General Discussion
  >> Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G etc)


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.


  Print Thread
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 30-Mar-15 11:06:43
Print Post

FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experiences


[link to this post]
 
What follows is a bit of a brain dump on how I went about implementing mobile failover for my FTTC connection. I hope it is useful to others thinking of doing the same.


I've had a Netgear AC762S mobile hotspot for a while. Netgear finally released the DC113A Ethernet cradle for their latest series of mobile hotspots last week, so last week I ordered a DC113A cradle and a AC785-100EUS SIM free 4G hotspot to replace the Netgear AC762S.

This equipment is on sale at Amazon today - the DC113A is £39.99 and the AC785 is £79.99. This is a total of £45 less than I paid. By threatening to return the items and re-order at the lower price, Amazon customer services agreed to refund £45 to my card.


I use a Three contract mobile broadband SIM in the hotspot - 10GB for £15 per month, SIM only, 30 days notice. This works with the 3internet APN, which gives you a dynamic IP address, no NAT.

The AC785 uses a micro SIM rather than the mini SIM of my old AC762S. I got a replacement SIM from a Three store rather than cutting down my existing SIM.


The Ethernet connection on the DC113A cradle is bridged to the LAN side of the AC785S. You can obtain an IP address using DHCP, though I chose to set the Ethernet interface of my router to a static address outside the AC785S's DHCP pool.

I set my router to 192.168.1.128/24, gateway 192.168.1.1. I then turned on the AC785S's DMZ feature and set it to 192.168.1.128, so all incoming traffic is sent to my router. Using my router's dynamic DNS feature, I configured a host name that is set to the mobile IP address when the FTTC connection goes down.

The AC785S's DMZ feature is transparent to every protocol I've tried. I've currently got a Hurricane Electric IPv6 tunnel active over the Three connection. With further configuration and testing, it should be possible to have active IPsec VPNs fail over from FTTC to mobile by using IKEv2 with MOBIKE.


For an outlay of £119.98 plus shipping (nothing if, like me, you have Amazon Prime) for new hardware, together with a mobile broadband contract I had anyway, I now have automatic failover from FTTC to mobile on an FTTC failure. If I need to take the mobile broadband with me, I pull the hotspot off the cradle and close the covers over the antenna connectors. You can 'hot dock' the hotspot when it is turned on if you wish.

I have the Wi-Fi on the hotspot set to switch off after 15 minutes of no connection, so the Wi-Fi eventually switches off when the hotspot is docked. You can set the AC785 to disable Wi-Fi and/or pass through the mobile IP address without NAT if you USB tether the hotspot, but neither of these features are available if the hotspot is docked in an Ethernet cradle. Hopefully Netgear will enhance the AC785 firmware to provide these two features when docking the hotspot in an Ethernet cradle.

The AC785 is a considerable improvement over my old AC762S, not least as the AC785 has dual band Wi-Fi. The only significant AC762S feature that is not implemented in the AC785 is the micro SD card based NAS, but I never used that feature anyway.

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 30-Mar-15 13:15:06
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
That's a nice solution - I've used USB mobile broadband sticks into ASUS and Draytek routers to do similar in the past (3G only). that AC785 is Cat 4 LTE which starts to be more interesting than the older hotspot type devices.

For more semi-permanant installations I've used a D-Link router which was ADSL with built in 4G, but it was only Cat3 (didn't matter as 3G DC-HSPA on Three was faster than the ADSL line!).

plusnet unlimited fibre - 2 Jun 14 - 470m - 80/20 - Summer/dry sync 55/9.4, Winter/wet sync 52/9.1
15 years broadband (1999 ntl:cable trial) - Asus RT-AC68U with HG612 - BQM - Summer PN speed - Winter PN speed
Standard User Pgre
(experienced) Mon 20-Apr-15 21:01:51
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Interesting that the price for both items has gone up.
Wondering why... Prices you would hope normally go down on tech.

Which is a shame although I may still get one.

Regards PGre


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.

Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 21-Apr-15 15:14:55
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: Pgre] [link to this post]
 
I believe the prices I quoted in my earlier post were Amazon "Deal of the Week" prices. Unfortunately, Amazon's prices have gone back up to £104.99 for the AC785 and £59.99 for the DC113A cradle.

I'm still happy with my AC785 and DC113A. I believe it is an interesting option for those with similar requirements to mine.

Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 21-Apr-15 18:55:21
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I have a similar setup but a dedicated 3G router. I have two default routes on my Linux box, the higher one is the PPP session for the broadband. If that goes down, the route disappears and proceeds to route traffic to the 3G router instead. That is configured for dial-on-demand so as soon as it gets traffic, it tries to bring a connection up.

I'm using GiffGaff for the 3G with no goodybag. If I get a drop out on the broadband and the 3G connects, I get charged 20p for up to 20Mb of traffic used for that day. For the most part, this works quite well during spurious BT downtime/outages where the broadband may become unavailable for 20 mins or so.

I've also applied more filtering so only a particular /26 of my /24 (192.168.*) can actually route to the 3G modem (everything else is blocked) - this is to block any torrents on my NAS chomping through the 3G data and racking up costs (the NAS has an IP which sits outside this allowed /26).

All in all, it works well. I have the Negear AC762S but use it separately when I need to, if on the move. Certainly not as fancy as setup as you've described. smile

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 (60/20Mb FTTC) | IPv6 via HE | » Automated Hourly HTTPx5 TBB Speed Tests «
Previous ISPs » aaisp.net (40/10Mb FTTC) | Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable) | Be* Un Limited (ADSL2+) | Zen (ADSL)
Download Maximiser | BIND GeoDNS | Are you being blÝcked?
Standard User fearby
(committed) Fri 24-Apr-15 09:30:38
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Does the DC113A really "boost" the 3G/4G signal or is that just hype?
What is the aerial like - do you get decent reception?
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 24-Apr-15 11:42:17
Print Post

Re: FTTC failover to mobile broadband - equipment & experien


[re: fearby] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by fearby:
Does the DC113A really "boost" the 3G/4G signal or is that just hype?
What is the aerial like - do you get decent reception?

There is a pair of antennas in the DC113A. I wouldn't say the effect is massive, but I do notice a half to one bar boost in the displayed signal strength. I can hang on to a weak 1800MHz 4G signal (LTE Band 3) on Three using the DC113A, whereas the unassisted AC785S falls back to the strong 2100MHz 3G service fairly quickly.

As the AC785S's web GUI gives access to the various signal strength parameters, I could do a more scientific test when I find the time.


Conclusion: don't expect a massive effect, but the DC113A antennas are no gimmick and can make a valuable difference when dealing with a weak signal.

  Print Thread

Jump to