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Wireless and other internet alternatives for streaming Netflix etc ?


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Not happy as my NBN cable is sitting on the footpath AGAIN.  The idiots string it through the trees (not my trees) and of course it comes down in the next storm.  They refuse to deal with the problem.

 

So,  Optus doesn't have 5G coverage here.  Telstra does, but the data caps are too small and expensive (that I have discovered so far anyway)

 

I'd love to tell NBN to go jump, but do I have any alternatives?

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I suggest you find out what Optus can offer re 4G LTE.  It's by far the fastest, most cost-effective service available to us.  Download speeds between about 40 and 100 MBPS.  Solidly beats the NBN fixed wireless service in our area on both performance and cost.

 

I understand 5G requires a tower closer then our nearest which is about 2.5 km. 

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3 minutes ago, Tony M said:

I suggest you find out what Optus can offer re 4G LTE.  It's by far the fastest, most cost-effective service available to us.  Download speeds between about 40 and 100 MBPS.  Solidly beats the NBN fixed wireless service in our area on both performance and cost.

 

I understand 5G requires a tower closer then our nearest which is about 2.5 km. 

 

It's been a while since I investigated this stuff.  So thanks for the ideas.  Yes, if 4G is that quick, it would be fine for me for now.  There are 5G patches of coverage nearby, so we will get it eventually I suppose.

 

Looking at the Optus site I see they have a 500GB plan, which is probably enough.  Pity there's no unlimited, but we average 200 to 300 GB, so just OK for now.  They just call it 4G, is that the same as 4G LTE?

 

 

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Yes, for all intents and purposes, it is.  Technical explanations of what LTE is are readily available on the net.  I haven't fully understood it so I won't try to pass on an explanation.

 

We get a consistent 40 gbps at peak times and we have seen 120 in the wee hours of the morning.  A quick test just now at 2.50 pm Thursday arvo showed 56 download and 9 upload.  If you're closer to the tower than us you're likely to do a lot better.

 

The important thing is that it seems reliable and meets all we need for now.  Ping time is always 14ms.

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

It's been a while since I investigated this stuff.  So thanks for the ideas.  Yes, if 4G is that quick, it would be fine for me for now.  There are 5G patches of coverage nearby, so we will get it eventually I suppose.

 

Looking at the Optus site I see they have a 500GB plan, which is probably enough.  Pity there's no unlimited, but we average 200 to 300 GB, so just OK for now.  They just call it 4G, is that the same as 4G LTE?

 

 

I've been using the Optus 500 GB plan @68/month (4G, not close enough to the 5G towers) for the past year or so. I use the data for my work (working from home now), music streaming (Tidal) and streaming movies/series (though not in HD). I find the 500 GB more than enough and have never run out of data.

 

I have been very happy with my service till the past few days (will elaborate a bit later). I got this plan along with a Huawei wireless modem. I did tweak the modem setting a bit (locked on to 2300 Mhz band rather than Auto) which gave me much better speeds - was getting anything between 75-100 Mbps for most of the day. Does slow down a bit during the evening hours, but not significantly to bother me. I did get these speeds only after tweaking the settings. In the auto setting, I was only getting between 20-25 Mpbs. So I would suggest experimenting with different options in your modem settings to find out which works best for you.

 

There's been some tower work going on in my area and I've had a serious drop in performance over the past few days. As per their web-site, this will continue for a 2-3 weeks till the work is completed. Currently, I'm getting speeds of around 5 Mbps - which is a significant drop from the previous performance. Hopefully, it'll get sorted out once the tower work is completed. 

 

Other than the issue mentioned above, I'm totally happy with the Optus plan. Waiting to see if 5G comes to my area soon.

 

Hope this info helps.

Edited by anandpkumar
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You can also instal 3rd party software on your computer to tweak the modem more specifically than you can via the modem itself.  Whether or not this will be of benefit will depend on your distance from the tower and the frequency bands available.

 

One example is LTEInspectuer.  

 

For example by restricting the modem to a particular band (can't remember which one off-hand) I could boost upload speeds to about 28.  Unfortunately this also resticted the download speeds to something similar.

 

Also, the modem seemed reluctant to retain some configurations and I gave up playing around with it.

 

@anandpkumar, have you tried changing your "tweak" settings since the drop in performance?  Also, could you please let me know which website gave you specifics of the duration of work on an inividual tower?  I'd be really interested in having a look at that.

 

 

Edited by Tony M
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46 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

I've been using the Optus 500 GB plan @68/month (4G, not close enough to the 5G towers) for the past year or so. I use the data for my work (working from home now), music streaming (Tidal) and streaming movies/series (though not in HD). I find the 500 GB more than enough and have never run out of data.

 

I do stream HD so I use more.  My peak daily is about 16GB, which means the 500GB is just enough, but of course I usually only use half that.

 

Optus' plan worries me in that it auto charges $10 for another 40GB if you go over the limit, and will do it multiple times.  Can you turn that option off?

 

Anyway, at least I have an option, so I can ask the NBN guy again tomorrow, what they intend to do about the tree problem.  Last time they basically told me they can't do anything about it.  I find that incredible.  Energex trim trees from around their network,  NBN should be doing the same.

 

I have highlighted this to my ISP already, and will follow up with them and tell them I will go wireless if they don't get their act together.

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22 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Optus' plan worries me in that it auto charges $10 for another 40GB if you go over the limit, and will do it multiple times.  Can you turn that option off?

