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Advice for new 4G setup

NGT

Member
Hi,

I’m looking to cancel my landline and go for a 4G setup as we live in a rural area and the broadband is terrible but the 4G is excellent with Vodafone. I currently have a landline router which is linked to a Google Nest WiFi mesh. The mast is 1km away and I can see it from upstairs. I can get full bars on a mobile in the house but assume the best option is to go for an external aerial which then plugs into a router (as apposed to putting a LTE only router on a bedroom windowsill or in the attic?
I don’t need a high spec router as I’ll turn the WIFi option off on this as assume I set the same way by connecting to the Nest WiFi via Ethernet cable.

Are there any suggestions on what hardware I should purchase to set this up? Assume I’ll need an external aerial which plugs into an internal LTE router? Setting up a Vodafone sim is relatively easy? Assume there are standard “Vodafone settings” that can be added to the router?
Any help greatly appreciated.

thanks,

Nigel.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
First of all I would suggest not using an external antenna. In a lot of cases they don’t actually improve anything - plus you’ve got full bars of signal on your phone so it seems signal isn’t an issue for Vodafone in your house.

Huawei routers are probably the most common - I’ve got experience with a Huawei B535 on Vodafone and it performs excellently. Plenty of people have tried external antenna with this router and found that it’s internal antenna performs better in a lot of cases. It’s a pretty common router so you can pick them up on eBay / Amazon for a very reasonable price.

There’s not really any settings to configure if you use a Vodafone SIM - it’ll set itself up automatically.

Are you planning on connecting into your home network remotely or any serious gaming etc? If not, you’ll have no issue plugging a Google WiFi in and disabling the built-in WiFi.
 

NGT

Member
First of all I would suggest not using an external antenna. In a lot of cases they don’t actually improve anything - plus you’ve got full bars of signal on your phone so it seems signal isn’t an issue for Vodafone in your house.

Huawei routers are probably the most common - I’ve got experience with a Huawei B535 on Vodafone and it performs excellently. Plenty of people have tried external antenna with this router and found that it’s internal antenna performs better in a lot of cases. It’s a pretty common router so you can pick them up on eBay / Amazon for a very reasonable price.

There’s not really any settings to configure if you use a Vodafone SIM - it’ll set itself up automatically.

Are you planning on connecting into your home network remotely or any serious gaming etc? If not, you’ll have no issue plugging a Google WiFi in and disabling the built-in WiFi.
Hi, thanks very much for the info above and router recommendation.

I don’t need remote connection. My son does play xBox games but I’m issuing the connection can’t be worse than what we have now. The max 1mb upload is apparently the current issue for Fortnite!

One more question I should have asked. I’m assuming it doesn’t matter what unlimited data sim deal I go for with Vodafone. It can be a normal mobile phone sim only deal if this is the cheaper option? It doesn’t have to be a broadband sim deal?

thanks

Nigel.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I can get full bars on a mobile in the house but assume the best option is to go for an external aerial which then plugs into a router (as apposed to putting a LTE only router on a bedroom windowsill or in the attic?
I agree with TTJJ, if you get good signal already on a mobile in your house then I would say an external antenna wouldn't be required - windowsill or attic should do fine.

I would caveat that 'number of bars' is only a representation of the radio signal levels between your device and the mast, it is not a direct indicator of the throughput speeds you would achieve - though admittedly the lower the signal levels the lower speeds that will be achievable.

The achievable speed is is very dependant upon a number of factors, not least the number of users sharing your mast, the frequencies and the amount of those that the provider owns, the backhaul connection to the mast.

Personally, understanding what technologies your mast has been deployed with for the provider(s) you intend to consider is what I would advise - that would ensure that you're looking for a suitable router that best fits with those (to give you the best chance at the best speeds).

Are you planning on connecting into your home network remotely or any serious gaming etc? If not, you’ll have no issue plugging a Google WiFi in and disabling the built-in WiFi.
As Vodafone use CGNAT anyway, services such as those you mention (remote access to self-hosted services, some games) could be impacted regardless of which device is hosting the Wifi internally.
 

MrDave

Top Member
Hi, thanks very much for the info above and router recommendation.

I don’t need remote connection. My son does play xBox games but I’m issuing the connection can’t be worse than what we have now. The max 1mb upload is apparently the current issue for Fortnite!

One more question I should have asked. I’m assuming it doesn’t matter what unlimited data sim deal I go for with Vodafone. It can be a normal mobile phone sim only deal if this is the cheaper option? It doesn’t have to be a broadband sim deal?

thanks

Nigel.
You may have some issues with Vodafone and online gaming because of the Strict NAT (CGNAT mentioned above). You will just have to see when you connect.

There are some great cashback deals for Vodafone unlimited Max, there was a 24 Month contract for <£14 a month not long back. Make sure you go for the Max package or you may be limited to 10Mbps or 2Mbps.
 

kommando828

Top Member
I’m assuming it doesn’t matter what unlimited data sim deal I go for with Vodafone.

Beware of the 2mbs and 10mbs (or could be 5mbs) limited speed but unlimited data versions. You want the unlimited speed and unlimited data sim card.
 

NGT

Member
Yup, it catches a few people out.

https://www.vodafone.co.uk/unlimited-data-plans/ explains the differences.
Thank you all for the advice. Been looking around and as I live in Wales I can get a grant of up to £800 for the kit and installation provided my current speed is under 10mb and the new service provides at lease double the speed. (Which I qualify for both). Not sure if I need to go through a company for this or can still do it directly. Will try and find out.
 

teleman6868

Regular Member
If money allows and you're not getting a router from your provider, I'd go for the Huawei B818-263 over the B535. Most folk, including myself, report very positively on its performance. And both the B818 and B535 allow use of LTE H-Monitor to monitor and tune performance.
 

Jmi

Regular Member
Yes, I would agree with that. And the MikroTik SXT LTE6 kit is also better than the B535 and also has the advantage of being weatherproof and having POE which may be really important if you want it on the outside of your chimney stack.
 
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