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  • FIRST POST
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 26th Sep 19, 4:40 PM
    • 464Posts
    • 436Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    4G Mobile Router;...”to buy or not to buy, that is the question”.
    • #1
    • 26th Sep 19, 4:40 PM
    4G Mobile Router;...”to buy or not to buy, that is the question”. 26th Sep 19 at 4:40 PM
    Not sure if this should be on here, or the ‘mobile’ forum, btw.

    Landline internet is a bit crap round my way so I’ve had Virgin fibre broadband for several years and it’s been excellent to be honest.

    However, their incessant hefty prices increases (10% last week) have finally tipped me over the edge. My last bill was Ł41,...that’s just unlimited data internet,...no phone or TV.

    So I’m looking at other options. My daughter recently purchased this :-

    http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Devices/Huawei/HomeFi?memory=0&colour=Black

    The package she bought is on ‘Three’ network, unlimited data, 24 months contract with no upfront costs, Ł21/month (annual RPI increase in charge every May though,...probably?? 2 or 3 percent).

    I’ve tried her 4g-router in my house and it runs sweet as a nut,....60Mbps download speed (speedtest.net) using Wi-Fi. My Virgin router runs at 110Mbps (speedtest.net) but I don’t really need that speed tbh. Only me and Er’indoors these days so not often there is more than one device downloading anything significant at any one time.

    I’ll need to purchase a ‘Network Switch’ (Ł12 from Amazon) but after that I should be least Ł19/month better off.

    Anyone got any comments/suggestions/advice regarding the above?... Any pitfalls that may be lurking?...any better/cheaper packages on offer anywhere else?

    As ever, all replies gratefully received.

    P.S. I’m probably going to have my landline telephone disconnected as well in the near future;...we rarely dial out on the landline these days and the cold/scam calls are a real pain,...so that should be another Ł20+ per month saving.
    Last edited by Biggus Dickus; 30-09-2019 at 8:48 AM.
Page 1
    • anactuary
    • By anactuary 26th Sep 19, 5:02 PM
    • 695 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    anactuary
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 19, 5:02 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 19, 5:02 PM
    Overall a good idea, especially as you've tested the speed you'll get.

    I'm not sure how you'll connect the network switch to the Huawei MiFi device - WiFi extender? It may be better to get something like this instead of the MiFi or Huawei make some as well eg B525.
    Last edited by anactuary; 26-09-2019 at 5:05 PM.
    • mnbvcxz
    • By mnbvcxz 26th Sep 19, 5:24 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    mnbvcxz
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 19, 5:24 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 19, 5:24 PM
    Yes I'm not sure that particular mifi has an rj45 socket.

    If virgin have given you a wifi router and let you keeps it presumably you could use that as a switch? With the wifi turned off if you rather or with it on as an additional free access point.

    If you want to keep your telephone number you could port it to a free VOIP service like sipgate and get a some sort of cheap voip adapter for your telephone to receive calls over the internet.

    I'm not up on this but three's b311 and b315 router seem to go for around Ł45 unlocked on ebay though then you would have to support it yourself, but greater freedom. Might have voip built in for the brave.

    Before getting too smart a mifi device consider you may want to replace it in a years time with a 5g one...

    Smarty do frequent Ł19 offers for unlimited data sims but again no bundled device.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 26th Sep 19, 6:40 PM
    • 2,837 Posts
    • 73,374 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #4
    • 26th Sep 19, 6:40 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Sep 19, 6:40 PM
    Don't Three offer a free Huawei B-310 router with their unlimited data plans?

    If so, you can plug your home phone in the back of it and use it just like a normal landline as well as connect various devices to it via wifi - you just need to give people the number.

    That's if you get the unlimited everything package for about Ł20 or so - ask in one of the shops if there's one near you.
    • editor1
    • By editor1 30th Sep 19, 10:29 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    editor1
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 19, 10:29 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 19, 10:29 AM
    I've been using unlimited 4.5G Broadband for 2 years and tested a variety of 4.5G enabled routers from Huawei, Netgear and TP Link, most 4.5G Routers are not great for wifi coverage, hence, in your calculations work out the cost of both a decent 4.5G router and link that to a decent wifi router of AC3200 or above for decent coverage across the average sized home. The only issue with my own set-up is that we have restricted bandwidth that's influenced by weather conditions, so whilst I've been able to achieve above 100Mbps on the 4.5G network, I get a better 24/7 connection utilising 3G.
    • mnbvcxz
    • By mnbvcxz 30th Sep 19, 11:34 AM
    • 255 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    mnbvcxz
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 19, 11:34 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 19, 11:34 AM
    I hope you have spotted that if you go through quidco or topcashback the 24 month b535 package is discounted to Ł20 a month. You might get Ł60 cashback too!

