How do I boost the WiFi signal of a 4G Dongle?

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AndyhhhAndyhhh Forumite
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Hello.

I'm shortly moving into a rental property for somewhere between 6 and 12mths. I dont really fancy signing up to a fixed line broadband contract as I dont want to have to pay exorbitant early cancellations fees at month 6 if we don't stay that long.

I need a good WiFi signal for SONOS and TV over the internet.

I was looking at buying a 3 4G dongle but understand the WiFi strength is never that good on them. Does anyone have a way of significantly boosting a 4g Dongles WiFi strength please?

Or any other solutions gladly received please!

TIA.

Andy
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  • psychic_teabagpsychic_teabag Forumite
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    Sorry, I'm probably out of date WRT the terminolgy, but I think of a 4G dongle as a usb thing that takes a sim and plugs into your pc. In which case the wifi is irrelevant. Running routing software on the pc would allow it to share the connection with other devices over wifi, and then the signal depends on the pc's wifi strength (or you can use wired connections).

    But you can also buy a standalone 4g wireless router thing which will sit in the corner and provide wifi access to 4g. It's basically just a small computer with the 4g dongle and a wifi connection built in. I wouldn't have thought you can universally say the wifi is no good - there are lots of different models out there, some with antenae, some without. I assume a standard wifi repeater wo

    Using TV could require quite a lot of bandwidth. I don't know how much 4G data costs, but have you actually checked whether the cancellation fees would be so bad?
    There do exist "no contract" broadband packages, which really means one-month-at-a-time contract. Is that an option you'd considered ? (That said, I guess using mobile means you'd probably not be bothering with a landline either, which is a big part of the cost.)
  • edited 28 February 2017 at 12:38PM
    bluesnakebluesnake Forumite
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    edited 28 February 2017 at 12:38PM
    The short cheap answer is to solder a propper ariel on it. Have a look on youtube.

    Also keep the equipment in close proximitry.

    To be honest if you live in a populated area 4g is pants. Too many punters.

    I would swallow 6 months of of cost or go to https://pulse8broadband.co.uk/, a slightly more expensive isp but apparently quite good with no contracts / termination charges / minimum call or connection fees + unlimited broadband usage. Once i move next year may go to them for fibre.
  • edited 28 February 2017 at 12:02PM
    EdwardBEdwardB Forumite
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    edited 28 February 2017 at 12:02PM
    Andyhhh wrote: »
    Hello.

    I'm shortly moving into a rental property for somewhere between 6 and 12mths. I dont really fancy signing up to a fixed line broadband contract as I dont want to have to pay exorbitant early cancellations fees at month 6 if we don't stay that long.

    I need a good WiFi signal for SONOS and TV over the internet.

    I was looking at buying a 3 4G dongle but understand the WiFi strength is never that good on them. Does anyone have a way of significantly boosting a 4g Dongles WiFi strength please?

    Or any other solutions gladly received please!

    TIA.

    Andy


    Hi

    I had similar requirement, got myself an AC Router that could act as a client to the Mifi (or any wifi), the AC signal was way stronger, it also allowed me to split the two wifi signals or combine them and it created a guest network without password but with a login per user.

    I think you raise another competition issue, many tenancies are 6m or a year, but some providers are insisting in 18m.

    Some are OK because moving cost is not too high and may even be cancelled, ones to watch out for are anything based on BT (e.g. Plusnet), if you terminate rather than move your contract there is a sting in the tail fee.

    Before you sign up to 4g, checkout the neighbours, find the strongest wifi and offer to pay them £5 a month for a connection, then use AC router as described above.
    Please be nice to all MoneySavers. That’s the forum motto. Remember, the prime aim is to help provide info and resources. If you don’t like someone, their situation, their question or feel they’re intruding on ‘your board’ then please bite the bullet and think of the bigger issue. :cool::)
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    If you really do mean WIFI signal, that just allows devices around you to connect to the dongle which itself is connected to the internet. Simply move the dongle closer to those devices?

    If its the 3G or 4G signal then a decent dongle with an external antenna, or maybe move closer to a transmitter?
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • JP1978JP1978 Forumite
    527 Posts
    The 3g/4g dongles that plug into a PC can often be problematic when used over long periods (not always, but can be). They also dont have the biggest antenna either.

    A better solution is a 4G router - similar to a normal router from the likes of BT/Virgin but has a SIM card slot and often has ports for external Antenna....

    I used the below when we moved home and use it now as a back up;

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/ce3/Huawei-Unlocked-E5186-Wireless-Mobile-Wi-Fi-Router/B018TO4I9W/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1488324336&sr=8-8&keywords=huawei+4g+router

    You can get external antenna for them too - you basically point the antenna to the nearest mast (of the provider you sign up to)
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    JP1978 wrote: »
    You can get external antenna for them too - you basically point the antenna to the nearest mast (of the provider you sign up to)


    If the provider is SKY, do you just point the antenna upwards?

    :D:D:D............................. (sorry)....:A
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • EdwardBEdwardB Forumite
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    JP1978 wrote: »
    The 3g/4g dongles that plug into a PC can often be problematic when used over long periods (not always, but can be). They also dont have the biggest antenna either.

    A better solution is a 4G router - similar to a normal router from the likes of BT/Virgin but has a SIM card slot and often has ports for external Antenna....

    I used the below when we moved home and use it now as a back up;

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/ce3/Huawei-Unlocked-E5186-Wireless-Mobile-Wi-Fi-Router/B018TO4I9W/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1488324336&sr=8-8&keywords=huawei+4g+router

    You can get external antenna for them too - you basically point the antenna to the nearest mast (of the provider you sign up to)


    £126 for a backup is pretty heavy.

    My mifi router cost £22 off ebay and my AC Wireless Router cost £33 from the same place (different seller).

    Like you the mifi is now a backup but the AC is still in use, is faster than wired 100mb ethernet which is what my laptop has.

    AC wireless upgrade for Laptops £18 on eBay

    This is a money saving site after all :rotfl:
    Please be nice to all MoneySavers. That’s the forum motto. Remember, the prime aim is to help provide info and resources. If you don’t like someone, their situation, their question or feel they’re intruding on ‘your board’ then please bite the bullet and think of the bigger issue. :cool::)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Andyhhh wrote: »
    I need a good WiFi signal for SONOS and TV over the internet.

    Are you looking for a good signal between the Dongle and the TV etc., or are you looking for a good signal between the Dongle and the ISP?
  • paddyrgpaddyrg Forumite
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    I can answer this for you with some confidence as I've set up adhoc wireless networks from 4G in several countries including here :). My office internet is entirely over 3G, running multiple devices with several SSID's, and is remarkable reliable

    TP-Link hand a very cost effective range of routers - not little dongles and mifi boxes, but proper routers with dual antennae, 5GHz/n wi-fi wets, and SIM card slots. They start at around £30 for a lesser model, but £100-odd will get you something you can happily use to cover a house and be robust. Maplin usually have them in stock, so you can go and have a look and a read of the box, it'll specifically mention 4G on the package, and Maplin have a very decent returns policy if you don't get on with it
  • 50Twuncle50Twuncle Forumite
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    EdwardB wrote: »
    Before you sign up to 4g, checkout the neighbours, find the strongest wifi and offer to pay them £5 a month for a connection, then use AC router as described above.
    Against the T&C of all ISP's !!
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