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Old 01-03-2021, 07:56 PM   #1
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Ultimate data streaming setup?

Ever since AT&T shut down my Netgear M1100/iPad plan setup, I've been searching for another solution for my tv streaming and office data needs while on the road. Last trip out we went with Verizon and Visible powering our phones, but could never get consistent service from Visible and Verizon was surprisingly spotty. So with my new iPhone 12, I switched over to AT&T and am changing out my iPad Pro for a cellular pad, using the AT&T prepaid standalone plan. So far, so good, but I need to get as much "legal" data as possible...300-400GB+? It would also be advisable to have more than one carrier to select from at various locations. So here's my plan.....

T-Mobile seems to be very generous with their multiple lines marketing and they have TWO lines available for us seniors (55+ plan) at a cost of $55/mo. Data is a bit limited, however. I can use one sim in my wife's iPhone 6+ and another in my not-so-old Note 8, running on Android. Plus, T-M is offering a freebie with a Galaxy Tab 8.4, capable of running 5G...unlocked, I was told! The combination of all these lines should deliver 300+GB before threat of "network management" with tower congestion. I should be able to upgrade both carriers' phone plans to higher data rates when traveling and drop down to cheaper plans when at home.

So now to aggregate all these data sources...using USB and NOT WiFi tethering. I plan to use a load-sharing device/router for this. A Pepwave device comes to mind, but I'm reluctant to use my WFR because it bogs down data flow. I also have a Pepwave SOHO which I could use manually, but isn't capable of load-sharing. Also, because Apple IOS14 devices won't tether to most routers, I would use a GL-iNet router, a device which apparently has solved the Apple non-tethering problem. This router would plug directly into my load-sharing device, along with a direct tie from my Android devices.

So this system, while not perfect, would allow me a large amount of data at a quite reasonable cost, which can be lowered when not on the road and in a "standby" mode. Also, it would provide me carrier flexibility, lower data consumption per carrier when in use and diversity across areas we travel. A drawback would be my strength of signal may not be as good as the Nighthawk because of lack of antenna capability.

So there is is...I'd be interested in commentary and suggestions to improve on this approach.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:16 PM   #2
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I have the AT&T stand alone postpaid unlimited Ipad plan for $20 and it works perfect for me.
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Old 01-05-2021, 09:27 PM   #3
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So now to aggregate all these data sources...using USB and NOT WiFi tethering.
Check out the WiFiRanger Aspen without a modem - not sure if you have one or not

https://wifiranger.com/shop/routers/indoor/aspen/

I've looked at the Pepwave Loadbalancers and they start at 300 and up depending on many inbound. I think the one I would have to get was 600.

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I'm reluctant to use my WFR because it bogs down data flow
You can use just the WFR "WiFiRanger if you have one" for inbound/outbound connections and then add a home router for WIFI in the RV - have been using Asus AC1900 RT-AC68U with good results and there is a ton of internet support "Merlin firmware" for it.

I do not use USB because my hotspots have batteries and they are all on smart plugs so they don't over charged or used ethernet to the router.

DOCJ - I think has had a USB hub setup with his WIFI Ranger and several hotspots connected to it. You could PM him if you want details
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Old 01-05-2021, 10:17 PM   #4
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T-Mobile seems to be very generous with their multiple lines marketing and they have TWO lines available for us seniors (55+ plan) at a cost of $55/mo. Data is a bit limited, however. I can use one sim in my wife's iPhone 6+ and another in my not-so-old Note 8, running on Android. Plus, T-M is offering a freebie with a Galaxy Tab 8.4, capable of running 5G...unlocked, I was told! The combination of all these lines should deliver 300+GB before threat of "network management" with tower congestion. I should be able to upgrade both carriers' phone plans to higher data rates when traveling and drop down to cheaper plans when at home.
You appear to have overlooked that T-Mobile is currently offering a 100GB/mo data only plan for $50 and is offering a 5G Inseego M2000 hotspot for 50% off. It's such a good deal that I now have two of them for 200GB/mo.
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Old 01-05-2021, 10:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, Doc, but I am well aware of T-Mobile's offering, but think I can do better with my AT&T phone plan which will go up to and likely over 100GB, depending on tower loadings. Then the AT&T or T-Mobile tablet plans are likely to get me that kind of data for 20 bucks each. And I can downgrade my carrier plans when not on the road...with that $50 plan I don't think I could do that.

