cellular modem router

Old Dec 30, 19, 6:07 pm
  #1  
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cellular modem router

Thinking about buying a cellular modem router (converts a cell/mobile signal to wifi) Did a search here on FT but mostly found very old posts about them. Wanting to replace home cable internet and sometimes take it on vacation.

Here are a couple I have been looking at...

https://5gstore.com/product/6817_pep..._advanced.html

https://www.amazon.com/MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4-Router-T-Mobile-Verizon-Embedded/dp/B01EY11K40/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1DDPJI1DBLRI5&keywords=mofi4500&qid=1577750706&s=electronics&sprefix=Mofi%2Celectronics%2C210&sr=1-1 https://www.amazon.com/MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4-Router-T-Mobile-Verizon-Embedded/dp/B01EY11K40/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1DDPJI1DBLRI5&keywords=mofi4500&qid=1577750706&s=electronics&sprefix=Mofi%2Celectronics%2C210&sr=1-1


Has anyone tried something along these lines. Care to comment on the concept?
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Old Dec 30, 19, 6:33 pm
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Check with the carrier you intend to use.

In some cases, they may be able to give/loan you the equipment for free.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 11:34 pm
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I'd think those two devices are too "industrial" (and therefore pricy) for what you'd want to use it for, and portability seems to be an issue.

What I have is an unlocked USB stick and a portable router that can control the stick, in my case the GL-iNet AR-750S.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 12:08 am
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What is your use case? Based on that, those devices might be great or completely the wrong thing...
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Old Dec 31, 19, 12:48 am
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I am hoping to replace my home (Comcast cable) internet connection to save
money.

The 2 models I mentioned above convert a cell signal to WiFi. I have SIM cards for ATT, TMobile and Sprint (from Google Fi and ATT Mobley, good data rates)
which can plug into them. Don’t stream a lot and no gaming.

Those boxes are kinda spendy but much cheaper than the yearly cable costs.

Other features attractive on those boxes... not locked to any carrier and have antenna ports for better reception.

Looking for more pros and cons guys.

Last edited by bukzin; Dec 31, 19 at 10:16 am
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Old Dec 31, 19, 3:26 am
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T-Mobile has a home internet service at $50/month or so that might serve your main purpose. However, I'm fairly sure you can't take the included modem/router traveling (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Anyway, my main concern is that hotspot data might end up being significantly more than paying Comcast for a basic plan, even if you don't stream or download much. Something that may be worth looking into is signing up for Google Fi and getting an extra data-only SIM card for your home connection. It's $20/month + $10/GB for one voice line but after something like 6GB they don't charge anything extra. You are subject to throttling after something like 15GB or so, though it sounds like you might not hit that--and if you do, it sounds like you can bypass throttling by paying $10/GB for data above that level.

As for devices, I personally use
this this
for traveling and it works reasonably well. It also supports a sort of "bridge" mode using USB, which in theory should be usable by a router running OpenWRT or similar. I also have the external antenna for it but I've never needed to use it, so YMMV on that.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 5:34 am
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We live in a rural location and have OTA internet that goes away when the weather is bad. So for backup and travel we have a mobile hotspot with T mo something like this.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/T-Mobile-4G-Mobile-Hotspot/39150757?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3979&ad id=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42423 897272&wl4=aud-430887228898la-51320962143&wl5=9028258&wl6=&wl7=9028315&wl8=&wl9= pla&wl10=113719701&wl11=online&wl12=39150757&veh=s em&gclid=Cj0KCQiAgKzwBRCjARIsABBbFujH-ywl8sGP33Ut-Oum39mq2iUhGweGSAKuh6Ib1q0jK_z1_PdoJOYaAnU0EALw_wc B

I can confirm this year that 1. It does get 2G internationally, 2. You can buy LTE data packages if you want faster speeds, 3. It is extremely lightweight since we never check luggage 4. distance of signal is at least 50 feet in our house with some walls thrown in. 5. you can get a replacement battery for longer unplugged times. The T mo data package is 35 dollars a month for 6 gb and it rolls over. Some streaming channels do not count against your data bucket. This device is what a lot of RV travelers use. Last year when we were moving it was our only internet connection for several days.

Although the router in the post above this looks pretty good too.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 10:04 am
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You mentioned what some RV folks use. Found this conversation in one of their forums, very interesting.

While these are more expensive, I think for full time internet usage, may be a better option for some.

Mods, please remove if not allowed.




