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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    JetPack vs. Wireless Modem

    I am thinking of finally breaking down and getting my 1st-ever wireless plan. (Just a "Data Plan" and non of that silly Cell-Phone stuff...)

    So anyways, my question is this...

    How does the security of Verizon's "JetPack" compare to a regular Wireless Modem?

    -------
    Here is my understanding of how Wireless works...

    When I use a free wireless connection (e.g. Panera, Denny's, McDonalds), basically everything I type can be seen by bad guys, right? (Does that include Log-In Credentials too??)

    However, by buying a wireless plan with someone like Verizon, all communications between either the Jet Pack or Wireless Modem and Verizon's Wireless Towers would be encrypted, and therefore - in theory - totally safe, right?

    So far, so good, right?

    Now what my question deals with is whether I should go with a "Jet Pack" or "Wireless Modem"??

    Again, here is my understanding of how things work...

    With a Jet Pack, while Verizon says the communication between my Laptop and their Jet Pack is encrypted, I *believe* it can be broken into via a "Man-In-The-Middle" attack??

    By contrast, by going with their Wireless Modem, it would be "hard-wired" with my Laptop via the USB port. And so, my Laptop would be communicating with Verizon's Wireless Towers *entirely* over an encrypted connection. So, in theory, all of my activity/communication over the wireless network would be *secure*.

    How does that sound?

    (If all of that is true, about the only downside I can see to going with the Wireless Modem, is that I'd only be able to use it with one computer at a time. And this could be a slight pain, since I am planning on buying a new MacBook to use *exclusively* for managing my web server. So, in that case, I wouldn't be able to do things like listen to a radio show on this laptop while managing my web server on my new MacBook.)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    3G/4G isn't entirely secure--there are known weaknesses. However, because it is costly for the equipment necessary to intercept and decrypt a 3G/4G signal, the barrier to entry is higher, thus less likely for a random someone to bother with it.

    As for open wireless access points, all you need is a freeware packet sniffer and you can pretty much see what everybody else connected to that access point is doing.

    As for speed--data transfers over a cellular network are somewhat slow. For open wifi--well, it depends.

    As for jet pack vs USB wireless modem; The jet pack device is a wireless access point that can service multiple devices (which uses the cellular 3G/4G network as your Internet connection). The USB wireless modem can only service on device (also using the 3G/4G cellular network). Also keep in mind the power requirements of each device, if that is a concern. The USB wireless modem will likely use less power.

    These solutions are only for if you travel or if you work outside of the range of your home wireless access point (or wifi signal). If you work from home, it would be more economical to subscribe to a broadband service (Cellular data traffic is expensive).
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force Flow View Post
    3G/4G isn't entirely secure--there are known weaknesses. However, because it is costly for the equipment necessary to intercept and decrypt a 3G/4G signal, the barrier to entry is higher, thus less likely for a random someone to bother with it.
    Is it safe enough to manage a Web Server on the road? (Not that there really is any other choice for me?!)


    As for open wireless access points, all you need is a freeware packet sniffer and you can pretty much see what everybody else connected to that access point is doing.
    Scary...


    As for speed--data transfers over a cellular network are somewhat slow. For open wifi--well, it depends.
    How can you call 4G slow??


    As for jet pack vs USB wireless modem; The jet pack device is a wireless access point that can service multiple devices (which uses the cellular 3G/4G network as your Internet connection). The USB wireless modem can only service on device (also using the 3G/4G cellular network). Also keep in mind the power requirements of each device, if that is a concern. The USB wireless modem will likely use less power.
    I stated that first point in my OP. As far as power usage, one advantage of the USB Modem is that as long as my laptop has power, so does the USB Modem. By contrast, the Jet Pack's battery is only good for maybe 4 hours before it needs charging, which would be a drag for me...


    These solutions are only for if you travel or if you work outside of the range of your home wireless access point (or wifi signal). If you work from home, it would be more economical to subscribe to a broadband service (Cellular data traffic is expensive).
    I live on the road, so that is why I want to get this.

    All interesting comments, but what about my original question?

    I asked about *security* of the Verizon Jet Pack versus Verizon's USB Modem... (Both on the 4G Network.)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  4. #4
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Is it safe enough to manage a Web Server on the road? (Not that there really is any other choice for me?!)
    Sure, it shouldn't be any more of a problem than managing it over a standard broadband connection (as far as security goes).

    How can you call 4G slow??
    That depends on where you are, the coverage area, signal strength, number of users, etc...

    I asked about *security* of the Verizon Jet Pack versus Verizon's USB Modem... (Both on the 4G Network.)
    In terms of the 4G side of things, there wouldn't be a difference between the devices.

    In terms of the Jet Pack's wifi capabilities, as long as you secure it with WPA2, you should be fine.
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  5. #5
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    I'm new to site so forgive me, do not know how all this works.
    I have had UM175 USB Modem for several yrs, Tired of the SLOOOWness. I only have 5 Gigs of data to use each month, Have come close a few times. So I upgraded to a Jet Pack, Needless to say, doing all the same things i did on my old USB modem, I had used 6 gigs data in 7 days!! AHHH!! So took it back to store. back to my old friend the UM175. So. My Question is, does the new 4 g Modem also run threw data as fast as a jet pack or will it not consume as much as fast?


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