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In urgent need of advice - moving to remote house next week.

tommydog

Casual Member
I am moving to a cottage in the Scottish highlands next week and have been badly let down on the installation of a landline. I desperately need internet access, as I work from home. I am also beginning to think that a landline may not be a good idea anyway, as they have only promised maximum speeds of 1mbps. An elderly neighbour has a landline and when I tested his connection, he was actually getting under 1mbps. I have done some tests in the area and Giffgaff seemed to be the strongest network (they only have 4G in the area), although I could only get about 2 bars outside (vodaphone I could not get a signal at all). I don't know for sure but believe the telephone mast is about 5 miles away. When tethering to a phone and depending where I was in the house (walls are very thick), I was getting between 256kbps and 800kbps. The trouble is I am now hundreds of miles away, so can't do anymore tests before I move.

In light of this, I desperately need some sort of outdoor solution. I have read other threads and have seen HUAWEI 5G CPE Win recommended. People say they purchased HUAWEI 5G CPE Win from A1smartshop for around £250 - but I can't find it on there now? Other options I have examined is something like a Huawei B525 paired with a Poynting XPOL-1 external antenna. Not sure if there is anything else I should examine - TP-Link Archer MR600, D-Link DWR-953 Wireless AC1200 4G LTE etc?

The problem is I don't have time to experiment with different solutions and need to order something ASAP that will give the highest probability of working. I understand that is is difficult to guarantee performance, but what do people think is likely to give the best chance of getting a decent speed? I am really running out of time and need to order something ASAP as I work from home.

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Hi,

The CPE Win has gone up in price massively, it's about £500 now and hard to find. I would not recommend it for your situation as it's 5G and you do not need that, it's a waste of money in this case.

If you're in such remote area then maybe the Mikrotik dish router will do a better job than others.

 
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Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@tommydog that's a router and antenna in one, its powered over the Ethernet cable.

A Huawei 535 or 525 with an external antenna might also work well.

Testing will show more. I'd also order a couple of other sims, such as Three and EE, have them handy for testing, should Giffgaff not work out. Can you share a post code for the location?

Have you looked at Starlink?
 

bonehead999

Casual Member
Knowledge is power. Find out as accurately as possible where the masts are and which providers are on them. This will determine antennae choice to an extent.

Get a load of SIM cards.

IMHO choice of router is not as critical as the above. Of course get a decent one tho :)

Maybe also look at multipath, if speed is going to be an issue and you can afford it (time + money)
 

tommydog

Casual Member
I use MikroTik for 4G and I'm very happy with it - my model is obsolete now, but https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/products/42043-mikrotik-rbsxtr-and-r11e-lte6/ is an updated version. Like the LHG LTE6 Kit mentioned above it is an all in one external antenna and router powered by PoE.

Thank you - I did look at those as well. Do you think the MikroTik RBSXTR&R11e-LTE6 is better than the LHG LTE6 Kit mentioned above?

Also do you think these MikroTik devices have an advantage over something like a Huawei B525 paired with a Poynting XPOL-1 external antenna? I think the MikroTik would work out cheaper, but would the performance / reliability be better?

The postcode where I want to use the device is KW1 4UD

 

twocats

Regular Member
According to Cellmapper, it looks like Three have good coverage on Band 3 and 20 in that Postcode area.

three.jpg


I know people have issues with Three but I am in a rural location and I have been using them for Home Broadband for the last four years. Speeds are consistently 100Mbps+.
Currently I am still using the original Huawei CAT4 B310 router that was provided although I have seen occasions where I have hit the 150Mbps limit so maybe time to upgrade. I am using a Poynting XPOL-2 aerial in the roof space.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
I use 3 in a rural area and get good speeds 7km away from the mast with band 3, band 20 travels further but has lower speeds. Giffgaff are actually O2 so I would have thought O2 are another option if your Giffgaff sim is working.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@tommydog @twocats

Three in some rural locations is really good and definitely worth looking at. Order a Smarty payg sim, have it ready for tests.

As for SXT vs LHG kits, well, it's all extremely relative to local conditions.. it could go either ways. I believe the modem itself is identical, but what is different is the way the signal is pulled in. The LHG obviously has a much higher gain with its parabolic antenna, whereas the SXT is lower gain, but not as directional which could be both good and bad. The SXT could be a candidate, definitely. It'd be much easier to handle for sure.

