How to set up a 4G LTE Wi-Fi network as an alternative to broadband


For many us, especially in rural areas, broadband speeds cable or DSL (or God forbid, satellite) are not as reliable or as fast as we would like – even though they are available. But the increase in speed and capacity of 4G LTE (and now 5G) networks opened up another option.

The traditional hurdles that have made this solution less than ideal (data caps, spend, bandwidth, coverage, compatible hardware) are gradually becoming less of a problem as technology improves, and it is now very possible to switch completely from standard broadband to 4G LTE broadband – with a few caveats and conditions.

How 4G LTE Internet Works

Routers like the Netgear Orbi can bring 4G LTE into your home.

Photography: Netgear

The idea behind 4G LTE at home is quite simple: provide internet access in your home the same way your phone connects when not connected to Wi-Fi. your laptop to an access point from your phone, you know what is involved, as well as all the potential advantages (wireless internet access anywhere) and disadvantages (interference and bandwidth issues).

However, using a 4G LTE home internet service is not quite the same as running a hotspot. Instead of having everything run through your phone, you set up a router to talk directly to the 4G LTE network, and then that router converts the signal to the conventional Wi-Fi we all know and love. You don’t need SIM cards for every gadget you connect because they just see your home Wi-Fi as normal.

We’ll explain some of the speeds you might get in the selection of plans we’ve outlined below, but the theoretical maximum transfer speed is around 1 Gbps for 4G LTE (and 10 times more than for 5G). In reality and outside of a lab you won’t see this, but if you’re in the right area to get a good signal, a 4G LTE connection can make your existing home broadband by comparison.

Latency – the speed at which your inputs reach the web and return again – can be an issue for some uses such as gaming, but like most other technologies, 4G LTE is improving. with time. Over the years, it also becomes cheaper, reaching more areas at faster speeds and becoming more viable for more people. Other restrictions like data caps are also starting to disappear in some cases, although it’s always worth keeping those caps in mind when comparing services. Traditionally, restrictions on data usage have been one of the main reasons not to switch to 4G LTE for home connectivity.



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