Question

slow speed on home internet

  • 16 June 2021
  • 8 replies
  • 741 views

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Just got the tower and installed it with ease. I’m getting a “very good” signal at best after I tried it in many different spots around my house. It’s working fine when I have only one device connected but as soon as add another one (my laptop) it slows down the overall speed on both devices quite a bit. I can’t imagine how slow it will be after I connect my other 4 home devices…any tips on how to improve or fix this issue with the connection/speed? 


8 replies

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Sorry for the delay but they have failed to call me back so I went ahead and set it up again. It’s working a lot better and faster. You were correct. I connected my other devices to it (about 9 all together) and it’s been almost 2 days now with no problems. I’ll give it a few more days before I cancel spectrum but so far I’m very happy with the outcome.

here’s the speed test before since they updated the tower. First one is is with 2 devices connected, second is with all 9 devices.

  1. Ping (61) - download (193) - upload (31)
  2. Ping (50) - download (36) - upload (0.66)

Seems like a big difference as far as numbers but I haven’t noticed any big differences in speed and stability.

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Thanks so much for your informative comment. I’ll get back and let you know how the 5G is working. Even though I’m in a city, it’s a neighborhood with trees especially in the direction where the tower is. I hope it works, ready to switch from spectrum.

Userlevel 3
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Thanks for your comment. I believe the tower is about 3 miles or so away. It’s definitely more than a mile. Talked today to the customer service and they told me they’re working on the tower to update it to 5G. Should take 3 days and he will call me back then to check if it’s better. Will see…Any of you have been told the same thing, if so what was the outcome? We also ran a speed test, it was very, very low with 0.00 downloads! They also reported the test but they blamed it on the tower being update it.


I’m retired, and although I’ve been reading about 5G for less than a month, I’ve had a lot of time to read about it and watch videos. My reading has included reading and watching (on video) dozens of people getting started with this, and the problems they’ve had. I can assure you the “working on the tower” excuse is real. It should give you a sense of relief. Once it is turned on and working properly, it can be dramatic. Please write back and tell us what happens either way.

I’ve been a hobbyist with computers for 50 years, having learned programming in college when I was 17. I was an early home PC user and then owner, and on the Internet in 1992, the first year it was available to home users. I had a job for a year once helping people troubleshoot a broad range of their computer problems, but it had nothing to do with smartphones then. But I’ve never worked as a programmer or in IT really, but I’ve worked with software, written data bases, spread sheets, and dabbled in writing small programs in several computer languages I’ve learned throughout the years.

I have seen recent videos by some vloggers who are following the individual installations in their areas by the three major companies mostly, the new towers, the equipment upgrades to new towers, and things like mmWave nodes in cities, the latter which is something T mobile isn’t into as heavily as Verizon.

I’m sure the T mobile customer service people are given access to a database which shows the maintenance schedule of every tower in the system. They know what one(s) you’re on, and they can look it up and see what is going on.

Sometimes equipment parts are delayed in manufacture, or for whatever reason they find maybe a band isn’t working well on a specific tower, or there’s a service interruption because an anti-5G conspiracy theorist shot at a tower and blew out some equipment causing a service disruption.

I can even guess what they might be doing, and that is installing their newer, better mid-band n41 5G, where an inferior model existed like the low band n71 which is slower but reaches very long distances. Or, there was only 4G to begin with.

If you were getting the 4 bars on 4G, even though it wasn’t working or went out shortly thereafter, I think you should look forward to speeds of around 50 to 100Mbps, or possibly more. There’s a good chance of it.

I have read posts by people here that say, “It’s a lie, Tmobile has no 5G, and then they don’t explain what they mean. Are they crazy? A little bit. But there is an element of truth in that the 5G signal relies on the 4G still, to carry it to the 5G. It is called “non stand-alone” 5G. That is the current state of 5G. They have a “seamless” integration, 4G and 5G, and I’m quoting T mobile on that.

Back in 2019, the president of Tmobile himself announced that the ultra capacity mid-band 5G, like n41, will double 4G speeds, and it has for a lot of people but not all of them. Some people are too far away, or there are too many obstacles in their way, even if they are within a mile of a tower.

The fastest download and upload speeds are from the high band millimeter wave (mmWave), and people within a block can sometimes receive speeds between 1000 and 4000Mbps with that. But it is in cities, because the range is so limited, to only about a mile. mmWave is problematic for other reasons as well, such as it doesn’t pass through trees or walls very well. It can be blocked by  low-E windows.

One of the biggest advantages of 5G over 4G is the capacity, or number of customers it can reach for the amount of equipment used on a tower -- it reaches vastly more people.

Here is some excellent information about the bands and waves that Tmobile uses, which I copied from their own website:

5G

  • Frequencies that can provide 5G: 

    • Band n71 (600 MHz)

    • Band n41 (2.5 GHz)

    • Band n260 (39 GHz)

    • Band n261 (28 GHz)

  • With 5G, high amounts of data can be transmitted more efficiently than 4G LTE. 

  • One of the ways T-Mobile is rapidly deploying 5G is integrating mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum from Sprint.

  • Check out What is 5G? to learn how it works!

