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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem Other Hardware
If any of you are Cricket wireless modem users, you know there is a huge problem with the software you download from their support site. When I first used it, my Activity Monitor was reading an average of 85% CPU usage on both cores! This is completely unacceptable for any reason, so before I returned the USB modem they provide, I figured out the following little trick. Having done this, my CPU load is now under 2% on my 2.4GHz iMac.

The software to control your internet access is not doing anything than setting up a VPN, and they can get away with such poorly written programs because the download installs a modem script. So, once you have the script, why not give that software the slip?

Here's what I did:
  1. Download and install the software on your Mac. You want to make sure that the modem is going to properly connect to the internet in the first place.
  2. Go to System Preferences » Network, and add a VPN.
  3. Choose L2PTP over IPSec as the type, and name it.
  4. Your config will be Default, your telephone number is #777 (yes, even yours), your Account Name will be your real modem's phone number (which is located on your reciept, and the info was part of your install of the other software), followed by
  5. Your password is your phone number minus the area code, i.e. your "7-digit" number. You're almost done, but this is the area where your might break your connectivity if you choose the wrong settings.
  6. Click Advanced, and set up the tabs as follows:
    • Modem tab:
      • Vendor: Other
      • Model: Cricket 1xEVDO Modem Script (only there after you install their software)
      • Enable error correction and comp. in modem: Yes
      • Dial Mode: wait for dial tone
      • Dialing: Tone
      • Sound: On
    • PPP" tab: Select only the 'Connect automatically when needed' and 'Redial if busy' boxes, both under Session.
    Click OK in the Advanced window, and then select the 'Show Modem Status in Menu Bar,' and you're home free!
Now you can avoid the CPU load (and advertisements in the Cricket software), and use your modem right.
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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem
Authored by: BiL Castine on Sep 23, '08 08:25:01AM
let me get this straight. you pay for this service AND you get annoying ads AND you have to use their poorly written software? must be some stellar service to be worth all of that hassle. only works in a few cities though, so I hope you don't plan to travel to rural areas. have you heard that Verizon EVDO cards don't use any software on newer Intel Macs running 10.5.x? not that I'm a big Verizon fan (far from it) but I am quite the fan of good software and service that just works. that's why I have a Mac!

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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem
Authored by: jimhoyt on Sep 23, '08 09:39:38AM
Ah, yes. Verizon. The company that sends this condescending bit with each photo I receive from my daughter:

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime® 6.5 or higher is required. Visit to download the free player or upgrade your existing QuickTime® Player. Note: During the download process when asked to choose an installation type (Minimum, Recommended or Custom), select Minimum for faster download.

Insulting to both the sender and the recipient.

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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem
Authored by: punka on Sep 23, '08 09:50:39AM

Add a VPN???? These instructions make no sense whatsoever. There is no "Modem" tab under advanced. Maybe the poster meant to add a new serial/modem port (which would only show up if the USB card is connected to the Mac).

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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem
Authored by: ggraff on Sep 23, '08 01:20:55PM

My Cricket software was written by Smith Mircro. Need i say more.

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Cricket Is Evil
Authored by: bedouin on Sep 24, '08 03:00:47PM

Seriously. They cater to low income customers and think it's an excuse to treat all of their subscribers like trash.

I bought a Motorola phone from them at some point when I was still a subscriber and asked for its data cable as well. They were quick to ask, "Why do you need that?" I wanted to say, "It's really none of your business" but decided I'd rather not get in an argument and return home swiftly to do whatever I pleased with it.

Tons of weird surcharges. I only went with them because there was no contract and I wasn't sure how long I'd be in that location.

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Greatly reduce CPU usage with Cricket Wireless modem
Authored by: jegalink on Nov 19, '08 07:41:49PM

I'm running 10.4.11, and the instructions above were not quite correct for me. (For me, it was easier.) Basically, after the install, you no longer need the supplied software to connect. Instead, you can fully manage the connection using the mac's own Internet Connect application (in your Applications folder). All the necessary settings were already there for me (assumably placed there by the Cricket software install) - I only needed to launch Internet Connect, select "Cricket Wireless Data" and click the "connect" button.

However, the program that eats up the CPU will still run in the background until you remove it from your startup items. To remove it, simply open System Preferences -> Accounts -> [your account] -> Login Items. Then remove the item in the list called qlmwirelessd.

Now all is well.

As to Cricket - the customer service definitely leaves much to be desired, and it's not the best solution if you travel much (I don't). But there's nowhere else that I'm going to get unlimited cell phone, LD and mobile broadband all for $80/mo. For me, it's worth working around their poor software and customer service.

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