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In-between ISP's - How viable is 4g as a "get by" for a few months?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by Gimpymoo, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    So, I tried to "bluff" Virgin by saying "Please cancel all my services" in the hope they call me and offer something better (They usually do) but ultimately, they have called my bluff with 5 days to go and no call.

    Soo... You need to be disconnected for about 3 or 4 months before you can become a "New" customer. I did know they might call my bluff and truth be told, was time to "Trim the fat" of the services I no longer wanted.

    My current setup is:

    Virgin SH> Pf Sense appliance> Switch> WAP x2

    There are 4 desktops and various "smart" devices in the house.

    So, in the interim I have thought of picking up a 4g router and going for an "unlimited" data bundle, about £20/25 a month.

    https://smarty.co.uk/plans/unlimited - (THREE Network) - Coverage is good in my area

    Do the networks do anything to actively prevent such use? I assume they see the data is only being consumed by a single device? In this case, my router so only 1 IP address in use. Do they still get flagged?

    Many thanks for any help.
     
  2. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 66,950

    Most networks "allow" "tethering" these days - but you might find you get put onto a lower priority so things slow down a bit more at peak times compared to a mobile user (I'm not sure which if any of the networks currently enforce this). If you get unlucky they might kick you off but seems pretty rare.

    How doable it is will depend a lot on the reception you get for the various networks and how good/bad local contention might be - anything from a pretty reasonable and completely usable experience through to constant disconnections, 1+ second latency spikes and speeds more like dialup.

    Since moving from a reasonable size town and having multiple 80/20 lines to out in the sticks with a single 30/5 FTTC connection and lucky to have that I've been filling in with a TP-Link TL-MR6400 and 4G plan and so far it has been about as good as I could hope for on 4G especially given the circumstances (I'm 2.5km from the masts with no line of sight). Aside from at peak times I get 30-40Mbit down, 10Mbit up and mostly stable latency in the upper 30ms and very very rare for the connection to drop so even FPS games are just about doable albeit not as ideal as I'd like. Peak times the speeds drop a bit often around 13-19Mbit down and latency can rise to around 70-80ms the odd time I've seen it drop as low as 8Mbit down 2Mbit up but that fortunately has been an exception. For general browsing and things like YouTube, Netflix, etc. it has been pretty much seamless - very slightly less snappy page loading times than the fixed line but not dramatically so.
     
  3. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    Thank you for the reply @Rroff

    Any problem with carrier grade NAT at all? I know it can be a pain in the butt for online gaming services?
     
  4. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 66,950

    I have had mixed experiences with that - so far with this router and Virgin Mobile plan I've not encountered any that impact on my usage aside from 1-2 games where I can't host but doesn't stop me playing (as long as there are others who can host). With other devices and networks it has been a more mixed story - sometimes I can't even use Steam because of it when using a phone as a hot spot but I've not had that problem with this router/network combination.
     
  5. Bounce

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 22, 2011

    Posts: 1,336

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Seems a lot to go through just to save a couple of quid a month.

    As for 4G its generally crap for gaming and streaming, but if you just want to browse the internet its fine.

    But its all to do with the signal in your area and how many people are connected /downloading in your area at that time.

    Could you just not switch to another provider, e.g Sky?
     
  6. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    I am cancelling other services so saving quiet a bit.

    They offered me over the odds for broadband only so screw them. The "new customer" deals are pretty good and can also get a rollling 30 day contract which for the time being, is preferred.

    Currently using the 400Mbps service (Average about 350-370 in real world) and switching provider would yield much lower speeds.

    Would rather the money is in my account than theirs :D
     
  7. Mr Bolt

    Associate

    Joined: Dec 3, 2011

    Posts: 11

    Location: Aberdeen

    Can't say ive experienced the same

    at least with THREE, gaming,streaming,torrenting and browsering have all been fine (about 30mbps at peak times)

    This was before i switched to a FTTP connection.
     
  8. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,402

    Technically within 30 days you are an existing customer and don’t require a credit check, beyond that it gets slightly murky, every sales person has signed a contract stating they check the address for previous accounts/debt etc. realistically I can only think of one example in literally thousands of accounts where this was done. Sales are commission based, they just want to key an order, that said retentions could reconnect your TV/Broadband in under 60 seconds if you asked.... Phone line is 2-24hrs as COSAR needs updating for the 999 database.
     
  9. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    So if I go back in 4 months, I assume they will go through credit reference agencies then?

    From what you are saying, I could try after a week on a Friday afternoon and hope I get through to someone needing a sale?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  10. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,402

    As I clearly said, within 30 days you aren’t required to do a credit check and would be a recon/on within minutes, sales won’t key a recon order and will likely try and key it as a new sale with a credit check, it’s highly unlikely they will care about the previous account - it’s month end and they have targets to hit.
     
  11. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    Appreciate the info @Avalon . Thank you.
     
  12. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    In answer to my question in the thread title...

    [​IMG]

    Sure ping is a little higher than I would like but those speeds are better than some get on fiber.

    Download does drop to around 50Mbps in the evenings but nothing to be disappointed by as a "get me by".

    Using a TP-Link MR600 which has its own issues BUT, with a little tinkering, seems to be doing the job. My biggest gripe is lack of Bridging mode.
     
  13. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,922

    Location: Nottingham

    Update:
    Three were being garbage in my area, online checker shows some problem since December but no ETA on fix. Data service is intermittent even though you still have an IP address. Is just for a second here and there but it plays havoc with SSL sites.

    Fair play to Smarty, they gave me a refund, no questions asked.

    I switched to VOXI (Vodafone) and although speed is lower, service is rock solid but £30 a month compared to the £20 for SMARTY (Three).

    Made an order online with Virgin Media at the discounted rate.

    £37 a month for 12 months is fine. £59 a month for the same service is not.

    Will see if they cancel the order. It is in the wifes name so maybe they will just see it as someone new moving in but obviously, the credit check info states "lived here longer than 3 years" so depends how diligent they are I guess.
     
  14. tres

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 16, 2007

    Posts: 6,834

    Location: UK

    Just in answer to your original question, a PAYG Three simcard and 25 quid a month in an old Moto G with hotspot got me through a few months of house move without issue!