Mac EVDO, Part II

by brian d foy

I didn't have much time to explain EVDO, a wireless broadband connection, in my last pos because I only had a few minutes to use the network before the flight attendants closed the door. Now that I'm on Interstate 5 on my way to Los Angeles (don't worry, I'm not the one driving), I have a bit more time. There's really not much I can explain: I put the PC card in my laptop, connect to the Verizon network, and I've got a connection at least as fast as my cablel modem at home. It's unlimited airtime for $60/month.

Aside from a few deadspots along Highway 1 and going over the Grapevine (a big hill, or a little mountain), reception has been fabulous. Instead of spending time loading up my laptop with things to read during the trip, I just surf during en route. Where a Blackberry would allow me to check and send email, my EVDO card let's me do anything I like, including chatting with Randal Schwartz and uploading patches to the stuff we're working on.

I also have to put in a kind word for the people over at They saw my last post and unsolicitedly offered to refund my money since I only wanted the software and didn't need the service. Verizon offers the software for free, although they certainly didn't make it easy to find. If I need service, though, I know where I'm going back to. :)


2006-01-04 11:13:43
How is latency? Did you consider Sprint?

How is latency with your EVDO service? I am considering both Sprint and Verizon's EVDO service. I have heard there might be a 1 second or so latency delay on two way connections. Have you tried opening a shell window on a remote box and typing? Any lag?

I am also thinking of using this as a way to VPN to work (in a pinch), or manage my fathers Mac with Apple Remote Desktop (ARD). I don't mind a little lag, but if a dialog popped up constantly saying "connection lost -- reconnecting" that would be a deal killer.

2006-01-04 11:18:03
How is latency? Did you consider Sprint?
Sometimes I have a bit of lag with ssh, but everything else seems as low-latency as my cable modem. Of course, things slow down a bit when the signal strength is low. Usually I have no problems with remote editing and the like, but sometimes the latency spikes really high for a minute or so, then everything is back to normal for a long time.
2006-01-22 08:40:32
I got EV-DO also.. and VPN Access
I bit the bullet and also got EV-DO service from Sprint (through EVDO Info ( for Apple support). It is fantastic. I have yet to find a location in the St. Louis metro area without coverage. 1.2Mb down at home late at night, 790Kb down at work during day. Sweet. Latency is an issue for Apple Remote Desktop. (ARD) -- .5 to 1.0 second delays in what I see happen on the remote box). ARD works fine otherwise (I can control my iMac at home -- even "spy" on my office through the iSight camera).

The only thing that doesn't seem to work is VPN. Did you get that to work, and if so did you have to do anything special?