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Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Fri 19-Jun-20 19:55:11
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Ordered a Three B535


[link to this post]
 
So I've ordered a B535 from Three and looking for anybody else who has done the same and what their experience was like.

My first questions would be, did it come with antennas and was it unlocked for use with other providers.

Also curious about bridging this with another router as I'm plannning on mounting this in the loft due to poor LTE reception in the area.

Matt - Virgin Media M350 with Hub 4 in South Birmingham.

10 years in Technical Customer Service, Construction Trades and Administration - Now I'm a Furloughed Chef
Standard User DGR1
(newbie) Sat 20-Jun-20 19:51:31
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
Unfortunately the Three B535 doesn't come with antennae, but most people find that the internal aerials perform as well as bunny ears. It is unlocked, but the version Three ship doesn't include bridge mode.
Standard User XtractorFan
(newbie) Sun 21-Jun-20 10:02:28
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
Just done the same and still 'playing' with it - mixed results....
May return it within the 14 day period.
Don't need antennas, 5 bars from a fairly local (2 ~ 3 miles) mast.
Other problems though, look at ISPreview lots to read there.
I have a Ubiquiti setup (USG etc.) - so thought I'd need 'bridge mode' which the B535 doesn't have, but I simply left it as the default DHCP and connecting the WAN/LAN port to USG - it picked it up and works OK.
Nothing is what it cracks up to be....
Good luck


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Standard User buggerlugs
(member) Sun 21-Jun-20 13:36:44
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: XtractorFan] [link to this post]
 
Been with them since September last year. Initially during the cooling off period I got over 100Mbps for two weeks, even saw 150Mbps over Xbox!, soon after the two week cooling off period it slowed down significantly. Settling at 30-40Mbps. Lots of customers have reported this happening, so I don't think its a coincidence.

Then just after Christmas the service became absolutely shocking with weeks of sporadic downtime as three implemented 5g and commenced the rollout. The quality of the service has been up and down ever since that point.

The most notable issues I have noticed (which are generally across the country) is the Three network has a issue where it can struggle to resolve webpages, regardless of what DNS server you are using. Secondly it seems that as the levels of customers on your mast increase Three is not increasing the available bandwidth to its masts, meaning at peak times you can see times where you struggle to get more than 5Mbps or even no connection at all. Bad latency of over 100ms was not uncommon througout January/February. For me during those periods of instability I couldn't even watch YouTube or surf the web effectively.

My biggest issue was the fact I was unable to connect to more than one channel simultaneously with Carrier Aggregation (4g+) (I presume I was before that point.), This meant I was stuck on band 3 only. Because of this the rabbit ears I purchased did nothing to improve the speed or reliability of the service.

During this year both this forum and ISPreview has had numerous reports about Three's problematic 4G, yet the company themselves refuses to even acknowledge it has any issues whatsoever. Customer services proves utterly fruitless ringing because they quite simply are incapable of resolving any technical issue. I eventually wrote a letter to Three in Glasgow to complain about the situation. Three weeks later I got a letter back saying they couldn't investigate my complaint because I hadn't provided my date of birth.

I could either laugh or cry, so I decided to laugh.

Over the past weeks I believe three have worked on my local mast and restored band 1, so now I can get 4G+ all the time, the downside of this is my signal strength has dropped. Installing the rabbit ears with two bands does provide an improvement of signal however.

Noticeably, the addition of 4g+ has seemed to resolve the webpage stalling issues and improved latency to around 30ms, however in this instance it has not improved actual speeds probably because new customers are continually signing up.

I mostly get 30-50mb peaking to 80mb for a short period mid day. I know my connection is capable of better, but the bandwidth available at the mast these days simply won't provide me with over 50Mb/s for any sustained period of time. (Three you really need to upgrade your masts backbone.)

My overall thoughts on Three Home-fi?

Its not fibre or cable its radio. So you should expect to see see ups and downs regardless of if you use the B535's internal antenna, rabbit ears or have a 60ft mast on your house.

What do I think about Three as a company? Well I'm less than impressed. They seem reticent about any criticism even when its completely justified, they refuse to address technical issues at source and I honestly don't think they have the right people in the company to fix their network problems. An Ostrich planting its head in sand springs to mind.

So, don't expect any viable customer service from them, Three doesn't have any!

