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Standard User PeterBarrett
(newbie) Thu 13-Mar-14 10:42:20
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Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


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Hi

Wondering if any of the technically more literate people out there might be able to help me assess whether I have stumbled across a decent solution to a problem that I have with the broadband connection in my new house.

The problem is that the wired broadband offering at the new house is only about 2Mb/s. This is much slower than the BT Infinity connection that we have in our existing house (about 20Mb/s). We want a much better connection in the new house - it is due to be rolled out by BT next year but I don't want to wait nor rely on that.

A pilot friend suggested that I think about a 4G solution - neatly bypassing the problem of the slow wired broadband. I've looked at the EE website and they offer a 4G mobile hotspot device - claiming download speeds of up to 80 Mb/s. The 4G coverage for the postcode area of the new house is shown as strength 4 out of 5 - i.e. good.

The device supplied by EE and used to create the WiFi hotspot is made by Huawei. It's only limitation that I can see is that it is restricted to having no more than 10 devices connected to it at any time - that will soon be eaten up by phones, iPads, laptops, wifi printers - but there you go.

I have spoken to Huawei about what I am trying to do and they are very defensive. They say this is not what the product was designed to do - but they don't see any reason why it won't work. The device is normally powered by rechargeable batteries but they don't see any problem leaving it plugged into the mains for extended periods of time (suggest turning it off overnight occasionally) and say that it should be possible to boost the wifi coverage throughout the house using a normal wifi booster.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this proposed solution. I want to evaluate it carefully before proceeding because the EE contract is £50/month for two years - for the 50GB / month contract that we would need - ouch!

Are there any other options?

Any thoughts / suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Thu 13-Mar-14 10:56:36
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: PeterBarrett] [link to this post]
 
I use a similar solution on 3G (Huawei device again) for when ADSL/FTTC is not available (ie moving house, Internet outage, etc).

Despite being 3G it is workable. No wired connectivity available so everyone is sharing the wireless and if you want to do transfers between devices on the network that is going to eat the wireless and may even cause the device to crash.

For standard internet access it is fine. But, my big concerns would be the high relative cost and the risk that you might get it and find that it doesn't work that well.

One thing you might want to check is if you can use an external aerial on the Huawei as usually the coverage is outdoor coverage and signal and speed can be quickly killed by walls inside the house. You may find a good connection outside is next to unusable with the device inside the house.
Standard User equiton
(newbie) Thu 13-Mar-14 11:49:42
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: PeterBarrett] [link to this post]
 
I am currently using a similer answer but on 3 unlimited
The first problem is data usage. When we used a mifi device with 15gb allowance it was soon used up just on domestic stuff.
The second is reliability. When its working its good but speeds can suddenly drop. I could not part with the landline 2.5mb connection, its slow but reliable.
Advertised coverage and real coverage are very different. Our coverage is not that good, no signal inside and maybe outside but the maps suggest quite reasoble coverage. I used a couple of apps on my phone, GSM Signal & Open signal to find the best locations. Then put on antenna up based on that information. It was not in the obvious place. It turns out we get no signal from the closest mast and in my efforts to get the best signal from that mast I been putting the house between the devicet and where the signal was coming from.
When of working I have used a mifi device constantly connected to multiple devices for over a week, I just leave it constantly plugged in. Now for the unlimited on 3 I have had the phone constantly running as an hot spot for nearly a month.
Just to give you an idea of reliablity. The system as been working steadly 6mb download all morning When I clicked to send this it timed out. Trying again now
Its timed out again. This is typicalof the problems. 2 of us have been doing office type work all morning, sending emails, ordering stock, checking the football news, then suddenly I can not post on a forum. Last try with the mobile then will use the landline.

Edited by equiton (Thu 13-Mar-14 12:03:00)


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 13-Mar-14 12:27:23
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: PeterBarrett] [link to this post]
 
The small MiFi type devices are mini 3G/4G routers, and as such do not have the memory and CPU that you get in better routers, hence the notional 10 connection limit.

You will probably find you can connect 50 devices, but the router might struggle if lots of them are doing stuff even it not filling up the mobile connection itself.

ADSL2+ routers like this Asus DSL-N55U have a USB port you can connect a USB mobile dongle to, and you can set that as the Primary Internet connection. It will even load balance between ADSL2+ and the dongle and you can set up various rules for traffic.

This TP Link router is a bigger version of the MiFi devices and more suited to your task if you are not going to have a fixed line option.

Huawei router also do full 4G routers, that accept a SIM card and should have the CPU power to do what you want.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Thu 13-Mar-14 12:38:41
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Interestingly the Huawei 3G MiFi I have states that it supports 5 users and actually blocks any attempt to connect a 6th until you disconnect a device. So, this one at least physically limits the number of connections it will allow to it.

Not good even in a relatively small household that house phones, ipads, laptops, etc.
Standard User equiton
(newbie) Thu 13-Mar-14 12:50:41
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
What I have done is set up a wifi hotspot with a phone on 3 unlimited. Then a huawei WS322 wireless media router set up as a wi-fi repeater. This creates another hotspot and has a RJ45 connection to connect with a router. The router then covers the wired computers and gives another wireless signal. This gives plenty of acess and much more flexibility than a single router.
It also makes switching between the reliable but slow land line connection and themobile connections very easy.
Standard User PeterBarrett
(newbie) Thu 13-Mar-14 14:08:44
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: equiton] [link to this post]
 
Hi

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I'm in transit for much of today but I will go through the replies and make sure that I fully understand them soon.

Grateful to share peoples' experience.

Keep the responses coming!

All the best.

Peter
Standard User boranatty
(newbie) Thu 13-Mar-14 16:36:58
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: PeterBarrett] [link to this post]
 
A Friends uses one of these with great results with a 4G Sim plus all the extra's not available on many devices,bought it from Amazon about £300

FB
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 13-Mar-14 17:40:38
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: PeterBarrett] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by PeterBarrett:
Keep the responses coming!

I own an EE 4G wireless hotspot - the Huawei E5776

It works well but I wouldn't want to install one for a permanent connection. I would recommend one of the full routers such as the models Andrew (MrSaffron) suggests - and look to see if you can connect an external antenna.

4G from EE can range in speeds - I'm pretty much underneath a mast, and I can see differences between 6Mbps during the business day (sometimes a bit slower) upto 45Mbps at 1am when everyone is asleep. This is normal for cellular technologies. (I'm not in a double speed/yellow area on the map).

Also don't forget usage, its quite expensive to stream HD video over the connection compared to buying a BluRay on Amazon, etc.

James BT Infinity 2 19/09/2012 - Sold 42/6 - Getting 49/8.5 - Sync 53 / 9.5 Mbps @ 470m approx
14 years of broadband (ntl: cable to BT FTTC) - Router: Asus RT-N66U - Modem: Huawei HG612 speedtest
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 13-Mar-14 17:49:01
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Re: Slow Rural Broadband - a possible solution


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
This DLink device may have bigger antenna if the two chunky things are 4G rather than WiFi and prices are dropping as all the 4G stuff cost more when it first appeared on Amazon.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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