a friend of mine brought his laptop around to my house a few days ago so I could help him get his internet working. He has a telstra nextG USB-stick modem type arrangement - which I think would be equivalent to a typical cellular internet service in the US with the self-install USB modem thing.
Its a standard laptop probably a few years old, but he bought it a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure its refurbished. Running XP SP2 or SP3 (ie. WIndows Firewall and Virus Protection checking)
The problem is that the modem says it has logged in and authenticated and all that, but no web access from the browser (IE7 IIRC - 95% sure it wasn't IE6 at least). I tried pinging my work IP and it didn't work. Then I went and turned off Windows firewall which probably didn't allow pinging or something. The pinging started to work. So i went and tried the web again using http://www.techreport.com
- no cheese!
I opened up the cmd window again and checked ipconfig. Everything looked normal, but there was 4 connections in there. The wifi and ethernet ports were not setup and the cellular service generated 2 connections.
I looked in the TCP/IP settings for the primary connection to the cellular network and couldn't see anything unusual - it was all setup to auto-configure - no surprise there!
Initially I wondered if the connection was not the primary connection and so the browser was not using it, but that's impossible right!
Anyway, while I was looking at the connection properties I happened to notice a small packet count in outbound and inbound. So I left the counts visible and tried the ping. Sure enough, 4 packets out and 4 in. Exactly what i wanted. So again I left the counts visible and this time tried http://www.techreport.com
from the browser. it didn't work and the counts didn't move. Ah ha!! that is bogus but I've got no idea how to instruct the browser on the finer points of routing its packets to a operational internet connection.
I cranked up the Internet Options in IE and made sure the "Never dial a connection" was checked. Then I looked at the LAN connection properties and tried to get the TR page with "Automatically detect settings" checked, and then again with it unchecked.
If any windows networking guru has some timely advice or clues or even good checks to make I'm all ears.
P.S One thing that made me wonder at the start but later I dismissed as irrelevant is that the cellular service my friend uses and my work internet account are both with Telstra so technically the pings could have followed some internal Telstra route and never got on the internet.