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Posted Mar 22, 2014
10:39:15 AM
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Attach a 4G modem to an ethernet switch?


Hi;

I live in a remote rural area to the northwest of Houston (Texas) where AT&T doesn't want to provide broadband service via phone lines.

Apparently, I (and my neighbors) are not worth the bother and the expense.

It frustrates me greatly that most people get better connectivity to their cellphones than I get to my house!

Every time I see one of AT&T's commercials on television I have to fight the urge to shoot the television. Since I cannot afford to buy new televisions on a frequent basis (or even on an occasional basis), I typically grab the remote and either change the channel or mute the sound.


I've been getting broadband via a few WISP's over the past several years, and have been dissatisfied with the service. I've been getting "service" with Skybeam for the past three or four years, and I've had my fill of them.

I might be within range of an AT&T tower for 4G and I am wondering if the throughput with a 4G modem would be superior to the wireless service that I've had.

My last speed test results with Skybeam was:


Download Speed: 691 kbps (86.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 31 kbps (3.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 205 ms

I'm thinking 4G can do better than that.

I'd consider satellite but I've heard too many horror stories about it. Perhaps it's gotten better.(?)


What would I need to attach a 4G modem to my Netgear ethernet router (or to my ethernet switch)?

If there is no way to do that, then what can you recommend in the way of a 4G router with 4 (or 8) ethernet ports?

Thanks!

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Mar 24, 2014 1:02:49 AM
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Oh, yes! I forgot to mention data-caps. Thank you @wingrider01

 

@wylbur, it depends on your usage. For example, your typical Netflix movie stream will run about 1.3GB for high quality SD video, and about 3GB for HD video. 1 hour of streaming music (at 128kbps) will run you about 57MB. Visiting primarily text-based websites will run you about 150KB per web-page visit, while multi-media rich sites will run about 300-500KB per web-page per visit. (Not including any interactions with the page -- just loading.) Websites with plenty of pictures and high resolution images may run multiple MBs at a time.

 

There are 1024MB in a GB, 1024KB in a MB, and 1048576 KB in a GB. 

Also, keep in mind that there is plenty of unexpected background data that can occur with Operating System use -- particularly updates, etc.

 

You can find data-only plan pricing here.

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Attach a 4G modem to an ethernet switch?

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Mar 22, 2014 2:47:49 PM
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Edited by julywashere on Mar 22, 2014 at 2:51:52 PM

Hello wylbur,

 

Wireless speeds vary by carrier, geographic area, coverage and technology.

 

There are three major technologies used for data service labeled as 4G in the United States.

  • LTE: Long Term Evolution - All four major carriers are continuing to build out their LTE networks. On average you will see higher single digits, and low to mid double digits. (Often 8Mbps~20Mbps)
  • HSPA+: High Speed Packet Access ..Plus - Used by AT&T and T-Mobile. It is a 3G technology that is used to deliver 4G speeds. On average you will see single digits and low double digits. (Often 2Mbps~14Mbps)
  • WiMAX: Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access - Was used by, now defunct, Clear. It was also Sprint's initial 4G network, currently it is in process of being phased out in preference for an LTE network. I only included this technology because I believe Skybeam uses WiMax -- which would render it 4G.

Typically, you can expect speeds surpassing 2Mbps on 4G. Of course, your signal strength, technology used, tower backhaul and capacity, and device used can all have an impact on your speed. The speeds do tend become more favourable if you're in an LTE area, though. Considering most of the area surrounding Houston seems to be 4G LTE, I'd say the odds of better speeds are in your favour. Much focus on modems has moved towards hotspots, rather than datacards. If you use a HotSpot device you can get a WiFi to ethernet adapter

 

I've heard very positive experiences with Sattellite Internet (particularly Excede -- which seems to be the best -- and HughesNet Gen 4 -- which has come a long way). While it won't compete with a wired connection, and will not always compete with 4G internet it's something to look into in your area if your 4G options are pretty limited.

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Mar 22, 2014 7:14:45 PM
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Hi JulyWasHere

 

THANK YOU for the information!

 

It is very much appreciated!

 

 

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Mar 23, 2014 11:29:23 AM
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wylbur wrote:

 

Hi JulyWasHere

 

THANK YOU for the information!

