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WiFi'ng with my Treo 650

A couple of months have gone by since Enfora’s WiFi Adapter for our Treo 650 was released and I’ve now had enough time to play around with it to venture into writing a review.

First though I’d like to look into why one might need or prefer a WiFi adapter as opposed to either an SD or internal solution.  Having played around with both of Palm’s LifeDrive and new T|X handhelds which have WiFi built-in there is no doubt that it’s extremely convenient but the main drawback is enormous and rapid battery drain on the devices.  The WiFi on SD card option is also interesting but for the fact that I actually need my SD slot to run my applications and access files.  On many fronts with 1) its own built-in battery and 2) its own radio allowing you to use WiFi and the phone at the same time Enfora’s external solution actually provides many advantages and more importantly is currently the only WiFi solution available for our Treo.

Evaluating the Package
The Enfora WiFi Adapter ($149.95) package consists of three accessories (below) and a CD-Rom with the required software.  There is a blue-grey replacement back cover to which the adapter latches on to and also a separate wall charger.

My first impression upon opening the box and holding the adapter in my hands was one of surprise as I expected it to be considerably heavier than it really is and even its thickness was not something that I found particularly big. 

However, the inclusion of a separate power charger (which is actually heavier than the adapter itself) was something that annoyed me.  I fail to understand why Enfora didn’t simply design it to be powered by the standard Treo charger which has the same power output (5V) required to power the adapter (as Palm intelligently did with its Bluetooth Wireless Headset).  Additionally, you cannot Hotsync your Treo with the adapter fitted but you can listen to music since there is an opening for the audio jack.

At the very least an included or additional USB charging kit would be ideal for any travelling executive (I’m working on sourcing one).  Having said this, the good thing is that if your Treo is sitting in the adapter Enfora’s wall charger will power both simultaneously so you won’t have the need for a separate travel wall charger.

Above left, Enfora’s WiFi Adapter with my Treo fitted with the replacement back cover – you can see the two holes into which the adapter locks.  My Treo sitting in the adapter with the green light on indicating that I’m connected to a WiFi network.

Above, the Treo 650 with and without the WiFi adapter to show you the thickness of the unit.  Even here the angle of the picture gives the misleading impression that the adapter is thicker than it really is.  Additionally, the shape of the adapter is designed in such a way that it fits very snugly in your hand giving you a good and comfortable grip.

Enfora’s WiFi Adapter connects over 802.11b with data rates of 1, 2, 5.5 or 11Mbps (I achieved a max of about 180kbit/sec using DSLReport’s mobile speed test located at www.dslreports.com/mspeed and Blazer on my Treo).  Thanks to its built-in battery the adapter does not drain power from our Treo and provides 5 days standby and 24 hours typical usage.

Evaluating the Software
Installing the Enfora WiFi Adapter sofware (works on both Windows and Mac) is extremely easy and requires nothing more than a Hotsync.  All files and required network settings are automatically set up and you’ll be ready to go in a couple of minutes.

Running the Adapter for the first time I fitted my Treo and turned it on then pressed the power button on the Adapter and launched the Enfora WiFi Manager application on my Treo.  Next I had to scan for available wireless networks and login (it works on pretty much any wireless network thanks to its support for WEP security and soon also WPA) via the Profile Settings in the application.

Overall, Enfora’s WiFi Manager software is extremely intuitive to use and all the required configurations within easy reach.

I do recommend that you check Enfora’s ‘Downloads’ page which has all the installation documentation (including how to use the Adapter if you have a Sprint Treo) and also the latest Manager software (v3.1.11) and Firmware (v3.04).

Currently the only issue that I’m having is that although I have disabled the Power Save mode (which automatically puts the Adapter to sleep and disconnects the WiFi connection) I am still unable to keep an ‘always-on’ connection.  Enfora’s support team were extremely prompt in helping me out with this issue but my little ‘bug’ is still not resolved.

Enfora’s WiFi Adapter may not be quite as elegant as a built-in solution for our Treo but it has some undeniable advantages which will prove clear to anyone who needs to have the convenience of accessing a WiFi network at high speeds while retaining the benefits on long battery life and simultaneous voice and data communication.  Personally for example I am much happier going to a conference with my WiFi enabled Treo than having to carry my 2.5kg laptop…

Treonauts are always near a hot spot

Posted by Andrew on November 2, 2005 at 01:22 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo WiFi

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» Enfora WiFi adaptor for Treo 650 review from Treo Today
Andrew of Treonauts has another great review up - this time of the Enfora WiFi Adapter for the Palm Treo 650 smartphone. This US$150 device adds WiFi capabilities to the Treo 650 in simple and compact form factor. Andrews verdict: En... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 4, 2005 5:27:12 PM


by PDB | Nov 2, 2005 2:21:54 PM

I'm tempted to try this because I don't want to pay Verizon's exorbitant charges for an unlimited data plan. If I'm using wifi with this adapter I'm assuming I am NOT incurring any "data" charges from Verizon. Is this correct? Also, can I access my gmail account using the wifi connection to send and recieve email, again without data charges? Thanks.

by Andrew | Nov 2, 2005 2:27:03 PM

PDB - That's a yes on all counts... You won't incur any data charges from Verizon and you can also access your Gmail account again with no additional data charges.

