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Standard User UncleD
(newbie) Thu 21-May-20 14:17:22
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4G Signal


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I live in a rural location right on the edge but just outside 4G coverage (100 yds up my track, slightly uphill I can get it), and with very a poor broadband service
By climbing a ladder on my house, I can get a decent 4G signal.
I assume I could get 4G home broadband by installing an aerial on my roof attached to a 4G router, using one of the 4G providers.
My question is, is this correct, and what aerial/router would I need (The providers seem to just supply a normal 4G router without an aerial output)
Standard User sheephouse
(member) Thu 21-May-20 14:39:04
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: UncleD] [link to this post]
 
It is hard to say definitively, as there are a lot of variables. However, I'd guess something like the Mikrotik SXT LTE6 router would probably do it - I use an earlier model and it has been very reliable. You can mount it outside on a wall or pole, and it is powered over ethernet, so is easy to install. They are directional so you need to point it in approximately the correct direction - you can see signal strength in the stats to help with that.
Then you need a SIM for whatever provider you can get coverage for - I think they all do unlimited SIM only deals these days. Probably best to try with a PAYG SIM first to check the performance before signing up for a 12 or 24 month deal.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 21-May-20 15:04:11
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: sheephouse] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sheephouse:
Probably best to try with a PAYG SIM first to check the performance before signing up for a 12 or 24 month deal.

Note that EE has a 30 Mbps speed limit on PAYG, so if you always get 30Mbps you can't see how much higer it might go.

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM


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Standard User andynormancx
(member) Thu 21-May-20 15:38:18
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: sheephouse] [link to this post]
 
And the benefit over something like a Mikrotik SXT is that the antenna is built into it.

Adding external antennas to a router has limits, the longer the cables you need to get the antennas high enough, the more signal strength you lose. It doesn't take that long a distance before the losses in the cable exceed the gains from external antennas.
Standard User sheephouse
(member) Thu 21-May-20 15:42:32
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
I'm not sure that EE has a 30Mbps speed limit on PAYG - I tried one before committing to my current contract and I got >80Mbps (off peak) just like the contract one I have now.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 21-May-20 17:36:06
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: sheephouse] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sheephouse:
I'm not sure that EE has a 30Mbps speed limit on PAYG - I tried one before committing to my current contract and I got >80Mbps (off peak) just like the contract one I have now.

My test PAYG SIM had the limit in January, but its quite an old SIM. Good to know that EE have lifted the limit!

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User Swac3
(learned) Thu 21-May-20 18:10:38
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: UncleD] [link to this post]
 
Similar story here for us, woeful adsl and patchy 4G around the house,

However My SXT mounted in the loft gets me this.....

My Broadband Speed Test


Unless i was very close to a 4G tower Personally i'd steer away from internal routers with external antenna attached. There are other options than the Microtik, and varied price ranges depending on your budget / requirements

One thing to bear in mind is the Microtik doesn't give you multiple ethernet ports and Wifi so you'd need to think about what you require.

I went for a Ubiquiti Wifi Mesh AP that covers the whole house and almost all the surrounding gardens.

In all, from years of dire adsl ie 1Mb, this has been a fantastic decision.
Standard User UncleD
(newbie) Thu 21-May-20 19:31:34
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: UncleD] [link to this post]
 
Thanks very much everyone, all very useful info.
One further complication I've got is the house is a stone cottage with very thick walls, so wifi doesn't work very well inside. I hard wired Ethernet connections from the router to various rooms when we renovated the place, so that we can use laptops etc elsewhere. That's why my thinking is a router connected via cable to the top of the roof, which would be far easier than putting something in the loft. Cable length would probably be about 7 metres
Standard User sheephouse
(member) Fri 22-May-20 10:38:49
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: UncleD] [link to this post]
 
With an external router powered by power over ethernet you're limited to a max cable length of 100m (and unlike an aerial lead there is no signal degradation), so there should be plenty of flexibility in positioning the router and routing the cable.
I can also recommend the Ubiquiti Unifi devices as mentioned above for WiFi - I have 4 that cover 2 acres, including my part stone-built house.
Standard User TimJ
(committed) Tue 26-May-20 21:34:09
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Re: 4G Signal


[re: UncleD] [link to this post]
 
We are in a very similar situation, a rural bungalow, 2Mbit adsl and insufficient signal of any sort to make a reliable voice call in the house.

Nearly a year ago I used Teamviewer to remotely drive my phone and attached it to an 8m pole and found that at that height I had a usable signal on Three and EE.

I have ended up wit a very DIY/Homebrew solution but it has now been our only connection for over 9 months and works well.

This is my solution.

The box contains a POE to 5V converter, Raspberry Pi, E8372 USB/4G Modem, temp sensor and a speed controlled fan.

The 4G mast is at a distance of 7.5km, nearly line of sight, there is just a distant tree in the way, and depending on time of day and weather we get between 20 - 60Mbit. Usually between 25-35Mbit.

I use a SMARTY SIM so put up with CGNAT and Web proxy, but it only cost £18.75 per month.

So it is well worth perusing and as mentioned in other posts there are readily available combined aerial/routers, or homebrew solutions are possible.

I can also vouch for Ubiquiti WiFi, but is certainly is far from cheap.

Good Luck
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