CloudGate Universe Redesign Coming

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Option is  excited to announce that when you are back from your summer holiday they’ll be launching a completely redesigned CloudGate Universe. Option’s team has created a new look and functionality of the CloudGate Universe and  had only one thing in mind when they started this redesign – you. Overall, menus and navigation will be hugely simplified with clear sections. Soon, you can do whatever you want even faster! Based on customer feedback here is a selection of the most important changes in the new CloudGate Universe:

Simpler to use:

  • Completely redesigned layout – simple and easy to use with a strong focus on relevant content.
  • Easy to find, understand and install available software - for example all new features in each firmware can be accessed via CloudGate Universe.
  • Refreshed documentation section so you can easily find what you are looking for.
  • Simplified signup process for new customers.
  • Search for any device by serial number or device name.
  • A status indicator for each device, so you can quickly see whether a device has checked-in.

Lower data consumption:

  • The data usage for a CloudGate device, when doing a check-in to CloudGate Universe will be reduced to approximately 1Kb when no changes are required. This means that you can set devices to check in everyday with only ~30Kb of data consumption per month.
 
Large Option CloudGate Deployment? Request a formal quote
 

Peplink is now offering InControl 2 Subscriptions

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Peplink has simplified the process in order to get connected to their cloud based management platform called InControl 2. This service is included free of charge for the first year and is now available in one or two year subscriptions. Previously the only way to renew InControl service was to add warranty service, but some customers didn’t want extended warranty coverage and only needed the InControl 2 subscription. Starting now customers can purchase a 1/yr InControl 2 for $25.00 annually or go with a 2/yr subscription for $40, which works out to $20 per year. InControl 2 allows you to centrally manage all your Peplink/Pepwave devices by updating configurations, getting real time analytics, GPS fleet tracking and more!

Large Peplink/Pepwave Deployment? Request a formal quote
 

Verizon announces ALLSET prepaid LTE plans

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Starting on July 17, 2014 Verizon will be adding ALLSET prepaid plan options that will run on the Verizon 4G LTE network. Any Verizon 4G LTE smartphone will be able to be used costing just $45/mo for 500MB of data, unlimited talk and text. They’ll also be offering a limited time promo where if customers opt to sign up for auto pay they’ll get double that data (1GB vs. 500MB), or after the promo add another 500MB for $5. If that isn’t enough data for your needs they’re also offering “Bridge Data”, which allows you to add 1GB for $10 or 3GB for $20 with a 90-day expiration. The 90 day length is a lot better than Verizon’s older prepaid packages that typically had a 30 day expiration.

 

Peplink alternative to dedicated MPLS

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Peplink products are known for their uptime and ability to control multiple ISP’s to optimize bandwidth across your company. Many customers are now using Peplink equipment to completely replace a dedicated MPLS system getting substantially more bandwidth, multi-point redundancy and saving tens of thousands of dollars in the process. On average customers that have switched to a multi-WAN bonded solution are saving 85% over a single dedicated MPLS alternative.

Justin Dale who has 15 years in IT at Diamond International Trucks says “We now have a highly reliable MPLS alternative that allows for the flexibility in ISPs… greatly reducing our costs while maintaining a high level of service. This is made possible by Peplink’s SpeedFusion bonding technology that allows multiple links to pass within a VPN to a concentrator or FusionHub virtual machine installed within the cloud. Unlike traditional load balance routers that can only establish one session per ISP Peplink’s bonding allows traffic to be broken down across multiple links enhancing the bandwidth and providing more network redundancy.

One area where this holds a huge advantage is VoIP (Voice over Internet) where a traditional load balancer or failover router would drop the call if your primary ISP goes down. Because Peplink devices allow the traffic to be split even if one ISP drops off you won’t lose the phone call because the session is still active across other ISP’s on your network. Depending on the Peplink box you can run a mix of Cable/DSL and Cellular 3G/4G routers to have as many as 13 different WAN connections active at any time. If you have any questions on how Peplink can save your company money please contact 3Gstore for more info!


Related Links:

 

Sprint announces LivePro Mobile hotspot that includes a built in projector

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 09, 2014 - It’s the most important presentation of your career. You walk into the boardroom and learn your client’s Internet access is down and the projector bulb burned out. What do you do? Never again should you have to face this nightmare after the July 11 debut of the world’s first commercially available pocket projector and mobile hotspot, Sprint LivePro™.

