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RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/25/20 9:24 p.m.

We're making an offer on a house soon. Well it turns out the internet options are satellite, Verizon "up to 1.1-3MB" dsl, and mobile hot spots.

On their own, they're relatively expensive and E36 M3ty options. Satellite is definitely a no go because lag, reliability, and miniscule data caps. 

With Fi, I can get data only Sims, and have unlimited data after X GB. 

Inside the house, cell reception is sketchy to 3G, but outside, no problem with 4gLTE. 

my first thought was 2 more FI phones, mounted in weather proof boxes and permanent plugged in acting as hot spots, then combing their signal with speedify and distributing it through the house. Turns out this is extremely code intensive and headache causing even for experienced networking people.

Looking into that turned me on to Cradlepoint routers. They're expensive, but take a SIM card, and can do wired and wireless connections. I never heard of them before, and I can't find anything on their site specifically about Google Fi as a phone carrier, but see Sprint and t mobile support. 

My next option would be to combine the garbage dsl with either a mobile hot spot or the Cradlepoint router, but I think that would just be a pointless dsl bill. 

 

Speed is kind of a priority, more so than cost to a point. Unlimited data is also important. Let's assume, between gaming, streaming, school, work, and the life of 4 people that 1tb a month is average. 

I think the cradlepoint will be the end result, but I know there are smarter people than me on this board that might have a better option. 

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/25/20 9:52 p.m.

Ah ha. Fi says I need an unlocked device that works on tmobile. Turns out Amazon and the internet are full of routers and modems that take sim cards. 

Known brands are $500ish, no names are under $100.

Anyone have any experience or brand preferences? I'm partial to netgear, but have only been finding portables instead of plugins.

Fi says 256kbps after 15GB/month. Tmobile isn't much better. Truly unlimited cellular is available, for $250/month. 

I need to find a terrain map, and possibly a high gain directional Wi-Fi antenna.

Gingerbeardman
Gingerbeardman Reader
2/26/20 5:30 a.m.

What area of the country are you in?

I'm fortunate to have fiber-optic/DSL, but I have friends that live in the sticks who are using a cellular repeater to get service. I can ask them what they've got, because they work remotely doing high-value tasks, so I'm assuming it must work well.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 UltraDork
2/26/20 8:06 a.m.

The area where my in-law's live, and the shop I used to work at has sucky DSL. CenturyLink sells them "Up to 10mbps" but they usually get 3-4 at best. 

My Father in law's coworker found recommended this to him: https://www.ebay.com/itm/AT-T-LTE-4G-5G-UNLIMITED-ZTE-WHOLE-HOME-WIFI-ROUTER-34-99-MONTHLY/123902445985?hash=item1cd92949a1:g:tgoAAOSw08xdnT5z

He got one, and after finding the best position for it in the house, and using a different router to do the WiFi part, (Keep the modem only bringing the internet in and it works better.) he's getting over 20mbps consistently, and often close to 40. 

I then installed one at the shop I used to work at since I am still close to them. There I had to get some different antennas with some longer leads to mount to the roof, but now he's getting about the same speeds. 

Supposedly there is no data cap, hopefully it stays that way. 

 

The original link is out of stock, but the seller still has data plans available. I just ordered a data plan from him, and another ZTE modem from another seller to hook up for another friend in that area. 

 

From my research into these units it looks like they are a popular solution for rural Canada, so far they are working well for us. 

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 UltraDork
2/26/20 8:11 a.m.

Here's the antennas I used for the shop: https://amzn.to/32urQdN (Affiliate link.)

And here's what I was figuring on using if they weren't enough: https://amzn.to/2T39VaR (Affiliate link.) I wanted to do more research before jumping for the more expensive Yagi. I'm fairly sure it's the correct item for the cellular needs, but I'm new to the antenna game. Fortunatley I didn't need it. If they find that signal is more intermittent at the shop, then I'll re-visit the idea.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
2/26/20 8:15 a.m.

Also, have a look at T-Mobile's wireless home Internet that supposedly has no data caps: https://www.t-mobile.com/isp

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
2/26/20 8:17 a.m.

I'd probably just get DSL and deal with it.*  All of the options are a ton of hassled for a mild improvement at best (but still have latency issues)

 

*Just kidding, there is a near-zero chance I would buy a house where high speed internet isn't available.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
2/26/20 8:44 a.m.

In reply to RevRico :

I'm a big fan of Asus routers.

Do you have access to Whispernet, Hughesnet, or ViaSat out by there? There's been a fair bit of expansion of the wireless providers recently which will provide better than DSL speeds and you don't have to deal with the datacap limitations. They're typically quite a bit better, and less expensive, than the old school satellite connections.

I knew a couple guys that lived about a mile from the "last mile" infrastructure when I lived in California. We setup a line of sight connection to share from one co-workers connection to the other. Probably ran afoul of some FCC rules though.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
2/26/20 8:54 a.m.

56k dialup? laugh

I'm shocked that cable isn't an option.  I thought they had that stuff strung to the far corners of the globe by now.  And yet you have access to DSL?  I'm in a fairly populated area, and just a few miles from a provider facility, but it must be more than 18,000 feet, because DSL is not offered at my address.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/26/20 8:59 a.m.
ProDarwin said:

I'd probably just get DSL and deal with it.*  All of the options are a ton of hassled for a mild improvement at best (but still have latency issues)

Or you could go to several tons of hassle and do what this guy did: Spend months haggling with whoever owns the nearest cell tower to get a fiber optic cable connecting your house to the tower directly.

https://hackaday.com/2018/09/20/one-mans-journey-to-become-his-own-isp/

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/26/20 9:09 a.m.