An advantage these Mikrotik have over the Huawei+antenna is that there would be no cable loss, as the modem and antenna are "one" unit.

From a configuration perspective Mikrotik is much more flexible and would allow you to lock on to particular cells - this also comes with somewhat steeper learning curve, but for starters I don't think you'd be required to configure much, if at all. Maybe set up an APN, but that'd be about it.
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Thank you - I did look at those as well. Do you think the MikroTik RBSXTR&R11e-LTE6 is better than the LHG LTE6 Kit mentioned above?

Also do you think these MikroTik devices have an advantage over something like a Huawei B525 paired with a Poynting XPOL-1 external antenna? I think the MikroTik would work out cheaper, but would the performance / reliability be better?
As mentioned above the difference between the SXT and LHG is the gain and directionality - hard to predict which is best in a specific case.
Regarding MikroTik vs. Huawei, the MikroTik is more industrial rather than consumer, which means it is more flexible and will be supported for longer, but may have a steeper learning curve at first. However, once set up it won't need much maintenance, they just work.
 

tommydog

Casual Member
Thanks for the information. I am tempted to give one of the Mikrotik devices a try. I know there is no 5G, but I heard the HUAWEI 5G CPE Win was about the best on the market for 4G speed - but maybe I am mistaken? Plus it is very expensive..

Back to the Mikrotik - do you know if these two devices are the same:

Mikrotik SXT LTE

MikroTik RBSXTR&R11e-LTE6

The Amazon one is cheaper and has the option of Prime delivery. But no mention of IP rating? Also for MikroTik RBSXTR&R11e-LTE6 and the LHG LTE6 - do they both come with a POE injector and power supply? If so I presume it's just a matter of connecting a network switch if I wanted to connect multiple computers? Or just something like below for wifi in the house?

 

tommydog

Casual Member
you might also want a longer ethernet cable for outside mounting, 10, 20m eg
I already have 30m of Cat6a cable that I purchased a few years ago, so think that will work nicely In the interest of reducing desktop clutter, can you get an ethernet switch that has poe to power the Mikrotik, so that an injector would not have to be used? I see the Mikrotik units ship with a 24v power supply, but most ethenet switches put out a higher voltage than that. Secondly not sure if you can get an ethernet switch that also has this function and built in wifi for inside the house? Just thinking about indoor ascetics
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Most PoE switches are autosensing and will choose the right voltage to send, however it's best you consult official documentation and/or support, don't get your router fried on our behalf. :)
 

tommydog

Casual Member
As for SXT vs LHG kits, well, it's all extremely relative to local conditions.. it could go either ways. I believe the modem itself is identical, but what is different is the way the signal is pulled in. The LHG obviously has a much higher gain with its parabolic antenna, whereas the SXT is lower gain, but not as directional which could be both good and bad.
Are you sure only the antenna design is different, as both units seem to have very different power requirements:

LHG LTE6 = ships with 24V 0.38A AC adapter(max power consumption 6w)
SXT LTE6 = ships with 24V 1.2A AC adapter (max power consumption 21 W)

If I went for something like the Mikrotik HAP ac lite (don't need faster giabit ports), it can output 500ma from each of the POE ports. It ships with a 24v volt power adapter and the POE ports use the same voltage as the input power. Therefore 500ma x 24v would give me a theoretical maximum of 12W, which seems to be well within range of powering the LHG LTE6 (but not the SXT LTE6) without having to use a separate power supply for the LHG LTE6. The Mikrotik HAP AC Lite also has built in wifi which is a bonus. As an alternative I could power the LHG LTE6 with something like the TP-LINK TL-SF1005P (which puts out 15w per poe port), but the TP link device does not have integrated wifi.
 
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Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
You seem better informed than me on the subject so I think you're gonna be ok, at least we've put you on a good direction. :)
 

tommydog

Casual Member
You seem better informed than me on the subject so I think you're gonna be ok, at least we've put you on a good direction.

No I am still getting my head around everything! Can I just ask how it works with POE if I don't want to use the POE injector that the SXT and LHG ships with? I would prefer to power the device directly from a POE switch (like TP link TL-SF1005P V2 or Mikrotik HAP ac lite), but how would this work if I want the SXT or LHG to also provide internet to the network switch? I ask this as many network switches supporting POE do not support POE from the port which services internet to the switch.
 
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