This innovative new device combines a mini projector with a 10-inch to 10-foot projection display and 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot powered by the super-high-speed network data capabilities of Sprint Spark™, where available, and supports up to eight Wi-Fi® enabled devices simultaneously.

It will be available exclusively from Sprint (NYSE: S) in select Sprint Stores, and through Sprint direct ship sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Business Sales, Web Sales and Telesales at 1-800-SPRINT1. With Sprint Easy Pay, well-qualified buyers can purchase Sprint LivePro with $0 down (plus tax) and 24 monthly payments of $18.751.

“Whether it’s a boardroom proposal or backyard movie night, Sprint LivePro is a one-of-a-kind device that combines the enhanced LTE network capabilities of Sprint Spark with an easily portable projector that helps you get work done or keep the family entertained,” said David Owens, senior vice president of Product Development, Sprint. “Sprint LivePro has a high-quality projection display making it easy to share important information on a movie screen, wall or any other flat surface. Its mobile hotspot is powered by Sprint Spark, offering blazing-fast network speeds for downloading important videos or presentations on the Web.”

Measuring 4.7 inches x 4.7 inches and only 1.1 inches thick, Sprint LivePro easily fits in a briefcase or purse and features an embedded speaker providing audio during video or presentations. For bigger sound, separate speakers can be paired via Bluetooth® or attached to the device with a 3.5mm jack.

LivePro offers an easy-to-use 4-inch touchscreen display and Android™ 4.2, Jelly Bean, user interface, making it easy to access content and use the hotspot. The large 5,000mAh lithium ion battery can also be used as a power bank to charge a smartphone, tablet or other devices using a USB cable.

Users can share content using HDMI or USB cables, or wirelessly mirror a smartphone or tablet display using Wi-Fi Miracast®. Through the Wi-Fi connection, users can also pull content from the Cloud directly from the device and stream video and audio content easily with a Wi-Fi connection or data plan. Files can be shared and stored on LivePro using Bluetooth, an HDMI or USB cable as well.

Sprint LivePro is also a great tool for entertaining. At the next family barbecue, the cordless projector can be used to watch video or play a game in the backyard. Customers can also use the mobile hotspot to pull and share content from the Web.

Featuring access to Google Play™, with more than 1 million apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies, LivePro can keep guests entertained well into the night. LivePro also includes Google Mobile™ wireless services, such as Google Chrome, Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ for Android, Google Calendar™, Drive and YouTube™.

 

CradlePoint Clarifies MBR95 Future

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On June 12th, 2014 Cradlepoint released an announcement regarding vulnerabilities within OpenSSL (Heartbleed bug). These issues were mitigated by an updated to Enterprise Cloud Manager on 6/9/2014 at 8pm EDT, but the CBR400/450 and MBR95 weren’t fixed and announced end of life (screenshot above). Shortly thereafter Cradlepoint indicated the MBR95 wasn’t included in the end of life process, but there are no additional firmware builds scheduled for the MBR95 units (recant screenshot below).  The lack of future firmware updates doesn't mean that the MBR95 will no longer be supported by Cradlepoint or 3Gstore, but it DOES mean that future 3G and 4G modems will not be supported, and no new bug fixes or features will be available.

Cradlepoint has released a recommended course of action for anybody currently using MBR95 units which protect against the OpenSSL vulnerability, but limit the functionality of features within the router too.


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MBR95 Mitigation for OpenSSL Vulnerability suggestions:

  • Disable remote web administration*
  • Ensure any web browser used to access the Web GUI (Local or remote) is fully updated to the latest version.

Aside from those two recommendations the only other recourse MBR95 users have is to upgrade to a unit that has received firmware updates to completely fix the vulnerability like the MBR1200B, MBR1400 or IBR600/650 series. All of these units have received updated firmware build 5.1.2 that fixes the security risks of the OpenSSL bug. Depending on your application and how you’re using the MBR95’s it may or may not be worth upgrading to new hardware. Here is our recommendation if you have MBR95 units:

3Gstore Recommendation on MBR95 Units:

If you’re a home user simply using the MBR95 to provide connectivity through your home disable remote admin capability and ensure your browser is up to date. Even though the units will receive no additional firmware updates or features if you don’t change to a newer device your equipment will not just stop working. In fact, there are still lots of customers running legacy routers like the MBR1000 and that model hasn’t received a firmware update in several years. Firmware upgrades will only become an issue for you if you upgrade to newer USB devices that aren’t listed as supported on the latest firmware build for the unit. Normally Cradlepoint releases new firmware every 2-3 months that adds in support for additional modems and/or carriers that provide cellular connectivity - BUT they have announced that the MBR95 will no longer receive these firmware upgrades.

