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By Chris De Herrera 
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Synchronizing using CDPD 
By Anrej Falot, Copyright 2001

 Version 1.00  Revised 4/23/2001

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Did you know that you can synchronize using the Internet with CDPD?  This article describes how I did it!

Getting Started

You'll need a CDPD connection with a static IP, and anyway I think CDPD authorization depends on IP address.

Also, a PC with a static IP and a full time connection to the internet.

Finally a Pocket PC which has already been synchronized using USB, Serial or IR.

FYI, some ISPs may have unusual configurations. So you may need to contact them to see if they are preventing the use of any of the TCP/IP Ports.

Configuring Summary:

1: Add iPaq CDPD IP address to hosts/rhosts 
2: Make sure you can sync on local LAN 
3: Make sure ISP is not blocking traffic 
4: Edit registry on iPaq, add:

HKLM\comm\TCPIP\hosts\armada: (this is where I added my desktop's host name, but this is probably irrelevant? I did not even enter actual IP address of my desktop since I was confused with existing entry for ARMADA, c0 a8 01 01):
   ExpireTime (binary) = 00 3f 89 f9 1c 09 d0 01 
   aliases (multistring) = empty 
   ipaddr = c0 a8 01 01 (how the hell is this supposed to be IP address?)

HKLM\software\microsoft\windows ce\services\partners (this is where you add DNS name of DSL connection) 
   PName (AB) = ARMADA 
   PId (dword) =

Above is important, because it adds another entry to "connect to" drop-down select box in ActiveSync dialog.

5: Establish NAT in your DSL router to PC that is running desktop ActiveSync:

NAT pinholes: 

   ActiveSync = 990(not needed),  999(must), 5678 (must), 5679 (must) 
   Netbios: 137 (not needed) NetBios datagram: 138 (not needed) Netbios session: 139 (not needed)

So essentially only 999, 5678 and 5679 (from iPaq to desktop). I tested this manually removing one by one from NAT and trying to sync.

I did not go trough the same on iPaq side, so I can only assume that all other ports (990, 137, 138, 139) and possibly 999, 5678 and 5679 too, need to be open from desktop to iPaq. IT is probably fair to assume that 999, 5678 and 5679 are opened from iPaq side and will not need manual configuration on CDPD side, but I did not test this. If forced to guess, I would try only 990 first, and it will probably be enough.

6: On iPaq, select ActiveSync, "Connect using" select CDPD connection, "Connect to" select DNS name entered in registry. On next dialog (CDPD connection: connect, cancel...etc) select connect, wait 1-2 seconds to login on CDPD, and sync begins...


a) On iPaq, this is the only message you will see:

"Connected, needs updating Looking for changes..."

Looking on PC, you will see that items are being synchronized, one by one, and eventually all of them will show "Synchronized", but iPaq will still show the same message. In short, there is no way to know that sync has finished. Speed is relatively OK.

b) Protocol is very inefficient, with 3/4 of download data also going up (as per CDPD connection monitor). If you leave connection open after sync was done, you will do about 80 KB every 10 minutes, just for ActiveSync monitoring potential changes! So, disconnect ActiveSync when done! (but we don't exactly know when it is done... :-(

c) No encryption: all data needed for sync, all your emails, address book, calendar, notes, EVERYTHING, is going over the Internet in clear text, for everyone to see...

d) Partnerships can easily be faked, since handshake also goes over clear text, so anyone listening on ActiveSync ports can record this exchange, and replay it to steal all your data. I locked my NAT in DSL box to my CDPD IP address, but most ADSL routers cannot do that. Than again, IP spoofing is still possible. Translation: don't do this if you have any sensitive data on your iPaq. Or Outlook for that matter.

e) If is not clear what ports 999, 5678 and 5679 can do, so I have to assume they can be used for hacking attacks. I got some response on 999 even when I killed ActiveSync, and that is not good. And MS being MS will probably not tell us, so don't do this unless you know what the risks are.

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