Sprint 4G: Connecting the Overdrive to multiple WiFi-enabled devices

Many of us carry WiFi-enabled devices around and with the Sprint Overdrive you can create a WiFi hotspot for all of them. Check out the video to see how simple it is to turn on and connect the Overdrive to the iPad and Zune HD.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I kicked off my Sprint 4G Series of blog posts with the Overdrive introduction last week right before the launch of the Apple iPad. Thus, much of this week saw me playing with the iPad and working on lots of posts for the blog. This actually offered me several opportunities to use the Sprint Overdrive to connect to the Overdrive at various times throughout the day and night. In the video below I walk you through the simplicity of connecting a couple of devices to the Sprint Overdrive. Any WiFi-enabled device, such as the Apple iPad, Zune HD, Nintendo DSi, iPod touch, and more should be able to connect to the Overdrive and provide you with access to the Internet on the go.

Connecting to the Overdrive

Whether you are using the Apple iPad, a Zune HD, or other WiFi-enabled device the process for connecting to the Overdrive is pretty much the same. You first press and hold the power button on the Sprint Overdrive and wait for it to start up. It takes about a minute and a half to cold start and connect to a network from the off position. I saw a 4G signal at work, during about half my commute, and in some rooms of my house, but as you can see in the video I was only able to get a 3G signal in the room I was recording in. Remember, when you are connected with 4G there is NO data limit while a 3G connection is allotted 5GB of data per month.

I went with the default security setting on the Overdrive so after it was up and running and connected to Sprint I then saw the 11062 5-digit security code appear on the Overdrive display. I selected the Overdrive as the network to connect to from my Zune HD and then entered the security code. That's all there is to connecting devices to the Overdrive.

Using the Overdrive to power the Internet

While I was connected to the Overdrive I was primarily using my iPad to surf in Safari, check email, and use apps like the New York Times and USA Today. The Overdrive provided a very good data connection for these tasks and I was pleased with its performance. So many devices today have WiFi radios in them that having the ability to connect to a cellular network and share a connection via WiFi is becoming very popular and almost commonplace.

I also tried shopping in the Apple App Store and found that to be a good experience through the Overdrive, with the exception of trying to download the 1.7GB The Elements application. I didn't realize the application was that big, but after starting the download and waiting about half an hour I only saw the loading meter reach about 10%. I was connected to a 4G (WiMAX) network so there were no capacity limits so I let the download run for another half hour. When I saw the status bar only get to about 20-25% after over an hour, I stopped the download and decided to wait until I arrived home to grab that file.

Overdrive user feedback

Several readers asked me about the Overdrive and different issues with most pointing out this post at EVDOforums.com. I have been running the Overdrive in 4G Preferred mode and when I am in a 4G zone it seems to do a pretty good job of staying connected to 4G. In other zones it switches fairly quickly to 3G and I haven't had any real issues with the Overdrive. I have had the device lock up once and was forced to remove the battery, but it only happened once and is not a common occurrence. The Overdrive has also charged up fine for me via USB and wall charger.

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