Yes, apparently all of those things are the same here (I'm now using Linux 7 Mint).
Re: Connect speed
It takes me about 15 or 20 min's. to D/L a 1MB file. Is that normal for a cell phone tether?
Your download coudl be slow because of a bad connection in your area or because of the baud rate that you set, have you contacted your provider to ask about the maximum baud rate as I recommended?
Why does it say never in the Network Connections box beside my Boost Mobile?
My guess is that it is referencing the auto-connect option.