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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blackberry 8800 - VPN Connectivity via Bluetooth Modem

More good news to report on for using the Blackberry 8800 as a broadband Bluetooth modem from your laptop on the Cingular EDGE GPRS network. After seeing some chatter about other devices, and especially those not supporting VPN or IPSEC connectivity -- I needed to give it a try since my connectivity was pretty reasonable.

I quickly fired up the Bluetooth modem on my laptop and connected via my Blackberry 8800. (how to guide here) I then tried out the IPSEC VPN connection over the Cingular EDGE network and was able to connect immediately. Just a couple of minutes and I was able to sync my Outlook with Microsoft Exchange.

So, the rumors about the VPN not being supported over the Cingular network are untrue. At least for the Blackberry 8800.


Anonymous said...

I was very interested in your blog about using your 8800 as your laptops internet connection. I asked several salespeople at the local Cingular store if it could be done and if I would incurr extra costs for doing so. After some phone calls to more knowledgable technicians, they told me that without paying the approximate $20 more for the tethering option, it would not work. I told them that you claimed to be able to with only the basic blackberry unlimited data package. They still told me it was impossible. What gives? Will I be able to connect in spite of their stating that I won't or is there something I am missing.

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks for the comments about your experience with Cingular. To be honest, they have not been all that accurate about the Blackberry 8800 in general. Just check out my response to Derek Perez's post here. Cingular said that you could not configure the Bluetooth modem and wireless sync at the same time and they were wrong. I cannot comment about your specific package, however what I can confirm is that I have not added a $20 tethering package to my Blackberry and the connection works fine. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

Jason said...

I did some testing with my Cingular Blackberry 8800, connected via USB, to find the configuration parameters that give the best performance and I thought I'd share. I have the standard BES $40/mo package - no add-ons necessary.

In the modem properties dialog, "General" tab click "Configure..." and set speed to 921600 then turn on:
Enable hardware flow control
Enable modem error control
Enable modem compression

In the "Networking" tab click "Settings" and enable only "Enable software compression". Leave LCP extensions and multi-link negotiation disabled.

With those settings I'm getting about 200kbit/s download and 30kbit/sec upload using

By comparison my VZW KPC650 gets just under 790kbit/s down, 115kb/s up.

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks Jason -- that aligns with what I discovered in my configuration (here) and testing (here). Glad it works for you!

Matt said...

I wrote a post on how to do this with a USB connection. It's really quite handy:
Use Blackberry 8800 as USB Modem