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Strange Issue with Huawei B535 Router on Three Network

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Apparently the industry standard for 4g LTE's MTU is 1428, so its interesting to see it reporting 1360.

I've set the mobile data connection to 1428 and 1360 and still noticed the problem today, not seen any packet loss right up to an MTU of 1500 so I don't think the routing issue is MTU or packet loss related.

I think its more down to traffic management been poorly implemented.
I see 1360 when I'm connected through VPN. I see 1346 when I'm not... And I'm still no wiser!
 

Wynno

Member
Found your thread, very useful thank you. I've been having similar (and very frustrating) issues and am convinced it is indeed a MTU issue. I use Smarty for my home broadband (rural and no land-line option), and have been having the exact same symptoms that MrHammonds describes for a couple of months. Connection is reliable and speed good and consistent, at a radio level I have good RSRP & RSRQ numbers. My normal set-up is a Meraki MG21 4G gateway paired with a MX64 firewall and a couple of MR33 APs. I also have a spare TP-Link MR600 and the problem persists when using this for testing.
At first I thought it might be a web-caching issue as once pages eventually have loaded they them seem to be ok. Video such as Netflix and Prime does not seem to be affected, but I'm assuming this is UDP and smaller packets.
Using the instructions on https://www.tp-link.com/uk/support/faq/190/?utm_medium=select-local and https://documentation.meraki.com/zG...nd_Troubleshooting/Troubleshooting_MTU_Issues I'm seeing 3 restricting MTU to 1358 (inc. 28 bit header).
I've tried setting the MTU via DHCP option 26, but my Windows 10 PCs just ignore that, and I don't want to force it on them individually as it would apply even when on other networks.
I can't adjust the MTU myself on the Meraki MX, but apparently support can do this for me, so I have requested this change. I'll let you all know whether this solves the issue.
 

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Wynno

Member
So to update
Found your thread, very useful thank you. I've been having similar (and very frustrating) issues and am convinced it is indeed a MTU issue. I use Smarty for my home broadband (rural and no land-line option), and have been having the exact same symptoms that MrHammonds describes for a couple of months. Connection is reliable and speed good and consistent, at a radio level I have good RSRP & RSRQ numbers. My normal set-up is a Meraki MG21 4G gateway paired with a MX64 firewall and a couple of MR33 APs. I also have a spare TP-Link MR600 and the problem persists when using this for testing.
At first I thought it might be a web-caching issue as once pages eventually have loaded they them seem to be ok. Video such as Netflix and Prime does not seem to be affected, but I'm assuming this is UDP and smaller packets.
Using the instructions on https://www.tp-link.com/uk/support/faq/190/?utm_medium=select-local and https://documentation.meraki.com/zG...nd_Troubleshooting/Troubleshooting_MTU_Issues I'm seeing 3 restricting MTU to 1358 (inc. 28 bit header).
I've tried setting the MTU via DHCP option 26, but my Windows 10 PCs just ignore that, and I don't want to force it on them individually as it would apply even when on other networks.
I can't adjust the MTU myself on the Meraki MX, but apparently support can do this for me, so I have requested this change. I'll let you all know whether this solves the issue.

Meraki changed the MTU as requested, and did it make any difference? Well I think perhaps a little, but it certainly has not solved the main annoying issue of web-pages taking an absolute age to first load. I think perhaps there are multiple issues here that 3 are throwing at us.

I am now experimenting with the Cloudfare WARP VPN client on my iPad and iPhone and initial feedback is that this does solve the issue, although downside is some web-sites seem to think I'm not in the UK, although others work fine as normal. Not sure about impact to battery life etc yet.

It would all be a lot easier to change to another mobile network, I have good EE and Voda coverage, but none of them can come even close from a tariff perspective - my Smarty SIM is unlimited data and speed at £20 p/m on a monthly contract. The best Vodafone can do it £33 p/m and EE are asking for a ridiculous £45 p/m for 50GB, hopeless. I guess you get what you pay for!
 

sheephouse

Top Member
EE are asking for a ridiculous £45 p/m for 50GB
EE offer unlimited SIM only for £34 p/m or less - I pay £27+VAT for an unlimited business SIM only deal and I got that without any special offers or haggling, and it is working fine as a fixed-line broadband replacement. No issues with FUP limits or allowing customers to use it.
I use AAISP L2TP to get static public addresses, but have had to lower the MTU to 1360 to make everything happy.
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
EE offer unlimited SIM only for £34 p/m or less - I pay £27+VAT for an unlimited business SIM only deal and I got that without any special offers or haggling, and it is working fine as a fixed-line broadband replacement. No issues with FUP limits or allowing customers to use it.
I use AAISP L2TP to get static public addresses, but have had to lower the MTU to 1360 to make everything happy.
Your solution is very expensive though. EE aren’t really ones to offer discounts so the price is the price. EE massively throttles downloads but you get around this with the AAISP L2TP.
 

sheephouse

Top Member
EE massively throttles downloads but you get around this with the AAISP L2TP.
I only use the L2TP tunnel for my servers - all other traffic goes over bare EE, and I haven't noticed any throttling (just a little peak time slowdown, but still get >60Mbps).
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I only use the L2TP tunnel for my servers - all other traffic goes over bare EE, and I haven't noticed any throttling (just a little peak time slowdown, but still get >60Mbps).
That's very good. But are you getting speed tests of 60 or actual download speeds of that much?

