LTE Permanence, This Time for Real

October 4, 2020

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve decided to use LTE as the primary connection for the case going forward. That said, after copious research on my part, I’ve settled on a solution granted by being a contributor to the Calyx Institute, a nonprofit that is a champion of digital privacy. One of the perks of this is truly unlimited 4G LTE on Sprint’s network. The hotspot device, an Alcatel LINKZONE 2, arrived the other day, and I immediately began testing it at home. I had Sprint for cellular service a few years ago and remember LTE being absolutely rubbish at home, which it still is, but as it’s for a good cause I will keep contributing.

I decided to take a field trip over to the Galleria area this afternoon with the LINKZONE 2 and my iPad, and I made a couple of speed tests before leaving the neighborhood and saw 30 Mbps. Good, the device works as expected, I’m just in a poor spot. I performed a couple more tests as I headed to the interstate, then once I got over to the Galleria tested in my usual testing spot and saw good speeds. I drove around a bit more and tested in various spots and all of them were 20 Mbps or more. Admittedly, I won’t be able to drive to everywhere I’d use this to test beforehand, but at the very least I can take a trip downtown later in the year to test around the venues for DragonCon and MomoCon. I’ve got a feeling it won’t be an issue, especially once I have access to T-Mobile’s bands due to the Sprint/T-Mobile merger.

I did mention I was considering moving away from the SD-WAN setup on the FortiWiFi, and I’ve decided against that for two reasons: running at home or behind a travel router for WiFi. Yes, I still want to have a contingency plan in case things fall on their face LTE-wise again. I tested with my GL.iNet AC-750S (Slate) and was successful, so I will load it with the vanilla OpenWrt and maybe pick up a second for work purposes. It won’t quite be the GrooveA with its high-gain antenna, but it’ll work in a pinch. I’m just hoping we never need to fall back to that. The connection priority will be LTE -> wired LAN -> travel router WiFi. Now if 2021 will have conventions to go to…

Until next time!

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