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Internet via 3G or 4G


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Dammit, why does nobody tell me these things?

I have been using my phone connected to the laptop by USB and switching on "tethering" to connect via my mobile contract and it gets a reasonably solid 1.5mb, sometimes 2;

While fiddling with the phone I found out it can be used as a wifi transmitter...ie it connects via my mobile contract and re-broadcasts via wifi which the laptop connects to instead of USB. For reasons unknown this is literally twice as fast...I now get a solid 4mb.

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Thanks Martin, think I will get an SFR sim card and try in the old birds' iphone. Guess that should give a pretty good idea of signal.

Can try it for a month that way, orange adsl still around the 800-900 Kb mark, so not too bad today. Will see what its like when it rains hard again though.

They are supposedly working on the main line tomorrow, so await results of that too.

Many thanks again, oh,  BTW lots of people around here are interested too, so may have to be like you and do some demos!

Johnnyboy

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[quote user="dave21478"]Dammit, why does nobody tell me these things? I have been using my phone connected to the laptop by USB and switching on "tethering" to connect via my mobile contract and it gets a reasonably solid 1.5mb, sometimes 2; While fiddling with the phone I found out it can be used as a wifi transmitter...ie it connects via my mobile contract and re-broadcasts via wifi which the laptop connects to instead of USB. For reasons unknown this is literally twice as fast...I now get a solid 4mb.[/quote]

 

I thought that was what tethering was?

 

Never tried it though as its all too complicated for me and I am an unwilling smartphone debutant, but I thought that Imight use "tethering" in the UK and had always thought it was Wi-Fi or perhaps Bluetooth (whatever that is) I did not know that you could even plug a USB cable into a phone.

 

My computer is connected via an ethernet cable because everyone tells me that it will be quicker than the Wi-Fi, it certainly seems more stableas it often freezes or hangs on Wi-Fi, as you say odd that your laptop is quicker without the cable.

 

So what exactly is tethering?

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I am a bit of a technotard when it comes to this, so stand to be corrected, but as I see it, tethering is using the USB charging lead to connect the phone to the laptop.

This means the phone uses its 3G or 4G signal to connect to the internet and share that connection with the computer.

What I have just discovered seems to be called a wifi hotspot, which is the same principal but without the wire. The phone broadcasts its own wifi signal which the laptop connects to as it would the wifi from a livebox.

Why this is faster than tethering, I have no idea....perhaps the limit is the USB data transfer rate?

I have a Wiko Rainbow Up, but most Android phones should be similar.

Hit "Settings", "More", "Tethering and Hotspot". You can then turn on USB tethering if the lead is connected. or turn on the hotspot. You will need to set up the hotspot, where you can define a password to prevent others accessing your phones broadcast. You will need to enter this password on the laptop so it will connect.

EDIT - bluetooth tethering is also on that options list, but my laptop doesnt have a blutooth thing, so I cant comment on that.

Just to add more confusion regarding speeds....I always use the speedtest.net website for comparisons, and while I am getting a consistant 4mb download speed on the laptop via the phone hotspot, if I just use the phone itself (still taped the the window, no other changes) and use Chrome on the phone to access the speedtest site, it give a slower connection.....To be honest, Its all just black magic weirdness beyond my comprehension.

Wifi hotspot mode seems to flatten the battery in the phone pretty quickly, so I have it on its charge lead....still sellotaped to the lounge window to get a decent signal. One day I might get round to making a proper holder for it. Which means I probably wont.
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I have a WikoCheapo also!

 

I will try the tethered wifi-hotspot when I am next in YUK, if I can ever get away from the changeovers here that is, I get what you are saying about the 3G/4G plus the Wi-Fi hammering the battery, I will have a look and see what leads came with the WikoCheapo and see if  I can connect the computer, that way I could test it here.

 

Thanks for the advice, will have some time soon I hope to send the PM about a vehicle repair.

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Duh, I am a muppet!

 

The lead I use to charge the phone is an USB lead, I realised that I could connect to the computer with that but how could I then charge the phone?

 

I hadn't realised there was a seperate charging socket and charger, wonder where I stored the charger? [:$]

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I *think* that tethering describes ANY system that connects a mobile phone's internet reception with another "machine",  such as a laptop or a tablet.   But I'm also puzzled as to why the USB is slower than the wifi.

And yes,  I've heard that switching on the hifi hotspot facility on a phone really hammers the battery,  one of the reasons I went down the independent modem route,   plus the fact that independent modems seem to be far more sensitive to 3G/4G signals than phones....

I believe that SOME UK operators *prevent* tethering,   or only allow you a small data allowance in that mode.   I'm not sure how they do that,   and it was one of the things I checked on the SFR contract,  ie that "mode modem" was possible and authorised.    I haven't had a problem with our SOSH card either in this respect,  even though SOSH suggests that you need their own "box" to achieve it.

johnnyboy - keep us posted,  I'd be interested to see how you get on.

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Wilco old chap! Although there does seem to be a bit of a delay on the router, just have to be patient yet again I guess. Have done one other thing though, I've ordered a new 4G phone, so hopefully that should arrive in next couple of days. Will then try the hotspot route through that as a temporary measure.

