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Old 08-01-2008, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which T-Mobile plan allows SSH ?

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Hello

I have done some research on this topic, but still have some questions.

First, a bit of background. I am a Unix system administrator residing in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado. We don't have cell coverage of any kind where we live, so when a friend showed me UMA via her Nokia, it seemed like the perfect solution. Finally, availability to my cell phone number in the mountains.

Once I started looking at T-Mobile's UMA-enabled phones, I gravitated towards the Blackberries. I read about the various SSH clients, IMAP support, IM, Java support, etc. and I was pretty much sold.

I'm considering buying the 8820. I need to do the following:

1. Have "cell availability" via UMA/wifi while at home in the mountains, where there is no cell coverage.

2. When within cellular coverage, I need to use the phone as a modem with my laptop for remote system access.

3. When I am away from my laptop (and within cell coverage, but not wifi), I need to be able to use an SSH client on the phone to access my servers.

4. I need to login to an AIM account and send/receive messages (within cell coverage, but not wifi).

5. I need to access multiple IMAP accounts (within cell coverage, but not wifi), and send outgoing mail via our corporate SMTP-SSL server, which runs on port 465.

6. I will need web access to check web site functionality (within cell coverage, but not wifi).

So my questions are:

1. Is the 8820 capable of handling all these needs? From the specs it looks like it is, but I want to be sure.

2. Which T-Mobile data plan will allow me to use these different IP protocols (IM, IMAP, SMTP-SSL, SSH, HTTP) with my 8820?

3. If I am near a wifi network (a T-mobile hotspot or otherwise), will I need to change anything, or will the 8820 seamlessly switch from the cellular network to the wifi network?

I'm also planning on getting the T-Mobile @Home service for an extra $10/month and ditching the land-line. It's my understanding that I'll get unlimited calling this way, whereas to get unlimited calling via UMA on my cell phone it's an extra $10/month. At this point it seems like 6 of one, half-dozen of another, but my wife would like to keep our home telephone number, etc. so it makes sense to go the @Home route.

Note, I do not need Blackberry's Email Service, at least I don't think I do. I just need plain ole Edge-speed access to the afore-mentioned protocols on the 8820 when I'm away from a wifi network, both from the phone itself, and when it's tethered. I've read elsewhere that T-Mobile is pretty lenient when it comes to what they'll allow you to run on their network, so anyone with any experience in this area, your input would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Last edited by newnumbertwo : 08-01-2008 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. Yes, but you'll need the BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) to handle your email.

2. Can't speak to TMO, but on AT&T, the standard BIS plan allows this. I assume that TMO's BIS plan would as well.

3. Seamless. Instead of going OTA to access the SRP, it opens a standard SSL connection to the SRP and does data through that instead of OTA. You can set up WiFi to automatically attach to known networks, or you can switch manually.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1. Is the 8820 capable of handling all these needs? From the specs it looks like it is, but I want to be sure.

Pretty much. 2) You can install BB modem drives and tether it to your laptop with no additional charges on TMO outside of your data plan. 6) Website functionality will depend, obviously some of the more rich/fancy web features/formatting will not render properly on the BB


2. Which T-Mobile data plan will allow me to use these different IP protocols (IM, IMAP, SMTP-SSL, SSH, HTTP) with my 8820?

TMO's plan choices are kinda cryptic, maybe i'm a bit daft though but any data plan would allow use of these protocols out. I think it's better to avoid BB package plans and get a voice+text(or no text if you don't) plan and get the "BB unlimited add-on" for $20. This gives you unlimited data.

3. If I am near a wifi network (a T-mobile hotspot or otherwise), will I need to change anything, or will the 8820 seamlessly switch from the cellular network to the wifi network?

Yes, it'll do as you wish, pending it was setup prior to know about the wifi network. You can setup wifi profiles and set preference for UMA or Cellular, etc etc. As for the seamless exchange part- in my case not always but definitely more times yes than no.

Last edited by mrpg : 08-01-2008 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm on T-Mobile's $20/month Blackberry addon and have had no problems with midpSSH. I'm going to say that for any of the SSH apps I hope you're a user of vi instead of emacs or even nano and the like. With midpSSH, you can put it into plain old "let me type" mode; I suspect the commercial offerings allow the same.

I'm not sure I'd call the handoffs to/from UMA to be seamless - I regularly lose my calls when leaving home, but that's probably because I'm still on UMA when I get in the car and driving away is a bit too quick for the handoff.

I tether with no real problems, speed is variable. Sometimes I end up with a connection that doesn't appear to be actually passing traffic, but I don't tether often enough for it to be more than a minor annoyance.

Depending on the systems you're supporting, you might also want VNC support. If so, I suggest trying commercial offerings. I tried the free VNC client and found it very painful; SHAPE Services' TSMobiles client has been pretty good (as good as can be expected for the platform limitations) for RDP so hopefully their VNC client is similar.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I wound up going with the 8820, with the $19.95 Blackberry unlimited add-on. So far, I've been really happy with the 8820 (my first Blackberry) and the internet service. The UMA is really amazing, being able to have access here in the mountains is something I've not had for the last 9 years (!)

So far, I have not been able to figure out how to enable all the necessary services via Bluetooth, though. I have a Sony Vaio VGN-AR370 notebook running Vista Ultimate, and whenever I try and set up the connection, the only services it establishes are the "audio sink" and "A/V remote control target". I'm pretty sure the Toshiba-made Bluetooth chipset on the Vaio also supports "Desktop Connectivity", "Wireless Bypass", and "Dial-Up Networking", so I'm not exactly sure why these services don't pop up when I make the connection, but perhaps I need to do more research.
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