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Advice required for new 4G router, totally in the dark about choice

Allan Collins

Casual Member
Hi,
Sorry in advance if this is too long winded...
I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to using 4G as the main source of Broadband.
Very soon I'll be moving out from a house that has FTTP with a decent constant 86Mbps (recently upgraded by BT from around 30 without any notice or extra cost) and going to live in a static caravan with only 4G available for 9 months whilst our new home is being built.

I've been looking at TP-Link starting with the TL-MR6400 at £73, then the Archer MR200 at £94 and finally the Archer mr600 v2 at around £140.

I then started to see the Fritz!box routers, which though much more expensive seemed to get excellent reviews and the specs I believe I need, the 6890 LTE, caught my eye at about £340, but no official supplier in the UK & confusing email replies from AVM support about working with UK providers and warranties has put me off.

Now I'm looking at Huawei and in a muddle with even more models to choose from out of the B535-232 at £105, the B818-263 at £185 and today I saw the 5G CPE Pro 2 at £380 which really complicated matters..

Testing with a phone inside the caravan I get a lowly 3-8Mbps on Vodafone & 9-13 outside, I'm going to test with numerous sims after getting the router.
Its going to be used for everything from using Ethernet to a TV for Catchup/Amazon etc, wireless for mobiles and the real issue, with an 18 Year olds Pc for gaming ( I've tried explaining that latency/lag will probably be an issue) but its falling on deaf ears.

The extra complication comes in the future, our new house is in the sticks and though BT fibre is available the Stay Fast Guarantee is only 15Mb so 4G is probably the way to go there as I can currently get 38Mb on my phone.
We probably won't see 5G for a year or more if ever, but you never know.
So I need something to cope with all the above; Dual band, at least two LAN sockets, maximum download speeds (just in case BT improve the fibre later) and the facility to add an Outside antenna.

If anybody gets to the bottom of this and replies with some help I'd be extremely grateful!
(with the above models, excluding Fritz!box, does the higher costs get you a noticeable improvement?)

 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Huawei B818 is one of the best 4G routers, but if you have money CPE Pro2 is better as it can also do 5G.

Can you share an approx post code of your caravan?
 
Last edited:

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
To add to that, sometimes you might need an external antenna, but the CPE pro2 doesn't support one, so worth having this perspective, too.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
I agree with @Lucian. If no 5G, get the B818. I've heard some horror stories with the TP-Link too, I'm a Huawei guy myslef.
 

dabigm

Top Member
B818 all the way.

If you can't get 5G, there's little point to splurge on something now. Even for futureproofing. The 818 lets you choose bands, has bridge mode, and can be picked up for about £190
 

Allan Collins

Casual Member
Huawei B818 is one of the best 4G routers, but if you have money CPE Pro2 is better as it can also do 5G.

Can you share an approx post code of your caravan?
Many thanks for your reply.
Postcodes are PL15 9SG for the caravan park and PL15 8RD for our future house (more important for the future).
The 8RD code has a mast within a mile or so, online info I have found says it's a 3 tower, but there's an A4 note on the surround fence says 02 installed it, do the 2 companies share masts?

Also in your opinion what makes the B818 one of the best?
 

Allan Collins

Casual Member
Ignore this post, it's not mobile capable, lots of companies are highlighting 5G now even though its not mobile 5G and I fell for it!

After seeing the other replies I went back to Amazon to check the 818 current prices and saw this AVM FRITZ!Box 7590 UK Version.
Any thoughts on it?
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Ignore this post, it's not mobile capable, lots of companies are highlighting 5G now even though its not mobile 5G and I fell for it!

After seeing the other replies I went back to Amazon to check the 818 current prices and saw this AVM FRITZ!Box 7590 UK Version.
Any thoughts on it?
You can use 4G dongles with these but they don't have the fastest WiFi on the planet.

EDIT: the reason the put 5G is because it supports 5Ghz WiFi, not just 2.4 but for the average consumer it can be misleading.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@Allan Collins Yes, it seems they - like many others - are using 5G to refer to the 5GHz WIFI... creates a lot of confusion, very annoying!

The B818 is one of the best because it supports a very new LTE "category", in this case 19. The Fritzbox you quoted initially is only cat 6, it's years behind.
A higher "cat" translates into able to aggregate bands more efficiently, using antennas more efficiently (MIMO) etc, very often (but not always, especially in country side!) translating into higher speeds or at least more stable connections.

I checked a bit and it looks like Three and EE have a very weak presence in that area (caravan), so that leaves O2 and Vodafone.
What I would do is get the B818 and then payg SIMs from both Giffgaff (O2) and Voxi (Vodafone) and do some testing, see which works better, you may need or not an external antenna, we'll see. Both Giffgaff and Voxi hace unlimited data plans.

With regards to your other location (for the future) it looks like it's better supported by most operators, so you should have some more choice there, EE in particular report excellent signal, and where there's EE there's also Three, so maybe you can get a good signal from them, as well.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@Allan Collins listen, before you spend money, if you have a new(ish) phone, just try the Giffgaff/Voxi SIMs in it, in various places, inside, outside etc. See what speeds you get, it's very likely the router will do a similar job.
 