The service is a cheap broadband solution and with Three you get what you pay for. It's adequate at best, pi$$ poor at worse
Standard User XtractorFan
(newbie) Sun 21-Jun-20 14:33:22
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: buggerlugs] [link to this post]
 
Cheers buggerlugs
The service is a cheap broadband solution and with Three you get what you pay for. It's adequate at best, pi$$ poor at worse

I fully understand - but most ISP's are the same sadly.
I live out in the sticks, West Lancashire/Yorkshire border - the phone line is worse than baked bean cans + wet string.
For about 10 years I shared a Plusnet landline with my nearest neighbor (1Km away across the valley) he could get 2~3Mbps at his end, so we used a couple of (Tenda?) repeaters with ext. antenna. At least I could use email and a browser - slowly.
Then 5 years ago I discovered the WISP (formerly iLoveBroadband) Boundless Networks. They offered a 10Mbps relay for £20/month - so I've been using that ever since.
At first it was [email protected], but a few years ago they merged/got taken over by Boundless and it improved somewhat - so I returned the favour to my neighbor, we now link using Ubiquiti LM2's.
Then came Lockdown and the network almost collapsed, I am seeing speeds of <2Mbps at peak times - I'm not greedy, just want to stream NowTv (3~5Mbps) in the evening occasionally.
Despite Boundless being a small(?) local company, their support is not good 'we can't see any issues with your link' etc. despite acknowledging that Lockdown overloaded them.
Now they say I shouldn't be streaming over their 10Mbps package - and want me to pay £30 for their 30Mbps deal....
If their network can't support 10Mbp, how can it magically do 30Mbps?
Support discussion on-going.....
Then I found that 3 4G used the same local mast - I use a Plusnet (EE) sim for my mobile, it's connection is usually good ~30/40Mbps, but I can't afford an EE package cost - step in 3.
I've signed up for a 24 month (supposedly £17/month) deal - I'll check my bank account to see what I'm actually charged.
As I said I've got until the end of the month (14 days) to see how it does, then decide.
If it is £17 then I'll probably keep Boundless as a backup - just in case.
3 4G is so annoying! - had loads of problems, latency is ~60ms, not really an issue as I don't play games etc. apart from my wife, who's had problems with CandyCrush on her tablet - not loading 'goodies/adverts' or something.
So I've trawled these posts and others, used LTE H Monitor to 'fix' the bands, switched off the B535 firewall (my USG does that) - played with the DNS settings (DNS Benchmark etc.) and was amazed this morning to see 93Mbps download (Speedtest.net)
But now things are back to 'normal' 30~40Mbps, pages not loading etc.

It's a tough one, but yes,you have to be realistic - you can't polish a 't*rd'....
Standard User buggerlugs
(member) Sun 21-Jun-20 17:27:25
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: XtractorFan] [link to this post]
 
I used to live up in your neck of the wood...(Rossendale Valley) and by god was it a long time coming to just get ADSL, think it finally arrived in 2005-2006! Back then, if you could get 2mb you'd be doing very well!

Guess things haven't changed much out "in the sticks" in the last 15 years!
Standard User XtractorFan
(newbie) Mon 22-Jun-20 08:32:37
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: buggerlugs] [link to this post]
 
Too right buggerlugs
Guess things haven't changed much out "in the sticks" in the last 15 years!

'God's own country', or as we locals call it 'the sh*tty end of the sticks'
Still much rather be here than in a town/city in the present circumstances...
Standard User planetf1
(experienced) Sat 04-Jul-20 00:53:50
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
My gut feel from 6 week's experience?

The B535 is a decent router
The 3UK service is awful. Though signal/speed as ok-ish, the reliability wasn't. Random stalled connections meant it was impossibly to use reliably.
I found a vodafone sim worked fine, though covid intervened and removed my need for mobile broadband (in a flat) but I kept the B535 and will no doubt use it again soon. Just not on 3.
Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Sat 04-Jul-20 13:29:10
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by planetf1:
My gut feel from 6 week's experience?

The B535 is a decent router
The 3UK service is awful. Though signal/speed as ok-ish, the reliability wasn't. Random stalled connections meant it was impossibly to use reliably.
I found a vodafone sim worked fine, though covid intervened and removed my need for mobile broadband (in a flat) but I kept the B535 and will no doubt use it again soon. Just not on 3.


Feel the same, however using an my EE contract sim in it now, what was your experiance with Vodafone like?

Matt - Using Huawei B535-323 on EE Unlimited

10 years in Technical Customer Service, Construction Trades and Administration - Now I'm a Furloughed Chef

Edited by mlmclaren (Sat 04-Jul-20 13:32:36)

Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Sat 04-Jul-20 13:31:30
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: DGR1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by DGR1:
Unfortunately the Three B535 doesn't come with antennae, but most people find that the internal aerials perform as well as bunny ears. It is unlocked, but the version Three ship doesn't include bridge mode.


Haha thanks for info, obviously I've found this out before reading this but thanks, I do find the bunny ears have helped me though not as you describe, it don't improve signal or speed however has helped in my situation due to multiple masts and recently theres been some issues form onthe main one I aim for so has been useful being able to get connected to the other one without adjusting the routers position.

Matt - Using Huawei B535-323 on EE Unlimited

10 years in Technical Customer Service, Construction Trades and Administration - Now I'm a Furloughed Chef
Standard User kams19
(learned) Thu 09-Jul-20 14:23:47
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Re: Ordered a Three B535


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
Vodafone in B535 works rock solid with consistent speeds, no reboot needed every few days!
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