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Networks Boosting phone 4G and Wifi strength. Patch/boost antennas?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Otis1337, 9 Jul 2014.

  1. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    So im looking at getting a 4G phone with unlimited data and scrapping my broadband.

    Tethering my phones unlimited 4G plan via FoxFi to my devices at home (Computer / PS3)

    The 2 cites im close to both get around 30meg download connecting, which is the same speed as my virgin fiber, with around 30-70 ping which i can live with.

    Heres the thing, i dont know much about wireless/network frequencies

    Iv been looking at mobile phone antenna compatible to boost my potential 4G connection and maybe double up to boost my phones tethering wifi signal making it almost as effective at a hub/router.

    Can one antenna do both things?

    ##############################

    Frequencies used on the O2 UK network
    Frequency Protocol Class
    900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
    1,800 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
    900 MHz UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+ 3G
    2,100 MHzUMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+ 3G
    800 MHz LTE 4G

    Frequencies used on the EE network
    Frequency Protocol Class
    1,800 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
    2,100 MHz UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ 3G
    800 MHz LTE (planned) 4G
    1,800 MHz LTE 4G
    2,600 MHz LTE-Advanced 4G

    Now from what i can tell, all 4G networks in the UK will be on 800Mhz but o2 (who's 4G connection ill be using) started out on 800Mhz.

    In order for me to make use of an passive/patch/boost antenna do i need to match the antenna frequencies to the mobile data networks frequencies?

    Videos of similar things im looking to do.
    http://youtu.be/nFC7J8zkoUQ
    http://youtu.be/UOiOQX6thoQ
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2014
  2. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    I 100% insist that you actually try this for a week before scrapping your broadband.

    First of all, I'm not sure anyone actually offers unlimited 4G plans, especially not O2 and EE? Three did, but I believe only for customers before Feb 2014.

    Second of all, I've played games using 3G with a download speed of 14mbps and a ping of supposedly 50ms. Unplayable. It'd be fine for a minute, then laggy as all hell, then fine, then laggy.

    What's more, a cheap ADSL connection (or VMs 30mb naked fibre) + a sim only deal would probably cost you about the same anyway, and net you more reliable speeds!
     
  3. Votick

    Votick My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    I can find out from the engineers at work for you. After all they design the chips in your phones xD
     
  4. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    http://giffgaff.com/goodybags/12pound-goodybag
    £12 a month, none contract
    Its unlimited, so long you don't take the piss.

    That be good Votick! cheers!

    I get the £12 phone package anyway, my VM bill is £26.50 a month.
    4G connection is far better than 3G in every way, so its hard to compare a 3G gaming connection to a 4G one.
    Iv got a friend that plays on 4G and has not had any problems yet. A quick Google search shows a lot of people using a strong 4G connection that it almost as good a broadband.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2014
  5. Ljs

    Ljs Well-Known Member

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    Similar position here (hence this thread)

    My broadband is absolutely terrible - 2.1mbps (out of a maxium of 4) and that is the best I can get on my road. I wouldn't mind but I'm hardly in the sticks really. Had engineers out and they said to for me to ask to be stuck on another card at the exchange but they never did that either.

    Should be getting 4G here by the end of the year so I'm thinking about doing the same. I can't even play 50% of games with friends as my connection is so awful (always loses connection in the game) but this can be better with Himachi running.

    Everywhere I have lived (including in cities) I've never been too impressed with my broadband but I have never had fibre. Not particularly a fan of the monopoly BT has on all the lines so it's a nice two finger salute to line rental.

    Nothing to add, I just fancied getting that off my chest.

    I'll be moving along now. *walks out whistling nonchalantly*
     
  6. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    I've got unlimited 4g with 3 it was a free upgrade although I can't get 4g where I live, it's handy when I'm in London.
     
  7. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    EE's 4G is peaking at 60meg in some places! where the average in a 4G covered area is between 15-30meg (across o2, ee, three ect) which is still bloody impressive.

    Its not just the speed thats a massive improvement over 3G, its the bandwidth and wall penetration as well which makes this a interesting alternative to over priced home broadband lines.

    together with a 3rd part antenna like i was talking about above i cant see any point for virgin media any more so long i dont take the piss with my monthly downloads
     
  8. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Apart from Giff Gaff only run a 3G network right now, and when they do finally get a 4G network up and running the max data cap looks like it'll be a giant..... 2GB.
     
  9. Ljs

    Ljs Well-Known Member

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    Meh, its all about Three tbh. I'll keep my GiffGaff sim just so my family can contact me for free but the £12.90 all you can eat data plan from Three has got to be the winner - they apparently have the best coverage too.
     
