the new CEO of Sprint. With the change the new CEO will be holding a company wide meeting on Thursday to discuss his plans to refresh the Sprint brand and improve the company. According to Bloomberg, Claure’s main goal will be to cut costs. This means they’ll start to get more aggressive competing against carriers like T-Mobile who have recently turned the wireless industry upside down with aggressive plans that undercut larger carriers like Verizon and AT&T substantially. Several of the analysts at Bloomberg also believe that Claure will also cut operational costs by letting go some of Sprint’s 36,000 employees.