4G wireless/cellular to wired tethering (providing wired connectivity through a 4G device)

Posted on 2012-09-13
Last Modified: 2012-10-08
I'm asking for something simple, but not aware of a simple solution. I need to establish a wired Internet connection through a device that can support 4G operation.  Use case - at a hotel for a live networking demo, and the wired connection they provided in the conference room requires click-through acceptance through an AUP page (just like the guest wireless).

The problem is that we need a Cisco firewall (ASA) to establish a connection (wired) to VPN back to the home office for the demo to fly. The ASA obviously cannot accept the AUP policy, so we appear to be stuck.  (I believe the logging/Internet access is based on MAC address, so going through it with a workstation, and then quickly swapping the connection out w/ the ASA won't work. Correct me if there's an easy way around this.)

Any thoughts?  Is there a way to take a wireless device (like an iPad, whatever) that supports wireless, VPN it back to the office (thus bypassing the hotel wired connection altogether), and hook into its Ethernet port to support the ASA?

Thank you!
Question by:cfan73
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment


         I am not sure I totally understand the issue around the ASA, but we have done this with the CradlePoint CBR400 tethered through an iPad & iPhone using the CBR to establish SSH tunnels and other connections to host facilities for demos and disaster recovery missions.

    The unit is under $200, and can be a WiFi Client, WiFi Access Point, LAN/WAN with DHCP services, or support USB / PCMCIA Cellular Devices.   It has saved my but a number of times in hotel conference centers and trade shows.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for  your input, Phonebuff, and sorry for the delay in responding.

    I was honestly trying to find a simple explanation of "tethering" to an i(??) device - some input I'd received had suggested this was a built-in feature of the iPhone/Pad, but obviously not. Based on your feedback, is it correct to say that you need another hardware device (such as the CradlePoint you've discussed here) to "tether" a wired connection through an iDevice?  

    That's all I'm really looking to do - I need to enable a wired Ethernet connection (for a device that doesn't handle Wi-fi - the aforementioned ASA), and have this connection be bridged (so, no NAT or detected routing hop).

    - (confirming) - does this absolutely require another hardware device?  and
    - if so, will the CradlePoint provide this functionality?  (I watched the video, but didn't see the connection between the iDevice and the CP.)

    Thanks again!
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    NO problem on the delay.

    We have done it with an iPad to the CP to a Wired only device and we have done it with a iPhone to a CP to the same wired device.  LAN to SCADA adapter.

    I am by no means an IOS expert, but I am told that this is the only way to make it work --

    My implementation looks like this --

    Host --- Cell Network --  iDevice  -- WiFi --- CP  ---  SCADA
             ----------------------  SSH TUNNEL ------------------


    Author Comment

    Sorry - "SCADA"?
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Stands for -  supervisory control and data acquisition

    This make more sense ?

    Host --- Cell Network --  iDevice  -- WiFi --- CP  -- CAT-5 LAN --  SCADA Device
             ------------------------------  SSH TUNNEL -----------------------------


    Author Comment

    Hey there - (again, sorry for the delayed response)... you'll certainly get full points. :)  I know I'm somehow missing the point here, but from what I see, this simple request to use an iPhone/iPad to provide a wired device connectivity through the iThing requires 2-3 extra devices?

    (Wired Ethernet host needing connectivity) --- iDevice --- Cell (3G/4G)   - all I'm trying to accomplish.

    I understand that the iDevice doesn't have an Ethernet LAN port, so something might have to sit between, but the CP/SCADA stuff above is still unclear.

    Apologies... :(
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Okay --

       Forget the SCADA reference it's my device that I needed to make talk..  

    Cell Carrier providing 3G/4G service

          Ipad / Iphone (Providing The tethering access via WiFi)

               CradlePoint (CBR400) Providing bridge from WiFi to Ethernet.

                       Your Wired Ethernet Host needing connectivity.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for your input (and patience)!

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