• 0

UK 4/5G router


 Share

Question

I’m starting a new job soon which is fully remote, but that comes with a problem.

 

If my ISP goes down then I’ll need some kind of backup.

 

Normally you’d just tether from your phone, but signal in my house is awful (all network providers the same), I have EE myself and I know they are putting in a new 5G mast which will be much closer to my house, but the problem is work hasn’t started so who knows when it’ll be in by.

 

So, I was thinking does anyone know of a cheapish 4/5G router, which I could put my EE sim in and use that until my ISP is back?

 

I suppose really, if there’s a good router would it pick more signal up than my phone? In my mind a dedicated router which have much better antennas than my mobile, but don’t really want to buy it if it won’t enhance my signal.

 

This is what I found but no idea if it’s any good

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-MR6400-Unlocked-Configuration-Required-External/dp/B016ZWXYXG 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

You're talking about 4/5G as in phones, right? Router's don't come with 4/5G

 

Wireless 4 is TOTALLY different thing.

 

I think what you are looking for is a data plan. A hotspot. Like this: https://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot-iot-connected-devices/inseego-5g-mifi-m2000?sku=610214666598 (just an example)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

you know what OP means, hotspot routers are still routers.

 

OP you could check with your wireless provider to see if there's any specific models/devices they support. I'd recommend checking with them anyway as often times you'll need a different kind of data plan for pure hotspot use.

 

edit: another reason I say go through your provider directly is, unlike normal routers 4G/5G hotspot dedicated routers tend to be pricy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TCL-HH500E-Smarthome-Qualcomm-Snapdragon/dp/B0949HXM14/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

5G supported routers are still very expensive. Your suggestion will work just fine, if 4G speeds is something you can work with.

personally I got my eyes on this one ZyxelNR5101 5G WiFi 6 Router - mostly because the landlord doesn't want fiber to be installed in the condo ( I can get 1/1gbit for 38USD month).
in the meantime I've been using my mobile phone as a hotspot ( Samsung S20 Ultra5G) so I get about 1gbit download and around 5-600mbit upload, which isn't bad, but it's inconvenient to go through the procedure.

 

The placement of the router/mobile phone in your hour matters for how good the reception is. So if you place the router near a window - facing the nearest antenna ( there are apps that will let you know where are senders are in your area) it will be better than having the phone inside a room, where you do your work on your laptop.

 

Another fact, at least here in where i live, is that if you opt in an 'extra' sim card to use with a router , is more expensive monthly and has data limits, than purchasing a "free data" mobile phone plan.
So having an extra mobile phone working as a router with a free data plan is cheaper than anything else. Maybe in your country there are other options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 06/12/2021 at 13:37, Mindovermaster said:

Router's don't come with 4/5G

They do ;)

 

In the enterprise something like the cradlepoint E100 would be used for remote workers, etc. But as mentioned they not "cheap" ;)

 

For a home user there is stuff like the netgear AX4 WiFi 6 Router with 4G LTE Built-in Modem (LAX20)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 06/12/2021 at 14:04, BudMan said:

They do ;)

 

In the enterprise something like the cradlepoint E100 would be used for remote workers, etc. But as mentioned they not "cheap" ;)

 

For a home user there is stuff like the netgear AX4 WiFi 6 Router with 4G LTE Built-in Modem (LAX20)

 

Really? Hmm..

 

But doesn't your ISP have to support, that LAX20? Before you can use it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 06/12/2021 at 13:46, Mindovermaster said:

Really? Hmm..

 

But doesn't your ISP have to support, that LAX20? Before you can use it?

Not if you put it behind their router. Or if like here you have fibre and they don't care what router you attach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

@Mindovermaster that netgear will work with multiple cell carriers, tmobile att verizon, clearway

 

Yes you would need the LTE modem and sim that can talk to your cell carrier.   Quite often the LTE is meant as a fallback connection when your primary goes out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 06/12/2021 at 21:06, BudMan said:

@Mindovermaster that netgear will work with multiple cell carriers, tmobile att verizon, clearway

 

Yes you would need the LTE modem and sim that can talk to your cell carrier.   Quite often the LTE is meant as a fallback connection when your primary goes out.

Oh, OK, wasn't aware of that. Never really cared about it, I guess.. :laugh: 

 

(copies this down in my BudMan booklet)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Is signal outside your house a lot better then indoors? if not i doubt a 4g router will really improve things that much.

 

If yes then a Wireless Bridge might be another option as you won't have a dedicated sim for this anyway by the sounds of it: https://www.amazon.co.uk/BrosTrend-802-11ac-433Mbps-150Mbps-WNA016/dp/B0118SPFCK/ (I've not personally used this bridge, just as an example).

 

Put the phone by a window, set the wireless bridge to connect to the phones hotspot, then connect the ethernet cable from the bridge to your routers WAN port or device you wish to use and away you go.

 

Cheaper than a 4g router and you can take advantage of 5g in the future if your phone supports it. Also saves you the inconvenience of having to take the sim out your phone and not been able to answer calls / texts.

