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Was Three my best option.....

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
I think if you are going down the route of getting a directional antenna then I'd go with something from Amazon, knowing that you can return it easily if it doesn't work out (assuming it's sold by Amazon themselves).
 

liveswired

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.

Not a daft question - the problem is THREE, not your equipment.

Huawei B535 is an excellent piece of kit but since we are all being conditioned to have a racial hatred against the Chinese manufacturers it is an easy target.

I advise anyone NOT to use Three.

I'm locked into a 2 year contract, was brilliant in November when I joined - I live in a rural area, maybe a mile from mast - getting speeds in excess of 80mbps, Huawei B535 indoors in middle of the house.

Now, since their 5G roll out the whole Three Network has went up in smoke. It is unacceptable.

In February with the roll out Three deliberately blocked all Xbox downloads and denied it was even a thing - when a number of us proved the block, they blamed Microsoft. When forums across the internet with Xbox owners and Three became vocal, Three were forced to recognise the problem was them and only issued a response, a quiet response on Twitter due to what I firmly believe ISPreviews involvement.

Since CoVid-19 Three has deliberately slowed countless peoples speed down now I don't expect high speeds when everyone is online but I'm hitting 500kbps most days, I've checked at 2 in the morning to get 25mbps - now I'm not an extreme user. Netflix is the height of it and between constant buffering at the lowest quality, I might as well change my sleeping habits.

So I can only reiterate Three are incapable of providing anything.

I never thought any ISP could be as dishonest as BT but Three are certainly giving them a good run for their money.
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
Liveswired, thank you for your frank response. It's a sentiment I've seen many times here and one that I generally agree with.

There is however, one tiny fly in the ointment; the cost. At £20 a month it's nearly half that of any alternative, which is why, after lots of headaches I have no option but to stick with it.

Just one thing; Worse than BT?? (As dishonest) No. I'm not having that! As the illegitimate spawn of Satan, even BT would probably be quite upset that anyone might be considered as bad as they are.
 

MrDave

Top Member
Not a daft question - the problem is THREE, not your equipment.

Huawei B535 is an excellent piece of kit but since we are all being conditioned to have a racial hatred against the Chinese manufacturers it is an easy target.

I advise anyone NOT to use Three.

I'm locked into a 2 year contract, was brilliant in November when I joined - I live in a rural area, maybe a mile from mast - getting speeds in excess of 80mbps, Huawei B535 indoors in middle of the house.

Now, since their 5G roll out the whole Three Network has went up in smoke. It is unacceptable.

In February with the roll out Three deliberately blocked all Xbox downloads and denied it was even a thing - when a number of us proved the block, they blamed Microsoft. When forums across the internet with Xbox owners and Three became vocal, Three were forced to recognise the problem was them and only issued a response, a quiet response on Twitter due to what I firmly believe ISPreviews involvement.

Since CoVid-19 Three has deliberately slowed countless peoples speed down now I don't expect high speeds when everyone is online but I'm hitting 500kbps most days, I've checked at 2 in the morning to get 25mbps - now I'm not an extreme user. Netflix is the height of it and between constant buffering at the lowest quality, I might as well change my sleeping habits.

So I can only reiterate Three are incapable of providing anything.

I never thought any ISP could be as dishonest as BT but Three are certainly giving them a good run for their money.
Its not just Three though, I am on Vodafone Max plan and those issues exist with these routers. The latest update has certainly helped with stability.

Also, Three dont use CGNAT where Vodafone and EE do.
 

liveswired

Casual Member
Its not just Three though, I am on Vodafone Max plan and those issues exist with these routers. The latest update has certainly helped with stability.

Also, Three dont use CGNAT where Vodafone and EE do.

I'll perform an update too. But to me somethings up as my 4G speed and connection through the Huawei B535 was never an issue until Three started messing up the 5G roll out. I also have a separate Three 4G contract on my phone and it has experienced the same speed drops.

Are you definitely sure Vodafone aren't the same as Three - struggling to cope and crippling under the pressure?
 

liveswired

Casual Member
Liveswired, thank you for your frank response. It's a sentiment I've seen many times here and one that I generally agree with.

There is however, one tiny fly in the ointment; the cost. At £20 a month it's nearly half that of any alternative, which is why, after lots of headaches I have no option but to stick with it.

Just one thing; Worse than BT?? (As dishonest) No. I'm not having that! As the illegitimate spawn of Satan, even BT would probably be quite upset that anyone might be considered as bad as they are.

I didn't mean worse than BT lol, Three are lousy with no direction or management and their departments clearly don't communicate. BT are the scum of the universe, hundreds of millions of squandered taxpayers funding and the worst fibre in the western world. BT are an embarrassment along with the BBC - pure evil scum.

