Welcome to Wireless Logic’s FAQ section.
This section is intended to help you understand some of the common terminology used in m2m and to thereby increase your understanding of what m2m can do for you and your business.
- What is m2m
m2m is an acronym for Machine to Machine. From this name, you can probably guess that human involvement is not exactly at the forefront in the world of M2M. The basic idea behind the technology is to streamline the way data is collected from physical devices and incorporated into IT systems - without having to rely on people to do anything manually along the way.
- What is a SIM
A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) on a removable SIM Card securely stores the service-subscriber key (IMSI) used to identify a subscriber on mobile telephony devices (such as computers) and mobile phones.
- What is an APN
Access Point Name or APN is the name of an access point for GPRS/3G/HSDPA/HSUPA.
An access point is:
- An Internet network to which a mobile can be connected
- A set of settings which are used for that connection
- A particular option in a set of settings in a mobile phone
- What is a Public APN
Every network provider has a public APN. When the SIM card is enabled for data e.g. GPRS/3G etc the public APN is added by default. As the name suggests, this APN is open for everyone to use.
- What is a Private APN
A Private APN gives a customer direct access to their LAN and allows them to specify certain parameters such as the private address space allocated to the devices & RADIUS server attributes for user authentication. You are also able to access the Internet.
- What is the advantage of a Private APN
The benefit of point to point is that the traffic is secure and never goes on to a public network, staying completely on GPRS/3G. This lessens complexity in the communications path and is one less point of failure in the system. As it is secure, this means that you will not be open to attack by spammers etc.
- What is an IP address
Every machine on the Internet has a unique identifying number, called an IP Address. A typical IP address looks like this:
To make it easier for us humans to remember, IP addresses are normally expressed in decimal format as a "dotted decimal number" like the one above. An easy way to understand what an IP address is to compare it to a postal address. The IP address contains the country, county, town, street and building number. With this information, data can be routed to all machines. If a machine has no IP address, no data will reach it.
- What is a Public IP address
Public IP Addresses are IP addresses that are visible to the public. Because these IP addresses are public, they allow other people to know about and access your computer, like a Web server.
- What is a Private IP address
An IP address is considered private if the IP number falls within one of the IP address ranges reserved for private uses by Internet standards groups. These private IP address ranges exist through the following ranges:
10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
169.254.0.0 through 169.254.255.255 (APIPA only)
172.16.0.0 through 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255
Private IP addresses are typically used on local networks including home, school and business LANs including airports and hotels.
Devices with private IP addresses cannot connect directly to the Internet. Likewise, computers outside the local network cannot connect directly to a device with a private IP. Instead, access to such devices must be brokered by a router or similar device that supports Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT hides the private IP numbers but can selectively transfer messages to these devices, affording a layer of security to the local network.
- What is a Fixed IP address
A fixed IP address is sometimes known as a static IP address. It is an address that is assigned to a computer by an Internet service provider (ISP) to be its permanent address on the Internet. Computers use IP addresses to locate and talk to each other on the Internet, much the same way people use phone numbers to locate and talk to one another on the telephone. The machine will retain that IP address no matter how many times it connects/disconnects from a network.
- What is a dynamic IP address
Basically the opposite of a fixed IP address. When a machine connects to the network, an IP address is assigned to it. However, when the machine disconnects, it loses the IP address. The next time the machine connects, it will pick up a new IP address.
- What is the advantage of a Public IP address over a Private IP address
With a fixed Public IP address, you can connect to your device from any machine anywhere. You do not need to set up a VPN tunnel. This is an ideal solution for customers who do not have a firewall or do not require to set up a VPN tunnel of some type. However, as it is a public IP address, the device is open for anyone to connect to if they know the IP address. Therefore, security is down to the customer. If you have a 3G/GPRS router then it is highly recommended you set up a logon page so that unauthorised access can be stopped.
- What is the advantage of a Private IP address over a Public IP address
The IP address for the device is “hidden”. As a result the device cannot be accessed from any machine anywhere unless there is a secure VPN tunnel set up between the device and the machine. This creates an additional level of security for those who deem there data to be highly sensitive.
- What is a VPN tunnel
Basically, a VPN is a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect to devices with Private IP addresses from a machine on your LAN or from home. Instead of using a dedicated, real-world connection such as leased line, a VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the Internet from the company's private network to the remote device. The VPN tunnel would be used for those who have a private IP address on their SIMs.
- What is a site-to-site VPN tunnel
A site-to-site VPN tunnel is where two firewalls are used to create a VPN tunnel. At Wireless Logic, we use IPSEC VPN tunnels. We would configure a firewall on our side and then send the config parameters to you. You would then need to enter the config parameters onto your firewall/router. This would then enable any machine(s) on your LAN to connect to your devices with our m2m SIMs and vice versa. This is an always-on VPN connection. To create a site-to-site tunnel, you would need to have a hardware firewall/router capable of setting up an IPSEC VPN tunnel.
- What is the NetExtender VPN Client
For those customers who require a Private IP address but do not have a hardware firewall/router, you can download our Sonicwall NetExtender VPN client. We would set you up with username and password. You would then enter that when you start up the VPN client. This will then create a VPN tunnel from the machine with the client to the devices with the SIM cards. As soon as the client is disconnected, the VPN tunnel will be broken. Any machine anywhere that has the VPN client installed will be able to access the devices with private IP addresses.
- What is GPRS
GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service. It is a wireless technology used by GSM (Global System for Mobile) networks which enables Internet and other data communication. Because it is packet-based, you can stay online for an unlimited amount of time as only downloaded data is monitored with this service.
- What is 3G
3G stands for third generation, a generic wireless industry term for high-speed mobile data delivery over mobileular networks. 3G networks allow users to send and receive bandwidth-intensive information such as video, video conferencing, high quality audio and web data on-demand, virtually anytime and anywhere.
- What HSDPA/HSUPA
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a new mobile telephony protocol and is sometimes referred to as a 3.5G (or "3½G") technology. HSDPA provides a smooth evolutionary path for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks allowing for higher data capacity (up to 14.4 Mbit/s per cell in the downlink and 2 Mbit/s in the uplink per cell).
High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is a 3G mobile telephony protocol in the HSPA family with up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbit/s.
- What is GSM
Global System for Mobile communications, the second generation digital technology originally developed for Europe but which now has in excess of 71 per cent of the world market. Initially developed for operation in the 900MHz band and subsequently modified for the 850, 1800 and 1900MHz bands. GSM originally stood for Groupe Speciale Mobile, the CEPT committee which began the GSM standardisation process
- What is a HLR
HLR stands for "Home Location Register", and is the network database which holds details of every customer SIM card. When a customer wants to access a service, the network checks the HLR to see whether the customer is authorised to do so. It also keeps track of customers' locations so incoming calls and SMS’ can be connected