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Old 4th November 2018, 08:21 PM   #1
Delvo
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Question Cellular network access on a PC?

I don't believe I've ever heard of a computer, not even a laptop or tablet, that can access the cellular network (3G/4G/5G) instead of using modems or WiFi. Are there any?

And if not, is it possible to connect a phone to a computer so the phone connects to the cellular system and passes data to & from the computer, making it essentially just an antenna for the computer?
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Old 4th November 2018, 08:25 PM   #2
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If its an iPhone go to settings and turn on personal hotspot. You should then be able to see it as a wifi network on your laptop or tablet.

You can buy usb and discreet devices that will get you online similarly.
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Last edited by Sideroxylon; 4th November 2018 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 4th November 2018, 08:40 PM   #3
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Google "LTE 4G" and see if that answers your question. It seems common to me but maybe I don't understand your question.
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Old 4th November 2018, 09:50 PM   #4
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My 2 year old iPad has a SIM card and connects to cellular.
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Old 4th November 2018, 11:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I don't believe I've ever heard of a computer, not even a laptop or tablet, that can access the cellular network (3G/4G/5G) instead of using modems or WiFi. Are there any?

And if not, is it possible to connect a phone to a computer so the phone connects to the cellular system and passes data to & from the computer, making it essentially just an antenna for the computer?
At work, anytime the internet would have an outage, we would have one of the work cell phones setup as a WIFI hotspot and all the PCs would run through it. They all had network cards that supported WIFI connections.

We would make the switch in about 3 minutes whenever needed.
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Old 5th November 2018, 12:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I don't believe I've ever heard of a computer, not even a laptop or tablet, that can access the cellular network (3G/4G/5G) instead of using modems or WiFi. Are there any?
It's moderately common for ultra-portable notebooks to have integral cellular modems.
Otherwise there are various USB models.

Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
And if not, is it possible to connect a phone to a computer so the phone connects to the cellular system and passes data to & from the computer, making it essentially just an antenna for the computer?
Almost all smartphones can be used as cellular modems, via cable, Bluetooth or WiFi.
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Old 5th November 2018, 12:05 AM   #7
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You can plug an LTE-stick into a USB port for access.

Many places in Europe use LTE-routers at home for internet access to work around lack of cable access.
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Old 5th November 2018, 12:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I don't believe I've ever heard of a computer, not even a laptop or tablet, that can access the cellular network (3G/4G/5G) instead of using modems or WiFi. Are there any?

And if not, is it possible to connect a phone to a computer so the phone connects to the cellular system and passes data to & from the computer, making it essentially just an antenna for the computer?

Just to make sure we have common terms, I'm going to assume that by "using modems" you mean a separate, stand-alone modem, since any device which connects a computer to a phone system is going to involve a modem of some sort.

Way back when in pre-history (AKA 'before smartphones') there were cellular modem "dongles" which you could plug into your computer and link it to a cellular data connection.

Most cellular phone companies still offer them. The downside is that they require a separate dedicated phone account to operate. That's an additional, monthly cost.

Smartphones have made this somewhat obsolete for most purposes, since (as has been pointed out) you can generally set up your smartphone to be a wifi hotspot and use that for data connections. Advantage, it uses the phone account you already have and doesn't require an additional one, and it can provide access to multiple devices. This is what I do when our power goes out and Mrs. qg wants to be able to watch her TV shows. I set up one of our smartphones as a wifi hotspot and she can use her tablet to watch her shows. (I can also use it to keep my laptop on-line ... as long as I can keep the battery charged. )

There are quite a few variations on these themes. Just Google "cellular modem dongle" and "cellular hotspots" and you'll find lots of info.
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Old 5th November 2018, 06:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Just to make sure we have common terms, I'm going to assume that by "using modems" you mean a separate, stand-alone modem, since any device which connects a computer to a phone system is going to involve a modem of some sort.

Way back when in pre-history (AKA 'before smartphones') there were cellular modem "dongles" which you could plug into your computer and link it to a cellular data connection.

Most cellular phone companies still offer them. The downside is that they require a separate dedicated phone account to operate. That's an additional, monthly cost.