Extended Range 4G LTE

  • Frequencies that can provide Extended Range LTE

    • Band 12 (700 MHz)

    • Band 71 (600 MHz)

  • Our Extended Range LTE signal reaches 2X as far and penetrates walls for 4X better coverage in-buildings than ever before.

4G LTE

  • Frequencies that can provide LTE:

    • Band 2 (1900 MHz)

    • Band 5 (850 MHz)

    • Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz)

    • Band 66 (Extension of band 4 on 1700/2100 MHz).

  • 4G LTE offers fast download speeds, up to 50% faster speeds than 3G. See Data speeds.

  • Voice and data services only work at the same time when on you have VoLTE enabled on your device. Otherwise, LTE only provides data.

This is back to me again. I’d like to say that I understand what it is like to expect something to work, and then it doesn’t and be frustrated. And for people looking on the chart above and in a panic because they see their Primary signal is from Band 66 (4G LTE), they should know that that can still be 5G as long as a secondary signal is showing in the GUI (See my previous post about using the GUI.) That’s the way 5G works now, with 4G on the primary and 5G on the secondary signal. You’re on 4G alone, if you have only a primary signal with no secondary signal.

Although for me this has been a huge leap in speed, and truly wonderful in that I have to pinch myself, only time will tell if my service will be reliable, and work as well as it does now. However, this is kind of exciting for me, because living in the boonies, I’ve always lagged speed-wise by years compared to the closest city, and here I am in the first real year of the rollout of this 5G technology for home internet.

Unlike DSL, where the company NEVER upgraded my speed without paying for it, 5G customers have the very  real possibility of getting speed upgrades in a few years, as their equipment on the towers improves. All the major companies will have to do this to retain customers.

The endgame in speed with 5G is quite possibly speeds of 20Gbps for wireless, that is 20x the speed of the 1G of Google Fiber.

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Thanks for your comment. I believe the tower is about 3 miles or so away. It’s definitely more than a mile. Talked today to the customer service and they told me they’re working on the tower to update it to 5G. Should take 3 days and he will call me back then to check if it’s better. Will see…Any of you have been told the same thing, if so what was the outcome? We also ran a speed test, it was very, very low with 0.00 downloads! They also reported the test but they blamed it on the tower being update it.

Userlevel 3
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Just got the tower and installed it with ease. I’m getting a “very good” signal at best after I tried it in many different spots around my house. It’s working fine when I have only one device connected but as soon as add another one (my laptop) it slows down the overall speed on both devices quite a bit. I can’t imagine how slow it will be after I connect my other 4 home devices…any tips on how to improve or fix this issue with the connection/speed? 


By any chance, do you know how far away the tower is? Also, by rebooting the gateway (not your computer), by pressing the on/off button in, and then pressing it again to turn it back on, this may connect via a different signal combination yielding a higher speed.

Also, what is your speed on your phone as measured by a speed test, and then what is the speed on the laptop after you connect that? It just helps to know, because depending on what kind of speeds you’re coming from, some people consider 100Mbps to be slow, while for others it’s more like 2Mbps.

Understanding the number of possible connections your gateway can do at the tower(s) depends on your individual situation, but if you’re closest to just one tower, as I am, instead of equal distance from a few towers, I connect only to the tower that is 5 miles away, and it gives me three different possible band combinations as follows:

Primary alone: B66 (A single signal 4G LTE connection) Average Speed: Down 35, Up 5

Primary & Secondary: B2 & n41 (A 5G connection) Speed: Down 100, Up 22

Primary & Secondary: B66 & n41 (A 5G connection) Speed: Down 65, Up 8

By entering 192.168.12.1 into the URL of any web page, you can find the Web Gateway User Interface which gives more information and is more reliable to use for me than the app. Click on the Overview and Status in the left column and then the drop down menus of each screen to see your Primary and hopefully Secondary signal connections, what bands they are.

About the connection of multiple devices, depending on what you are doing on them, they share the available bandwidth. If one is doing nothing (not downloading or streaming a video), it should not take any bandwidth. However, I’m no expert and since I had no problem with smartTV, computer, tablet, and a dozen smart devices all working fine, I don’t have the experience with connection issues and maybe someone else will offer a suggestion for that.

One more thing about rebooting the gateway. It takes 2 to 4 minutes to reconnect, but it will eventually get there on its own and you will see the connection icon and be ready to go with a speed test or to view the bands you are connected to. Hope this helps, and get back to us and say if you figured it out for yourself or are still having a problem, when you get a chance.

Userlevel 3
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Mine never felt too warm but the fans definitely helped stabilize the connection.  I’ve heard others say theirs gets quite hot.  I think how it acts can very from person to person.  Since I’m only going over a 4G connection I might not get as hot as someone who has a good 5G signal.  I have around 20 devices connected.  So when mine acted up it appeared to stop completely but I think it was actually sharing a really bad connection over all the devices.  I’ve not had that happen after adding the fans though.

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The tower device is barely warm and overheating seems to be a bad design, if that is the case I should send it back.
Are you hearing about overheating devices and if so do they really impair the speed connection? Thanks for your reply. 

Userlevel 3
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You may consider adding a cooling fan to help with overheating.

 

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