Three 4G HomeFi
May 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm #33216ParticipantDave Rice@ricedg
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.
December 31, 2019 at 1:59 pm #39234ParticipantTippon@tipponForumite Points: 4,093
I’m glad you said that. I just realised that I haven’t rung them yetJanuary 6, 2020 at 10:36 am #39425
Phoned Three asked for business broadband unlimited sim to go in a router. Told to get the business AYCE @£20 a month Inc vat.January 21, 2020 at 5:54 pm #39909
January’s bill is also at £29, so I’m on the live chat to them (again) to resolve. If it happens in February, I will be writing to them to close the account and that as they haven’t been providing their side of the contract,I wont’ expect to pay any early termination fees. Then I’ll get my own router and go with SMARTY, as it’s been working out reasonably well.January 21, 2020 at 9:15 pm #39917
I’ve been looking at proper 4G modems, ones that really work transparently so I can still use existing Draytek routers (or any business class that can use an Ethernet WAN). There are of course other routers we’ve talked about here that can take SIMs but they lack the features I’m after.
Draytek (and many others) do support USB dongles but they provide a 192.168.8.x IP address to the router and not the ISP’s IP address; it’s an issue with the way these LTE USB device’s protocols work. These routers also look upon LTE as a failover backup rather than the main connection. It means lots of things don’t work as a dynamic IP address is the dongle’s WAN not the router’s. I also want something really reliable.
After much research I’ve found the Teltonika RUT240. It’s described as “for quick deployment in mission critical IoT applications where advanced Networking, VPN and security features are needed”.
It’s actually a pretty damn decent router in it’s own right, it even has a full fat OpenVPN and IPSec VPN servers, but only 2.4Ghz WiFi. It has an Ethernet WAN port if you want the 4G as failover, but importantly that can be switched off and it operates as a proper LTE device. It also has a proper bridge mode which makes it totally transparent to any Ethernet router is attached to (although you can still access it’s GUI if you use a different subnet for your LAN). As you would expect for a piece of kit described as for mission critical deployments the security and diagnostics are fantastic and it understands tag VLANs. It also takes external antennas for LAN and WAN.
Not cheap at £120 but I’ll pay that for the features and build quality (it could be all you need). Also being Ethernet it can be installed where the signal is best with the router sited where it’s most convenient for the cabling.
The plan is shaping up nicely.January 24, 2020 at 11:39 pm #40010ParticipantThe Duke@sgb101Forumite Points: 11,583
120 is not steep for a decent router, that have the majority of pro features.February 4, 2020 at 10:57 am #40315
Not sure if Three have been having outages locally – but the speed over the last three or four days has been awful.
I’d even looked around for fibre packages (as the other half was complaining!)February 4, 2020 at 5:56 pm #40347
I get the same issue with fibre and a lot of disconnections.
Just looked up cellmapper.net to find I’m not on the mast I thought I was, it’s the other side of the house! Going to move the router, see what happens.February 4, 2020 at 6:17 pm #40350
Holding off on getting fibre, but if Three charge me the wrong amount again this month, I’ll be complaining and asking to cancel.
There are some decent price fibre packages now – had a look at Origin Broadband today – £27 a month all in for 64Mb fibre seems reasonable. Far better than the price we were paying with Virgin and cheaper than the £29 Three appear to be charging me currently.
Mind it all comes at once, as EON are billing us for the wrong meters, so I’m currently in arguments with them – as they’re taking money and so are British Gas (who are billing the correct meters – as I confirmed with them today. Well, one correct meter, as the gas meter isn’t on the National Grid database but have said that if the reading was correct when we moved in, it should be fine).February 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm #40351
I moved it into the loft, made no difference. I’ve heard that chasing a 4G signal is like nailing a jelly to the wall.
I may be getting signals bouncing off other roofs, or the tiles are an issue, or I’ve just got it in the wrong place and the gable wall is blocking things. May just need turning through 90 degrees. Hey ho, it’s staying there now and I’ll play with it as and when, maybe get the compass out.
There’s plenty of places to put it including even higher up as there’s some (loose) boards up in the rafters from when they put the TV aerial up. That’s the beauty of the loft, I have the whole house footprint to play with, an Ethernet going to the workshop on the ground floor and the house WAP mounted under the floor (top landing ceiling).
