Ditching ADSL broadband for mobile device broadband tethering - realistic?

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  • Deleted user 21 July 2012 11:56:29
    So a number of things got me thinking, I wonder if I could use my mobile phone with it's mobile broadband, to replace my home broadband through the BT phone line. Firstly, I could in theory do away with the BT line all together, saving much money a year. Secondly my bb connection is at about 3-4mb down, and .7 up. My phone is 2-2.7 down, and 1.5 up! Not a massive difference, in fact my mobile has better uploads speeds! Obviously though, I don't want to make any choices like this with out a bit of research and thought. I am a heavy internet user, on multiple devices (xbox, pc, netbook, ps3). Gaming is obviously important to me, so I don't want it to put be at (more) on a disadvantage on the battlefield.

    Is it at all realistic to expect a mobile phone to handle such demand? Would the network be happy about such usage on their network (if I upgraded my contract to unlimited data)? Is there anything I'm not considering? Has anyone done this?

    Edited by Apostle at 11:59:06 21-07-2012
  • BravoGolf Moderator 21 Jul 2012 12:09:03 12,747 posts
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    Ping rate on mobile can be poor during peak times, making online games unplayable (moreso on FPS games where a small delay could make a big difference). You should also check your data limits, make sure you can download without exceeding your usage limits or have your speed throttled.

    You're likely also going to need a 3G router, there are loads available that can allow devices to connect and share the love
  • BravoGolf Moderator 21 Jul 2012 12:10:46 12,747 posts
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    Just noticed you mention Battlefield. You can play XBL but it's unreliable, I used to use it for BF3. You might have great ping one day and crap/terrible during another. You should stick with DSL and look around for a better package.
  • Deleted user 21 July 2012 12:14:35
    Can't you try out the Xbox on your mobile to see if the experience is decent before you rip out your land line?
  • Deleted user 21 July 2012 12:29:14
    I got a 97ms ping the other day, didn't seem too bad. I haven't compared it with my adsl ping yet though. I notice today my speed on mobile bb are 1.8-2mb/s down, obviously being a Saturday daytime I guess there's a higher usage today.

    3G router you say? That sounds good, can you get a noraml adsl router with 3G functionality on top? That would be ideal. I will look for a better package, I might phone BT and see they can boost my speeds up. I've been noticing lag recently anyway.

    For sure bitch tits. I'd definitely give it a lot of testing before committing to anything. I may give it a try later, and see how it fairs. As far as my experience of mobile broadband though (I'm at work atm) it's not noticeably slower at all. In fact at times it feels quicker.
  • psychokitten Moderator 21 Jul 2012 12:30:15 7,794 posts
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    I have mobile broadband that I use with my laptop on the go, but if you want to keep playing BF3 online, it's not realistic. Your latency/pings will be shit.

    They do also tend to have crappy data limits.

    Edited by psychokitten at 12:31:22 21-07-2012
  • Nasty 21 Jul 2012 12:40:17 4,748 posts
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    You can buy draytek routers that have slots for 3g dongles but only really aimed at businesses to guarantee connectivity.

    I wouldn't consider 3g (or 4g for that matter) for gaming. The infrastructure just isn't right for that kind of usage.
  • Deleted user 21 July 2012 12:52:34
    So pings/latency is seeming like the stumbling block then. Shame, if I wasn't a gamer it would probably be good enough for most other internet usage.

    Not sure if I could up the usage limit Kitten. I'm sure even if so they'll be a fair usage policy. Worth investigating though.

    That was going to be my next question, Nasty, if 4G would be better. In years to come I suppose it will be commonplace to use mobile broadband for everything, I wonder if BT are worried? Or have a stake in the transmitters/mobile networks?
  • mal 21 Jul 2012 15:02:13 22,710 posts
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    I'm posting this over bluetooth to my phone over 3G. Latency is a bit tits, and would be rubbish for gaming, and it does have an annoying habit of stalling if I don't keep using the connection (which means I have to disconnect and reconnect to get it running again) - not sure if that's a bluetooth bug or a network bug, but it's not too much of a pain, and I can stream a bit of youtube fine.

    Does cost a bit though, as most providers don't let you tether on the unlimited plans. I'm currently on 3GB a month, which is not heavy use by any means, but gets me by.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • dominalien 21 Jul 2012 18:02:54 7,021 posts
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    A mate of mine has a dd-wrt-able D-Link router which I set up for him to use a 3G modem plugged into its USB port as the source of Internet. Works pretty well, up to him playing Diablo 3 (SP) over it and not reporting any problems.

