Can 4G LTE Replace Home Internet? A Full Guide to Using LTE Modem

Oct 04, 2020
by Yaryna Myrka
portable internet for laptop

Some forecasts say that in 2020 more than 5 billion people will become members of the mobile world. At the same time, half of the entire population of the planet will have constant access to LTE network services. Further development progress will be linked to this innovative solution.

LTE Network Characteristics

Before LTE, cellular communications could only operate at a certain speed rate. This created uncomfortable restrictions and, in general, slowed down the mobile communications processes. For example, 2G networks use only a few bands (850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz). The same situation is in 3G, but with extra bands – 1900 and 2200 MHz.

The progress of cellular communications was rapid and was divided into several generations – 1G, 2G, 3G. Still, the real leap in Internet connections took place only after the emergence of LTE, which supports data shipment up to 1Gbps. Unlike previous models, LTE can run on any frequency, both at the lowest and highest (450 MHz to 5 GHz). However, the main feature of this solution is the ability to unite numerous signals into one flow.

The LTE itself lies in purely technical terms (the scheme and method of signals transmitted between phones and cells have changed). Dispensing with complex, unnecessary terms, LTE is a wireless Internet connection that provides the highest data transference rate in the history of the existence of mobile phones.

Main Features that Define LTE

The main features that define LTE are as follows:

1. Enhanced throughput of repeaters and reducing delays broadcasting of info. The delivered practical tests showed that in an urban environment it is feasible to broadcast data at the pace of 175 MB/s, in both difficult local and fine-drawn laboratory requirements (100MBs and up to 200MBps respectively). The resulting delays can even be 10 milliseconds. This costs ten times less than the average latency in HSDPA.

2. Simplification of procedures for managing network infrastructure and communication. LTE standards can use existing downloads and cellular connections (in some instances, in a smaller or more stripped-down version), and this technology also allows conducting easy upgrades to accommodate the full range of services and functions offered by LTE. Long Term Evolution devices will support features such as auto-optimization of network communication (signal strength, transmission protocol, modulation algorithm, etc.).

3. Ability to connect to mobile communications. This concerns not only telephones of any generation, but also using dedicated modems, laptops, in some cases even cameras or digital monitoring devices.

LTE data transmission latency is less than existing 3G technologies. This advantage is very important for serving interactive environments with an immersive effect (for example, multiplayer games) and sharing large volumes of media content. In addition to mobile phones and peripheral devices, it is planned to equip many computers and consumer electronic devices with built-in LTE modules.

4G LTE Modem Advantages

Formally, speed for downloads that LTE modem provides reaches 326.4 Mbps; the upload speed is up to 172.8 Mbps. In fact, these numbers depend on the aspects of the signal, network congestion, tariff plan restrictions, etc. This is enough to ensure lag-free streaming, meaning that you can watch streaming videos, participate in online conferences, and generally have a perfect Internet connection for working from home.

On the technical side, the LTE model utilizes the actual 3G base. This provides a smoother transition from 3G to 4G subscribers. If for some reason you find yourself outside the LTE coverage area, your device will automatically switch to 3G mode without losing connection. LTE coverage ranges from 3.2 to 19.7 km. But, as is the case with 3G, the signal strength will depend on the strength of the base station.

Future-proof networking technologies in terms of power, bandwidth, and user experience provide new business opportunities and revenue streams for both old operators and new ones. Since the novel networks can be utilized for communication technologies of any generation – 2G, 3G, and 4G, this will reduce the sum of necessary funds. Each of them applies not one specific frequency, but a certain segment wide: 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 MHz. This is done so that each operator in each range gets a frequency segment. Frequency aggregation unites several such segments into a single “corridor”.

For example, it makes one of 2 or 3 10 MHz segments, multiband, 20, or 30 MHz wide. Using this technology, smartphones can transmit/receive data via two channels at once, which greatly enhances the information transmission rate. Thus, the limitation on the number of connected subscribers is overcome and the channel bandwidth is increased.

Replacing Home WiFi with LTE Modem

Mobile Internet speed has begun to grow, the amount of a monthly payment has been decreasing; therefore, in addition to connecting one stationary computer or laptop, it is possible to connect entire local networks to the wireless Internet and increase WiFi speed.

Naturally, many are frightened by the complexity of the setup, and instead of the 4G modem, they choose other equipment that they use as a 3G or LTE router. In reality, the setup of an LTE modem is done in a few minutes.

LTE modems have a connection interface, allowing it to be connected to any device. LTE modems also have a built-in wireless adapter, so it can distribute the Internet via a Wi-Fi network not only in your house, but also moving around your city or being at a picnic in an open field or forest.

Connect the modem to the USB port to learn its properties: see the signal strength, operator’s name, and LTE operating mode.

Configuring LTE Modem

In the existing conditions of the global quarantine, you might need a fast USB modem to do work from home. For the Internet to work, it is enough to turn on the modem interface (by pressing the Enable button), after a while it will establish a connection with the operator and provide Internet access, which can be checked by running a ping to any node.

In the IP addresses listing, the address that the cellular operator assigned to the modem appears. The default route in the direction of the operator appears in the list of routes. You don’t need to add anything manually. Just connect a USB modem – Internet access will automatically work.

To distribute the Internet to connected devices, set the IP address to the bridge: in the IP addresses menu, add the actual IP of your computer and specify the bridge interface. Any other addresses can be used if necessary. In order for the Internet to work for connected devices, set up the NAT. To do this, go to IP, pick the Firewall menu, then NAT tab, and create a new rule, specifying the network address, and modem will broadcast requests to the external network.

Finally, you need to enable the built-in DNS server to work so that it answers the requests of the connected clients, for this in the IP DNS menu it is enough to check the Allow Remote Requests checkbox, and, if necessary, specify other server addresses instead of those given by the provider.

Useful Tips

It is important to remember that LTE modem configuration is dependable upon the type of modem. But there are general rules you want to keep up with. With installation, follow the next rules:

  • Connect the modem to the USB port of your computer or laptop. The computer detects the new device and starts automatically installing the drivers necessary for the computer to recognize the modem correctly. Upon completion, the system will display a message about successfully installed hardware.
  • After installing the necessary drivers, a window will open asking you to install the software. Click Run AutoRun.exe. The installation process begins. This can take from a few seconds to minutes depending on the speed of the system. Windows will display a message indicating that the drivers are being installed in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • Once the installation of the required files is completed, the default Internet browser will open with the login page for the modem settings web interface. To log in, you need to enter the administrator password. As a rule, for each modem model, this password is indicated on the box that comes with the kit. In some cases, it can be the word admin. Enter the password in the corresponding field and click the Login button.

If you entered the administrator password correctly, you will immediately go to the start page of the LTE modem settings menu. The top of the menu displays the signal strength, network type, data transmission activity, and other parameters. There you will also find a switch for the interface languages, a link to change the login and password for entering the web interface (Modify Login Password), and a link to log out of the system (Logout).

Final Word

Although replacing a usual internet solution might take some time, setting up a stable LTE connection will provide better speed that is critical in times, when we have to rely on home WiFi for work-related tasks. Getting equipped with a fast 4G modem, you can rest assured you have all what it takes to work, browse, and socialize in the comfort of your home.

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