Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Related to Modems, Hotspots, Dongles ONLY
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Agl539
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Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Post by Agl539 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:13 pm

I've recently purchased a CB850 based on general support and excellent community experience offered here. In the process of updating firmware, I stumbled across this article. I haven't seen it mentioned here (apologies if I missed it). The subscription service isn't cheap at something like $180 per year.

https://info.cradlepoint.com/Active-Net ... ption.html

xdavidx
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Re: Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Post by xdavidx » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:56 pm

Am I understanding correctly? If you don't pay for a membership, then after 30 days, you can't change the configuration on the router??

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JimHelms
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Re: Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Post by JimHelms » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:50 pm

This in not new for Cradlepoint. They tried to impose the NetCloud subscription on everyone once before. At that time you could not download any updates to the Cradlepoint software or the modem firmware. Enough owners raised enough hell that they reverted their decision and made it accessible to everyone again.

I am certainly not saying history will repeat. There is a lot of mailbox money to be made on subscription based services (i.e., Cell phone service, Office 365, ....).

We have two CBA850LP6 router running software that is about 4 or 5 versions behind. We do not use NetCloud to manage our routers, and personally do not know any individuals that do. We also have a couple of WISP that have started using the CBA850 who also does not use NetCloud on all of the devices they provide--although with an active subscription, they can add whatever router if needed while removing another.

NetCloud is more geared toward business that have multiple devices and usually an IT department or another company managing them. In these type of applications, NetCloud and all the various services and add-ons is probably important.

According to the article:
If you have endpoints (routers, gateways, or access points) that do not have an active subscription, those endpoints will automatically become “Non-Compliant.”

“Non-Compliant” is a 30-day state where devices maintain their current routing capabilities and NetCloud Essentials functionality but lose access to some add-on features. The reduced services a customer will see on Non-Compliant devices include features in the Advanced Add-On plan (including advanced security packages like CP Secure Threat Management, CP Web Filter), Zscaler, and the SDK, if applicable.

If these Non-Compliant endpoints are not assigned a license within the 30-day period, they become “Unlicensed.” This count is visible in the Subscription tab.

Once an endpoint is “Unlicensed”, it will lose access to NetCloud Manager and will continue with essential routing capabilities and its last basic configuration; however, your network may be impacted. More specifically:

It will no longer be able to be managed in NetCloud Manager
It will no longer be able to upgrade NetCloud OS
It will no longer support NetCloud Perimeter
It will no longer use API and SDK applications.
It will no longer be able to act as a hub in Auto VPN, and will no longer be able to connect as a spoke
Configuration changes will be disabled
NetCloud software running on the device will be limited

Full device functionality will be restored when proper licensing is applied.
Unless your using one of the Advanced Add-On features, the only downside that I can see is not having software updates to the Cradlepoint software and Modem firmware (which may be updated manually via PC and Sierra firmware, or configured and updated via the Sierra AirVantage platform).

Just to be on the safe side, I would recommend to avoid randomly updating the CBA850LP6 software past a certain version. It is possible at some point they will push a software version that will prevent manually uploading an earlier version software with full functionality--which is speculative at best.

My intuition says they cannot tamper with the functionality of a router that a person has purchased and used, and then later extort a subscription fee or prevent the owner from configuring his or her router. That sounds like a legal nightmare for someone. I can see this on the Advanced Add-On options.

We have not tested the latest software version for any type of changes. The cba850_7_0_50_Release_2019_03_25 was the latest software available when all of our units were refurbished. This software version is very stable and I would recommend using this version until each of the versions to follow are tested for full functionality. This is merely a precaution. We will update after testing.

Agl539
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Re: Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Post by Agl539 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:08 pm

Thanks for the additional perspective Jim. You touch on what caused me concern when you said "the only downside that I can see is not having software updates to the Cradlepoint software and Modem firmware (which may be updated manually via PC and Sierra firmware, or configured and updated via the Sierra AirVantage platform)". My interpretation of the news, was that software for router or firmware wouldn't be made available at all, not just through Netcloud subscriptions. For an edge device providing routing this made me cautious. If you're right and software would just need to be manually upgraded then I'm happier. I guess we're close to finding out one way or another.

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JimHelms
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Re: Cradlepoint moving subscription service

Post by JimHelms » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:02 am

I should clarify my statements on the software updates. What I meant is it is possible at some point they will release a software update that takes away the ability to manually upload the software. Then, by doing that, an update would only be available through an active NetCloud subscription. And, mind you, this is mere speculation but...that it would be a logical way to implement a plan to push the subscription.

In the mean time, we will avoid updating the software on the units we uses daily.

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