 

It is very much appreciated!

 

 


Word of caution - you are going to blow through your data plan allotment like a ice cube in a blast furnance with constant tethering.

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Mar 23, 2014 7:06:31 PM
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WOW!

 

I'm glad I checked back in on this thread.

 

I had no clue about that.

 

Does anyone have any idea how much of an impact tethering would have?

 

THANK YOU for the tip, Wingrider!

 

 

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Mar 24, 2014 1:02:49 AM
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Oh, yes! I forgot to mention data-caps. Thank you @wingrider01

 

@wylbur, it depends on your usage. For example, your typical Netflix movie stream will run about 1.3GB for high quality SD video, and about 3GB for HD video. 1 hour of streaming music (at 128kbps) will run you about 57MB. Visiting primarily text-based websites will run you about 150KB per web-page visit, while multi-media rich sites will run about 300-500KB per web-page per visit. (Not including any interactions with the page -- just loading.) Websites with plenty of pictures and high resolution images may run multiple MBs at a time.

 

There are 1024MB in a GB, 1024KB in a MB, and 1048576 KB in a GB. 

Also, keep in mind that there is plenty of unexpected background data that can occur with Operating System use -- particularly updates, etc.

 

You can find data-only plan pricing here.

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Mar 24, 2014 4:54:48 AM
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julywashere wrote:

Oh, yes! I forgot to mention data-caps. Thank you @wingrider01

 

@wylbur, it depends on your usage. For example, your typical Netflix movie stream will run about 1.3GB for high quality SD video, and about 3GB for HD video. 1 hour of streaming music (at 128kbps) will run you about 57MB. Visiting primarily text-based websites will run you about 150KB per web-page visit, while multi-media rich sites will run about 300-500KB per web-page per visit. (Not including any interactions with the page -- just loading.) Websites with plenty of pictures and high resolution images may run multiple MBs at a time.

 

There are 1024MB in a GB, 1024KB in a MB, and 1048576 KB in a GB. 

Also, keep in mind that there is plenty of unexpected background data that can occur with Operating System use -- particularly updates, etc.

 

You can find data-only plan pricing here.


Don;t forget to factor in the auto-refresh on the web sites advertisements also, have seen a couple of fantasy football league sites push close to 2GB on a page with photos and auto-refresh

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Mar 24, 2014 7:32:51 PM
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Edited by wylbur on Mar 24, 2014 at 7:35:59 PM

julywashere wrote:

Oh, yes! I forgot to mention data-caps. Thank you @wingrider01

 

@wylbur, it depends on your usage. For example, your typical Netflix movie stream will run about 1.3GB for high quality SD video, and about 3GB for HD video. 1 hour of streaming music (at 128kbps) will run you about 57MB. Visiting primarily text-based websites will run you about 150KB per web-page visit, while multi-media rich sites will run about 300-500KB per web-page per visit. (Not including any interactions with the page -- just loading.) Websites with plenty of pictures and high resolution images may run multiple MBs at a time.

 

There are 1024MB in a GB, 1024KB in a MB, and 1048576 KB in a GB. 

Also, keep in mind that there is plenty of unexpected background data that can occur with Operating System use -- particularly updates, etc.

 

You can find data-only plan pricing here.



 

WOW!

 

Based upon this information, it looks like 4G is not the way to go.

 

I'm going to contact another WISP and give them a try. I don't hold out

much hope that AT&T will be getting me U-Verse any time soon, and

Skybeam has been driving me crazy for much too long.

 

The WISP that I have in mind is ERF, and I understand that they have

Motorola Canopy on the tower that I'd be getting service from.

 

I've had to trim some tree limbs and cut down a few trees to make an

opening for line-of-sight to the tower. (I hated to cut the trees down,

but I didn't have much choice.)

 

Posting here turned out to be a good move. Kudos to the both of you

(Wingrider and JulyWasHere). I'm very grateful for the advice!

 

 

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Mar 24, 2014 8:05:20 PM
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Good luck! Keep in mind that with in particularly windy conditions and bad weather -- such as in the case of hurricanes -- Motorola Canopy technology can suffer from major performance issues, and even disconnects.

