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Which 4G router Huawei B525 or B618?

#1
Hello
I have been looking into getting a 4G set-up, but struggling to see which router is going to deliver the fastest speed and most reliable signal. I feel it should be a Huawei as I have not read any bad things about this brand, but I am confused as to which model to invest in.

Should it be the B525, at 300mbs or the new B618, that claims to have all the bells and whistles as well as a 600mbs?
Can anyone shed some light as to the advantages of the B618 as it is a £100 more expensive than the B525.

I live in rural Northamptonshire, the 4G is good outdoors, not so good indoors, so will any of the extra features of the B618 help in getting a better signal/speed?

Thanks in advance
Rob
 
#3
Hi Rob. I work in this industry, and use LTE in both UK and Europe. I am involved with support of Huawei LTE kit, but forgive me if my post seems like I'm some kind of expert (I'm not) - just giving my honest observations!
There are several variants of the B525, both handle MORE than you can realistically pull through any of the UK mobile networks:
  • B525s-23a: Cat.6 2x2 MIMO | WiFi AC | 100 LAN | Micro SIM
  • B525s-65a: as above, but adds several more bands (good for Europe!)
The B618 also has several variants, but the only one I've seen is:
  • B618s-22d: Cat.11 4x4 MIMO | WiFi AC | 1000 LAN | Micro SIM
There are some obvious comments in your post that leaped out at me:
  • "4G is good outdoors, not so good indoor"
  • "I live in rural Northamptonshire"
Antenna: Before investing wasting money on an external antenna (the added cabling can often 'leak' your signal DOWN rather than improve it), why not try a cheap (c.£20) INDOOR window-mounted antenna? The cable is often nice and short, and the cross-plate design (most common type) will induct nicely through the glass (compared to stone walls). Place upstairs, and give each window a 15 minute test, then compare results to find the best spot.
Rural: The further away from the mast, the weaker the high-frequency signals are. An unforeseen "advantage" that H3G ("Three") stumbled upon during the 4G bandwidth lottery was that they ended up with the 800 Mhz range - this ironically outperforms their competitors who "won" the 2100 Mhz range; what I'm saying is that "Three" are ideal for long-range (rural) 4G. It's science, not opinion.

My (opinionated!) opinion:
[1]
The B525 with Cat.6 2x2 MIMO is PERFECT for you, and money thrown at the B618 will yield no improvement in speed; put the saving towards an antenna.
[2] Get an indoor window-mounted antenna, and go with a "Three" SIM (the Three retail website and shops are not the only source of these*)
[3] Make sure you connect using AC WiFi (if your device has WiFi N, you'll struggle to get more than 50 Mbps in speed tests)

Thanks for considering my observations and opinion! Happy LTE!
Feel free to message me (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/members/zx3.31704/) here if you have some serious interest in coverage tools, and the like; I may be able to share some links with you.
* Other source for H3G ("Three") SIMs. I'm not sure of the forum rules, so I will refrain from listing a known source of UNLIMITED data 4G "H3G" SIMs that are sold to IoT developers for under £50 pm.
 
#4
Wow! Thank you ZX3 so much for the info dump! it is exactly the type of information I need to investigate further, I will seriously look at the B525
Thanks once again, I will let you know how I get on.
 
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