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AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard Print E-mail
Written by Reuben Gathright   
Friday, 21 January 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 Stars 3 out of 5 Stars

AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard

Par Performance for the AT&T Adrenaline USBConnect!

The AT&T Adrenaline 3G Modem is a clever USB device that allows you to connect your laptop or ASUS 1015 netbook to the internet in many remote locations around the United States of America. Many cellular phone companies now offer these 3G USB Modems and there are speed differences that you should know about.

Yet, in addition to speed, you should add quality and service to your list of concerns with this AT&T product. What is the tested download speed of the AT&T Adrenaline 3G Modem? How do I know if my AT&T USB Modem has failed? Keep reading to find out.

AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
(click image to enlarge)

 

HOW TO SETUP ON YOUR COMPUTER?

The AT&T LG AD600 comes with the installation software package for AT&T Communication Manager, pre-installed on the USB device. A 36 Mb partition on the USB modem contains the installation package. You can simply plug it into a spare USB port on your ASUS 1015 netbook and the software installation will appear if no communications package has been found. Completing this process usually takes about 5 minutes on the average netbook computer. While it is executing, icons will appear on your Windows 7 desktop for the AT&T Communications software suite. Your computer will find display finding new hardware messages as well because the install also completes the setup of your USB AD600 3G modem.

Now that the software is installed, the AT&T Communication Manager program will appear automatically on your ASUS Eee PC 1015 netbook anytime that you insert the USB modem. The first thing you will notice about this program is that it shows you the amount of downloadable data remaining for your current billing cycle in GB. I find this incredibly useful because it allows me to purchase the cheaper data plans and also reminds your users to limit the monthly downloads that they may incur.

AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
(click image to enlarge)

 

QUALITY CONCERNS (ALARMING FAILURE RATE)

One of the benefits of my current job is the ability to see the latest IT products and how they perform. As part of a switch to AT&T phone services, my company decided to use their 3G modem products on all portable computers. To do this, we bulk ordered a dozen of these modems at once. Out of 12 boxes of AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline devices my company received last month, two had to be replaced immediately. In my 20 year history of working with computers, I have never personally seen such a high rate of failure for new equipment. Here is a discussion for each case.

Case 1: Could not make the Adrenaline USB device work in any computer. No computer or netbook that I plugged this device into would recognize it. Opened Device Manager on a brand new Toshiba Mini NB255 and could not find it in the list of devices. Returned it and received replacement in a few days which worked just fine.

Case 2: At an office in Houston, Texas, a coworker was able to setup the AT&T Communication Manager software on their laptop but could not get a signal. He tried moving the device to another laptop and had the same problem. Sent him a replacement and it worked just fine.

Case 3: After delivery to a coworker, the AT&T Communication Manager issued a complaint that the SIM card was not activated. Upon calling AT&T customer service, we were notified that the Adrenaline 3G USB modem was not activated. Instead of activating the USB modem, we were told that we had to fill out paperwork for the modem activation to proceed. Since the paperwork had to be sent via postal mail, a week later, the modem has still not been activated.

So far, we have a 25% failure rate of these products. Luckily, even though we have had troubles with these Adrenaline 3G Modems from AT&T, they were more than cooperative in replacing each defective product. They seem to be used to replacing these modems so if you decide to purchase one, make sure the vendor offers hassle free returns!


PERFORMANCE TESTING

To find the true speed of this 3G modem, I used an ASUS 1201N netbook running Windows 7 and took it around various locations in the greater Lake Charles, Louisiana area. At each testing location, I visited two websites to identify the amount of bandwidth available. As you may already know, the location of the cellular tower and interference from metal buildings nearby can drastically affect the speed of these electronic devices. The list below details what I found.

Bandwidth Test Using Speakeasy SpeedTest
Inside a metal office building with a zBoost SOHO YX545 Cell Phone Signal Booster approximately 4ft away:
Download 0.85 Mb/s; Upload 1.02 Mb/s; Server Dallas, TX

Outside the metal office building using cellular tower about 1/2 mile away:
Download 1.71 Mb/s; Upload 1.13 Mb/s; Server Dallas, TX

At my home with cellular tower an unknown distance away:
Download 0.75 Mb/s; Upload 0.32 Mb/s; Server Dallas, TX

AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
(click image to enlarge)

Bandwidth Test Using SpeedTest Net
Inside a metal office building with a zBoost SOHO YX545 Cell Phone Signal Booster approximately 4ft away:
Download 1.33 Mb/s; Upload 0.77 Mb/s; Ping 322 ms; Server Austin, TX

Outside the metal office building using cellular tower about 1/2 mile away:
Download 0.31 Mb/s; Upload 0.46 Mb/s; Ping 338 ms; Server Austin, TX

At my home with cellular tower an unknown distance away:
Download 1.52 Mb/s; Upload 0.91 Mb/s; Ping 182 ms; Server Austin, TX

AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
AT&T Adrenaline AD600 USB Aircard
(click image to enlarge)

Please note that the peak operational speeds of this modem can far exceed what was shown through this testing. The cellular network speed in Lake Charles, Louisiana is one of the worst in the nation due to confusion amongst the service providers and poor maintenance by tower operators who have created a monopoly in the city.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The AT&T LG AD600 has a wildly variable service speed that never quite seems to reach its full potential on 3G networks. The Verizon UM175VW 3G Modem has proven that it works much faster so the only reason to consider this AT&T product will be service. Unfortunately, AT&T service is a flawed mix of unkept deadlines, billing issues and union labor that keeps the company from meeting their customer’s demands.

All of these facts taken into consideration, I have decided to use a Verizon UM175VW 3G Modem as the backup internet connection for my home network. The Verizon product offered peak bandwidth speeds that exceeded 2 Mb/s in Lake Charles, Louisiana and I have never had a billing issue with them at my workplace.

 

Pros
Instantly add internet connectivity to your netbook using a USB port.
Cons
High defect rate, slower than Verizon UM175VW.
Bottom Line
The AT&T Adrenaline USBConnect offers average internet performance for you to use while traveling but suffers from a high failure rate.


 

DETAILS AND SPECIFICATIONS :

Manufacturer :   LG
Website :   www.lg.com
Model # :   AD600 Adrenaline
Service Provider :   AT&T
Wireless Technology :   LTE (1700/2100/700 MHz)
HSPA (850/1900/2100 MHz)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
Speed :   Certified for 7.2 Mbps on 3G networks
4G (LTE) upgradable
Compatible OS's :   Apple MAC OS
Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7
Storage :   microSD (Up to 32GB)
Connection :   USB 2.0
Microprocessor :   300 MHz 32.Bit Bus
Other Features :   Universal Compatibility
Extensive Storage
4G Speed
Lightweight and Portable
Dimensions :   4.11 (L) x 1.52 (W) x 0.57 (H) inches
Weight :   2.1 ounces
Description :  
Wish you could lounge at the park while you work on that big project, or be productive at the airport while waiting on your flight? With the AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline, you can take your office with you. With access to blazing fast speeds on AT&T's mobile broadband network you can surf the internet virtually anywhere.* And because Adrenaline is 4G upgradable, you'll be ready to cruise even faster when AT&T's 4G network is available. Take advantage of built-in GPS and AT&T enterprise location-based services like Xora GPS Locator or TeleNav Track LITE™ and locate your device via any Web browser.


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Last Updated on Friday, 21 January 2011