After all night on the internet and all morning on the phone, there is in fact cable internet on the street, with a provider I've never heard of. They made me call because they never serviced the address before. Turns out, they service a house about 2 city blocks up the street. 

They're sending a tech out to look at things in the next couple business days and will get back to me with a yes or no.

$90/month for gigabit for 2 years. I'm more than ok with that price as long as they can actually provide the service.

I'll hand it to Atlantic broadband, it's freaking awesome to call customer support and speak to someone who actually speaks English, even if their website leaves something to be desired. 

Still looking at a backup solution just in case.

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/26/20 9:13 a.m.

We're paying $71/mo for crappy 5 meg dsl. I hate it. It just barely does what we need it to do but I have friends in the city paying $59 for gig speed access. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
2/26/20 9:35 a.m.

In reply to RevRico :

I think cable is your answer.  It's fast and super dependable here.  If it was 20 bucks a month, I'd be happy.

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
2/26/20 11:10 a.m.
RevRico said:

After all night on the internet and all morning on the phone, there is in fact cable internet on the street, with a provider I've never heard of. They made me call because they never serviced the address before. Turns out, they service a house about 2 city blocks up the street. 

They're sending a tech out to look at things in the next couple business days and will get back to me with a yes or no.

$90/month for gigabit for 2 years. I'm more than ok with that price as long as they can actually provide the service.

I'll hand it to Atlantic broadband, it's freaking awesome to call customer support and speak to someone who actually speaks English, even if their website leaves something to be desired. 

Still looking at a backup solution just in case.

 

Hopefully they have a tap at your house. If not they would have to run plant to you. I've seen a $3000 quote to run that 400 feet. They asked the home owner to pay $1000 of that.  If you PM me the address I'll try and street view it for you and see what I can tell. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
2/26/20 2:55 p.m.

If the gigabit cable doesn't work out, I'd hook up a USB 4G modem to an OpenWRT router. Maybe 2 in a load-balanced configuration if possible.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/26/20 3:09 p.m.

Stampie, thanks, you have mail.

Gameboy, I looked into with every provider and MVNO I could find last night. Without spending major bucks monthly, I'll hit the data cap on pretty much every plan within 2 days, at which point it's either dsl speeds or $10/GB. 

 

Atlantic's sales girl said they would run the line to the house on their dime. I wasn't about to offer to pay, but I'd be willing to pay a nominal one time fee (up to about challenge money) if necessary to have usable speeds and data limits

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
2/26/20 4:57 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

I have a meeting this evening at Lil Stampie's school but I'll check it out when I get home. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
2/26/20 5:31 p.m.

I got some string and a couple soup cans ..

AAZCD
AAZCD HalfDork
2/26/20 6:02 p.m.

I recently got the Hughesnet Satellite Internet. I had a similar situation where cable ended just a little too far away and my ATT DSL was just too slow. The Hughesnet 'high speed' data is 30 GB/Month (plus 50 GB between 2 am and 8 am which is good for scheduled updates and downloads). I didn't think I'd be able to live with that or the latency. Mrs AAZCD said to do it anyway so...

At the end of my first month, I burned thru the rest of my data just to see what would happen. It turned out that the throttled speed is about as fast as we had under ATT anyway, generally about 1-3 mbps. Crappy, but what I was used to and unlimited at that speed. To deal with the lag issues (online games), I changed our cellphone service to 'Total Wireless' (an MVNO on Verizon) where I got my three phones on an "Unlimited" plan that has shared 60 GB unthrottled where you can do 10 GB of hotspot on each phone. Not pretty, but it works for me until something changes.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/26/20 7:25 p.m.
Mndsm said:

I got some string and a couple soup cans ..

Tell me more. This might be an improvement 

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
2/26/20 7:32 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

I've emailed you back. Let me know if you don't get it. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
2/26/20 8:28 p.m.

any idea what will happen when Space X gets all those small internet satellites up and working ?

Will it work on the phone you already have or ?????

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
2/26/20 9:32 p.m.
bobzilla said:
Mndsm said:

I got some string and a couple soup cans ..

Tell me more. This might be an improvement 

Campells chunky, and at least 10 feet of the finest bailing twine I feel like looking for. I'll warn you, it was clam chowder. Might make you a target for some extra fisheyy scams. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
2/26/20 9:33 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

any idea what will happen when Space X gets all those small internet satellites up and working ?

Will it work on the phone you already have or ?????

That's when all the screens on the Teslas go red and we see the robot uprising. 

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
2/27/20 7:03 a.m.

We went through the same when we moved to NC.  Coming from the overpopulated northeast I was a bit taken aback by the amount of areas still unserviced by high speed internet.  As SWMBO works out of the home full time and I do on occasion high speed internet was not optional.   Unfortunately it meant passing on a few great houses (including one with a 40x60 workshop and 6 car detached garage :(

Mostly just here to say I feel  your pain and if there's not fiber or cable the options are slim depending on your actual bandwidth needs.

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