Smartphones have made this somewhat obsolete for most purposes, since (as has been pointed out) you can generally set up your smartphone to be a wifi hotspot and use that for data connections. Advantage, it uses the phone account you already have and doesn't require an additional one, and it can provide access to multiple devices. This is what I do when our power goes out and Mrs. qg wants to be able to watch her TV shows. I set up one of our smartphones as a wifi hotspot and she can use her tablet to watch her shows. (I can also use it to keep my laptop on-line ... as long as I can keep the battery charged. )

There are quite a few variations on these themes. Just Google "cellular modem dongle" and "cellular hotspots" and you'll find lots of info.
Over here in Germany USB dongles that give you access to internet via cell phone network are still fairly easy to obtain. Discount stores (like Aldi) sell them, with pre-pay.

Another, fairly recent, thing are cell-phone hotspots for home use. Advertised mostly for shared living arrangements like students, so that you do not have to arrange the landline/fiber-optic/wifi to share, or hack your neighbor's network.

Last edited by elgarak; 5th November 2018 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 5th November 2018, 06:19 AM   #10
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Very common here, the local shopping center has five different stores that sell one brand or another (including three supermarket chains)
I have both a plugin usb one, and another that is effectively a smart phone without the phone, it works via usb plugin (great for the tower) or via wireless (acts as a wireless router), plus my android phone has wireless hotspot and usb connectivity as well

I actually leave the wireless one in the car, it shares the same account as the usb and my data connection on the phone, so all operate off the same account- works great as my car is my own personal mobile wireless router, and I dont need multiple accounts to cover them all
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Old 5th November 2018, 06:53 AM   #11
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Well, this is encouraging. I've been using either cable or DSL at home for years, but thought of the idea of going cellular recently while pondering living in a van/motorhome/trailer instead of an apartment/house. Then the idea occurred to me that if this can be done in that context, then it can also be done at home, which replacing the cable/DSL bill.

How does the speed compare? I always get the slowest & cheapest option from whatever DSL or cable company I'm using, but suspect that would still be faster than this. WiFi on my tablet sometimes seems to load a page slower than my PC at home, but that could just be because the WiFi network was burdened by other users at the time. And I do see people watching videos on their phones, so I guess it's fast enough for video... but wait, they might have been using WiFi rather of running the meter on their cellular data service...

(BTW, I have a small phone with a small non-touch screen and real buttons and a slide-out keyboard for now, but might get a smartphone soon. I've avoided that so far because of the cost compared to just paying for calls & text per usage, but recently found out that some companies' prices are lower than I thought, and if I could combine a smartphone with a new home internet service, it might even save money.)
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Old 5th November 2018, 06:58 AM   #12
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The big problem with Wireless Internet depends on how many people are using it simultaneously: depending on location, there will be times when speeds will be slower because many people are using the bandwidth to the nearest tower.
Signal strength can also vary, depending on whether or not you have line of sight to the tower or not. Providers have maps that can show how strong your signal will be.
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Old 5th November 2018, 07:05 AM   #13
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I just checked manufacturers' websites for a few laptops, looking for any reference to this in their specifications. It wasn't there by any name I know, and their wireless-communication sections only mentioned BlueTooth and WiFi. Does it go by some other name when it's in a laptop? Are laptops with it built-in hard enough to find that I should forget that and just focus on hotspot-phones and dongles?
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Old 5th November 2018, 08:32 AM   #14
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Bluetooth, wifi, and cellular are three completely different technologies. They each use different frequencies, different antennas, and different communications protocols.

They each have different bandwidths, and different ranges.

If you want to get on the cellular network, you must have a cellular or broadband-cellular device, an account with a cellular provider, and a card in the device that is registered with that provider. Basically the guts and service contract of a cell phone, in your computer instead of in your pocket. Bluetooth won't do it. Wifi won't do it.
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Old 5th November 2018, 08:38 AM   #15
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If a laptop has a SIM-slot, that a sign that it can use mobile internet.
But you are probably better off with a dongle, since it's easier to stay up-to-date on technology.
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Old 5th November 2018, 08:41 AM   #16
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In my experience, its very common for tablets to have Cellular connectivity. As others have noted, it generally requires and additional line from your provider. That being said, its pretty common for phones to be able to act as cell hot spots. My last phoned required me to pay more for it but my current phone, it part of the package, so I only have to pay for the data which I have unlimited so no problem.

FYI, T-Mobile offers a special veterans account that's actually a pretty good deal.
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Old 5th November 2018, 09:35 AM   #17
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My four year old Dell Latitude has a 3G card in it for access to the internet, although I never used it since my cell phone has hotspot capability. It does require a separate subscription with a cell phone provider, but any cellular device requires that.
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Old 5th November 2018, 10:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Well, this is encouraging. I've been using either cable or DSL at home for years, but thought of the idea of going cellular recently while pondering living in a van/motorhome/trailer instead of an apartment/house. Then the idea occurred to me that if this can be done in that context, then it can also be done at home, which replacing the cable/DSL bill.

