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VIDEO – Using a DIY Microwave Link to Solve Slow Broadband

Monday, December 21st, 2020 (11:42 am) - Score 9,048

The General Manager of UK ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP), Alex Bloor, appears to have launched his own personal YouTube channel and one of the first videos to go up is an interesting one that shows how he solved his own broadband problems by installing a Microwave (wireless) link to the local data centre.

Recently Alex found himself in a difficult situation after discovering that his new apartment wasn’t going to deliver the sort of FTTC/P speeds that he had originally been promised. Instead, he was left with a 10-15Mbps ADSL connection as the only option, which was not ideal, particularly given his day job.

As luck would have it Alex’s new apartment also happened to overlook the top of a CentriLogic data centre, which was some 425 metres away. The new video thus provides a basic summary of what he did to setup his own Microwave link, using Linitx’s NanoBeam (16db) 5GHz airMAX kit, to the data centre – this is a Line-of-Sight (LOS) radio technology that is usually used to send a lot of data point-to-point.

This video walks though the process of putting the link in place, choosing hardware, how well it works, some problems and future upgrade plans. The video isn’t intended to quite tell you all you need to know (that would be impossible), but should give a good starting point, and quite a few tips along the way,” said Alex.

The embed below skips the first 24 seconds of the video due to the inclusion, albeit comical, of a screen-grab from the PornHub website.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
31 Responses
  1. Randy says:

    Yeah ok let me go ask Virtus if I can stick a microwave dish on top of their DC.
    What’s that ? no way ?

    1. Anon says:

      It’s always worth asking; they can only say no.

    2. Lucian says:

      Which Virtus location is nearest to you?

  2. Billy Nomates says:

    Er I think you might wanna put up a NSFW warning on that YT video. Considering the pornhub pornographic shot (totally un-necessary BTW) at the start.

    1. Mike P says:

      It was like a 2 second blurry photo guys come on.

    2. Billy Nomates says:

      you can make out naked body parts, and intercourse. Many people view this website at work. all i suggested was a NSFW warning. why is that unreasonable?

    3. Mark Jackson says:

      Didn’t even notice that the first time. I’ve skipped the first 25 seconds of the Embed above as that section isn’t necessary.

    4. Han says:

      Do you wear a blindfold when you go to toilet?

    5. dave says:

      What a lot of fuss about nothing. You can barely make anything out, even with a zoom. If you know what it is you’re looking at, then you’ve seen porn before. Pfff.

  3. joe says:

    Well I hope he’s getting the developer to cover the cost.

    1. John says:

      Confirmation of broadband availability via email is not a contract.

      It must be specifically within the purchase contract to have any viable claim.

      He admits in the video it became very apparent the developer and estate agent were incorrect on their claim of fibre based broadband before finalising, and he chose to sign the contract anyway.

    2. Archie says:


      Bullsh*t. They can’t lie… and especially if they know it’ll help you to sign the contract. Yes, they might ultimately get away with it but I’m sure he’d have success if he chose to pursue it. Many, many people would not move into a place nowadays if they know the internet is sh*te. Especially for those who work from home (pre-COVID).

    3. A_Builder says:


      FCA would not agree with your viewpoint.

      If facts are stated and you rely on those facts to make a dedcision they *may* be held to be relevant facts.

  4. DaveD says:

    He clearly has good people connections with the DC, if I asked for this at any of the DCs I work in I am 99% sure I would get laughed out the room.

    1. Peter Clifton says:

      Clearly managing an ISP helps with negotiating access to the data centre! Comments about good people connections are key though… AAISP are really great guys to deal with, and I suspect Alex has personally been involved with some intricate debugging last time we had connectivity problems. We are only a small customer, and in the end, the problem turned out to be an intermediate router at our end. The fact that these guys took their time to help debug an issue for such a small customer leaves me with no surprise that they have good connections within their industry too.

      Got to wonder if Alex will upgrade to fiber via PIA at some point, since that presumably becomes an option at some point when you have ISP connections.

    2. John says:

      PIA isn’t a good option.

      It’s horribly complicated and eye wateringly expensive for a single property.

      PIA is priced to be rolled out to hundreds of homes.

  5. John Hollywood says:

    I have done similar with a connection to a Family member (using Mimosa B5lite). He has BT FullFibre900 and I am 6.7 KM away (in North Wales and with line of sight) and I get circa 100-150 Down and 100MB up :-). Just as well, because BT abandoned the Fibre Build to our Hamlet (Boduan LL536DP) and left our community inc. businesses with less than 1MB, internet via ADSL. Not enough even to stream radio! in 2020.

    1. Anna says:

      Then expand it and start your own IPS you got a business in a box there 🙂

    2. Name says:

      My record is 18km long link based on two MicroTik’s using 5GHz band with 70Mbps up/down.

    3. Guy says:

      John… We have a number of Ethernet and fibre circuits in your area. If you’re interested, give us a call. Being all honest, with some fine turning on that distance, you should be seeing faster speeds. With a licensed link, you could see speeds of 1gbps quite easily. Please get in touch, be happy for a chat. Thanks Guy, Dragon WiFi
      P.S – for that distance, less than 1KM, you could put a 60ghz link in and get upto 1GBPS. With no DFS rubbish either!

  6. Anna says:

    ISP I meant!

  7. Name says:

    Alex Bloor just keep in mind that you have data cap 😉

  8. iFiW says:

    19 minute video to explain a trivial install of some wifi kit because there was a short distance line of sight option. News at 11.

    1. Paul M says:

      it’s not the equipment, it’s how he went about doing it that matters.

  9. Granola says:

    Is he going to make his window cleaner infertile ?
    How is it going to perform when the trees grow ?
    And “we know where you live”. There is no way I’d post my address like he has.

    1. Archue says:


      No ones going to knock on this guy’s door because of this video.

      1. He’s not some fit women 2. He’s a massive nerd…

      Ergo. No one’s knocking at his door.

  10. Buggerlugz says:

    I think for his second video he should do a build of how to get adult content on his microwave.

    1. Archie says:

      It’s quite simple, you irradiate your brain with the microwave to the point where you believe you’re seeing adult content in your microwave.

  11. Buggerlugz says:

    Considering how better using Microwaves is than 5g, why are telco’s not just using microwave transmitters on mast’s to peoples homes? (bandwidth by any chance?)

    1. The Facts says:

      Tricky for moving vehicles.

    2. Paul M says:

      the problem with radio is that it’s a shared medium, whereas wiring is 1:1 connecting the end user with the point of presence in the local cabinet or exchange.

      the are commercial high performance microwave data products like those from cbnl.com but they are not cheap like domestic wifi.

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