May have been my area being congested but when I used EE speed test results would show amazing speeds but when actually downloading things (as one does on a computer etc) I'd notice it be massively throttled all the time. It was a bit disappointing. That, plus the price, is the reason I've not gone back to them.
 

sheephouse

Top Member
But are you getting speed tests of 60 or actual download speeds of that much?
I am getting downloads of that - large zip files, Steam downloads, etc. 100Gb a time. But I am in a rural area so there isn't likely to be much congestion locally.
 

Darsuke

Pro Member
Actually it costs £35, but if you can get it for £10, perhaps you could show a link?
Yeah it's because all the voxi sims have unlimited data despite what the deal says. It's due to a bug and been like that since summer. So the £10 deal is all you need really.
 

Stageshoot

Casual Member
Yeah it's because all the voxi sims have unlimited data despite what the deal says. It's due to a bug and been like that since summer. So the £10 deal is all you need really.

Yep can confirm the bug, I have a sim on the £10 8G Tarriff and it never goes down,

Doubt it will last forever (Been like it since last year tho). so as a temp measure not a bad backup as its £10 a month and PAYG so you can stop it anytime
 

AliJCam

Casual Member
This is known, recurring, frustrating, *#%^&* idiocy with the Three service. I am in a rural area where the 3.5+ km distance from the green cab means I barely get any copper broadband at all – trying to work from home is a nightmare, so I have a Three unlimited data SIM in a Draytek 2860Ln. I’m only about 500m line of sight across an open field from the Three tower (I could actually sling a wire to it!) so RAN connection / signal is not an issue. Download can peak up to 120Mb with consistent 30Mb up. All good so far. However, the issue is, as many have noticed, that accessing web sites and services it a totally miss and hit experience. Failure to get DNS, failure to negotiate TLS, timeouts, packet loss all conspire to make the service pretty much unfit for purpose. Changing DNS, MTU, band, access tech (3G/4G) make little difference. However, using a VPN almost completely eliminates the problem – except that unless you spend alot on a full SLA’d commercial VPN the speed is crippled and connection is unreliable.

So I decided to write a monitoring app to hit a selection of 10 URLs every minute and log the results - which are amazing. At worst, I see over 25% failure to complete the URL transaction and the average runs at about 9-10% failure rate over time. The best I have seen over a rolling 1 hour window is about 3%. Those failure rates, as far as I am concerned, do not even fall within the ‘best effort’ small print. For comparison, the DSL dribble that I DO get runs at barely 0.1% failure rate, and EE cellular is similar.

This all suggests there is a serious design flaw in the Three core; probably an under-specified / overloaded backbone or equipment – but it’s difficult to speculate.

I have spent hours on the phone to various 1st and 2nd line support ppl in Three, but after getting through the dumb ‘have you turned it off and on again’ scripted response, all they will offer is ‘we don’t know how it works’, ‘we can do nothing about it’ (WON’T do anything?) and ‘would you like to cancel’ (and return that c**p Huawei router). It’s as though even the 2nd line view the network core as some sort of invisible magic they can’t touch and won’t question. Any request to escalate to core engineering is met with ‘I don’t know how to do that’ or ‘we are not allowed to do that’ depending on who you are talking to. They DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN BUSINESS with that sort of attitude. I have pointed out that MANY of us suffer the same experience, all over the country, and that they REALLY need to take a look at why it's happening - but with no takeup whatsoever. I guess the majority of Three customers use phones and just put the necessity to retry down to ‘bad signal’ – when it is really a fundamentally broken service. The fact that a VPN over Three works without these errors shows that the RAN (and your home equipment) is not the issue.

AVOID THREE AT ALL COSTS!

(fwiw, I used to be a cellular core engineer)
 

MisterCorn

Member
I've been with Three since mid April and it has been slow/intermittent since day 1. They said there were problems locally and I left it.

Anyway today I realised that it seemed to be really slow establishing SSL/TLS connections, and found this thread.

I have a Huawei B535-232 and the default MTU was 1440.

A WireShark trace showed an MSS of 1460 so I have set the MTU to 1500, and everything is now as you would expect/hope.

This has fixed:
New web pages taking ages to open if they are https pages
ITVHub pausing everytime it comes to the adverts, I think because each advert is a new connection
My integration of Sonos and Plex that was timing out.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I've found it better set to 1500. The only time it hangs on websites for me now, is when i'm maxing out my bandwidth, which fluctuates depending on the time of day, moon shape or number of leaves on trees at any given moment.
 

tartanGuru

Regular Member
Changing the MTU had very little effect for me (I measured mine at 1470) but the default for my B535 was set to 1500. The only thing that has cured the problem for me (on my mobile devices anyway) is using the Cloudflare WARP app to encrypt my DNS requests.
 

tartanGuru

Regular Member
Thinking about it - I’m not sure I’ve been changing the right MTU settings. I was changing these under Network Settings > Ethernet, but just realised that these won’t be affecting the 4g connection. Are there separate MTU settings for the 4g modem as I can’t seem to find them?
 

Pwablo

Top Member
Thinking about it - I’m not sure I’ve been changing the right MTU settings. I was changing these under Network Settings > Ethernet, but just realised that these won’t be affecting the 4g connection. Are there separate MTU settings for the 4g modem as I can’t seem to find them?

The MTU you need to change is under Network Settings>Mobile Internet>Internet Connection
 
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