How does the speed compare? I always get the slowest & cheapest option from whatever DSL or cable company I'm using, but suspect that would still be faster than this. WiFi on my tablet sometimes seems to load a page slower than my PC at home, but that could just be because the WiFi network was burdened by other users at the time. And I do see people watching videos on their phones, so I guess it's fast enough for video... but wait, they might have been using WiFi rather of running the meter on their cellular data service...

(BTW, I have a small phone with a small non-touch screen and real buttons and a slide-out keyboard for now, but might get a smartphone soon. I've avoided that so far because of the cost compared to just paying for calls & text per usage, but recently found out that some companies' prices are lower than I thought, and if I could combine a smartphone with a new home internet service, it might even save money.)
We were recently without home internet for about a week and a half so I was using my phone as a hotspot. It was faster and more reliable than what we'd been getting from the cable company. Also more expensive, since we don't have unlimited data because we otherwise don't need it. We've now upgraded the cable service. If you're going that way, make sure you have unlimited data.
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Old 5th November 2018, 10:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
If its an iPhone go to settings and turn on personal hotspot. You should then be able to see it as a wifi network on your laptop or tablet.

You can buy usb and discreet devices that will get you online similarly.
It should probably be noted that many cell networks do not enable wifi hotspot on phones connected to their network unless you pay extra to have this service enabled. On can also buy 4g hotspots at Walmart, Target, office supply stores, etc., often with prepaid service for some period of time (renewable, of course for $$) that will connect to a cell network and provide a wifi access point. I'm sure it is also possible to buy usb devices or expansion cards for PC's to connect to a cellular network. There are plenty of ways to connect a PC to a cellular network. None of them, unsurprisingly are free.
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Old 5th November 2018, 11:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If you want to get on the cellular network, you must have a cellular or broadband-cellular device [...] Bluetooth won't do it. Wifi won't do it.
Following up on this.

The reason you want to connect to the cell network is because the cell network is connected to the Internet. (Caveats apply.)

Here's a way to think of it.

The Internet is, first and foremost, the Internet Backbone. This is the major telecommunications infrastructure of the developed world. The only people connecting to the Backbone are the major players of the telco-industrial complex.

Then there's Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISP is the part of the Internet that connects the Backbone to your home or business. Basically, your phone company. It's way more complicated and nuanced than that, but for most consumer Internet purposes, your phone company is your ISP is your "Internet".

If your ISP is a cable company, they're connected to the Backbone at one end, and they're running a cable from their nearest hub the "last mile" to your home at the other end. You plug your computer into the cable internet socket in your wall, and you're connected to the Internet.

But actually, your computer doesn't use the same networking protocol as the ISP. Your computer is using Local Area Network (LAN), and your ISP is using some combination of other protocols specific to their role as a link in the chain.

So you don't plug your computer right into that cable socket in your wall. Instead, you plug in a modem. The whole point of a modem is to translate between your computer's LAN protocol, and the ISP's more esoteric protocols.

So you plug a modem into your cable socket, and you plug your computer into the modem, and you're connected to the Internet.

You can plug other things into the modem as well. For example, a WiFi router. Then you can connect any wifi-equipped device to the Wifi router, and thence to the modem, and thence to the Internet. The main advantage of a WiFi router is that it provides LAN-quality networking, without having to string from your devices to the router. It's very common nowadays to have modems with built-in WiFi routers. If you're using cable internet, you probably have one of these combo devices already.

Disadvantages of WiFi include limited range, lower bandwidth, and service degradation as the number of connected devices goes up. This is compared to having a LAN cable connecting your computer, instead of a radio signal.

WiFi is great for connecting nearby devices to an Internet-connected modem in a convenient way. Customers in a coffee shop. Travelers in an airport. Your neighbor who wants to use your Internet service for free instead of paying for his own. Etc.

Bluetooth is a short-range radio network protocol that's optimized for connecting peripherals to your computer without cables. Connecting your mouse to your laptop. Connecting your earbuds to your smartphone. Stuff like that. There are bluetooth modems and routers, that make network connections; but as a short-range, low-bandwith protocol, Bluetooth isn't really a good solution for that kind of requirement.