Cheers, A.

by Angela | Nov 2, 2005 2:51:44 PM

Good to hear there is a way to bypass Verizon's data charges. I was going to ask that same exact question. Thanks for the review!

by Bill Wood | Nov 2, 2005 5:12:53 PM

The max speed isn't too encouraging (180kbs) - I get about 2/3 of this with the Verizon 1xRTT network.

From my experience, the limiting factor for the Treo 650 in browsing speed is not the connection speed - its the speed of the Blazer browser, which often pauses for long periods while loading a web page. Until Palm fixes Blazer, I'm afraid we're stuck with slow web browsing.

by btn | Nov 2, 2005 5:52:50 PM

Abomination! :)

by Roger Gale | Nov 3, 2005 2:06:03 AM

Is there yet a way to use Skype or some other VOIP connection via the wi-fi connection??

by spud | Nov 3, 2005 5:13:59 AM

Does this work with all the third party wifi apps (wardrove tools and suc?) Or is the wifi connection only visible to the enfora software?

by Brig C. McCoy | Nov 3, 2005 8:45:58 AM

I've had an Enfora sled for my Treo 600 for over a month now and the only problem I've had is with the darn power button... I have trouble turning it on and off... other than that, it works really well.

by George | Nov 3, 2005 1:50:58 PM

Thanks again for doing amazing grunt work for us all. I love your site. Question, by using the Enfora for Wi-Fi access, will I definitely be avoiding paying for data transfer to my provider? I assume I need to set up my browser and email accounts differently?

by Andrew | Nov 3, 2005 1:58:01 PM

George - you don't need to make any changes whatsoever (unless you're with Sprint for the browser).

Simply, instead of connecting via your wireless data network all of your applications will automatically connect using your WiFi connection and thus avoid paying any charges.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by fortin | Nov 3, 2005 4:22:07 PM

I have one for my Treo 600 and i can tell that it works very well

by Andrew | Nov 3, 2005 10:15:10 PM

Roger - as far as I know there is currently and very unfortunately no VoIP application for our Treo although I would surely expect that some day Skype will develop a PalmOS client that will...

Cheers, A.

by Derek | Nov 4, 2005 11:05:39 PM

For me, the better solution was to end up getting the T|X in addition to the Treo. I use the T|X at home where my cell connection is pretty bad, and the treo out and about. I haven't had any issue with the wifi using too much power, usually its all the shows my wife watches on its larger screen which put it into battery shock.

Interestingly enough, the browser in the T|X seems to do better than the one in the Treo, though it still does pause a fair bit. I like the option to turn off style sheets.

by jonathan | Nov 16, 2005 12:21:27 PM

I have this item for the treo 600 and cingluar service. When I try to use the embedded treo browser, it automatically connects to my cell phone service to use the internet. Does anyone have any idea how to use this item without triggering cell phone service?

by G. Bordonaro | Nov 18, 2005 4:24:13 PM

I am planning on buying this for my Wi-Fi needs. One big question: are there any cases/belt clips that will work with this assembly?


by A. Sciencio | Nov 26, 2005 6:05:07 PM

Does anyone know if the Enfora adapter works with a bluetooth keyboard?

by Felix | Jan 15, 2006 2:07:18 AM

I have treo 650 and Enfora. All installed properly and seems to work except Versamail. My browser and IM works fine. However, when I startup Versamail the network connection quites and Versamail says cannot get PPP connection. Versamail version is 3.1. Enfora is all the latest versions.
Thanks F.

by Muzic_man34 | Mar 16, 2006 3:09:48 PM

I got big issue on how to get around Sprint using treo 650 Wifi adapter... I have followed the enfora instructions on using proxy and no luck so far... I need help

by Abdul-Hakiym | Nov 18, 2006 8:56:20 PM

Can I use the WiFi with my Treo 650 as modem for my laptop.

In other words I current logon the internet with my 650 Treo using PDANet, can I use the Enfora’s WiFi Adapter for my internet connection with my laptop?

by Rucket | Dec 28, 2006 9:45:25 AM

is it possible to connect a wireless network adapter to a treo 650 and get wifi signals that way ?

by Geore | Feb 8, 2007 1:54:11 PM

When using my enfora on my Sprint treo650 what are the charges Sprint will be charging me. Why not just use Sprint?

by redray | Feb 28, 2007 10:13:54 PM

I have a Trea 650 that is not in service with Sprint. Can I still use the treo with the Enfora? Thanks.

by scott | Mar 1, 2007 9:16:26 AM

Did you ever find a USB charger for your enfora wifi unit?

by Ed Brandwein | Mar 5, 2007 1:13:59 PM

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the use of the Enfora WiFi sled. When you are using it, you are connecting to the Internet (or a LAN for that matter) without using your cellphone's connection. You do not pay for this access from your phone company. If you choose to use a pay wifi service (like the ones in many Starbucks coffee shops) you will pay that access fee. If you use a free hotspot (public library, many airports & hotels, places like Bryant Park in NYC: do a google search for free wifi in your area-there is probably some available) you pay nothing for access. It is a really good deal indeed.

by scott | May 2, 2007 7:38:52 PM

I finally found a USB charger for the Enfora!!! It uses the same tip as the Rio Karma. You can find a USB charger for the Rio Karma / Enfora at, for example, gomadic (dotcom).

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