2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

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Brady_ls
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2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Brady_ls » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:53 pm

Hi All,

I am new to this and need guidance on my set up. I want to stay budget friendly (who doesn't) and as user friendly as possible. I am fairly tech-savvy, but have no coding experience.

Background
I just moved into a home where my only wired connection option is 3 Mbps DSL, so I started looking into the LTE option. My current set up is an unlimited AT&T sim in a Netgear LB1120-100NAS LTE modem which is connected with a pair of N-Type to TS9 pigtails to a Proxicast Cross-Polarized MIMO 10 dBi antenna. For WiFi I have my Apple AirPort Extreme plugged into the Ethernet port.

But, I have 2 issues:
1. The modem has a habit of jumping from band 4 ( 4/5 signal bars and 30-40Mbps) to Band 12 (5/5 signal bars and very slow).
2. I need more speed than 40Mbps. Ideal would be 100Mbps, but I a consistent 60Mbps would be acceptable.

Issue #1 (stay on band 4)
I just ordered a 1700-2700MHz 15dBi 4G LTE MIMO Directional Antenna from the LTE hacks store, with the thought that this would force the modem to stay on band 4 by cutting out the band 12 frequencies, and giving a stronger band 4 signal with the higher gain.

**Is this a good approach?


Issue #2 (more speed)
To gain more speed, I plan to add a second connection on another provider and bond the connections by running both of the modems/hotspots into a computer running Speedify.

I just got Sprint plan (via non-profit group) that came with a ZTE Warp Connect hotspot. The hotspot does have a signal at my house, but it is slow and weak. I tried connecting this to my Proxicast antenna, but it doesn't seem to do anything.

** Could the external TS9 ports on the ZTE be disabled or does it just not put out enough power for a high-gain external antenna?
** Can the ZTE work with an external antenna, or should I put the sim into a LTE Modem?

** Most important question: Is this an asinine approach? Should I do a totally different setup? What would you recommend?

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JimHelms
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by JimHelms » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:34 pm

Issue #1 (stay on band 4)
I just ordered a 1700-2700MHz 15dBi 4G LTE MIMO Directional Antenna from the LTE hacks store, with the thought that this would force the modem to stay on band 4 by cutting out the band 12 frequencies, and giving a stronger band 4 signal with the higher gain.

**Is this a good approach?
I personally do not like locking the bands and/or restricting frequencies as it restricts the device from utilizing Carrier Aggregation on those bands. I have no experience with the LB1120-100NAS so I can offer no advise or opinion why it chooses the slower bands over the others. Maybe someone else can offer a suggestion.
Issue #2 (more speed)
To gain more speed, I plan to add a second connection on another provider and bond the connections by running both of the modems/hotspots into a computer running Speedify.
I have used Connectify on several PC builds that were combination media center and WiFi router. When it worked, it worked well, but that was not often. It seemed very unfriendly to Android devices when sharing the WiFi. Most had to be configured and assigned a static IP. Then it was hit and miss when you tried to reconnect to the WiFi. That has been a year or two ago, and maybe they've made some improvements.

I do like the idea of bonding/link aggregation, and if I were to invest any time building a router or PC to use as a form of router, it would probably be via Ubuntu. See HERE and HERE for some ideas. But I question whether hotspots are adequate devices for a bond.
** Could the external TS9 ports on the ZTE be disabled or does it just not put out enough power for a high-gain external antenna?
** Can the ZTE work with an external antenna, or should I put the sim into a LTE Modem?
It is possible the Proxicast antenna you mention does not cover the bands/frequencies required for the Sprint ZTE. Or the antenna is trash or maybe even one of the connectors are bad. Since the new antenna you ordered covers bands 25 and 41, you could test it with the ZTE. Before I went overboard with purchasing a bunch of components to make a hotspot work, I would rethink my design strategy. A hotspot is not really made to be a router.

You have a good antenna. I would consider building a router to accommodate your AT&T or Sprint service plans. It is ultimately where most wind up anyway.

Brady_ls
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Brady_ls » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:13 pm

Thank you for the input! The antenna makes a big difference on the Netgear +AT&T signal strength and it does cover sprint frequencies, so I’m thinking the issue is that ZTE hotspot. I read some more reviews on it and it seems to be problematic and slow for a lot of people....

Thank you also for the bonding info.

What would you recommend for a router build? Do any of the LTE Fix products let you manually set bands?

I think I saw a link on router builds somewhere on here....

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JimHelms
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by JimHelms » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:35 pm

Most are using the Sierra Wireless MC7455 for custom builds. They will accept a lot of configurations to include locking bands.

A lot of builders use the MC7455 with our WE|WG line of LTE routers. There is a tutorial for building the WG3526-P.

Brady_ls
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Brady_ls » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:31 pm

Thanks! Other than the case, what is the difference between the WE826 and WE3926?

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JimHelms
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by JimHelms » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:03 pm

Brady_ls wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:31 pm
Thanks! Other than the case, what is the difference between the WE826 and WE3926?
I do not believe there is any difference other than the case. The WE3926 is new and there is not a GoldenOrb | ROOter firmware out for it yet. However, the WE826 firmware works without flaw (except it shows the device as being a WE826 in the UI header).

Didneywhorl
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Didneywhorl » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:58 pm

Is it possible to aggregate/link multiple modems on the 3526? Or even run two 3526s and bond the connections in one network?
LTE noob, for sure. Learning though.

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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Brady_ls » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:49 pm

I am going to butcher all of the terminology here, and I am sure I will get corrected by those smarter than me, but here is my layman's understanding.....

The 3526 has load balancing built in, but not bonding.

Load balancing is when a router manages two internet connections and routes device traffic through the connections based on bandwidth availability, so one device through connection A, and another through B. When a 3rd device connects, the router will send it's traffic through A or B depending on which has the most available bandwidth.

Load balancing two 40mbps connections would not show up as 80mbps on a speed test, because any single device cannot use both connections at once.

Bonding allows you combine the two 40's, into a single 80. A computer sits between your network router and the 2 connections/ modems and splits traffic apart. On the other end, you ned a remote server to re-comnbine the traffic. The is why bonding is often done with subscription service like Speedify.
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Jflex113
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Re: 2 Provider Bonded Setup for Newbie

Post by Jflex113 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:30 am

That is correct. Something to consider is in order to do either of these you will need 2 modems. But if it speed you are looking for you might want to look into the EM7565 (Cat 12). It is able to do 3xCA where as the MC/EM7455 (Cat 6) is only able to do 2xCA. So, you could get far fastest speeds with the Cat 12 modem vs. the Cat 6 modem and it would still be cheaper than buying 2 of everything for Cat 6 modem setup andddd you wouldn't have to pay for that monthly subscription to Speedify either. But here's the catch, you would have to confirm and make sure that you have a carrier in your area close enough to you that supports and broadcasts 3 bands of the same or different band so you can achieve 3xCA. I personal have both the MC7455 and the EM7565 and I love the EM7565. It has lower ping times typically and holds a connection for much longer than the older Cat 6 modem. Another nice thing about the EM7565 is that you don't need 3 antennas either it does all this while still using 2 antennas. I you have any questions feel free to ask.
"If you're going to be ignorant, you'd better be rich." - Cody D.

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