LTE Permanence

September 11, 2020

I moved my cell service to Verizon and was able to add a “connected device” for $10/mo that has 16GB of LTE speeds then unlimited 600kbps afterwards, so I picked up the USB730L to go in my work backpack in place of the USB800, which now lives in the Pelican case and will be used as the sole WAN connection for the portable network going forward.

I have a 150GB/week plan on AT&T from FreePacket and am quite pleased with it, so I will continue to pay for it even if it doesn’t get used super often. If anything, it’ll be ready in case the power goes out and there’s a need for Internet in addition to pop-up work trips.

So why swap the USB800 with essentially 600GB/mo of LTE for the USB730L with a mere 16GB of LTE speed for daily carry? Simple: I will most likely barely use it in a month. I want to say the number of times I’ve needed the USB800 for work this year have been less than 10, and mostly it was to look up documentation to get on WiFi at a site or drop a file somewhere, all very easily done then swapping off LTE. Plus, on a work trip, this will let me keep the USB800 connected to the FortiWiFi in the hotel room, so easy peasy. Furthermore, I have an additional 16GB of hotspot data on my voice line, so that’s a huge amount of data available. And even if I go over 16GB, 600kbps is actually workable to open documentation or reply to emails in a pinch. Remote control of a client machine might be a different story, though I’ll work through it.

I currently have SD-WAN set up for the LTE card and the first WAN port on the FortiWiFi: I think I can safely disable SD-WAN and make the LTE card the sole WAN connection at this point. The only way it would be better is if I had a Verizon-based aircard of sufficient data for a hotel stay due to their superior coverage, but so far I’ve not had much trouble with AT&T on this data plan, so we shall certainly see.

At this point, I should probably keep the case in my car, or at the very least set it up and use it for a little bit each month at home. That’s a plan for another day, though.

Until next time!

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