Three 4G HomeFi

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Dave Rice 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #33216

    Dave Rice
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    @ricedg

    I mentioned before about providing a whole home BB service using Three’s Huawei E5573bs-322 4G Mobile Wi-Fi, well now I’ve got my hands on the proper HomeFi kit.

    It uses a Huawei B311 Wireless Router which has an Ethernet port and the ability to add an external antenna. The firmware covers all the bases and then some, much more than your usual ISP box. It even has a VPN client which I’ve used to join two offices together in a HQ (Draytek) – Branch (Huawei) test scenario. The interface is extremely well laid out and everything is where you would expect it to be.

    It says it can deal with 32 WiFi “gadgets” which I take to mean IOT devices. I would be surprised it if could handle that many full fat devices but I can’t see your average home would have any issues. Having an Ethernet socket means you can connect as much as you like via a switch, which is what I’ll be doing as a UAP will be handling the WiFi duties.

    I only have a landline because I need BB. Sat nowhere special it’s getting 25 down 20 up. TBH 95% of the time that would do me just fine but with an external patch antenna up high pointing at the Three mast I’ll bet I could put that up to FTTC speeds. I have some customers backing up their Synology servers to mine for free, but with Synology’s new C2 cloud backup only costing $10 a year for 100GB daily backup I think that may change!

    At £22 a month for unlimited data, if you have a 4G signal of adequate quality for your needs then this is a serious contender. Be in no doubt, this is not dumbed down consumer fodder, it looks like the future.

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  • #33217

    blacklion1725
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    @blacklion1725
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    Very interesting Dave. I’m on Vodafone BB (£26/month less £60 cash back over 18 months – all good so far. My mobile is with three and I get terrific and consistent speeds (recently cut back from unlimited to 12GB)….so I think this would be viable. I assume I could plug my router in to this via the ethernet port and use this (Huawei) as a modem in the way that my openreach modem works with FTTC now – leaving the current router to handle all the VPN, DHCP etc) If so I’ll have a think when my 18 months is up. One odd thing with Three round here is that when they do (occasional) maintenance work they notify you (which is good) but always seem to do it during core hours (which is less good). Good stuff though- food for thought.

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    #33222

    Drezha
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    @drezha
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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>We’ve looked at it from a cadet perspective, as we don’t have a phone line running to the cadet hut since they rebuilt it. I think the only issue for us is that for some reason we need a business line, not a home user line (don’t know if that’s because we’re a registered charity?). Currently running a TP-Link 4G router that I use a Giff Gaff SIM in. Was fine with just me using it, but now I’ve got more staff, I think we’re going to have to upgrade the required download, was using about 4-5GB a month, which is quite a bit considering we’re only down for 5 hours a week! However, if it was unlimited, I couldn’t really complain. Not sure how it would cope with 5 or 6 machines accessing the web at once mind. Maybe we’ll try with my current one and see how we get on.</p>
    Downside for home usage (when I looked) was ping for gaming and that we don’t have great Three signal.

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    #33224

    The Duke
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    @sgb101
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    This is the step to 5g. It’s what America is terrified of! The more we move to 5g the less control USA have over the net.

    This is why trump is tryingto ostracise huawei.

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    #33229

    Dave Rice
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    @ricedg
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    BL: it doesn’t have a “bridge” mode, but in theory you connect it to an Ethernet router (most VDSL routers can do this) then create a DMZ pointing to that routers WAN port IP. That will allow Port Forwarding etc. to work even though there is double NAT going on.

    Drezha: I think half a dozen concurrent users will be fine on your TPL.

    There are chunkier Huawei and TPL 4G routers available, I’ve heard good things about the £122 B525 It is dual band g/n/ac 300mbps, 4 Ethernet ports and will take better external antenna (dual connections). There’s a 618 with 600mbps WiFi too but that’s too many £££s. There are other better ways to do the same spending less.

    I had a quick look at the TP-Link kit and user guides. Even the 6400 has a Guest network plus a PPTP and OpenVPN server built in! That’s a £70 device, impressed. Of course many routers, like the Drayteks, can take a USB dongle but check for support.

    I concentrated on the Huawei as that’s what comes bundled by Three (but you can use the sim in anything). Whilst the TPL kit is just as capable, if not more, and cheaper, I like the external 4G antenna option of the Huawei. I suspect placement of any unit using it’s internal antenna will be key and even adding a “rubber duck” would help. If you can get the antenna outside, even better. A directional antenna pointing at the mast, marvellous.

    Mine should be installed in the next week or so at the housing charity and will be dealing with 12 residents (via UAP WiFi), a SOHO office and remote access to a 6 camera CCTV setup.

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