Best RV Internet for Dummies - iRV2 Forums
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Old Jan 1, 20, 12:59 am
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Between me never being home & Frontier Communications having >60 days of downtime in one year, I kicked them to the curb and just tossed a cheap T-Mobile Alcatel hotspot in. I believe it was about $45 for the hotspot. The hotspot costs me $10/mo and does all I need it to do. The alarm system is happy, security cameras inside the house are happy, and my insurance company's happy. This arrangement saved me a fortune and it's far more reliable than Frontier ever was.

A slight twist on this might be to use an old cell phone and one of the $20-$50 GL.Inet travel routers. I've used mine with various Samsung phones acting as modems via USB and it's always worked well. I'm not sure how well it works when it's been set up like that for weeks on end 'though. It's been at least 2 years since I've been in the same location for 5 days or longer.
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Old Jan 1, 20, 9:29 am
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WHy not just look on your preferred carrier's website and see what they sell? They all sell various hotspots. Do you need something more than that?

https://www.verizonwireless.com/internet-devices/
https://www.t-mobile.com/tablets?bra...tel%7Cfranklin

etc
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Old Jan 1, 20, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Between me never being home & Frontier Communications having >60 days of downtime in one year, I kicked them to the curb and just tossed a cheap T-Mobile Alcatel hotspot in. I believe it was about $45 for the hotspot. The hotspot costs me $10/mo and does all I need it to do. The alarm system is happy, security cameras inside the house are happy, and my insurance company's happy. This arrangement saved me a fortune and it's far more reliable than Frontier ever was.

A slight twist on this might be to use an old cell phone and one of the $20-$50 GL.Inet travel routers. I've used mine with various Samsung phones acting as modems via USB and it's always worked well. I'm not sure how well it works when it's been set up like that for weeks on end 'though. It's been at least 2 years since I've been in the same location for 5 days or longer.
Good price on the hotspot rental. What is your cost per GB of data?
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Old Jan 1, 20, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
WHy not just look on your preferred carrier's website and see what they sell? They all sell various hotspots. Do you need something more than that?

https://www.verizonwireless.com/internet-devices/
https://www.t-mobile.com/tablets?bra...tel%7Cfranklin

etc
Here is what I am thinking...

Coverage here in home office is weak for me, TMobile, Sprint and ATT. The cellular modem routers Iíve been looking
at (Mofi and Pepwave) have external cellular antennas to improve your signal.

Additionally they support all carriers via SIM slots on their boxes. Since I have accounts which have lower data rates
(ATT Mobley and Google Fi with TMobile and Sprint) I hope to arrange full time internet access at a lower yearly cost.

Any holes in my plan? Better options?
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Old Jan 1, 20, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Here is what I am thinking...

Coverage here in home office is weak for me, TMobile, Sprint and ATT. The cellular modem routers Iíve been looking
at (Mofi and Pepwave) have external cellular antennas to improve your signal.

Additionally they support all carriers via SIM slots on their boxes. Since I have accounts which have lower data rates
(ATT Mobley and Google Fi with TMobile and Sprint) I hope to arrange full time internet access at a lower yearly cost.

Any holes in my plan? Better options?
Note that Google Fi on anything other than a narrow set of Android phones will only use T-Mobile; carrier switching needs some special HW/SW support to work. (Not a huge loss around here, but might be where you live depending on how good Sprint and how not-so-good T-Mobile are.)
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Old Jan 1, 20, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Note that Google Fi on anything other than a narrow set of Android phones will only use T-Mobile; carrier switching needs some special HW/SW support to work. (Not a huge loss around here, but might be where you live depending on how good Sprint and how not-so-good T-Mobile are.)
Ahh, good point to remember. Guess if Sprint and TM merge it may not matter so much.

BTW, I understand Fi is expanding the number of phones and iPads that their system will work with.
Their site details this under Ďmade for Fií. and Ď compatible with Fií
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Old Jan 2, 20, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Good price on the hotspot rental. What is your cost per GB of data?
I honestly don't know. It's a grandfathered business plan and I've never used more than a few gigs on it.

One other option -- see if there's a wireless (not cellular) ISP in your area. They often get overlooked since they're almost always small local companies, but they usually are much less than the big guys. I use one for our office and he's had more uptime than any of the local telco/cable cos, even going through multiple hurricanes. After the most recent hurricanes, they've even picked up some large retail & corporate clients looking for more reliability. If there is a problem, I have the two techs' direct cell phone #s .
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