Living with a 3G Modem

pending-imap-actions.pngI've mentioned that our "included Internet access" at our London Apartment is a 3G USB Modem (Huawei E220 to be precise). It's been a long, long time since I've had to deal with modems. I honestly thought those days were behind me. The service is provided by 3. Short rant, who names a company 3? I've made the best of it though. I've got the E220 connected to my MacBook Pro and am using OS X Internet Connection Sharing to broadcast my own WiFi network that our iPhones and the MacBook Pro are using to get online. I can happily report that setting up this kind of network is a lot easier than it was in the past. My only issue was from an overly aggressive firewall on my MacBook Pro. After I cleared that it all worked fine.

The connection itself is a bit spotty. If it's under continuous light load it does okay, as long as it doesn't get backed up. The pain with this connection is latency. Throughput isn't actually that bad. I downloaded an 8MB file very quickly. But latency is horrible and can result in big delays. This screen grab is the list of activity from Mail.app. You can see 18 active IMAP commands, 9 of them actually in progress and another 9 just waiting idle for attention.

This is as good as it gets for the next month though. We won't be watching any of the Olympics streaming over the web here. I'm certainly not buying any marketing that 3G is some panacea of bandwidth.