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Computers and Technology

Home Computers and Technology

Internet speed on phones.

  • davidthegnome (2510 posts)
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    Internet speed on phones.

    As we couldn’t find any other relatively good option, my family decided to get a Verizon wireless phone and unlimited data plan.  I am having some issues with it though.

    Every speed test I run has pings and download speeds all over the place, even if run back-to-back.  My 4g LTE symbol constantly switches to three, or to whatever the heck the 1 means.  One minute I’m just fine watching a YouTube video, the next I can’t get Google to load.

    The nearest tower is about eight- ten miles away.  My brother in law is going to help us setup a booster this weekend… but I am wondering if there is some kind of technical fix to help maintain a reasonably good speed.

    Second question is… Verizon said we can use a mobile hotspot with a 15 gig a month limit.  Someone told me that does not apply to “using your phone as a hotspot” is that accurate?  Or should I download an app like pdanet?

    It’s all a bit confusing to me.

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  • GloriaMundi (822 posts)
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    1. Most of the time…

    …I find that Internet access works much, much better (i.e. faster, more reliable) when the phone is logged in to a wifi network.  You can set it up to log in automatically to wifi locations where you often go such as home, office, local coffee shop, etc.  Many places offer free wifi access these days.  FWIW

    On edit:  also, most cell phone plans differentiate between data traffic on wifi vs. data trafic on 3g/4g/etc networks, and they will start charging for the latter at some point (even with so-called “unlimited” plans), so there’s that.

  • jeff47 (1186 posts)
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    2. When the phone switches between 4g, LTE and 3g

    it’s disconnecting from the tower and re-connecting.  It can’t seamlessly hop between technologies.  That basically interrupts the Internet connection through the phone and probably is what is leading to the disconnects you are seeing on the computer.

    The best way to stabilize your connection is to wander through the house looking for the spot with the best signal.  Make sure you set the phone down on a surface where it could theoretically reside permanently, because your hand will affect the signal.  The best place will usually be as high as you can get in the house.  Consider the attic as an option (assuming you have an electrical outlet there), since everything is connecting to the phone wirelessly.

    There are some complicated network and server technologies you could employ to make your connection seem faster and more stable (such as a caching proxy).  However, they are rather complicated to set up.

  • Eggar (2136 posts)
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    3. Prune some Trees or Limbs

    That Get in the way of the LOS with the cell tower. I got immediate results when I would pop holes in the nearby trees.

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