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Old 14-11-2013, 14:37
gazzaman28
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Hi all. Our flat has an ADSL connection which we struggle to get 1Mbps on. There's nothing technically wrong with it, we're just miles from the exchange in a semi-rural location and have no fibre alternative available right now. Recently a friend who is on the Three network did a speed test on his iPhone and found that he was consistently getting 12Mbps download speeds on it (I'm on giffgaff and my wife is on EE and neither of us get anywhere close to these speeds!) so we're now obviously contemplating ditching the phone/broadband package for 3G instead.
Unfortunately though this seems to be a bit of a minefield. I know that Three do an unlimited tethering package as part of their "One" contract which would seem to be ideal, but we'd need to have a dedicated mobile phone to allow this to work, as I believe that this SIM wouldn't work in a dedicated MiFi router (is this absolute or is it more the case that they would find you out eventually?) I know that they do proper MiFi packages but that they limit you to 15GB a month, which i'm concerned wouldn't be enough for us. We probably don't use that much at the moment but with a whole new world opened up to us such as streaming films and such like I'd be panicking about reaching the limit each month.
So if I do end up having a "One" SIM on a dedicated mobile, what would be the best way of getting this wireless tethering converted back into LAN cabling which I need to use iPlayer on my Freeview box and connect to a desktop PC? Is what I'm planning feasible or should I just stick with a more legit MiFi package and keep the usage down below 15GB a month?
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Old 14-11-2013, 15:20
omnidirectional
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I'm trying this at the moment, as like you I'm stuck with an ADSL connection of just over 1MB which can't even stream a YouTube video without buffering.

I've got a OnePlan SIM from Three in a spare phone which is WiFi tethering to the PC/tablets etc. It's working very well so far. I've found that it slows down in the evening but still easily beats the ADSL connection. At other times of the day it's lightning fast.

I haven't tried the SIM in a MiFi device but everything I've read says Three can detect it and will block access. It's a shame that they don't offer a dedicated MyFi/data plan with more than 15GB as the ability to watch HD Videos or download things without waiting for hours does eat up a lot of data. But at the moment, a OnePlan SIM in a phone is the only option.

For best results make sure the phone supports DC-HSDPA, and maybe even 4G to be future proof.

Not sure about converting the WiFi back to LAN, maybe someone else can help with that.
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Old 14-11-2013, 15:25
moox
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About 2 years ago they had the ability to detect, probably based on IMEI, that you had the SIM in a device it shouldn't be in. In my case they knew it was in a 3 dongle, but not in a generic 3G card in my laptop. So it might be limited to devices that they sold.

Some routers have USB ports that can have a phone connected to them - then you'll get a proper wifi signal and ethernet ports.
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Old 14-11-2013, 16:05
gazzaman28
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I've always believed those routers with USB ports would only work with 3G broadband dongles rather than an actual cable to the phone. Does anyone know which ones would support a phone?
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Old 14-11-2013, 17:29
ash45
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Hi all. Our flat has an ADSL connection which we struggle to get 1Mbps on. There's nothing technically wrong with it, we're just miles from the exchange in a semi-rural location and have no fibre alternative available right now. Recently a friend who is on the Three network did a speed test on his iPhone and found that he was consistently getting 12Mbps download speeds on it (I'm on giffgaff and my wife is on EE and neither of us get anywhere close to these speeds!) so we're now obviously contemplating ditching the phone/broadband package for 3G instead.
Unfortunately though this seems to be a bit of a minefield. I know that Three do an unlimited tethering package as part of their "One" contract which would seem to be ideal, but we'd need to have a dedicated mobile phone to allow this to work, as I believe that this SIM wouldn't work in a dedicated MiFi router (is this absolute or is it more the case that they would find you out eventually?) I know that they do proper MiFi packages but that they limit you to 15GB a month, which i'm concerned wouldn't be enough for us. We probably don't use that much at the moment but with a whole new world opened up to us such as streaming films and such like I'd be panicking about reaching the limit each month.
So if I do end up having a "One" SIM on a dedicated mobile, what would be the best way of getting this wireless tethering converted back into LAN cabling which I need to use iPlayer on my Freeview box and connect to a desktop PC? Is what I'm planning feasible or should I just stick with a more legit MiFi package and keep the usage down below 15GB a month?
Hi you could always use one of these devices to bridge the wireless on the phone then plug the Ethernet port into a 4-8+ port hub which will give you all the wired devices you need plus wifi

as other have said make sure you get a phone capable of DC-HSDPA or posible 4G as three will be offering free 4G when it comes This Website offers some good deals on decent phones and you can get some DC/LTE phones at decent prices then just get a sim only one plan from three and you should be well on your way

