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Thread: General Purpose Home Internet

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by telmesrin View Post
    FWIW, I recently switched to T-Mobile Home Internet. The speed is good, and I'm okay with the price ($60/month - I think it's too late for me to get in on that $50 deal).
    What's your general location since many many areas can't get it ?

  2. #32
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    > Trust them for what?

    Actually, for anything.

    Most of you folks are probably way too young to remember comedian Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In, playing Ernestine the phone operator, throwing bricks at AT&T: "We may be the only phone company in town, but we scr*w everybody."

    They still do.

    And yet, seduced by that low price, I decided to give their $55/month deal a try.

    The first breach of trust: the $15 "activation charge." That wasn't disclosed anywhere online, nor by the sales person until literally the moment I handed over my credit card.

    The second one: Youtube won't stream smoothly even at low res. The base download rate hovers between 20 and 50 mb/sec, but I measure Youtube throughput at about 1.2 mb/sec.

    That's not a typo. Youtube really is choked by over 95%. Net neutrality? What's that?

    I know, all the mobile operators throttle streaming video unless they're (presumably) paid by the source to do otherwise. That doesn't make it right. And I had no idea it was that extreme. That's about half the speed I got with 3 mb/sec DSL.

    A VPN improves this to around 15 mb/sec. I'm no expert, but that suggests to me that they're probably doing deep packet inspection.

    Is it any wonder that the folks at LTE Hacks and similar places act like the mobile carriers are enemies? That's how they treat us. It's not really different from the endless war between inkjet printer makers and their customers, who don't like paying $2,700 per gallon for commodity ink.

    So, summing up, the negatives:

    1. Undisclosed $15 activation charge.

    2. Heavy Youtube (and probably other video source) throttling.

    3. Mediocre latency, around 150 ms.

    4. Bufferbloat. The DSL Reports speedtest gives it an F (but an A for speed). That might be partly my router's fault.

    Positives:

    1. Great price, $55/month for 100 gb/month. Remember when $10 per gigabyte was a decent price for mobile data? Those were the days, eh? :-\

    2. Respectable speed, 20-50 mb/sec down, considering that signal strength here is around -105 to -111 dBm.

    3. SIP transparency. Unlike what Telmesrin is fighting with T-Mobile, my SIP clients seem to be working OK, though I haven't done more than a couple of quick and dirty tests.

    4. VPN sails right along. No problems so far with Mullvad. I haven't tried any others.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    > Trust them for what?

    Actually, for anything.

    Most of you folks are probably way too young to remember comedian Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In, playing Ernestine the phone operator, throwing bricks at AT&T: "We may be the only phone company in town, but we scr*w everybody."

    They still do....
    I remember Lily Tomlin as Ernestine. "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company." Younger folks wouldn't know that in that era there were no cellphones. At home, you couldn't even buy your own phone. You had to rent it from the phone company.

    Anyway, I don't recall if I had to pay an activation fee. They are not uncommon for store purchases. You may have been able to avoid the fee by ordering by phone.

    Those are pretty good speeds for that signal level. I have about the same signal level and only get 5-15 Mbps. That is in a window. Just a few feet inside the house it drops to unusable. Even with my speed I have no problem streaming HD Youtube and Amazon Prime Video.

    Check your online account to see if there is something called Stream Saver and if you can turn it off.

    What hotspot device did you wind up putting the service in?

  4. #34
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    Thanks for the feedback, telmesrin.

    Do you happen to know if it blocks Google Voice VoIP?

  5. #35
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    > "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company."

    So as not to be totally obscure here, Laugh-In, where Lily Tomlin became famous, was a late 1960s and early 1970s television comedy program. It sometimes skirted around the outer edges of propriety. Watching it felt a little like a subversive act. :-)

    Tomlin was being funny, but as with most well-done humor, there was a grain of truth to it. Other than a few small local and regional phone companies, for landline service in those pre-mobile days, AT&T was all there was, what's called a regulated monopoly.

    It may not seem this way sometimes, but competition (in some features) has made phone service so cheap that some of us old guys can scarcely believe it. In 1965 AT&T advertised that you could call long distance anywhere in the world for $12 for the first 3 minutes. Twelve bucks in 1965 is over $100 in 2021 money. A hundred bucks to talk for 3 minutes to England! Today, for less than $20 you can talk as much as you can stand for a month.

    > I have about the same signal level and only get 5-15 Mbps. That is in a window.
    > Just a few feet inside the house it drops to unusable.