 

 

Yes, that did worry me when I signed up - but you do keep getting sufficient warnings in advance. They do send you e-mail notifications when you reach 80%, 90% & 100% of your limit. You can also monitor your usage through the Optus mobile app as you come closer to the limit. Having said that, if your data is close to the limit, it can become a bit stressful because you have to constantly keep monitoring. It happened to me once, and I remember being a bit stressed out

 

Optus also has a 5G unlimited plan for $75/month with 4G as backup. Maybe you can try talking to them to let you take up that offer - you can use the current 4G unlimited, and when they upgrade to 5G, enjoy the 5G speeds at the same cost!

 

 

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15 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

Optus also has a 5G unlimited plan for $75/month with 4G as backup. Maybe you can try talking to them to let you take up that offer - you can use the current 4G unlimited, and when they upgrade to 5G, enjoy the 5G speeds at the same cost!

 

Sounds sensible.  🙂

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1 hour ago, Tony M said:

You can also instal 3rd party software on your computer to tweak the modem more specifically than you can via the modem itself.  Whether or not this will be of benefit will depend on your distance from the tower and the frequency bands available.

 

One example is LTEInspectuer.  

 

For example by restricting the modem to a particular band (can't remember which one off-hand) I could boost upload speeds to about 28.  Unfortunately this also resticted the download speeds to something similar.

 

Also, the modem seemed reluctant to retain some configurations and I gave up playing around with it.

 

@anandpkumar, have you tried changing your "tweak" settings since the drop in performance?  Also, could you please let me know which website gave you specifics of the duration of work on an inividual tower?  I'd be really interested in having a look at that.

 

 

In fact I had installed and used LTEInspectuer to play around with different band options before finally setting on 2300 MHz as the best option for me. It did reduce the upload speeds a bit from other options, but the download speeds were terrific - I even hit 200 Mbps once in speedtest. Later on, while checking modem configuration options through the modem IP address, I realised that I could set it to 2300 MHz through the modem setting too. I tried the 'tweaked' setting after the network problems started, but this has reduced the speeds even further. So right now I'm using the 'auto' setting.

 

I found the outage details through the Optus web-page. I started an online chat with the Optus 'digital assistant' (https://www.optus.com.au/notices/messaging?utm_source=optus&utm_medium=oca-home-menu-msg&utm_campaign=oca-home-top-menu-contact-message). After I put in my post code, it was able to tell me that there was a scheduled/planned outage in my area/tower from xx-date to xx-date.

 

 

 

Edited by anandpkumar
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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if you signed on the Optus 4G plan (mobile broadband)?

 

Seems like the Optus repair work around my area which was giving me headaches over the past couple of weeks is all resolved now - all for the better. I'm getting blazing fast speeds now. This is at 6.15 PM Sydney

 

image.png.5d9d7f76078b82497defd840817c20f8.png

 

I checked the speed on my phone (on an Optus plan) at the same time and was getting around 40 Mbps downloads - so big difference if you're running off a phone hotspot vs dedicated mobile broadband (I have a Huawei 4G modem as part of the Optus mobile broadband plan)

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5 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

Not sure if you signed on the Optus 4G plan (mobile broadband)?

 

Seems like the Optus repair work around my area which was giving me headaches over the past couple of weeks is all resolved now - all for the better. I'm getting blazing fast speeds now. This is at 6.15 PM Sydney

 

image.png.5d9d7f76078b82497defd840817c20f8.png

 

I checked the speed on my phone (on an Optus plan) at the same time and was getting around 40 Mbps downloads - so big difference if you're running off a phone hotspot vs dedicated mobile broadband (I have a Huawei 4G modem as part of the Optus mobile broadband plan)

 

 

I am still awaiting the outcome of my complaint about the current problems.  They claim they are following it up with NBN, and are issuing me a refund.  I guess I owe it to them to see if they come through.

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16 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

I am still awaiting the outcome of my complaint about the current problems.  They claim they are following it up with NBN, and are issuing me a refund.  I guess I owe it to them to see if they come through.

 

Fair point. Hope they fix is soon. Not having a good internet connection during these days can be very taxing.

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We have the Optus 4G 500MB with the fixed in-house 4G modem (not a mobile device).  We get 30Mb or thereabouts download, consistent and reliable, compared with ...

 

No 3G phone reception

Half bar 4G phone reception

No 5G reception

No ADSL (broken, Telstra unable to repair)

No NBN wired of any sort (unless I pay $25,000 for them to lay fibre and despite new neighbours along our backfence getting FTTC)

No fixed wireless (despite next door and houses further away along our street having it)

NBN offered satellite.

 

The 4G of course depends upon the towers, direction and distance.  We seem to have found a good tower.

Throughput further depends upon the band(s) selected, congestion etc.  We settled on Band 1 which would seem to be little used around here.  The auto function in the modem chose Band 28 which had more noise than signal.  We have an Android phone app to enable us to select bands.  Band selection is an absolute must. 

 

An external roof antenna and signal extender device (Cel-Fi) made Tesltra's signal worse when we trialed Telstra's 4G.  The device chose a poor 4G band to enhance and there was no way to change its settings other than grossly between 3G and 4G.  The problem with Telstra was that the Nighthawk modem is designed for mobile use so we had to constantly plug and unplug the A/C charger and have the modem suspended in a window.  The Telstra band reception was more erratic than Optus.  Telstra only offered 200GB cf. 500 at Optus.  The Optus modem works on a windowsill and without an external antenna. 

 

We are happy so far.  What happens when "our tower" goes pear-shaped, I don't know.

 

Have not had any need to contact Optus for help yet - touch wood.

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