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Old 10-10-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Upgrade MiFi 4620L to MiFi 6620L or MHS 291L

Has anyone upgraded from a Verizon MiFi 4620L to a Verizon MiFi 6620L or MHS 291L?

If so, what, if any, changes in performance did you experience? The spec sheets on the Verizon are not very informative. They indicate that battery life is improved, they are "world ready" (no value to us), that they will accommodate many devices, etc.

What they don't say is are the newer devices better at receiving/transmitting the network signals between the device and Verizon and/or the signals between the device and our computers-tablets-phones.

The MiFi4620L works very well and we've rarely been in a location where we could not connect to the Verizon network. Our main complaint is that the Local Area Network (LAN) supported by the MiFi4620L seems weak. The smartphones just about have to be in the same room as the MiFi4620L to connect via WiFi.

Our original 2-year contract is up on the MiFi so upgrading will not cost much. We're just wondering if there's anything to be gained by it.

We use the MiFi4620L as our one and only internet access method at home and in the coach.

TIA,
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:23 PM   #2
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The Verizon MiFi 6620L is XLTE compatible, so could give you greater speed.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
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Thanks, John. More speed would be good. Am continuing to research. It's beginning to look like the problem of connectivity between our devices (laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc.) and the MiFi hotspot within a useful radius is more likely to be solved with a wireless router than a different hotspot.

Keep the ideas coming.

Thanks again,
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoCoDave View Post
Thanks, John. More speed would be good. Am continuing to research. It's beginning to look like the problem of connectivity between our devices (laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc.) and the MiFi hotspot within a useful radius is more likely to be solved with a wireless router than a different hotspot.

Keep the ideas coming.

Thanks again,
You would want to make sure what you got could be configured as a wireless repeater rather than a router. The MiFi Hotspot is the router. You want a device that can take the MiFi wireless and resend it. The Hawking HAW2R1 is an example.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Giving up MIFI. Using phone as wifi hotspot. Save $40 per month. Or, $480 per year. Or, 120 plus gallons of diesel.


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Old 10-14-2014, 08:26 AM   #6
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We have the 4620. The biggest problem is it goes dormant. This is a known issue, there is a firmware update that improves this problem. It must be downloaded and is not available for an over the air update.

The weak router performance can be fixed by the addition of a router like pep wave or wifiranger. Both allow wifi over Wan, the ranger allows a tethered operation.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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Hello Dave - I did swap out a 4260 for the 291 (Millenicom/Verizon) and the 291 supports the XLTE (aka AWS). I usually see speeds in the 15Mbps range and the fastest I have seen is 53Mbps. It is very variable depending on where I am in the country.

On the WiFi side, I have not seen any issues within the motorhome. I have seen interference from something else (I assume a neighbors faulty router). To resolve this I force the 291 to a different channel (1,6,11) and that helps. Also, although, I have not tried it yet, the 291 supports the 5GHz channels. The point here is that external interference could be a factor in WiFi quality (other WiFi devices, microwave, cordless phones, etc).


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Old 10-14-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys. It's beginning to get a little more clear. I tried a Wilson Sleek 4G and it helps on the outdoor side - i.e. between the Jetpack and the cell tower. The remaining area needing improvement is on the indoor side - i.e. between the smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc. and the Jetpack.

I use the term "Jetpack" to suppress my tendency to confuse the distinctions between router, repeater, extender, access point, etc.

Our 16Mbps download speeds are adequate at home. As mentioned above, it can vary widely depending on location. But even in a place like Quartzsite, we're happy with the speed.

Now we need a gadget to improve the connectivity indoors. In the coach it's not much of a problem. Though when DW goes to the rear of the coach and closes the intervening doors she sometimes experiences difficulty with her smart phone on the internet. This while using the WiFi feature via the Jetpack. It's at the sticks & bricks house where maintaining WiFi to Jetpack connectivity becomes more of a problem.

Now the gadget mentioned above might be an MHS291L or a MiFi6620L and that was my original thinking when I started looking at this. But while they offer improvements in technology (e.g. XLTE) it's hard to quantify what improvement could be expected in WiFi signal strength. An extender or booster would presumably increase the range and reliability of the "indoor" connectivity. And that's where I think I'll look now and save the Jetpack upgrade for the time when I'm satisfied with the rest of the configuration.

With the possibility of there being 2 or 3 devices simultaneously connected to the internet I believe that the speed or capacity of the extender/booster is a consideration.

Given all of the above, what specs would be most important to consider when selecting an extender/booster?

Thanks again for the information you have provided.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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I really don't understand why you are having a problem with the JetPack WiFi. With ours, it can be in the motor home and we can connect from the house 50' away. I know that most of them will do that because I can see every ones JetPacks when we campout together. I wouldn't worry about the capacity of the repeater if you only have 4 or 5 devices.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond with your experiences. Based on those replies, here's what I did.

Bought and installed a Pepwave Surf SOHO wireless router. It immediately solved the problem of weak-cranky-intermittent connectivity between our various devices and the Jetpack. I did not get the optional external antennas.

Pepwave Router

Maybe our Jetpack is weak but I tend to think that the noisy EMI (electromagnetic-interference) environment at the stick house is most of the problem. We don't often have these kinds of difficulties in the coach. But then there is a lot less distance between the various devices and the Jetpack in the coach.

Here's a very crude drawing of the configuration. There's also a Wilson Sleek 4G signal amplifier that I can hook up when we get into weak Verizon signal areas.



FWIW
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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One nice thing about the 6620 Jetpack is that it turns off it's WiFi radio when tethered. That doesn't (or didn't) happen with the 4620. I just plug mine into the Pepwave SoHo, select "tethered" on the Jetpack display and everything is running.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:04 PM   #12
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Thanks, Roger, for the tip. I'll keep that in mind. Right now I'm letting the dust settle on this recent re-configuration. The MiFi 6620L still looks interesting and I may go to that later.

To the extent practical I try to keep everything wireless since we move the whole shootin' match from the stick house to the coach and back as needed.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:50 PM   #13
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I just got the 6620 and did a speed test. Much faster than my 4620
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:54 AM   #14
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I just got the 6620 and did a speed test. Much faster than my 4620
That's good to know. My last speed test on OOKLA using the Jetpack 4620L yielded 16.04 down and 11.31 up. That was before the Pepwave.

FWIW
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