Cellular is just another phone company ISP, at this point. Just like the cable company, the cellular company makes that "last mile" connection between the Backbone and you. In this case, instead of using a physical cable to make the connection, they use radio signals. Instead of plugging your cable modem into a cable socket, you connect your cellular modem to a cellular signal. The core of your cell phone is this cellular radio modem. And because your cell provider is connected to the Internet, once you connect to your cell provider, you're connected to the Internet.

So. Connecting to the Internet fundamentally means connecting to a service that is connected to the Internet Backbone. For most consumers in developed countries, this means you will be paying either a cable company or a cellular company for the privilege of connecting to their network and passing through it to the Internet.

Using WiFi to connect to the Internet means having a WiFi antenna on your computer (which can be your smartphone or tablet), and using that to connect to a WiFi router that:
- is in range of you
- allows you to connect
- is connected to a phone line (either cable or cellular)

Without a WiFi router that's connected to a phone line, WiFi on your computer won't connect you to the Internet. If you're not paying a phone company for Internet service, your WiFi Internet will be limited to places like coffee shops, airports, and your neighbor who's paying for Internet service (assuming he has a WiFi router and he hasn't locked it with a password).

You can skip the WiFi part, and go straight to a cellular antenna, but you still have to pay a cellular provider for the privilege of connecting to their network and passing through it to the Internet.

Using WiFi connected to cellular still runs the meter on cellular data transfer, since they are just consecutive links in the same chain. It's also going to be capped by the overall throughput (bandwidth) of the cellular network, which is typically lower than the bandwidth of the cable link. This results in slower transfers, lower-quality streaming, and more data loss over cellular than over cable.

However, your modern cable modem includes a WiFi router, and cable data transfers are typically cheaper and have more bandwidth than cellular. If you're at home, you can tell your cell phone to switch from the cellular network to your home's WiFi network, and use your cable service to stream movies etc. without incurring quality loss and cellular data charges. But this is only an option when your phone is near to a WiFi router that's connected to the Internet, and that you have permission to use. And somebody, somewhere, still has to pay for the Internet connection.

Considering Delvo's two use cases, mobile home vs regular home:

Mobile home: If you are traveling a lot, and want Internet access even when you're nowhere near a coffee shop with free WiFi, then a cellular modem is a must-have. It allows you to move anywhere within cellular coverage, without having to drag a long-ass cable everywhere for phone connections. Wherever your phone connects, you'll have Internet. It will often be flaky, slow, or otherwise suboptimal Internet, but you'll have it.

Regular home: Pay for cable Internet. You'll need to pay an ISP regardless, and cable is going to give you better quality and consistency, and if you really do use a lot of data, better price, than cellular. You can try to save money by just using the cellular network for everything, but after paying cellular data transfer rates for all your streaming, and dealing with the quality and consistency downgrades from cable, you'll almost certainly conclude it's not worth it.

Caveats apply, of course. If you're a basic cell phone user and don't actually do a lot of streaming or other large data transfers, you may conclude that cable service is a waste of money. Your cell phone is already handling all of your computer networking needs.

Janky ASCII visualization:
Code:
Backbone
 |
 v
Phone company <-- Here is your major cost
 |
 v
Modem/Router <-- Here...
 |
 v
Your computer <-- ... and here is where you pick 
 |                      cable vs cellular depending on 
 |                      your choice of phone company
 |
 v
You
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Old 5th November 2018, 11:56 AM   #21
theprestige
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One important principle to keep in mind is that trading cable internet for cellular internet or vice-versa isn't a matter of improving your connection. It's a matter of exchanging one set of trade-offs for another.

In general, cable is going to give you better data transfer for your money, in exchange for having essentially zero mobility with the connection.

By contrast, cellular is going to give you substantial mobility, in exchange for higher data transfer costs *and* lower data transfer quality.

The First World Problem encapsulated in these trade-offs is typically solved by people having a cable connection at home for all their high-bandwidth, high quality needs, and a cellular connection in their pocket for when they're on the go but don't want to be completely cut off. The cost of maintaining both is accepted as the price of ultimate convenience.
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Old 5th November 2018, 12:07 PM   #22
Joe Random
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
<snip>

Janky ASCII visualization:
Code:
Backbone
 |
 v
Phone company <-- Here is your major cost
 |
 v
Modem/Router <-- Here...
 |
 v
Your computer <-- ... and here is where you pick 
 |                      cable vs cellular depending on 
 |                      your choice of phone company
 |
 v
You


Diagram is incomplete. You failed to indicate the location of Perth.
.
.
.
.
(sorry, the ASCII just triggered my nostalgia circuits )
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Old 5th November 2018, 02:33 PM   #23
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Diagram is incomplete. You failed to indicate the location of Perth.
.
.
.
.
(sorry, the ASCII just triggered my nostalgia circuits )
How's this?

