T&T: Mobile WiFi

Al Thomason thomason.al at gmail.com
Fri Jul 5 11:54:24 EDT 2019


Steve,

We use a verity of ways to gain internet access.  A cell-phone bases solution tends to be the most reliable, and is certainly secure.  Be it any of the major carries, it seems that depending on the area one is 'better' then the other - and while traveling you may well be fine with any one of them, just expect some spots may drop when away from cities.

Using your Cell phone for the 'hot spot' will work, depending on your plan.  We use the Personal Hotspot mode on our iphone from Verizon with good results, and also have a proper hot-spot / MiFi device for T-Mobile.  The major difference comes down to your phone plan.  Some phone plans will restrict the amount of data available when using the cell-phone as a hot-spot, or they may cap the speed.   Just check it out with your provider.  And also, just try it and see how responsive it is to you.   In our chase I am typically OK even when some sort of fall-back (ala, fall-back to 3G speeds) are imposed; but my Wife uses the Face Book and has a hard time during those situations and is a bit happier when there is no throttling.  (Example, with our 'Unlimited' T-Mobile MiFi device, we get 6Gb of 4G access, then fall into the 3G 'penalty box' for the rest of the month)

One thing you did not mention was a booster.  We find it very important no matter which provider is used.  Even at times in the cities it helps.   At present we are using the 'WeBoost'  4G-X device (https://www.weboost.com/products/drive-4gx ) with very good results.  We have upgraded to an external antenna.  Make sure it is able to hanle all the 'bands' you will be needing.  This is the one we use: http://shop.proxicast.com/shopping/proxicast-3g-4g-lte-9-dbi-omni-directional-fixed-mount-fiberglass-antenna.html  And also upgrade the cable between the booster and the outside antenna.  We used LMR-240 style cable and sourced it with the correct ends here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/TIMES-Microwave-1-30-LMR-240-Silver-Plated-N-Male-to-SMA-Male-Pigtail-Cable-US/131145302349?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 

In use we find that the best idea is to literally place the cell-phone on the internal weBoost antenna (looks like a flat candy bar). Especially in low-signal areas. Thought depending on where you are that may not be necessary. Another great thing about this booster is it works with more than one phone at a time, will work with the proper stand-alone hot-spots (MiFi) devices, and both data as well as voice and text.   (Funny story: After we installed this we were in a cove that historically was a total dead-zone.  Nothing, even with our older booster.  Well the phone rang!  Surprised me, but once I picked it up and started to pace around I got about 5' from the booster's inside antenna and the phone started to cut out.   Sigh, phone worked but I had to stand at the bridge station to use it!)

OK, hope this helps.  In summary: my suggesting would be get a weBoost amp and external antenna upgrade for it.  Then just try using your existing phone in hot-spot mode and see how you like it.  If some issues you can see about upgrading your existing plan, or get a MiFi device from perhaps a different carrier  (Like we do - increases the odds of one or the other getting a strong signal).

Best of luck and let us know how things work out for you!

-al-
    


Viking Star
45' Monk Sr. / McQueen
mvVikingStar.blogspot.com





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