I’ve been looking at VOIP to replace the landline and it looks like I can get an unlimited package for a tenner a month that includes the mobile. Being a “business” service it comes with all the bells and whistles of answer phones, redirection, etc. I’d be spending some £ to up the Mrs mobile contract anyway and she prefers a handset when yacking to the family, it also looks good on the business contact details.February 9, 2020 at 9:47 pm #40479
Dave have you had any experience with the B535 the misses has got her new caravan (wants broadband for now tv and stuff in the van) and has seen it on 3 we can get it for £17 a month.
Cheers MarkFebruary 10, 2020 at 8:55 am #40484
I have the B535 myself, I was thinking of replacing it at some stage because I wanted a router with more “business” features, like a VPN server. But I think I’ll now let the Synology NAS do the VPN and DHCP duties and keep it as it’s been rock solid.
As you can see getting the ultimate speed out of a 4G signal can take a bit of experimentation with location, but even then it never went below the low teens and the TV was quite happy with catch up services no matter what. I understand this isn’t so much the router but 4G itself and the speed has hardly wavered in it’s new location.February 10, 2020 at 9:38 pm #40513
Thanks I will tell her to order it. The place we spend a lot of time at (our quiet place) on the Llyn peninsula is out in the sticks but gets a really good 4g reception despite having the sea in front and hills everywhere else.
Cheers MarkFebruary 10, 2020 at 11:23 pm #40514
One thing I’ve found is that you can’t change the DNS server in the DHCP server settings. Not a huge problem for most people and if you’re running a PiHole to get rid of adverts, get it to do the DHCP server duties too.February 12, 2020 at 8:32 pm #40585
Dave have you had any experience with the B535 the misses has got her new caravan (wants broadband for now tv and stuff in the van) and has seen it on 3 we can get it for £17 a month. Cheers Mark
We have the B535 and it seems decent enough. Only issues we’ve had are Three not billing us correctly for the past two months (and some recent slow downs, but I believe this is a network issue, not the router).February 12, 2020 at 10:28 pm #40586
As long as she can stream the now tv and netflix in the caravan I’ll be happy where we stay when we set up the freeview we can only pick up Irish tv channels. The 4g signal there is strong so hopefully it will all work ok.
Cheers MarkFebruary 13, 2020 at 7:22 am #40591ParticipantEd P@edpsForumite Points: 16,306
Interestingly my Raspberry Pi flags 5G transmissions separately from Wi-Fi in the Wi-Fi box on the panel.February 21, 2020 at 1:15 pm #40858
We’ve given up now – have ordered regular fibre to be installed on the 4th. When it works, it works fine. However, we’ve had more slow downs and drop outs that we ever had with BT and with working from home, I’ve been struggling to use Office, and general usage has been very poor today. I’d also been getting it in the neck from the other half, so we’ll end up paying for two contracts which is a pain (but still cheaper than Virgin).
I’ll probably take the SIM card to use in my travel router.
A shame, as it worked perfectly when I was in Manchester with cadets (though not on Three) and we were probably hitting it pretty hard there.February 21, 2020 at 5:04 pm #40866
Like anything delivered over the air it’s probably got a lot to do with location. Not just the physical location of the receiver vs the transmitter but the transmitter at that location.
We’re using ours all the time now and I’ve only had an extreme slow down once (but speeds vary during the day), that was when Netflix got the hump but a speed test immediately after wasn’t that bad.
My Ubiquiti cloud controller alerts me if it loses touch with any AP and that’s only happened twice, once here and once at a customer site. Both outages were only one heartbeat cycle.
It’s going to be good enough for me to ditch the landline when the time comes and I still have plenty of tweaking left to do with regards kit and location in the loft. However I still believe that it’s going to take 5G to do this effectively for the masses.February 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm #40874ParticipantPlaneMan@planemanForumite Points: 7,238
I’m still loving the Mi Mix 3 5G for my broadband. The 5G signal on Vodafone here is getting more stable.
That was yesterday on the Mi Mix 3 5G while streaming Netflix.
5G really is brilliant if you can get a decent signal.February 21, 2020 at 10:05 pm #40882
Yeah, hit and miss I guess. I may try moving it upstairs and seeing if that helps at all, but with the issues, we’ve just decided to go for the fibre.
Have gone with Origin broadband, which were priced at £25 a month for the 67Mb pacakge, so we’ll give that a go (though I did upgrade the router they send me for a fee, which I thought was interesting, first time I’ve seen a firm do that!)
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