Here's a speedtest of mine on a DC phone so three is defo a capable network

hope this helps


Ash
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Old 14-11-2013, 18:45
Esot-eric
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I've always believed those routers with USB ports would only work with 3G broadband dongles rather than an actual cable to the phone. Does anyone know which ones would support a phone?
Anything with OpenWRT would seem to be an option.
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Old 14-11-2013, 18:55
Lidtop2013
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We have been using Three/one plan for the last 2 years as our only internet connection in our apartment. It's been brilliant to be fair, very rare that it's slow, it's always fast 9 times out of 10. Even use it on the PS3 to play online, again works fantastically.

As already said, if you get a phone for this purpose check that it's capable of DC-HSDPA/4G so as to future proof yourself abit. And also if your friend had a 4S or below then if you got a newer phone, for example iphone 5 then you will more than likely get a lot more than 12mbps. If it was indeed an iphone 5 or newer that he was using then 12mbps will probably be the most you'll get
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Old 14-11-2013, 21:45
DevonBloke
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This is what I'm going to do (with the aforementioned TP-Link bridge to feed it into my Ethernet network).

I reckon the Lumia 820 is the best bet at the mo. You can get them on eBay for about 100. This way you will automatically get 4G when Three get it to you (with a better 1800 or 800Mhz signal too).

I am currently testing to see if just being connected to the bridge will keep the hotspot "up" since mobiles turn off the hotspot is there is no traffic. If not I'm going to set up a cheap old pc with a regularly updating website to keep it on.

Anyone else have issues keeping the hotspot on. Or do you all have to keep turning it off then on again?

Another thing to bear in mind is Mobiles only allow a certain number of devices to connect using the phone's built in DHCP server. If you reach this limit you could always connect via Ethernet to a cable router's Wan port on a different IP subnet thereby using that router's DHCP server instead.

Complicated, but it would get around the limit. This way you would have the cable router as your gateway and the phone just feeding it a single IP address.

Did that make sense?? Sorry, I'm a PC tech and very boring down the pub!
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Old 14-11-2013, 21:53
Lidtop2013
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This is what I'm going to do (with the aforementioned TP-Link bridge to feed it into my Ethernet network).

I reckon the Lumia 820 is the best bet at the mo. You can get them on eBay for about 100. This way you will automatically get 4G when Three get it to you (with a better 1800 or 800Mhz signal too).

I am currently testing to see if just being connected to the bridge will keep the hotspot "up" since mobiles turn off the hotspot is there is no traffic. If not I'm going to set up a cheap old pc with a regularly updating website to keep it on.

Anyone else have issues keeping the hotspot on. Or do you all have to keep turning it off then on again?

Another thing to bear in mind is Mobiles only allow a certain number of devices to connect using the phone's built in DHCP server. If you reach this limit you could always connect via Ethernet to a cable router's Wan port on a different IP subnet thereby using that router's DHCP server instead.

Complicated, but it would get around the limit. This way you would have the cable router as your gateway and the phone just feeding it a single IP address.

Did that make sense?? Sorry, I'm a PC tech and very boring down the pub!
With my iphone 5 I find provided it's connected to a device, whether it be my laptop or PS3 etc, then it will stay connected for however long I'm connected, if I disconnect it totally so that nothing is connected, then if I leave it 5-10mins then the hotspot won't show up on any device until I turn it off and back on.

It's a none issue though, if your connected it stays connected, that's all you need to know.
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Old 14-11-2013, 21:56
Thine Wonk
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Just remember that tethering customers who use a lot of data can have some throttling applied, where as proper mobile broadband packages don't.

If you constantly tether and use a lot of data then you might be throttled from 3PM to midnight. The One plan isn't designed as a ADSL / broadband replacement. Proper mobile broadband packages aren't subject to the same throttling, but are fixed data packages.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:04
DevonBloke
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With my iphone 5 I find provided it's connected to a device, whether it be my laptop or PS3 etc, then it will stay connected for however long I'm connected, if I disconnect it totally so that nothing is connected, then if I leave it 5-10mins then the hotspot won't show up on any device until I turn it off and back on.