    What device are you using? I'd be careful leaving it in a window. Sunshine may overheat it.

    > Even with my speed I have no problem streaming HD Youtube and Amazon Prime Video.

    If my math is right, you should be able to stream typical 720p H.265 video at about 1.5 mb/sec. I'm seeing 1.2 mb/sec from Youtube and getting buffering on 480p, so there's probably some overhead that I don't know about. Still, 5 mb/sec should be plenty unless they're throttling you.

    And I think I recall reading that Amazon is one of the operations that they DON'T throttle. I'd almost bet that Amazon pays AT&T for the privilege.

    HD Youtube is a paid service, too, right? They may also be crossing AT&T's palm with silver.

    > Check your online account to see if there is something called Stream Saver
    > and if you can turn it off.

    Funny you should mention that. I can't figure out how. I need a phone number to register at AT&T's website, but they didn't tell me this SIM's phone number. I got no official paperwork at all! They said they'd email it, but I haven't gotten anything yet.

    My router has a SIM phone number field, but it's still showing the number (and the SIM number) of the Red Pocket SIM I used to test it before getting the AT&T data SIM. So I don't know what to do.

    The person who sold me the plan told me that I could pay monthly by credit card over the phone, using AT&T's 800 number, or at their store. Nothing about online payment. Weird.

    > What hotspot device did you wind up putting the service in?

    A Mofi 4500 SIM4. I chose it mostly for the long list of LTE bands it supports. The sales person's gadget didn't reject its IMEI, so I guess it's OK with AT&T on a data plan.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    ...> I have about the same signal level and only get 5-15 Mbps. That is in a window.
    > Just a few feet inside the house it drops to unusable.

    What device are you using? I'd be careful leaving it in a window. Sunshine may overheat it.

    > Even with my speed I have no problem streaming HD Youtube and Amazon Prime Video.

    If my math is right, you should be able to stream typical 720p H.265 video at about 1.5 mb/sec. I'm seeing 1.2 mb/sec from Youtube and getting buffering on 480p, so there's probably some overhead that I don't know about. Still, 5 mb/sec should be plenty unless they're throttling you.

    And I think I recall reading that Amazon is one of the operations that they DON'T throttle. I'd almost bet that Amazon pays AT&T for the privilege.

    HD Youtube is a paid service, too, right? They may also be crossing AT&T's palm with silver.
    I'm using an older ZTE Velocity that I got as a refurb for $30 several years ago. I'm not using it for daily home Internet, just for travel and when home Internet or electric goes out. I don't need high performance and did not want to spend hundreds for something I hardly use. I only get 5-15 Mbps at home. In other places traveled I have gotten 40 Mbps with it. If I get 5 Mbps, that is enough to do everything I need to do.

    I noticed the temperature in the window when I first started using it there. It's an East window and gets to 120F on Sunny Summer days. I thought about taping a piece of aluminum foil as a reflector and to provide a shaded spot. I tried a a 5"x7" piece of cardboard first. That works well enough.

    I do most of the video streaming on a TV through a Roku. That does not report what the resolution is, but it looks like HD to my low-res eyes. I have checked Youtube with it on a computer where you can select the resolution even on free service. I'm able to select HD1080 and it looks HD to me. On the computer or with the Roku it rarely buffers.


    > Check your online account to see if there is something called Stream Saver
    > and if you can turn it off.

    Funny you should mention that. I can't figure out how. I need a phone number to register at AT&T's website, but they didn't tell me this SIM's phone number. I got no official paperwork at all! They said they'd email it, but I haven't gotten anything yet.

    My router has a SIM phone number field, but it's still showing the number (and the SIM number) of the Red Pocket SIM I used to test it before getting the AT&T data SIM. So I don't know what to do.

    The person who sold me the plan told me that I could pay monthly by credit card over the phone, using AT&T's 800 number, or at their store. Nothing about online payment. Weird.

    > What hotspot device did you wind up putting the service in?

    A Mofi 4500 SIM4. I chose it mostly for the long list of LTE bands it supports. The sales person's gadget didn't reject its IMEI, so I guess it's OK with AT&T on a data plan.
    Mine is postpaid that I ordered online. It's too many years ago to remember exactly how it went, but I was able to create a MyAT&T account and use the MyAT&T app on a phone. There is a phone number for it.

    I hope it works well for you.