If you’re a business user and have either standardized on the MBR95 or are evaluating it for a larger rollout throughout your company it’s probably time to start evaluating new hardware. The closest alternatives to the MBR95 right now are the MBR1200B or the Pepwave Surf SOHO if you want to evaluate a different manufacturer. These units are unaffected by the OpenSSL bug and receive timely firmware updates to add new features, fix bugs and support cloud management platforms to easily manage hundreds of units deployed out in the field. Most companies are likely going to want remote admin capability and if the main recommendation from Cradlepoint is to disable this feature you’ll lose a crucial feature or ultimately leave your company with huge security risk.

Thinking of switching Cradlepoint models? Contact us to discuss your needs

* Steps to disable MBR95 Remote Web Admin:

  1. Login to your router at 192.168.0.1 through a web browser. If you’ve changed the default IP enter the new IP of the router.
  2. Click “System Settings” on the top right tab and select “Administration” from the drop down window.
  3. On the left hand side click the tab called “Remote Management”
  4. In the main window you will see “Allow Remote Web Administration”. Remove the checkmark and navigate to the bottom of the page and click the “Apply” button.
  5. You have now removed Remote Web Administration
 

Cradlepoint MC400 Universal Modems save deployment costs

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CradlePoint has led the industry by making it very easy for our customers to choose their cellular carrier by virtue of our routers supporting “plug-n-play” modem technology.  Customers can also change their modem (and carrier) to reduce their data costs or improve their connection or service level.  This flexibility allows companies to take advantage of the competitive swings in the cellular market and change carriers when necessary to obtain the best combination of price and signal strength for each of their office locations.

As easy as it’s been for CradlePoint customers to change their modem or carrier on our products, it was still challenging for locations without on-premise IT staff (and for many companies that means just about every remote location).  Remote offices without technical staff would require dispatch of a service truck to physically change their modem.  These “truck rolls” are costly, and difficult to schedule during the slow times (evenings and weekends) when they would be least impactful to ongoing business.

Now, with the introduction of their new MC400 universal modems, customers have even more flexibility in their choice of carriers and can future-proof their network solution—while avoiding those painful truck rolls.

Suppose, for example, that your company has been using Carrier X but then realizes it could lower data costs or get better connectivity by switching to Carrier Y.  With the MC400 modem, you won’t need to go out and buy another piece of hardware to accommodate the new carrier because the ability to handle multiple carriers is built right in!  Second, the switch from one carrier to another can be done remotely across your distributed locations using CradlePoint Enterprise Cloud Manager.

One great feature of Enterprise Cloud Manager is the ability to manage your remote locations by geographic area.  A region manager can use Enterprise Cloud Manager to select all of their locations and tell Enterprise Cloud manager to switch all of the devices from carrier X to carrier Y.  You can even tell Enterprise Cloud Manager to schedule the change in the middle of the night or weekend for the least impact to your business.

In a sense, our new MC400 is analogous to the ability to unlock a cell phone so that is can be used with any carrier. The net effect is to give our customers more choice and lower their network operating expenses.

Companies that use cellular data services may have felt “locked in” to a given carrier after their initial equipment deployment.  That’s because they knew the cost of a service visit for each remote location would consume most of the savings of a carrier switch.  Now, the MC400 combined with Enterprise Cloud Manager removes these roadblocks and enables remote selection of your distributed locations’ cellular carriers.

Our relationship with the carriers has been symbiotic.  CradlePoint was first to bring low-cost, reliable cellular data to mainstream businesses.  We work very closely with the carriers to get our products certified on their networks.  As a result, the carriers know how well our devices work.  One of the things we hear all the time from new customers is that they chose CradlePoint because their cellular carrier recommended our products.

By removing the “lock” on data services, our “universal” MC400 modem might be said to be an industry disruptor. We’re confident the net effect will be good for our customers and the carriers. Our solution will give our customers more flexibility, which can lead to lower costs that over time will enable more businesses to use cellular data.  This brings more customers to our carrier partners, enabling them to continue to grow their networks and drive the technology forward.  We really like these win-win solutions.

Large Cradlepoint deployment? Request a formal quote
 


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