Allan Collins

Casual Member
@Allan Collins listen, before you spend money, if you have a new(ish) phone, just try the Giffgaff/Voxi SIMs in it, in various places, inside, outside etc. See what speeds you get, it's very likely the router will do a similar job.
I'll follow your advice, though going by what you say with regard to the router doing a similar job to a newish phone, I'll probably need an outside antenna too, initial testing has been done with a Google Pixel 4a(5g) and a iPhone 11Max and speeds were around 8Mbps in the caravan.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
I'll follow your advice, though going by what you say with regard to the router doing a similar job to a newish phone, I'll probably need an outside antenna too, initial testing has been done with a Google Pixel 4a(5g) and a iPhone 11Max and speeds were around 8Mbps in the caravan.
What network? O2 are quite slow no matter where you are. Vodafone is usually the fastest if no EE or Three
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
I'll probably need an outside antenna too, initial testing has been done with a Google Pixel 4a(5g) and a iPhone 11Max and speeds were around 8Mbps in the caravan.
On what network were the tests done? Did you also test outside the caravan?
 

Allan Collins

Casual Member
The tests were done with Vodafone, from memory, 3-8Mbps inside and topped out at 13 outside, it was extremely windy with sleet and I didn't stay outside for too long, so didn't try and find an optimum position.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
The tests were done with Vodafone, from memory, 3-8Mbps inside and topped out at 13 outside, it was extremely windy with sleet and I didn't stay outside for too long, so didn't try and find an optimum position.
probably would require an external antenna, id recommend the poynting XPOL-A001 (On amazon for about 80 quid)
 

Allan Collins

Casual Member
probably would require an external antenna, id recommend the poynting XPOL-A001 (On amazon for about 80 quid)
Again, as I know nowt about Cellular/Radio transmitters etc. I'm happy to follow your advice. Towards the bottom of the page for that antenna on Amazon they suggest adding some cable extensions & connectors (2 different sets). I've seen elsewhere on the forum mention of the ponytail cables, but I can't quite find the full info.
Do I need both sets?

connectors.png
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Again, as I know nowt about Cellular/Radio transmitters etc. I'm happy to follow your advice. Towards the bottom of the page for that antenna on Amazon they suggest adding some cable extensions & connectors (2 different sets). I've seen elsewhere on the forum mention of the ponytail cables, but I can't quite find the full info.
Do I need both sets?

View attachment 838
What router are you using? That's just what other people have bought you don't need any of them apart from the SMA to TS9 adapter if you are using the B818.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Hi,
Sorry in advance if this is too long winded...
I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to using 4G as the main source of Broadband.
Very soon I'll be moving out from a house that has FTTP with a decent constant 86Mbps (recently upgraded by BT from around 30 without any notice or extra cost) and going to live in a static caravan with only 4G available for 9 months whilst our new home is being built.

I've been looking at TP-Link starting with the TL-MR6400 at £73, then the Archer MR200 at £94 and finally the Archer mr600 v2 at around £140.

I then started to see the Fritz!box routers, which though much more expensive seemed to get excellent reviews and the specs I believe I need, the 6890 LTE, caught my eye at about £340, but no official supplier in the UK & confusing email replies from AVM support about working with UK providers and warranties has put me off.

Now I'm looking at Huawei and in a muddle with even more models to choose from out of the B535-232 at £105, the B818-263 at £185 and today I saw the 5G CPE Pro 2 at £380 which really complicated matters..

Testing with a phone inside the caravan I get a lowly 3-8Mbps on Vodafone & 9-13 outside, I'm going to test with numerous sims after getting the router.
Its going to be used for everything from using Ethernet to a TV for Catchup/Amazon etc, wireless for mobiles and the real issue, with an 18 Year olds Pc for gaming ( I've tried explaining that latency/lag will probably be an issue) but its falling on deaf ears.

The extra complication comes in the future, our new house is in the sticks and though BT fibre is available the Stay Fast Guarantee is only 15Mb so 4G is probably the way to go there as I can currently get 38Mb on my phone.
We probably won't see 5G for a year or more if ever, but you never know.
So I need something to cope with all the above; Dual band, at least two LAN sockets, maximum download speeds (just in case BT improve the fibre later) and the facility to add an Outside antenna.

If anybody gets to the bottom of this and replies with some help I'd be extremely grateful!
(with the above models, excluding Fritz!box, does the higher costs get you a noticeable improvement?)

Get a B535 from 3 for £19 with a £30 30-day contract, cancel it and grab a SIM from Vodafone or EE.

B818 is excellent but rather expensive. B535 can achieve good speeds if the network is good around you.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Get a B535 from 3 for £19 with a £30 30-day contract, cancel it and grab a SIM from Vodafone or EE.

B818 is excellent but rather expensive. B535 can achieve good speeds if the network is good around you.
I have a B535 that I got from 3 myself. You do still have to pay £50 upfront tho.
 
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