It's a none issue though, if your connected it stays connected, that's all you need to know.
Ok, thanks. Good to know.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:07
DevonBloke
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Just remember that tethering customers who use a lot of data can have some throttling applied, where as proper mobile broadband packages don't.

If you constantly tether and use a lot of data then you might be throttled from 3PM to midnight. The One plan isn't designed as a ADSL / broadband replacement. Proper mobile broadband packages aren't subject to the same throttling, but are fixed data packages.
Well since Three reckon I could use 1000GB if using it 24/7 and this would be ok and I would probably use about 20-40GB most months but perhaps up to 200GB if I did a few Livedrive uploads from customers PC's, do you think they would throttle that?
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:17
Thine Wonk
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Well since Three reckon I could use 1000GB if using it 24/7 and this would be ok and I would probably use about 20-40GB most months but perhaps up to 200GB if I did a few Livedrive uploads from customers PC's, do you think they would throttle that?
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They say could, I think a lot of that is assuming you use a lot of data on the phone. The One plan isn't throttled, but tethering users are a ringfenced resource with traffic priority given to proper mobile broadband and phone data users.

In addition to this the top 5% highest users are restricted to be allowed to use only 5% of network resources from 3PM-midnight.

All this is in place so that average users like myself that use just 1-3gigs on the One Plan aren't affected by people that are replacing their home broadband and tethering 24/7. The One plan was designed to prevent 'bill shock' and to allow people to use their phones as much as they wanted without fear of big bills, but not as a main broadband service to tether 60 gigs + of permanent tethering / using the phone as a modem all the time.

I just point this out as some people are surprised when they get throtted after using 60 gigs when the maximum mobile broadband package you can buy is 15.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:41
xreyuk123
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Well since Three reckon I could use 1000GB if using it 24/7 and this would be ok and I would probably use about 20-40GB most months but perhaps up to 200GB if I did a few Livedrive uploads from customers PC's, do you think they would throttle that?
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On 3's network, 300GB is not that much. I have a friend who uses it permanently and regularly goes over 300GB per month, and has never been throttled.

Considering your home broadband situation, even if you were throttled, you'd still get faster speeds.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:45
DevonBloke
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They say could, I think a lot of that is assuming you use a lot of data on the phone. The One plan isn't throttled, but tethering users are a ringfenced resource with traffic priority given to proper mobile broadband and phone data users.

In addition to this the top 5% highest users are restricted to be allowed to use only 5% of network resources from 3PM-midnight.

All this is in place so that average users like myself that use just 1-3gigs on the One Plan aren't affected by people that are replacing their home broadband and tethering 24/7. The One plan was designed to prevent 'bill shock' and to allow people to use their phones as much as they wanted without fear of big bills, but not as a main broadband service to tether 60 gigs + of permanent tethering / using the phone as a modem all the time.

I just point this out as some people are surprised when they get throtted after using 60 gigs when the maximum mobile broadband package you can buy is 15.
Ok, thanks.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:48
DevonBloke
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Anyone know if the Lumia 820 lets you turn off 2G so only 3 or 4G are used.
My iPhone will connect to 3G most of the time but occasionally it insists on going to 2G and staying there.

I am currently typing this on my PC while connected to an Edimax bridge that is connected to my iPhone with a 1 bar 3G signal. getting 7 meg at the mo. Lovely, since my ADSL is 1.3 currently.

Soon gonna use that 3GB of EE data though!
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Old 15-11-2013, 00:27
xreyuk123
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Anyone know if the Lumia 820 lets you turn off 2G so only 3 or 4G are used.
My iPhone will connect to 3G most of the time but occasionally it insists on going to 2G and staying there.

I am currently typing this on my PC while connected to an Edimax bridge that is connected to my iPhone with a 1 bar 3G signal. getting 7 meg at the mo. Lovely, since my ADSL is 1.3 currently.

Soon gonna use that 3GB of EE data though!
I've just had a go, and can't get it into Field Test Mode since the latest update, and believe that's the only way to be done.