Code:
Backbone                
 |                           +-------+
 |                           | Perth |
 |                           +-------+
 v
Phone company <-- Here is your major cost
 |
 v
Modem/Router <-- Here...
 |
 v
Your computer <-- ... and here is where you pick 
 |                      cable vs cellular depending on 
 |                      your choice of phone company
 |
 v
You
Better?
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Old 5th November 2018, 03:23 PM   #24
Joe Random
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How's this?

Code:
Backbone                
 |                           +-------+
 |                           | Perth |
 |                           +-------+
 v
Phone company <-- Here is your major cost
 |
 v
Modem/Router <-- Here...
 |
 v
Your computer <-- ... and here is where you pick 
 |                      cable vs cellular depending on 
 |                      your choice of phone company
 |
 v
You
Better?

Okay, I can relax now. Thanks. :-)
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Old 5th November 2018, 03:27 PM   #25
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theprestige took the time to lay it out quite nicely. Hat tip.

I have a relative who used a 4G hotspot as their primary internet for a year and it was fine until they decided to start watching YouTube videos and stream Netflix. Basic web surfing wasn't a big deal and checking email doesn't typically soak up a ton of bandwidth, but video does and they had to change to something that allowed for more data per month.
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Old 5th November 2018, 03:48 PM   #26
Giordano
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
You can plug an LTE-stick into a USB port for access.

Many places in Europe use LTE-routers at home for internet access to work around lack of cable access.
Exactly. True of my extended stay in Cambridge, UK. I used my cell-enabled iPOD at my leased house; only had cable WiFi access at work. Had to pay attention to not go over pre-paid data limits or the per minute over-plan fees really kicked in.
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Old 5th November 2018, 04:03 PM   #27
JimOfAllTrades
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
theprestige took the time to lay it out quite nicely. Hat tip.

I have a relative who used a 4G hotspot as their primary internet for a year and it was fine until they decided to start watching YouTube videos and stream Netflix. Basic web surfing wasn't a big deal and checking email doesn't typically soak up a ton of bandwidth, but video does and they had to change to something that allowed for more data per month.
Very true. My cell phone is through my company. We have Verizon as our carrier, and because we all use our cell phones for VOIP company calls we have unlimited bandwidth.

However I moved a couple of weeks ago and couldn't get a cable connection to the new house for about 10 days. During that time I used my phone's mobile hotspot capability, and because we had unlimited bandwidth I told my family they could use the connection as well.

It turns out "unlimited" (at least at Verizon) means up to 10 gig per month per phone, and then Verizon throttles the bandwidth on that device down to 600 kbps for the remainder of the month. Fine for email, VOIP calls, and light surfing, not so good for video.

We hit the 10 gig mark in about four days, and I had to spend a week feeling like I was back on the first DSL line we ever had.
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Old 6th November 2018, 02:42 AM   #28
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I must say that in comparison to the 'coughs' NBN system we have here, apart from the cost, my 4g dongle is superior in every way
It's faster, more reliable than the NBN link (5 to7mbs for the 4g, where the NBN struggles to get to 3mbs (despite paying for a 20/5 plan) and often the NBN drops under 1mbs- which means that using turnbulls poormans broadband is actually worse than adsl1 at times- despite now costing more than if we had kept with the original fiber to the premises plan of Labor
To add insult to injury we actually HAD fiber to the house through optus, but that was shut down when NBN came here...

grrrrrrr

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Old 8th November 2018, 09:33 AM   #29
CORed
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
Very true. My cell phone is through my company. We have Verizon as our carrier, and because we all use our cell phones for VOIP company calls we have unlimited bandwidth.

However I moved a couple of weeks ago and couldn't get a cable connection to the new house for about 10 days. During that time I used my phone's mobile hotspot capability, and because we had unlimited bandwidth I told my family they could use the connection as well.

It turns out "unlimited" (at least at Verizon) means up to 10 gig per month per phone, and then Verizon throttles the bandwidth on that device down to 600 kbps for the remainder of the month. Fine for email, VOIP calls, and light surfing, not so good for video.

