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Just Signed up with 3 Homefi would like some advice on equipment

gjao

Member
Hi,

Just signed up with 3 Homefi, was hoping for a little advice as I am totally new to 4g routers etc.

3 are sending me out a Huawei B311, now not to knock free kit but the Wi-Fi on that is only 2.4Ghz and I would prefer both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. I also think that the router probably isn’t the best piece of kit around as its free, so really what I am looking for is a router that has external antennae for both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi (2 each), preferably good for gaming (QOS or the like) and would also make the most of picking up the maximum possible speed from the three network?

Also, in the future I may want to get an omni directional 4g antenna on the roof of my house, however I may be limited in what I can pick due to environmental restrictions, I live in a valley, and a ferocious wind passes through at times, really much more windy that you are currently imagining. Due to the wind my TV arial is inside the attic, otherwise it blows away, could I mount a 4G aerial inside the attic and still get decent performance? Or does anyone have a recommendation for sturdy, low profile, low cross-section roof antennae?

Any thing else you can think of that I may need or need to know will be welcome, thanks for taking the time to read this.
 

nickcal

Casual Member
I have 3 HomeFi also and I use the Huawei 5186. It supports CAT6 LTE which is a plus according to forums I read!

I have just bought an external omni atenna too, but not fitted. At the moment I get 60mb/s download which is good for where I live. I got it from ebay and it is a vertical tube, with fittings for pole mount or wall mount. I would be suprised if you couldn't fit it securely. I have been using a app called LTEWatch_H which provides a real-time view of the signal strength, so you can move the aerial to see where it works best - you could use that to see if the antenna would work OK in your attic.

You can pick up the 5186 on ebay or Amazon for a reasonable price. I am pretty pleased with it so far.
 

AdamH

Casual Member
I personally am using the Huawei B525, which I can highly recommend: this is also a CAT6 LTE router, and has good connectivity (4 RJ45 Ethernet ports, 1 RJ11 phone socket, a USB port, 2 x SMA connectors for external antennae, etc). See the other threads in this forum about the B525 - but, having used a TP-Link Archer MR200 before, I'd definitely recommend the B525. I will be using a Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 omni-directional LTE antenna with it - I haven't tried mine in the attic yet, but will do so soon.

If you get the Huawei B525s-65a variant from eBay (Eternal Comms), they also include 2 external "bunny ear" antennae with the router (you have to purchase separately otherwise, most suppliers don't include them) - also the 65a variant supports more LTE bands (frequencies) than the more common 23a variant, including the up-coming 700MHz band, so might be more future-proofed.

Try a router with its own built-in antennae first, then maybe the smaller indoor antenna (e.g. the "bunny ears" - also you can get indoor 4G antennae than can stick onto inside of windows with suction cups, make sure you get one which is cross-polarised and has SMA connectors). That may be good enough.
Otherwise, it's worth trying one of the larger antennae in the attic - the only problem is, you can't tell if it will improve the signal until or unless you try it (I guess the 14-day returns for mail order could be useful here).

Good Luck!
 
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