Well lets just say I have a whole month of February with Three that left a bad taste in my mouth. The whole Co-vid 19 also, with all these companies fraudulently claiming they're maintaining good speeds. Seriously when your downloading at 100kbps in a rural area, with full 4G signal and one of the few users of the mast, I was hitting 80-100mbps regularly before covid - its almost as if they have left 4G users high and dry and have pushed all resources and bandwidth to prioritise their 5G customers - such a shambles.
 

daleski

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.

which ones did you get mate? I brought 2 off of amazon and they decreased the signal by as much as they said it would increase by!
 

Mr Choo

Regular Member
I think it just depends on the signal your getting, I used to get best results by fine tuning the router position (after using a 'phone app to locate the strongest point in the room) and then fine adjustment of the external aerials for max. Later on I then switched the router (525) to auto select the aerials and sometimes it improved performance. It always selected 1 external and one internal. Now I notice selection of internal aerials seem to get best results where I am now. Not sure that will work in my other location, will find out when lock down eases (535 there).
I bought rabbit ears aerial from ebay for £3 or £4 for my 535, compared them to the factory ones that came with the 525 and same performance.
 

Simoli

Casual Member
You can use CGNAT providers if you use a (privacy) VPN over the top of it to avoid gaming issues.
 

MrDave

Top Member
which ones did you get mate? I brought 2 off of amazon and they decreased the signal by as much as they said it would increase by!
I bought These feedback is mixed but I suspect its the same for all these types of antenna. It worked for me, took my SINR from around 6 to +10 to +13
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
You can use CGNAT providers if you use a (privacy) VPN over the top of it to avoid gaming issues.
And this is the crux - either go with more expensive providers and get CGNAT which needs a VPN to alleviate the issue, or go with cheaper Three (assuming their speeds are good in your location) and still need a VPN to avoid their DNS/TLS handshake/DPI/MTU/whatever-it-is-causing-page-stalling issue.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
I was semi thinking about the DIY aerial, in the absence of an unused Sky dish but it had me wondering.. At the back of my loft is an old tv aerial long since disconnected. Would that work?

If you cut it down so the horizontals were only 8cm across the main axis, it may prove worthwhile, as it will then pick up lower frequencies better.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Mine is only connected to band 20, but like I say the quality of the connection increased.

Band 20 can be like 15 miles away so I can understand further distances it could help. I'd be very surprised there isn't another mast closer to you than that.

Here's how unscientific the antenna thing is. If I leave my Antenna off and go with the internal ones I can get 20db on band 3 all day, but if I put my antenna in it'll get band 1 as well (around 12db), but it swaps between 1 and 3 as primary all day long. (I can tell because my router goes from a solid 5 lights to 4 lights) so when band 1 is primary my connection seems far slower.

So much for the + improving things eh!
 

MrDave

Top Member
Band 20 can be like 15 miles away so I can understand further distances it could help. I'd be very surprised there isn't another mast closer to you than that.

Here's how unscientific the antenna thing is. If I leave my Antenna off and go with the internal ones I can get 20db on band 3 all day, but if I put my antenna in it'll get band 1 as well (around 12db), but it swaps between 1 and 3 as primary all day long. (I can tell because my router goes from a solid 5 lights to 4 lights) so when band 1 is primary my connection seems far slower.

So much for the + improving things eh!
My local masts are all Band 20 only, apart from 1 which is band 20 and band 1 but I have never been able to connect to that. The closest one is about a mile away maybe. Here are my local masts
 

MrDave

Top Member
Can you force it onto band 1 with LTEHMonitor440?
Yes, but it doesn't pick anything up. Not sure if a directional antenna would help then I could bond band 1 and band 20? Or the tower just isn't in my line of sight. Dont want to spend £100+ to find it doesnt help, and 20Mbps is ok for now :)
 

Mikeyg40

Casual Member
...... And back on the subject of antennae! I've been out with my 8' pole and my B535 attached to the top again. (Oh the looks I'm getting)
Firstly and for context, I have added a map of my location and the 3 masts local to me. (I'm loosely in the purple circle) Land is basically flat.

My mast.jpg

My router is in the window facing the mast just to the East of me (300m) with 4 or 5 houses in the way. It only provides B3, and I get d/l speeds of anything between 5 and 20 Mbps, with pretty ordinary signal figures (SiNR around 5)

Now... The Mast at the top left has B1, B3 and B20 and, according to Cellmapper has seen d/l speeds of 650 Mbps!! Using HuaCTRL I can force my router onto this mast (even on the wrong side of the house) with similar signal numbers RSRQ and RSRP around 3 worse, but SiNR jumps to 12 - way better than my near mast. However..... d/l speeds are rubbish. Forget 650, I'm only seeing 2 maybe 3 Mbps.

So, would it be worth buying/trying a directional antenna on the other side of my house and trying to get the Lte+ speeds on the other mast??? Or, should I take up knitting instead of messing with Broadband?!!
 
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