    As mentioned by others, however, actual multiplayer would very likely be subpar.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • ZuluHero 21 Jul 2012 18:28:07 4,202 posts
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    Is 3G really fast enough for ppl to consider this then? My phone is so slow that I can't wait to get near a real connection again! I have 3G+ too which is supposed to be faster and/or more reliable too. It's neither of these things ;)

    Tethering is made it even slower as it goes through USB, though I guess USB transfer rates are a lot higher these days? /dinosaur

    Edited by ZuluHero at 18:30:45 21-07-2012
  • Deleted user 21 July 2012 18:39:59
    @ZuluHero My 3G which is an "H" connection thingy, gives fairly consistent speeds of 2mb down and 1.5mb up. Also I don't connect through usb but the wifi hotspot setting you get on android. Even so, general concensus seems it's not good enough for gaming, so that's that for me. Shame. Maybe in 10 years.
  • mal 22 Jul 2012 00:10:45 22,710 posts
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    Bandwidth over USB is theoretically similar to an old 500kbps ADSL connection, although USB performs suboptimally when handling full-duplex traffic like, say UDP traffic.

    That said, even over bluetooth the connection must be slower still (I don't carry around bluetooth transfer rates in my head) but it's still quicker to browse the web on my crappy Atom netbook than it is on my phone with its direct HSDPA connection. Rendering is slow on phones (though perhaps its more comparable on the latest quad-core behemoths, I dunno). And my phone doesn't connect to google talk and download mail from most of my addresses.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • dominalien 22 Jul 2012 00:17:49 7,021 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Bandwidth over USB is theoretically similar to an old 500kbps ADSL connection, although USB performs suboptimally when handling full-duplex traffic like, say UDP traffic.
    Uhhh... no. USB can easily do 200 Mbps Internet. Not many people have that.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • TheRealBadabing 22 Jul 2012 01:44:30 1,329 posts
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    Wouldn't bother contacting BT to see if they can get you a faster speed. It is all automatically controlled by your exchange, which will constantly test your line and try to get you the fastest available "stable" connection.

    While this sounds good in principle, I actually had to ask my ISP to reduce my connection speed as my signal to noise ratio was so low that I was getting very erratic real world speeds.

    Talk to the front line staff of any ISP and they will assume that big numbers are all that matters. Not many understand how important a stable connection is, especially for gaming.
  • mal 22 Jul 2012 11:56:17 22,710 posts
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    dominalien wrote:
    mal wrote:
    Bandwidth over USB is theoretically similar to an old 500kbps ADSL connection, although USB performs suboptimally when handling full-duplex traffic like, say UDP traffic.
    Uhhh... no. USB can easily do 200 Mbps Internet. Not many people have that.
    Ah, USB3 I presume? True, USB3 is supposed to handle full-duplex traffic better, but I've not actually come across any USB3 devices in the wild yet.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Deleted user 22 July 2012 12:32:18
    @graysonavich Ha, yeah that's probably the easiest solution right there!

    All the above very technical chat sadly goes right over my head.
  • dominalien 22 Jul 2012 13:24:39 7,021 posts
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    mal wrote:
    dominalien wrote:
    mal wrote:
    Bandwidth over USB is theoretically similar to an old 500kbps ADSL connection, although USB performs suboptimally when handling full-duplex traffic like, say UDP traffic.
    Uhhh... no. USB can easily do 200 Mbps Internet. Not many people have that.
    Ah, USB3 I presume? True, USB3 is supposed to handle full-duplex traffic better, but I've not actually come across any USB3 devices in the wild yet.
    No, USB2. where did you get the 500 kbps throughput for USB from?

    PSN: DonOsito

  • mal 22 Jul 2012 14:59:31 22,710 posts
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    Oops, my bad - mixing up mbps and kbps. D'oh!

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • iancognito 14 Apr 2014 09:26:22 1,417 posts
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    That was a very poor attempt at spam. Where's the link?
  • beastmaster 14 Apr 2014 09:31:04 11,619 posts
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    I couldn't imagine what downloading that day One Forza update over a mobile device.

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • L0cky 14 Apr 2014 09:39:41 1,540 posts
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    - Hey boss, I spammed 100,000 websites so I qualify for my bonus!
    - Great job minion! Let me have a look... Wait, you forgot to post the link!
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  • Load_2.0 14 Apr 2014 09:54:53 19,445 posts
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    This spam IS making me anxious!
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 14 Apr 2014 09:57:50 38,726 posts
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    I almost felt bad banning that one.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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