This has been a really great phone to tether to for me. Slightly slower speeds than my iPhone 5, but considering the price difference, that's nothing. Not sure whether some of it's down to Three's network though as speeds are a little slower here than normal (down from about 30Mb/s at this time of night to 20Mb/s). There is work scheduled for my mast though
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Old 15-11-2013, 01:02
gazzaman28
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Thanks for all the info guys, you've been very helpful. I'll order a SIM on a 1 month contract and stick it in my Nexus 4 for the moment to check how viable this is for a few weeks. If it's consistent then I'll cancel the ADSL, order a router & look into getting a Lumia or equivalent on the cheap to keep in permanent use. Happy days!
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Old 15-11-2013, 01:09
enapace
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This is what I'm going to do (with the aforementioned TP-Link bridge to feed it into my Ethernet network).

I reckon the Lumia 820 is the best bet at the mo. You can get them on eBay for about 100. This way you will automatically get 4G when Three get it to you (with a better 1800 or 800Mhz signal too).

I am currently testing to see if just being connected to the bridge will keep the hotspot "up" since mobiles turn off the hotspot is there is no traffic. If not I'm going to set up a cheap old pc with a regularly updating website to keep it on.

Anyone else have issues keeping the hotspot on. Or do you all have to keep turning it off then on again?

Another thing to bear in mind is Mobiles only allow a certain number of devices to connect using the phone's built in DHCP server. If you reach this limit you could always connect via Ethernet to a cable router's Wan port on a different IP subnet thereby using that router's DHCP server instead.

Complicated, but it would get around the limit. This way you would have the cable router as your gateway and the phone just feeding it a single IP address.

Did that make sense?? Sorry, I'm a PC tech and very boring down the pub!
Another good device is actually the Z10 that is pretty cheap 150-170 and has 4G.

I'm not going do what you are I did consider it as I hate the service I get from Virgin but Openreach has finally finished the exchange by me so only got wait for cabinets to be done before I can switch to Fibre.

Hope it goes well for you though and that Three eventually get 4G down to your bunker.
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Old 15-11-2013, 11:34
DevonBloke
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Yeah, weren't Three going to be concentrating on rural areas first? Would make sense for them as their 3G in urban areas is great anyway.
Here's hoping!
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Old 15-11-2013, 12:23
ash45
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Another good device is actually the Z10 that is pretty cheap 150-170 and has 4G.

I'm not going do what you are I did consider it as I hate the service I get from Virgin but Openreach has finally finished the exchange by me so only got wait for cabinets to be done before I can switch to Fibre.

Hope it goes well for you though and that Three eventually get 4G down to your bunker.
the problem with the Z10 though is though it supports LTE is only support HSPA+ (21meg) and not DC-HSDPA so for the near future id of though DC would be more of a priority than LTE given threes slower roll out of 4G

ASh
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Old 15-11-2013, 12:38
enapace
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the problem with the Z10 though is though it supports LTE is only support HSPA+ (21meg) and not DC-HSDPA so for the near future id of though DC would be more of a priority than LTE given threes slower roll out of 4G

ASh
True I didn't know till just checking it didn't support HSPA 42+ my bad next best bet then is going be the Sony Xperia SP around 160-180.
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Old 15-11-2013, 13:48
ash45
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True I didn't know till just checking it didn't support HSPA 42+ my bad next best bet then is going be the Sony Xperia SP around 160-180.
i can confirm that is a decent phone and more that adequett for supporting tether until recently i had one and used it for tethering all the time while at my grandparents house and when my internet went down that's where the speedtest from my earlier post came from, also the phone supports 10 devices at the same time connected which was an improvement on one of my older phones that only supported 4

Ash
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Old 15-11-2013, 15:50
enapace
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Yeah, weren't Three going to be concentrating on rural areas first? Would make sense for them as their 3G in urban areas is great anyway.
Here's hoping!
Only thing I heard about rural areas is that it is where they will be dominantly using 800MHz. But you right rural areas are going get a massive benefit in indoor coverage when Three gets to those areas.
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Old 15-11-2013, 16:01
qasdfdsaq
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Heard from where?

Also I should just point out DC-HSDPA isn't the nirvana some people make it out to be. While theoretically it can double download speeds most of the time, it isn't always active - even in areas with 100% coverage. It gets switched on and off by the scheduler on a per-second timescale. Plus, here, when DC activates it causes my download speed to plummet from 6Mbps to 0.2Mbps and sometimes zero - so obviously there are bugs with the implementation in some places.
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