Tuesday, February 01, 2011

How many gigabytes have I used?

UPDATE (Wed 2 Feb) This article is a bit sophomoric, but should be left intact to illustrate how little hand-holding Verizon actually does for its new customers. I spent about an hour on the phone with tech support this morning exploring the twitchiness of getting this information out of My Verizon (www.vzw.com) — logging in, etc. It's not for the faint of heart, but finally I can get a detailed daily breakdown of gigabytes used (and billable) directly from Verizon.

The picture shows what Verizon Wireless' Novatel MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot homepage (at looks like. Other modems, such as Qwest's, use the same internal URL to control their modems, too. This is Verizon's version.

You'll notice my initial bafflement... What do you put in the "login" field? It took a little digging on the web to find Verizon's answer to this frequently asked question, but you login using a default password, which is (case sensitive) admin. Once logged on, you get additional options on the red bar, so you should immediately locate Security -> Password and change yours to something non-trivial.

Why? Because under Advanced -> Diagnostics you will find your total data transmitted, i.e., how many gigabytes have been taken up in your monthly allotment. You need this information, especially toward the end of the month. Verizon disclaims; the total gigs shown in Diagnostics are not always exactly what gets billed. But it's the only rule of thumb we poor underprivileged users have got.

Also, under Advanced -> Power you can change the amount of idle time you get before MiFi hotspot goes to sleep in powersaving mode.

This is pertinent to our family, because we use Ubuntu 10.10 Linux, a platform Verizon doesn't pay a great deal of attention to, although as I demonstrate daily the MiFi hotspot works just fine in this environment.

Did I mention? Verizon wireless is fast, faster than our old 56k DSL landline from Qwest, anyway.

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