We hit the 10 gig mark in about four days, and I had to spend a week feeling like I was back on the first DSL line we ever had.
I remember my first DSL line. I thought it was great, because it was about 20 times faster than the 28k modem it replaced. I still couldn't watch Youtube videos (Youtube was just starting to be a thing) on it without ridiculous waits for buffering. It worked great for online poker. Hell dialup wasn't bad for online poker, except when the connection dropped.
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Old 8th November 2018, 03:07 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
I remember my first DSL line. I thought it was great, because it was about 20 times faster than the 28k modem it replaced. I still couldn't watch Youtube videos (Youtube was just starting to be a thing) on it without ridiculous waits for buffering. It worked great for online poker. Hell dialup wasn't bad for online poker, except when the connection dropped.

Whenever I get irritated by the occasional lags in my roughly 60+ Mbps download speeds over Spectrum cable I just remind myself of the days when I used a 300 baud acoustic coupler modem ... and thought how neat that was.

When I got my first 1200bps modem I was in heaven.
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Old 8th November 2018, 03:50 PM   #31
JimOfAllTrades
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Whenever I get irritated by the occasional lags in my roughly 60+ Mbps download speeds over Spectrum cable I just remind myself of the days when I used a 300 baud acoustic coupler modem ... and thought how neat that was.

When I got my first 1200bps modem I was in heaven.
I remember working up the speed ladder from 300 baud to 1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, 28k, 33k and finally 56k. Then we went to ISDN and had (IIRC) two 64k channels, and then to our first DSL which I think was either 256K or 500K.

Then DSL seemed to stall at around 1 mbps for a while, and cable wasn't available everywhere, so for faster connections we had to go with multiple T1 lines. The T1s were quite good for reliability, and were the same speed up and down, but were expensive.

Now anything slower than 10 mbps seems god awful slow for anything other than email, light web surfing, or maybe RDP to a remote box. And it really seems to take 30 to 60 mbps if you're doing much video.
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Old 9th November 2018, 10:35 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Whenever I get irritated by the occasional lags in my roughly 60+ Mbps download speeds over Spectrum cable I just remind myself of the days when I used a 300 baud acoustic coupler modem ... and thought how neat that was.

When I got my first 1200bps modem I was in heaven.
Nobody will ever need more than a 1200bps modem, because nobody can type that fast.
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:27 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I remember working up the speed ladder from 300 baud to 1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, 28k, 33k and finally 56k. Then we went to ISDN and had (IIRC) two 64k channels, and then to our first DSL which I think was either 256K or 500K.

Then DSL seemed to stall at around 1 mbps for a while, and cable wasn't available everywhere, so for faster connections we had to go with multiple T1 lines. The T1s were quite good for reliability, and were the same speed up and down, but were expensive.

Now anything slower than 10 mbps seems god awful slow for anything other than email, light web surfing, or maybe RDP to a remote box. And it really seems to take 30 to 60 mbps if you're doing much video.

300 baud? I still fondly remember Elmarie diligently digitising our electronic mails via the Morse apparatus, down here in our sh$thole country. Even after an hours continuous supply of industrial strength coffee, she could not get above 100 baud, and that was only for a brief period. Then she had to go have a lie-down until the palpitations passed.
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Old 9th November 2018, 09:19 PM   #34
Babbylonian
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
theprestige took the time to lay it out quite nicely. Hat tip.

I have a relative who used a 4G hotspot as their primary internet for a year and it was fine until they decided to start watching YouTube videos and stream Netflix. Basic web surfing wasn't a big deal and checking email doesn't typically soak up a ton of bandwidth, but video does and they had to change to something that allowed for more data per month.
Even browsing the web can harsh the bandwidth caps. If you visit news sites with auto-running video, for example, you can burn through bandwidth without even realizing it.

This is very important to keep in mind if using a PC through a cellular hotspot or using a dedicated cellular dongle. Browsers on mobile devices are designed to reduce bandwidth usage, even if you view desktop sites. Browsers on PCs will just display whatever without thinking about bandwidth unless you set them up special to limit what's displayed.
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Old 10th November 2018, 10:14 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Even browsing the web can harsh the bandwidth caps. If you visit news sites with auto-running video, for example, you can burn through bandwidth without even realizing it.

This is very important to keep in mind if using a PC through a cellular hotspot or using a dedicated cellular dongle. Browsers on mobile devices are designed to reduce bandwidth usage, even if you view desktop sites. Browsers on PCs will just display whatever without thinking about bandwidth unless you set them up special to limit what's displayed.
I know Firefox has a config setting that will block autoplay and it looks like they've tidied it up a bit recently.
https://www.ghacks.net/2018/09/21/fi...play-blocking/
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