  10. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    ah shyt... didnt know it would so low as 2GB :(

    Three do "All-you-can-eat" data, 600 minutes, 5000 texts for £18.90 a month. 1 month contract.

    Or a "one package" that has "all-you-can-eat", with tethering permitted for £23 with loads of minutes and texts. Again, just a 1 month contract

    But as it stands now, three have the worst signal for 4G
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2014
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    You'll struggle to find a mobile provider that'll let you do what you want. The vast majority ban tethering on their 'unlimited' packages. The linked Giffgaff £12 deal? "Tethering is not permitted on £12 goodybag." Three killed off its unlimited tethering option on the One Plan OP mentions in March, enforcing a limit of just 2GB, so that ain't an option either. The rest of the providers are the same. And yes, they can tell when you use your phone (or SIM in a separate device) for tethering, and they will kick you off the network.
     
  12. favst89

    favst89 New Member

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    I'll leave the network allowances and data cap side of the issue to others and focus on the frequency question since I know something about that from my work.

    You can use an antenna like the ones linked to boost your signal but you do have to match the frequencies. There are models that will do larger frequency sets however they usually cost more and tend to have a lower gain.
    It depends on the area you are in and the current signal you get. We have had one and aligned the outside unit to the antenna and placed the inside unit in a good location and it provided no noticeable improvement to us, either it didn't work or the signal to boost was so poor it couldn't do anything with it. We were aiming at improving call quality so got a boost box type device in the end that runs off our broadband.

    The unit in the first video may be useful for data but not so much for voice as you have to have the phone on top of it. The second unit may provide less gain but you can move around freely.
    Then you come to the matter of the frequencies themselves. Generally higher frequencies will be faster but have a shorter network range, when looking at the same standard. Be careful about boosters that are claimed to work in other countries or don't list the frequencies, some places have very strange networks indeed.
     
  13. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    I get unlimited data with 3, except, if I tether they get sad, fair usage is about 4gb (mine is higher than the 2gb cap, don't know why, my contract is ancient though, 10 years!), if I go above that they send me texts telling me to stop tethering or be in big trouble.

    That's only happened a few times, but I wouldn't rely on it for my sole internet connection. I just use it for mobile working.
     
  14. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    I've tried this before with a 4g connection when I was working away even paying to tether the cap still applys. There was no unlimited data unlimited teather option last time I checked.

    Ping in game was also a major issue, in the centre of London I had 15ms and 72mbps connection league of legends was still unplayable on this connection. Due to the intermittent spikes that the connection gets.

    Mobile internet changes speed on the fly which makes it unsuitable for online gaming.

    A stable 2mb connection gives better online gaming than a unstable 50mb connection.

    The tether caps are all workable if only doing general web browsing though.

    Test it for a weekend most phones can tether easy enough. Load up what you intend to play and see how it goes.

    My game was more stable on 3G than 4g also for the record.
     
  15. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    You do still get more than 2Gb with three if on a sim only one plan, its the ones provided with phones that are limited.

    You don't need to tether with an app, most phones have portable hotspot built in.

    regarding antenna, the antenna for 4G is not the same as your wifi antenna.

    your best bet would likely be a proper 4G router which has good wifi you can put in best place for 4G signal, or place a repeater near your tethering device for wifi and take a small hit on additional latency.

    I also find 3G more reliable than 4G (at least with 3)

    regarding latency I have done a fair bit of graphics work on VPN via 3G without issue, don't see why gaming would be a problem.
     
  16. Votick

    Votick My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    I'm back.
    So they said ideally you want to match the frequencies however you might be able to get away with it if it slightly differs.

    They wern't bowled over with the idea of teathering your phone to provide all your home broadband. But it depends on what your doing on the connection.
     
  17. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    if you are going to do it for home use, find out if one of these bad boys will work for you, there is supposed to be a docking station for Ethernet available as well
     
  18. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    @Gareth
    FoxFi makes it so you can tether anyway
     
  19. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    I've got one of those with the 3 network they are good with mine you can connect up to 6 devices to it, but you still have pay a network tariff and the 3 one is less than half that price
     
  20. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No, it doesn't. I'm not talking about a carrier-branded handset removing the in-built tethering software: I'm talking about the mobile provider analysing the network traffic and seeing that it didn't come from your phone. That's how they can tell the difference between phone-generated traffic ('unlimited' subject to fair use policy) and tethered traffic (2GB limit, or completely forbidden.) It's called deep packet inspection, every mobile company in the land does it, and I can guarantee that you won't last a month using FoxFi before you either get a serious bill or kicked off the network altogether.

    I wasn't always a freelance writer, y'know. I used to be a sysadmin and network monkey. Believe me when I say I know what I'm talking about here. Or don't, and get disconnected/bankrupted. Your call.
     

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