I thought I would share a very cool device which really has improved my internet speeds. It is not security related, but often I post about things that I come across that are good.

I live in quite a rural location and I am a long distance from the local B.T telco phone exchange and there no plans for fibre this way for some time.

I have had a mixed experience with speed and reliably and my typical speed I would see would be around 1Mb download or less and 384kb upload. At one point I had 2Mb, but due to the distance from the exchange I would get a lot of CRC errors. Due to the way B.T works, it profiles your line speed based on quality. So if you pick up a lot of errors and look at your router they have profiled your line and forced it to 512kb. The only way I could get a stable ish line was reducing the error level SNR which gave me 1Mb and less errors. This is all simply as I am over the recommended distance from the local exchange, but out of my control.

I am with a mobile phone provider and signal is not bad, I can get 3G in most places within my home at around 1.6Mb but it was not stable enough for a broadband replacement as signal would drop.

I have since found a great 3G router that has 4x 3G antennas and shifts direction to find the best signal and boosts the signal by up to 3x you would see from a 3G dongle.  Using the same 3G sim card I can now get 7.9Mb with 1.6Mb upload. This is amazing speeds considering the location I am in has a weak phone signal. In major cities the most I have ever seen on my mobile was 5Mb on 3G.

The router is quite expensive (£285), but a working solution until they sort fibre optic internet in my area. I have looked into satellite solutions many times, although these offer good bandwidth the latency is poor which makes this only useful for downloading large files and not very good for VPNs or time sensitive applications.

My 3G sim is unlimited data with Three and is slightly cheaper than having my landline and broadband package. I could of course just tether my Iphone that also has a 3G unlimited sim card, but it sees a lot less speed as weaker signal and if you answer the phone quite often you loose 3G signal as it is so weak in my area.  So I have a dedicated 3G sim for this router.

If anyone else is having similar issues check out this device. I know it is not 50-100Mb like some lucky people have, but if you have put up with 1Mb for 3 years it a nice thing to have!

If has built in WIFI and LAN interfaces, firewall, web management interfaces etc.  Just connect to it as you would normally do on your home router. Also as it only requires a plug socket for power to operate, you can take it when travel and also if you have a car converter for the electric plug you have mobile internet on the move :). It will find 3G where your mobile probably cant.

 

This is the Deltenna Wibe Hs7 mobile broadband extender.

 

Speed comparisons.

Before using my home broadband copper wire solution (offered as “upto 20Mb”).

Speed varied between 0.75Mb – 1.2Mb.

 

Using my 3G router

Speed sits around 4.7Mb – 7.90Mb