    Its a tradeoff. Locking yourself in for 24 months is undoubtably simpler and cheaper. Buying your own router and self supporting would give more options and the ability to quit early but cost more. You could get a monthly card with unlimited calls though.
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 30th Sep 19, 5:18 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 19, 5:18 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 19, 5:18 PM
    I hope you have spotted that if you go through quidco or topcashback the 24 month b535 package is discounted to Ł20 a month. You might get Ł60 cashback too!

    Its a tradeoff. Locking yourself in for 24 months is undoubtably simpler and cheaper. Buying your own router and self supporting would give more options and the ability to quit early but cost more. You could get a monthly card with unlimited calls though.
    Originally posted by mnbvcxz
    I was just about to order the Huawei B535 from Three and I thought I’ll just check my thread to see if any more ‘suggestions’ had been posted,... and lo and behold!

    Before I make any substantial online purchases I always check Topcashback,...but for some unknown reason I’d completely forgotten this time,...I’ll have to call it a ‘senior moment’.

    However, thanks to your post I’ve just ordered the Huwei B535 unlimited data package (24months @ Ł20/month) through Topcashback. It should be delivered on Wednesday.

    So that’s a saving of Ł36/per year off the usual ‘Three’ website price,.. plus an additional Ł60 cashback if/when it materializes.

    Thanks so much;...I owe you a drink,...or three!
    • mnbvcxz
    • By mnbvcxz 30th Sep 19, 11:07 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    mnbvcxz
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 19, 11:07 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 19, 11:07 PM
    Well well done you. I hope it actually works
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 1st Oct 19, 9:59 AM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 19, 9:59 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 19, 9:59 AM
    Well well done you. I hope it actually works
    Originally posted by mnbvcxz
    It should be fine, thanks;..I’ve been using my daughters ‘Three’ Huawei B311 4G Router and it’s been as sweet as a nut all weekend;...running consistently between 50Mbps and 60Mbps download and 25Mbps upload,...the upload speed is actually twice as fast as my Virgin fibre upload speed!

    The ‘Three’ Huawei B535 router I’ve purchased has 4 ethernet ports which is more convenient for me. My daughters B311 router (no longer available from ‘Three’) has just 1 ethernet port.

    My daughter has had a ‘Three’ 4g router for a while now and it runs consistently between 85Mbps to 90Mbps download and 20Mbps upload.

    All being well I’ll be giving my expensive Virgin Fibre Broadband the heave-ho very shortly.

    This ‘Three’ 4G router won’t suit everyone though. My son was so impressed with the B311 router he took it to his own house to test it with a view to making a purchase because his (landline) Broadband isn’t brilliant.

    He lives 3 miles away from me and although the ‘Three’ website says his post-code should have ‘Very Good Service’ it wasn’t very good at all;...it fact it was completely useless. The ‘Three’ signal strength was totally inadequate.

    A close examination of the ‘Three’ network coverage map showed that his house was exactly on the transition between two distinct signal strength areas ‘Indoor & Outdoor’ and ‘Outdoor’.
    Last edited by Biggus Dickus; 01-10-2019 at 10:02 AM.
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 3rd Oct 19, 11:15 AM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    OP here,...update for anyone still remotely interested.
    I received my Huawei B535 4G Router from ‘Three’ yesterday. Quick and easy set-up,...running sweet as a nut.

    I rang Virgin this morning to cancel my 110Mbps Fibre Broadband package (BB only, no phone or TV). It just gone up Ł42.50/month.

    When the operator realised my request to leave Virgin wasn’t just a bluff she offered me the same package on a new 1 year contract;...Ł25/month for 6 months, then Ł30 for the remaining 6 months, which to be fair is not bad if you really need 110Mbps fibre broadband.