 

You would be behind a double NAT doing that, however realistically for general web browsing as a backup it should be fine in my experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I am also curious like @InsaneNutterwhat is the connection like if your phone is outside?

 

Kind of on a side note, because his phone is not getting enough signal to be useful..  But my phone does, so what I can do if such a scenario happened, is I can tether my phone to my normal router (pfsense) via the phone cable to usb..  This provides internet then for the whole house through wired or wireless connections.  No sim swapping, no change to different wifi

 

Other option is just go to some hotspot, starbucks, the library, etc.

 

You might also want to think about power outages - just because your power goes out, doesn't mean your internet is down.  But if your router, switches and or AP do not have power your in the same boat.  My networking gear is all on ups.  And while it can not last hours and hours.  If power is out for 20-30 minutes I still have internet. 

 

Many of us are in a work from home scenario now - myself included.  If internet was out for a short period, just time to take a break is all ;)  Shoot its not like we didn't have network or power outages at the office at times.

 

Another option is to bring in just another wired internet provider.  Get whatever cheapest plan you can get from them as your backup.  This could be more cost effective then some data plan from cell provider, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

If your phone doesn't get enough signal to be useful then a 4G/5G modem is unlikely to be that much better, it may be slightly better, especially if you put an external antenna on it, but even so don't expect miracles.
This may or may not be relevant, but be aware that cellular connections tend to use CGNAT.

 

As Budman says a second wired provider is a option, but this is only useful if they are not both susceptible to a single point of failure upstream - If you can get Fibre (real FTTP) and/or Virgin or a similar cable provider as circuit A and some form of xDSL service on circuit B then you'd be pretty solid, but getting a pair of VDSL(FTTC)/ADSL circuits you'd likely find an issue that affected one would affect them both as they'd be coming down over the same piece of copper and terminating in the same exchange (albeit potentially in different DSLAMs).


We do cellular failovers for customers, and normally we use Cradlepoint devices as the cellular modem, although I did use a Netgear something or other which worked fine in a pinch.

 

I do this at home as well, but with a Huwawi 4G modem (because I can't justify a £500 Cradlepoint!) - Sophos XG with Fibre modem on WAN1, 4G on WAN2 and a failover rule and it works well, apart from the alert that's fired and the massive drop in bandwidth from symmetric gig to 8/6Mbps it's pretty seamless.
There are a few wrinkles if someone was doing something that gets upset if the source address suddenly changes, but a refresh sorts that (and I've seen it, correctly, trip up the impossible travel aspect of Azure's identity protection as it sees you move 200 miles in 2 minutes as the provider locations are so different)

 

Once you head down the redundancy rabbit hole things can get expensive pretty quickly - what would you do in the event of a piece of equipment failing - in an enterprise you can (budget allowing) cover all the bases, but in a home environment this is less practical.

Say you get a 4G/5G Modem and sort out a failover on a router, then you have the issue of what happens if the router itself fails and so on.
In my case I could migrate or restore my firewall VM on to another host and have it back up in 30 mins or so should the physical hardware fail, but if the next piece of equipment failed I'd be screwed as I don't have a spare L3 switch lying about, I could work around it - but it'd mean a bit of work to re-config stuff.

 

You can't realistically cover all the bases - there are still a few 1000 houses without power up north (in the UK) and nothing is going to help short of a generator there.


Generally you just have to prove you've done as much as you can be expected to at home - if the company is THAT serious that you cannot be offline then it's down to them to provide the required equipment and once the costs get floated it generally goes very quiet and isn't as critical as it seemed before the money got involved.
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I recently installed one of these https://linitx.com/product/mikrotik-wap-ac-4g-kit---dual-band-wifi-4g-wireless-access-point/16061 at a nightclub as a redundant connection in case their main vDSL connection drops out. You can install it outdoors, up nice and high to get the best possible signal, and just run a (shielded) ethernet cable to it for network & power

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 07/12/2021 at 06:12, grunger106 said:

if the company is THAT serious that you cannot be offline then it's down to them to provide the required equipment and once the costs get floated it generally goes very quiet and isn't as critical as it seemed before the money got involved.

haha - so freaking true! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I done some more digging and the Archer M6000 is basically what I need and not bad price. As part of my new job I get a one off wodge of cash to pay for home office things.

 

Indoor speeds of 4G are around 1.5mbps, outdoors in garden is around 40mbps.

 

I did look at having a backup ISP but the cost of something I probably won’t use too often isn’t justifiable to me.

 

The company hasn’t mentioned anything about covering this and that, just from my last role which was mostly working from home if my ISP (Virgin) went down.

 

It was either tether to work phone at stupidly slow speeds and pretend to be busy until broadband came back or walk 10 minutes into the office, but new job I won’t have that option of going on at all.

 

If I was the boss I’d say to my employee that they’ll have to make the time up or take holiday, but I am a beast haha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.