BTW....when you tether two USB connections to your router through a hub, do you feel you are getting any kind of load balancing that way? I know you are partial to your WFR products, but as you know, I have not had decent performance with my WRF Elite and Sky products...so am reluctant to try the new offerings. I need to be better convinced, I guess.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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BTW....when you tether two USB connections to your router through a hub, do you feel you are getting any kind of load balancing that way? I know you are partial to your WFR products, but as you know, I have not had decent performance with my WRF Elite and Sky products...so am reluctant to try the new offerings. I need to be better convinced, I guess.
When I connect multiple devices to my Ranger, whether it is with a USB tether, WiFi or Ethernet, I know I am getting load balancing because the Ranger provides me with detailed usage charts and graphs showing how much data is used by each connection. I don't know how much more "evidence" of load balancing you would want.

As for your prior experiences with the older WiFiRanger routers, all I can say is that products do evolve and improve. The Ranger I have today is several generations in hardware and firmware beyond the first one I had more than 10 years ago.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:02 PM   #7
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Howdy!

I’ve been using a FMCA Sprint unlimited MiFi hotspot for several months now. FMCA offers it to members for $49.99 a month. It is truly unlimited as we use from 500 to 800gb a month streaming everything from Netflix, Amazon Prime, ATT TV Now etc... We are not traveling much the past year but it has worked when we do. At our home base in Livingston the signal is week and I use a WeBoost Seek and get a great signal. As stated last month I use over 800gb.

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Old 01-12-2021, 05:02 PM   #8
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With your FMCA Sprint unlimited MiFi what quality do you get on Netflex? 1080p is the min I would want for watching TV.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:59 PM   #9
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With your FMCA Sprint unlimited MiFi what quality do you get on Netflex? 1080p is the min I would want for watching TV.
IMHO that's a pretty high bar to clear. Many cellular plans are limited to 720p or less.

My perspective is rather different; if the picture is watchable and doesn't have rebuffering pauses, I'm fine with it. Most of what I watch is casual entertainment; I don't need cinema quality video for that. JMO.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:02 PM   #10
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With your FMCA Sprint unlimited MiFi what quality do you get on Netflex? 1080p is the min I would want for watching TV.
Howdy!

We have no problems streaming Netflix’s, AmazonPrime and ATT TV Now using Apple TV and the quality is good. Just last month we used over 800gbs with the FMCA Sprint MiFi.

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Old 01-12-2021, 06:05 PM   #11
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Regarding the 100gb Tmobile plan can anyone tell us what the video quality tends to be with the plan. I see on their website that it is typically 480 and I'm hoping most are getting better than that. Also, have you noticed any throttling after using a 100 gigs. I know it's a new plan so it may be too soon to tell
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:14 PM   #12
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Regarding the 100gb Tmobile plan can anyone tell us what the video quality tends to be with the plan. I see on their website that it is typically 480 and I'm hoping most are getting better than that. Also, have you noticed any throttling after using a 100 gigs. I know it's a new plan so it may be too soon to tell
Typically bandwidth is throttled to about 1.5-2.0 mbps on video streams when the target is 480. Depending on how tight control is and how well a service buffers data you might see higher resolution, just depends.

On the 100GB T-Mobile plan there will be hard throttling (to 128 kbps) after 100 GB, that is clearly stated in the plan T&Cs. Some of the boilerplate on the signup pages is poorly written, first it said the plan 'may be network managed after 50 GB', now it says it 'may be managed' after 100 GB, but that doesn't make sense because in actuality the plan is hard-throttled to 2G speeds at 100 GB, or so says T-Mobile in the plan details.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:41 PM   #13
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Typically bandwidth is throttled to about 1.5-2.0 mbps on video streams when the target is 480. Depending on how tight control is and how well a service buffers data you might see higher resolution, just depends.
I'm using two M2000 hotspots in a load balancing router along with a grandfathered prepaid unlimited Verizon SIM.

I agree that my M2000 appears to be throttled to ~1.5-2.0 Mbps but with multiple streams, I would estimate my video resolution to vary between 480p and 720p. As long as it is clear and doesn't rebuffer I can live with that.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:48 PM   #14
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When I connect multiple devices to my Ranger, whether it is with a USB tether, WiFi or Ethernet, I know I am getting load balancing because the Ranger provides me with detailed usage charts and graphs showing how much data is used by each connection. I don't know how much more "evidence" of load balancing you would want.

As for your prior experiences with the older WiFiRanger routers, all I can say is that products do evolve and improve. The Ranger I have today is several generations in hardware and firmware beyond the first one I had more than 10 years ago.
Joel, are you saying the Aspen will EVENLY draw from all connected data sources, including , say, 3 sources connected via a USB hub? ...And via a WiFi connection, as well as an ethernet cable? If it can, sounds like an amazing device and I want one!
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