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Mar 25, 2014 7:45:21 AM
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wylbur wrote:

julywashere wrote:

Oh, yes! I forgot to mention data-caps. Thank you @wingrider01

 

@wylbur, it depends on your usage. For example, your typical Netflix movie stream will run about 1.3GB for high quality SD video, and about 3GB for HD video. 1 hour of streaming music (at 128kbps) will run you about 57MB. Visiting primarily text-based websites will run you about 150KB per web-page visit, while multi-media rich sites will run about 300-500KB per web-page per visit. (Not including any interactions with the page -- just loading.) Websites with plenty of pictures and high resolution images may run multiple MBs at a time.

 

There are 1024MB in a GB, 1024KB in a MB, and 1048576 KB in a GB. 

Also, keep in mind that there is plenty of unexpected background data that can occur with Operating System use -- particularly updates, etc.

 

You can find data-only plan pricing here.



 

WOW!

 

Based upon this information, it looks like 4G is not the way to go.

 

I'm going to contact another WISP and give them a try. I don't hold out

much hope that AT&T will be getting me U-Verse any time soon, and

Skybeam has been driving me crazy for much too long.

 

The WISP that I have in mind is ERF, and I understand that they have

Motorola Canopy on the tower that I'd be getting service from.

 

I've had to trim some tree limbs and cut down a few trees to make an

opening for line-of-sight to the tower. (I hated to cut the trees down,

but I didn't have much choice.)

 

Posting here turned out to be a good move. Kudos to the both of you

(Wingrider and JulyWasHere). I'm very grateful for the advice!

 

 


Have you looked into HughesNet instead?

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Mar 25, 2014 10:52:46 AM
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wingrider01 wrote:
Have you looked into HughesNet instead?

It's worth noting that satellite internet providers have Data Allowances. Excede, another satellite provider, also includes unmetered access from 12-5am, though. 

 

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Mar 25, 2014 5:04:20 PM
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julywashere wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:
Have you looked into HughesNet instead?

It's worth noting that satellite internet providers have Data Allowances. Excede, another satellite provider, also includes unmetered access from 12-5am, though. 

 


So for normal usage figuring left coast time - 6AM to around 10:smileytongue:M you have unlimited access for web pages and emails, everything else is locked to 5GB cap but according to their Service agreement there is this little caveat

 

"Accessing web pages and email will generally not count towards the 5 GB monthly data allowance. All other internet usage will count towards the data allowance, including any internet activity embedded in web pages or email, streaming video or audio media, playing online games, uploading or downloading files on a browser through any third-party application, third-party applications, data transferred through a virtual private network (VPN) or other forms of remote access, voice or video chatting, and sending or receiving emails with attachments greater than 25 MBs"

 

This basicly means that if you view a webpage that has a link to a video or audio stream it counst against the 5GB limit. Best example if Netflix,  Redbox/verizon live stream, Apple TV, Youtube count against the 5GB

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Mar 27, 2014 12:20:16 PM
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Actually it's 12AM-5AM per your local time Zone, so if it's 12AM CST and it's 10PM PST, while people here in Texas won't be billed for their unmetered data, those in Californa will for another two hours. 

 

Those terms apply to Excede Evolution plans which feature an allowance of 5GB, the evolution plan isn't available in all areas. It also only applies during non-free hours. Excede Evolution plans don't feature the same hours. Instead of 12AM to 5AM Late Night Free Hours, they have Early Bird Free Hours from 3AM to 8AM. 

 

For Excede12 areas (which covers Texas), current plans are Classic 10, 15, and 25 plans feature 10GB, 15GB, and 25GB respectively. These are bound the the Late Night Free Hours, which are 12AM to 5AM. 

 

During Free Hours, regardless of whether they are Late Night free hours or Early Bird free hours, the user receives unmetered, unrestriced access, even if they have consumed the monthly allotment of data. Once the free hours are up, the usage counts towards data allowance. If the allowance has been used up, the speeds are reduced, or service is restricted until the following free hours. 

 

So during the free hours, you can stream video and not have it count towards your allotment, and if you've consumed your data allowance, during the free hours, you will be able to catch up with your YouTube subscriptions.

 

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