  7. #37
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    tmobile still has a 30 day test drive kit you can get
    https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/free-trial
    it'll let you see how well it works in your location

    at&t has a 100Gb hotspot plan for $55
    https://www.att.com/prepaid/mobile-hotspot-tablet/

    verizon has a home internet plan
    https://www.verizon.com/5g/home/

  8. #38
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    My niece and her daughter will be staying in an RV in a campground for a few weeks to maybe a few months. The campground has no wifi but decent T-Mobile service. I checked online to see if TMobile Home Internet is available at the camground, but the TMobile site says it's not available there, but is available at my home address. I don't think I could activate the TMobile Home Internet device at my home and bring it to them since this device is geolocked to my address?

    Her daughter, along with her grandma and myself, are on a TMobile poatpaid Unlimited 55 Magenta plan (the lower Magenta plan). Could I add a data only line to our plan?

    Any other options for them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Another option might be T-Mobile Home Internet at $50/mo TOTAL.

    https://www.t-mobile.com/isp

    LIMITED-TIME OFFER
    Get high-speed internet for only $50/mo.
    With AutoPay. Regularly $60/mo. That's a savings of $10/mo. via bill credits for the life of your new Home Internet line. Hurry, offer ends 6/30.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyphoxj View Post
    My niece and her daughter will be staying in an RV in a campground for a few weeks to maybe a few months. The campground has no wifi but decent T-Mobile service. I checked online to see if TMobile Home Internet is available at the camground, but the TMobile site says it's not available there, but is available at my home address. I don't think I could activate the TMobile Home Internet device at my home and bring it to them since this device is geolocked to my address?

    Her daughter, along with her grandma and myself, are on a TMobile poatpaid Unlimited 55 Magenta plan (the lower Magenta plan). Could I add a data only line to our plan?

    Any other options for them?
    From what I have heard the T-Mo Home Internet is not geolocked. I have seen reports of people traveling around with it. They are probably not going to enforce the registered home only use unless a bunch of people take them to places where the T-Mo network is congested.

    Other options:

    Free T-Mobile Test Drive. They give you a hotspot and 30 GB for up to 30 days for free. You can't get it though if you are already a T-Mo customer. Oops, I just noticed above that you and they are already T-Mo customers.

    AT&T Prepaid hotspot plan - 100 GB/mo. for $50. You have to supply your own hotspot device.

    Verizon Visible - unlimited phone and hotspot data for $25 a month if you have a compatible phone or want to buy one. Hotspot from the phone may be throttled to 5 Mbps. 5 Mbps is enough for regular use and one video stream.

    Good luck

  10. #40
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    Visible is very much YMMV. For me the hotspot is useless for streaming.
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

    Visible (Verizon) UTT & Unlimited Data $25/mo
    Liberty Wireless (T-Mobile) UTT 07.26.21
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.05.22
    Truphone (AT&T) every 180 days by 07.04.21

  11. #41
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    Thanks all for the replies! For now, I just added the 40GB MaxUp hotspot add to our Unlimited 55+ plan. I'll most likely go with the T-Mobile Home Internet option or the AT&T option since my niece may qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

    None of us (niece, her daughter, my sis, myself) have a Visible compatible phone.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    I don't think Comcast or any of the other big national operations will work. They're likely to want a long term contract (probably a year), and I can't do that right now. Thanks for the idea though.

    I missed that Party Pay info on Visible, will have another look.

    Had a look over at LTEhacks and it sounds like Visible isn't likely to activate on a hotspot or LTE modem. I'd probably have to buy a Verizon-compatible phone to activate. I already have a phone I could use for activation on AT&T or T-Mobile MVNOs.
    Xfinity has prepaid Internet for $45 a month. It's only 20mbps down and 1mbps up, but there's definitely no contract with that option.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionsDivine View Post
    Xfinity has prepaid Internet for $45 a month. It's only 20mbps down and 1mbps up, but there's definitely no contract with that option.
    In many locations, download and upload speeds of the regular service have doubled. Most likely it has changed for this prepaid service as well.

    But it looks like it's compulsory to buy a modem with the service.

  14. #44
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    Be sure to try multiple areas around the house. In my case, I get slower speeds in the window than I get a few feet to the side of the window. I think it has something to do with the energy saving coatings on newer windows.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionsDivine View Post
    Xfinity has prepaid Internet for $45 a month. It's only 20mbps down and 1mbps up, but there's definitely no contract with that option.
    They upped their speed to 50/5 on the prepaid internet. My some just got that at his new apartment.

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