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Standard User VenusAndMars
(newbie) Tue 20-Mar-12 10:16:11
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How maximize connection speed


[link to this post]
 
Hello,

I am fairly new to wireless broadband and would like to know what I can do to maximize my connection speed - a not to original wish I would imagine wink

My modem is a USB stick on the end of some 20 ft of extension cable hanging out the window of my apartment in the general direction of the nearest 3G mast/tower.

I wonder to what extent the signal received by the modem is attenuated by this lenght of cable i.e. if I should worry about trying to move my PC closer to a wall and in general what can be done to maximize connection speed.

For instance I just learned that there is such a thing as active USB cables, are they worth the money? Does such a cable improve things to a significant degree?

Thank you.
Standard User anglianbroadband
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 11:09:34
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
First of all, that's not Wireless Broadband, that's 3G Mobile Broadband.
You need to look into all the available 3G dongles and external directional antennas for them.
If you post your POSTCODE then people where can tell you if you are in range of a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider). This way you can have more traffic per month and more speed and reliability. Obviously it's not mobile as the antenna would be bolted to your chimney.

Connecting you to 2meg or more in rural Essex
Standard User 5km
(knowledge is power) Sun 06-May-12 11:48:18
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
The 3G signal isn't attenuated by the USB cable ... that's a different signal altogether.

... I'm sure I've explained that before on here, in the correct mobile broadband forum.

O2 Broadband Premium LLU
Now on twitter @timmay2


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Standard User VenusAndMars
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 16:17:12
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: anglianbroadband] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by anglianbroadband:
First of all, that's not Wireless Broadband, that's 3G Mobile Broadband.
You need to look into all the available 3G dongles and external directional antennas for them.
If you post your POSTCODE then people where can tell you if you are in range of a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider). This way you can have more traffic per month and more speed and reliability. Obviously it's not mobile as the antenna would be bolted to your chimney.

Thanks anglianbroadband. As I live in Sweden I suppose there is no point in my posting my postcode but I know that I live within half a mile of the nearest 3G mast, tower or whatever the term is.

What, then, is a swede doing on an English forum? you may well ask. I was casting about for some time for a Swedish forum but found no one as authoritative and informed as this one appears to be.

Also I thought my questions to be of a general kind and applicable anywhere on the assumption that electricity, radio waves etc and the principles governing them are the same all over.

In the weeks since the OP I have found that there was nothing to do that I hadn't already done (as described in the OP) to maximize the connection speed as regards hardware.

But changing a setting in Windows Local Group Policy via gpedit.msc as described in the excellent Musicarta tutorial here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeIiJWYM0Sg&feature=plcp
has made a noticeable difference.

Btw: the more I see of and use Musicartas tutorials the more I respect the fellow; he knows his stuff and has a pleasant, low-key style to boot.
Standard User anglianbroadband
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 18:12:37
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
OK, fair enough but I would suggest strongly that you find a WISP rather than use Mobile Broadband.

That tip in the YouTube video is worth 20%.

You need to see what your signal strength actually is so you can see if you have increased it when you try various things. A USB cable has a length limit before it stops working. It's not very far USB extension cables give you a lot more but they are still limited.

You may want to consider a FON router;
http://corp.fon.com/en/products/fonera2n/features/fu...

This gives you three valuable benefits. First it will accept your 3G dongle so you can place the device where your 3G signal is best without needing a massively long USB cable.
Second, it gives you a WiFi router to which you can connect your laptop and other WiFi gadgets.
Finally you get a FON account which in many countries provides free unlimited hotspot access so you can cane someone else broadband rather than your 3G.

The downside is that someone can use your 3G connection, but you have some control and the chances are pretty slim. No one has used my FON hotspot.

Wayland - Anglian Rural Broadband
Connecting you to 2meg or more in rural Essex
Home ADSL connection: My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User VenusAndMars
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 19:27:13
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: anglianbroadband] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the repy anglian.

Your point regarding the benefits of a router is well taken. However, my financial situation does not allow for any investments at this point and...oh, dash it - I'm flat broke.

So I shall have to do, for now, whith what I have in the way of hardware and was looking for ways to get the most out of the current setup.

This is why the 20% gain from the Musicarta tip was so valuable to me. You say: "You need to see what your signal strength actually is..." what is a good tool for that?

As you hint in your reply there is the privacy issue, so to speak, with WiFi which is why I'll stick with 3G. I'm much too cheap to want to share the connection I pay for with anybody else..wink
Standard User anglianbroadband
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 20:25:04
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
No I did not hint that there is a privacy issue with WiFi. The fact that someone could use up your limited 3G monthly traffic is the issue. I think it unlikely that they would find your FON hotspot so you would get the benifit of having a FON account without the downside. The FON router allows you to use another persons Internet for free via the FON account if you can go out and find one. Mac Donalds is somewhere you could use the Internet for free.

Wayland - Anglian Rural Broadband
Connecting you to 2meg or more in rural Essex
Home ADSL connection: My Broadband Speed Test
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 06-May-12 21:18:44
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
Most 3G dongles have associated software that tells you the 3G signal strenght, so start there.

I know you are broke, but a 3G router is a good way to go once budget allows, as it frees you from the USB cable length limit. e.g. you can mount the dongle as high as possible in the property, a 5m USB lead to the router, and then enjoy encrypted WiFi (WPA2 is best)

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 5km
(knowledge is power) Sun 06-May-12 23:13:18
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: VenusAndMars] [link to this post]
 
Might be worth going into your networks store and complain about poor signal and suggest that if only you didn't have the restriction of the USB cable you'd be able to get a better signal. You never know they might take back the dongle and give you a MiFi (or similar) probably at a small extra monthly cost though. Could be cheaper than buying your own 3G router.

The software for three mobile broadband has a diagnostic page (well it did last time I used it) that showed the signal in -dB.

O2 Broadband Premium LLU
Now on twitter @timmay2
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Mon 07-May-12 12:54:51
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Re: How maximize connection speed


[re: 5km] [link to this post]
 
Right. Thanks anglianbroadband, MrSaffron and 5km for your input. I shall collect the tips I have got from you all and add them to my todo-list and act on them when 'my ship comes in'. wink

Oh, anglianbroadband - I didn't mean privacy as in people getting at my data, only as in them using up my bandwidth, I didn't put that correctly.

Again thank you all very much and I look forward to returning when/if I have something else wireless broadband-related on my little mind. smile
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