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Was Three my best option.....

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Hello all.

After years of lousy wired broadband due to an EO line, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Three HomeFi unlimited bundle inc. a Huawei 535 router. I'm currently getting between 10 and 30mbs download - which is dreamy compared to my old 6.7!!

However, in reading so many of the posts here I'm now not so sure that I made the right decision.
The mast that I connect to (CELL-ID 780290) is only 304m from my house and shows download speeds of up to 40mbs. According to Cellmapper, the same mast used by EE (Cell-ID 3425792 offers a mind blowing 405mbs download - the difference seems to be LTE as opposed to LTE-A.

If I bought a data sim from EE and presumably a suitable router, do you think that I could achieve anything like these speeds?

I hope that this isn't a really daft question and any advice would be gladly appreciated.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Hello all.

After years of lousy wired broadband due to an EO line, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Three HomeFi unlimited bundle inc. a Huawei 535 router. I'm currently getting between 10 and 30mbs download - which is dreamy compared to my old 6.7!!

However, in reading so many of the posts here I'm now not so sure that I made the right decision.
The mast that I connect to (CELL-ID 780290) is only 304m from my house and shows download speeds of up to 40mbs. According to Cellmapper, the same mast used by EE (Cell-ID 3425792 offers a mind blowing 405mbs download - the difference seems to be LTE as opposed to LTE-A.

If I bought a data sim from EE and presumably a suitable router, do you think that I could achieve anything like these speeds?

I hope that this isn't a really daft question and any advice would be gladly appreciated.
If you are on a 1 month contract, then you can give 30 days notice and keep the router, get a free EE sim and try it in the router as it is unlocked.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Thankyou MrDave. I signed up for 2 years but have a 2 week cooling off period so can return the lot within a week or so, if that seems the best idea.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Thankyou MrDave. I signed up for 2 years but have a 2 week cooling off period so can return the lot within a week or so, if that seems the best idea.
Grab a free EE sim, it comes with a small bit of data so you can at least do a speed test, then send the router back if thats what you prefer and buy another somewhere else.

get it from here, you get 50mb free I think, enough to do few tests
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Thankyou MrDave. I signed up for 2 years but have a 2 week cooling off period so can return the lot within a week or so, if that seems the best idea.
Have you checked what bands the three mast has got? If it can get 4g+ then you should be fine, use the HuaCtrl if you have an android phone, or the LTE H-Monitor for windows to try and find the best setup.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
I've just ordered a payg data sim from EE to try - but it occurred to me that of course my router is locked to 3!
The mast does not show 4g+ from 3 - but does with EE, (same mast).
3 has another mast in the opposite direction (604 metres) which shows speeds of up to 440mbs download. Perhaps a directional antenna might work?
Both masts are Band 3 only.
 

Balb0wa

Casual Member
Try the router in the loft, also try some bunny ear aerials and set it to external aerial on the B535, can make a big differnce.

Have mine in the loft on an external aerial and run a lan cable through the ceiling into another router.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
I've just ordered a payg data sim from EE to try - but it occurred to me that of course my router is locked to 3!
The mast does not show 4g+ from 3 - but does with EE, (same mast).
3 has another mast in the opposite direction (604 metres) which shows speeds of up to 440mbs download. Perhaps a directional antenna might work?
Both masts are Band 3 only.
The router is unlocked. I have the same router from 3 with a Vodafone sim in it ;)

Try and point the router in the direction of the other mast, the internal antenna might pick it up. If you can get the router near a window with line of sight to the tower?
 

teleman6868

Casual Member
And worth remembering that Three is the only 4G provider not employing CGNAT. I could get much faster speeds (for more money) on EE or Vodafone, but stick with Three for this reason.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Try the router in the loft, also try some bunny ear aerials and set it to external aerial on the B535, can make a big differnce.

Have mine in the loft on an external aerial and run a lan cable through the ceiling into another router.
I have mine in the loft too, get much better signal quality up there.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
And worth remembering that Three is the only 4G provider not employing CGNAT. I could get much faster speeds (for more money) on EE or Vodafone, but stick with Three for this reason.
Exactly, our switch cannot be used for online gaming because of this restriction on Vodafone.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Thank you all.... I've avoided the loft not only because it's so full of junk but more importantly I have no power up there, albeit it is something I might have to consider.

Just a thought, I downloaded LTE H-Monitor. Is it possible to force/ask nicely the router to change to the other mast?
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Thank you all.... I've avoided the loft not only because it's so full of junk but more importantly I have no power up there, albeit it is something I might have to consider.

Just a thought, I downloaded LTE H-Monitor. Is it possible to force/ask nicely the router to change to the other mast?
You cant force it to connect to a specific mast. I think there are routers out there that can. Either that or get a direction antenna but they can get quite costly.

Have you tried facing the router towards the other mast from the closest window? Positioning is everything.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Yes. If I position the router on the other side of the house it still locks on to the original mast.
I'm tempted to take the router and a laptop for a walk and see if I can log onto the other mast!
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Yes. If I position the router on the other side of the house it still locks on to the original mast.
I'm tempted to take the router and a laptop for a walk and see if I can log onto the other mast!
Haha, ok, hope you have a long power extension :p

or stick you sim in a phone and do some tests nearer the other mast
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Lol, no doubt more questions will be raised but in the meantime thank you MrDave and the other contributors for helping me out.
Many Thanks
 

Jtyles

Member
I've avoided the loft not only because it's so full of junk but more importantly I have no power up there, albeit it is something I might have to consider.
You could use Power over Ethernet (PoE) that's how we power ours in my wife's shop. you then only need one cable running into your lost.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
I feel the need to post an update - which is preferable to me taking a sledgehammer to my router! (And it's not the routers fault!)
As mentioned, I live 300m away from the joint 3/EE mast. Earlier, I jumped in the car with my router, both my 3 sim and my shiny new EE sim. I drove almost 100m to the edge of my little estate and tested them both - with perfect line of sight to the mast.
Monumental.
Remember I could only get 6.7mbs on my fixed line. Well the 3 sim averaged 58mbs down and the EE almost 80!!
Now I'm back home, Router is in place in the back window (upstairs). Speeds now are roughly 20 on EE and a quite ludicrous 3mbs on the 3 setup.
Is it the time of day? The rain? Idiot behind the keyboard?
Any thoughts?
 

MrDave

Pro Member
I feel the need to post an update - which is preferable to me taking a sledgehammer to my router! (And it's not the routers fault!)
As mentioned, I live 300m away from the joint 3/EE mast. Earlier, I jumped in the car with my router, both my 3 sim and my shiny new EE sim. I drove almost 100m to the edge of my little estate and tested them both - with perfect line of sight to the mast.
Monumental.
Remember I could only get 6.7mbs on my fixed line. Well the 3 sim averaged 58mbs down and the EE almost 80!!
Now I'm back home, Router is in place in the back window (upstairs). Speeds now are roughly 20 on EE and a quite ludicrous 3mbs on the 3 setup.
Is it the time of day? The rain? Idiot behind the keyboard?
Any thoughts?
You might need a directional antenna so you can focus on the mast you want to connect to. Have you tried the router in the loft, you might find a better connection up there.
 

MrDave

Pro Member
Also, are you pointing the router towards the tower, the front of the router should be facing it directly. That made a huge difference to my signal quality. I eventually bought 2 rabbit ear antenna off eBay and surprisingly they increased the quality of my connection by quite a margin.
 
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