    I declined her kind offer.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 3rd Oct 19, 11:44 AM
    • 21,600 Posts
    • 15,841 Thanks
    molerat
    Just got a 3 SIM to give it a go. Map shows excellent coverage but only get a 15 download speed so whilst reasonable and above ADSL speeds not really a replacement for fibre. My granddaughter is waiting for Openreach to come and install her line as O2 was the only network giving her any reasonable speed.
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 3rd Oct 19, 12:06 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    Just got a 3 SIM to give it a go. Map shows excellent coverage but only get a 15 download speed so whilst reasonable and above ADSL speeds not really a replacement for fibre. My granddaughter is waiting for Openreach to come and install her line as O2 was the only network giving her any reasonable speed.
    Originally posted by molerat
    That’s a pity ;...this type of ‘Three’ 4G Router isn’t suitable for every household is it.

    ‘Location location. Location’!

    My daughter lives in York and she gets between 85Mbps to 90Mbps download.
    I live in Cheshire,..I’m getting 50Mbps to 60Mbps download.
    My son lives just a few miles from me and the ‘Three’ 4G router is the wrong side of useless at his house. Really crap ‘Three’ mobile signal.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 3rd Oct 19, 7:59 PM
    • 35,350 Posts
    • 22,309 Thanks
    DCFC79
    This is something that I may end up doing in the future especially if it means I can save some money but also get a decent connection to boot.


    Looking at the coverage map I should be ok but will need to test it before I commit to anything.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 5th Oct 19, 2:57 PM
    • 21,600 Posts
    • 15,841 Thanks
    molerat
    That’s a pity ;...this type of ‘Three’ 4G Router isn’t suitable for every household is it.

    ‘Location location. Location’!
    Originally posted by Biggus Dickus
    As for my granddaughter, living in Scotland's oil capital city you would expect more.
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 8th Oct 19, 4:07 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    OP here;..update for anyone interested.

    Well,...I’m afraid it’s all turned to rat-sh*t !!!!.

    My glowing praise for ‘Three’ and their ‘cheap’ 4G router contract has turned out to be somewhat premature and mis-guided.

    The internet connection started to play-up big style yesterday. Went offline for 5 or 10mins at a time on numerous occasions. Settled down for a while then started dipping out again. Same today. Deeply disconcerting.

    However,...to put the icing on the cake I got my very first communication today from ‘Three’ outlining the wonderful ‘cheap’ deal that I signed to last week.

    The first thing that caught my eye was my monthly unlimited data cost : Ł70 per month!!!.....then (rather confusingly) they listed 5 differently priced ‘recurring discounts’.

    The discounts took the price down to Ł30/month....unfortunately, still way in excess of what I signed-up to;...it’s a good job I read the letter properly.....the Ł30/month is in very small print.

    After spending 86 !!! minutes (single call at my expense) on the phone to ‘Three’ they could give me no firm reassurance that they would, or could, correct/amend the Ł30 per month D/D and the guy at Three reluctantly advised me that probably best if I cancelled the contract altogether,....which I did. The internet connection was totally disabled 30mins after I put the phone down.

    Totally crest-fallen to say the least;....I’ll need to go cap in hand back to Virgin now.

    Sorry if anyone was buoyed by my earlier posts. I genuinely believed I was on to a winner,...I couldn’t have been more wrong.
    Last edited by Biggus Dickus; 08-10-2019 at 4:18 PM.
    • tehone
    • By tehone 8th Oct 19, 5:57 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    tehone
    Meant to add I've not experienced any downtime [that I have noticed], but I use it in a Huawei MiFi device rather than a router (which I keep planning to get).
    • tehone
    • By tehone 9th Oct 19, 4:32 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    tehone
    Fair enough - does that mean you've got a router you want to get rid of? If so then drop me a PM.

    I'd probably use Virgin myself if I was in one of their areas still, it was great!
    • Biggus Dickus
    • By Biggus Dickus 10th Oct 19, 12:58 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    Biggus Dickus
    Fair enough - does that mean you've got a router you want to get rid of? If so then drop me a PM.

    I'd probably use Virgin myself if I was in one of their areas still, it was great!
    Originally posted by tehone
    It’s a Huawei B535 4g router;...it has to go back to ‘Three’ I’m afraid.
    • tehone
    • By tehone 11th Oct 19, 4:53 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    tehone
    Oh well. never mind, I'll look at these brand new and see if I want to get one
    • mnbvcxz
    • By mnbvcxz 11th Oct 19, 5:35 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    mnbvcxz
    Bad luck, of all the possibilities for it to fall apart I never thought of them just refusing to honour the deal. Particularly grievous when the offer is still running and showing up as Ł20 when you click through!

    Still silver lining at least it went wrong while you were still able to cancel.

    Well done for trying to be a pioneer and blaze new ways forward. Sorry you paid the price...
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