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Using USB modem w/ desktop - comments?


TUG Member
Jun 6, 2005
Reaction score
Looking for opinions on anyone using USB cell modems (Verizon, etc) on a home computer as a replacement for a cable modem.

My sister & BIL live many status away. They have wired internet access through their local cable provider. I set them up with a router that provides some filtering from the raw internet. It has has support for Dynamic DNS, and I have a hostname for them registered at dynsdns.org. I use remote access software to access their computer. DDNS allows me to specify their 'hostname', and always reach theVir computer, regardless of what temporary DHCP address they get from the cable company.

They called me yesterday, said they are trying to switch to a Verizon 4LTE USB modem (they already got it, but didn't cancel their cable internet yet). [Apparently Verizon also has a service where your home calls are sent over the cell network, then picked up by a box that converts cell calls to landline, where you can plug in an regular desk phone.]

First, it looks like you need to start and always run the Verizon Access Manager software to get connection. So, instead of 'always on' with cable internet, it looks like Verizon is 'always available'. I was able to look at the modem status, it showed a 2 out of 4 bar 3G signal (no 4G signal, and based on where they live, woudn't surprise me if there's no rush for it to come). So I'm not sure what the speeds might be.

I'm also concerned now that with no router, there's none (certainly less) filtering of traffic from the internet. I did a search, it appears there are PC-based programs for DDNS updates, but I'm not sure how well they work. I do a fair amount of remote admin / debugging for them, typically on my availability, not typically when they are using the system.

So my choices:

1. Struggle through:
- how/if 24x7 connection can be established
- concern about performance or volume cap w/ VZW
- no/little internet filtering
- get DDNS working locallly


2. Tell them, if they go with this solution, it'll render remote on-demand (by me) access basically unusable.

I'm assuming there's some cost savings, but I don't know the amount. They aren't the most technically knowledgeable people, so trying to talk them through screens I'm not evey familiar with could be painful.

I'd appreciate any comments.