Fingers crossed(and everything else!!)

Johnnyboy.

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One word of warning johnnyboy:   the modem probably takes a full size (ie not cut down) SIM,   whereas a smart new phone will probably take micro or nano.   Although I bought a new smartphone I've not put the SIM in it (I'm using the phone in Wifi receive only mode,  ie at home fed by the 4G router).

The modem may well come with SIM card adaptors (so that you can make little SIM cards "big" again) but I've read horror stories of cards encased in the adaptors getting stuck in the slot,   and by the time one's extracted them the contacts in the slot are damaged beyond repair.

So if you still have a full sized SIM I'd hang fire until the router arrives.

If you don't keep moving the SIM and you get it properly seated in a high quality adaptor you're probably going to be OK.

Ignore if not relevant.

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Good point Martin, luckily both the router and the phone take micro sim cards. I had in fact thought about it before ordering for once! That's what is in my old phone too, so should be able to swap around as required. Interested to see what, if any difference all this will make.

 Our internet is running at about 290-530Kb as rule at the moment, but like yesterday morning is prone to dropping to a state where you cannot connect to do a speed check.

Orange have been informed of the problem yet again, and we are supposed to be getting a rebate until its sorted, not holding breath though. We expect more works on Thursday!

Apparently, the phone will ship out today, so just hope for a quick delivery.

Johnnyboy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Martin, just a quick update, I now have a Reglo paygo SIM to test out the system, after a few hiccups getting started all was going really well.

When the system kicked in last evening, i had 35 Kbps on our Orange livebox and 52 Mbps on the Sim, through my mobile hotspot.

Same this morning and all going swimmingly until this afternoon when the system dropped offline, with only a 3G reception and it says "network disconnected". Not sure if this could be due to maintenance or other works in progress, I wondered if the SFR network shed other systems when it gets really busy?

Anyway, to sum up, its fantastic when it works, but I'm not seeing much at the moment!

the router was working equally well until we went down to 3G, now it won't even connect.

Oh well, just have to hope it comes back soon, meanwhile will have to get by on the clockwork orange!!

Just  heads up on the DOOGEE mobile, excellent bit of kit except the SIM tray is rather flimsy and it takes NANO SIM's and not MICRO SIM's as 4 different people had told me, before I bought it!.

Cheers,

Johnnyboy

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Hi Johnnyboy

Could it be the 4G's getting a heavy bashing from traffic on the A20 this busy holiday weekend, and that's why you're getting dropouts? I think I can see the mast that I you're using from my front bedroom window so maybe I'll follow suit (when you've done a bit more testing!).

Bon courage,

CastAway
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Well curiously enough OUR SFR 4G appeared to drop out for half an hour this morning,   although 3G was still on.   However,   for the moment all is back to normal.

Not sure what to suggest,   other than to find a friend who is close to another  SFR mast and take the box over there and see if it connects.    But there's no reason at your end I can think of why it should work fine briefly and then suddenly stop....?

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How can you tell whether you are connected to 4g or 3G?

 

I have an android phone and whilst the signal icon is smaller than a spec of dust it does not appear to indicate what réseau it is  connected to, cant find anything in the settings menus etc either.

 

The phone is showing a connection to Free where I have a big data limit on 4g but not on 3g, my dumbphone with another Free sim connects to Orange at 2G because Free were not interested in serving that from their antennes around me.

 

Any ideas?

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I was under the impression Free's current offer is 100Go on a 3G network with a 4G mobile:

G illimitée (100 Go en 3G) réservée aux abonnés Freebox (100 Go en 4G/3G pour les non abonnés Freebox) et avec mobile 4G, en France métropolitaine. 3 Go avec mobile 3G. Débit réduit au-delà des 100 Go / 3 Go.

With my android phone, if Iturn off WIFI and turn on data roaming, then a symbol comes up showing network eg H, 3, 4
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You may be right, i am a Free abonnée and my €2 (free) sim card remains in the dumbphone, the new one came from the vente privé for €1 per month, in any case so far in any month I have not used a fraction of  one single gigawhatevertheyare.

 

Will try your tip thanks!

 

Tried it and the display shows a tiny + beside the signal strength when data roaming on and Wi-Fi off, so small I needed a jewellers loupe to see it.

 

I did not know that data roaming was turned off, I have used the phone to access my banks etc when out and about so what is data roaming?

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Hi All, could be that in the rush to get on with it, I bought a 1G SIM on Reglo from Leclerc. It may well have run out of limits, but was not sure where I could check for that.

Anyway, my new sim was ordered from Free and hope it gets here soon!

Not sure how I managed to burn through so much data , but there we go.

Definitely could not connect even with 3G showing, it just said network unavailable so may well be the out of limits scenario.

My shiny new phone tells you at the top of the screen, which service is connected and at what signal.

Will update as and when I can peeps.

Johnnyboy.

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Normally you would access the internet via WIFI on your phone through your ISP on your fixed line ASDL service. When your out and about data roaming will access the internet via your mobile signal - in your case Free. If data roaming is turned off you won't be able to access the internet except via WIFI when away from home.
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