Al and Deb

Using a hot spot for router

12 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Hopefully, I'm not asking too many questions at once. I'm getting ready to add a hot spot device to my AT&T plan and am not sure it will do everything I want.

Here are some of things I don't understand.

Both my iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2 can only be only be backed up when "locked, plugged in and connected to wifi". There is no option to back up on cellular data and everything I've read states that is true without a jailbreak. So I haven't backed up in months. Again! Will a hotspot device be seen as a "wifi" for IOS backup purpose? 

My JefaTech router connects my printer, kindle and Chromecast to an internal network. I can connect the phone or any other device. But the router isn't connected to the internet. Occasionally, if there is good wifi available, I connect the router to the wifi, put the phone on the network and everything works great together (and the phone backs up). I can print from the internet with a click, etc. My goal is to make that happen on cellular since good public wifi isn't often available where I am.

The router can't connect/maintain a connection with the iPhone personal hotspot. Any reason to think it will with a standalone device? Or will I not need the router and use the hotspot as my router? Either way, I think to print I will need to switch my phone to the hotspot or the router? 

On the east coast I'm happy with AT&T and the signal is usually pretty good.  I have unlimited data. What I mostly need help understanding is how to back up my phone and print from my phone the easiest way. I may be making this more complicated that it should be but, as you can tell, I am not very technical. 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm on Verizon and use a Jet Pack (hot spot) for my internet connection.  I'm able to connect all devices (up to 15) to the hotspot.  I connect two iPads, two iPhones, one MacBook Pro, and my Epson Workforce printer to the hotspot.  I can print from the IPhone, iPad, and Mac via the hotspot.  My guess is the AT&T hotspot would meet your needs.  An AT&T store should be also be able to help with your question. 

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If you're going with the Unite Explore, I'm very pleased so far with ours, it has the ability to be USB tethered. So it should connect to your JefaTech. The Unite Explore has both 2.4 an 5 ghz WiFi bands capable. So you might want to check if any of your devices have the 5ghz capability, as it is a much less crowded land to be WiFi with. Those devices you can WiFi directly into Unite Explore. 

Best of luck to you:)!

Smitty

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11 hours ago, Al and Deb said:

Hi all,

Hopefully, I'm not asking too many questions at once. I'm getting ready to add a hot spot device to my AT&T plan and am not sure it will do everything I want.

Here are some of things I don't understand.

Both my iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2 can only be only be backed up when "locked, plugged in and connected to wifi". There is no option to back up on cellular data and everything I've read states that is true without a jailbreak. So I haven't backed up in months. Again! Will a hotspot device be seen as a "wifi" for IOS backup purpose? 

My JefaTech router connects my printer, kindle and Chromecast to an internal network. I can connect the phone or any other device. But the router isn't connected to the internet. Occasionally, if there is good wifi available, I connect the router to the wifi, put the phone on the network and everything works great together (and the phone backs up). I can print from the internet with a click, etc. My goal is to make that happen on cellular since good public wifi isn't often available where I am.

The router can't connect/maintain a connection with the iPhone personal hotspot. Any reason to think it will with a standalone device? Or will I not need the router and use the hotspot as my router? Either way, I think to print I will need to switch my phone to the hotspot or the router? 

On the east coast I'm happy with AT&T and the signal is usually pretty good.  I have unlimited data. What I mostly need help understanding is how to back up my phone and print from my phone the easiest way. I may be making this more complicated that it should be but, as you can tell, I am not very technical. 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Deb

For backing up your IOS devices, yes it should see the hotspot as a normal wifi router and thus will do anything it normally waits to do on wifi vs cellular. It doesn't care that the wifi device its self is on cellular. The caveat to this is if it's doing a lot of syncing in the back ground, it could certainly use a lot of data in a short amount of time. So although it's unlimited, you could go through your 22gb before network management pretty quickly. It might be good to hold the syncing until the end of the month each month before you let them sync.  

For your next question about connecting the JefaTech router to the internet. I'm trying to figure out if this is a wifi repater, or just a router? Do you have an exact model number as that will help us see what functionality that router has? Does it broadcast it's own internal wifi network in your RV? Are all your devices you mentioned (printer, kindle, & chromcast) all wireless devices or are any hardwired to the router? My answer to this question overall depends more on the ability of the router? I looked up JefaTech and by your description, it appears it's possibly a wifi repeater perhaps with router capabilities built in? So assuming this device can operate correctly when it has a valid wifi network to connect to (like a campground wifi) then yes I would think this would behave the same way if it was connected to a jet pack. The question becomes can the jetpack take over this routers abilites or how do you set them up together?

My above answer though has me questioning your next statement that the router can't connect/maintain a connection to the iPhone Personal hotspot? If the Jefatech can connect to any wifi network, why does it have trouble connecting to your phone hotspot? Technically, the jetpack/mifi will create the same type of hotspot, and this wouldn't be much different than a wifi network a campground has setup that you said it connect to just fine? So I'm a little confused on what trouble you may be running into there using your phone as a hotspot? Another possibility could be that you could use USB Tethering meaning you tether the ATT hotspot directly to this router if it supports it?

Let's move on to the actual jetpack/mifi you might purchase? The current flagship AT&T one is their AT&T Unite Explore. This basically creates a wifi hotspot that any wifi devices can connect to and your JefaTech router/wifi repeater should be able to connect to it also if I'm understanding that device correctly. All your devices with wifi will connect to the jet pack its self and have internet. I'm not certain if that jetpack has router capabilites that would allow you to print to it directly from the jetpack? If it does, then everything should work. That's probably where the JefaTech router comes into play. My only concern would be having 2 competing wifi networks, but if the jetpack supports a 5gtz network and the router supports a 2.4ghtz network, that would work out better.

The next option instead of the Unite Explore would be the ATT Homebase. Now this is older hardware that doesn't support the latest LTE aggregation, but the device its self acts as a router and wifi hotspot. In fact with this device, you probably wouldn't even need to use the JefaTech router. They can be bought pretty cheap on ebay for $25.00 for a refurbished one. This option would work if others don't think the unite explore should work or if you don't want to buy such an expensive device, but the Unite Explore is smaller and will get you faster speeds overall with LTE aggregation. - http://www.ebay.com/itm/AT-T-Wireless-Home-Phone-and-Internet-Base-ZTE-Z700a-/152345406920?hash=item23787e6dc8:g:Pg8AAOSwux5YXX5t

 

 

Edited by BlueLghtning

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It looks like some others chimed in while I was typing and their answers are a little more simple but I think overall it should do what you want. 

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Thanks for all the info!

Aggie- do your iPhones back up?

Smitty - Can you explain what you mean about connecting directly to a Unite? Without the router?

Blue Lightening - Yes, the JefaTech is a repeater, I guess I worded that wrong.  It creates a home network that I have named and password protected. If there is an Xfinity hotspot (or similar) I connect that to the JefaTech then connect our devices to our home network. There is only one connection to the park or xfinity no matter how many devices I connect to my network. I guess that's the repeater part? It is a common Linksys G router that they have altered (flashed??) and it now repeats a wifi signal all thru the coach. It works completely wirelessly (except power) and has 1 incoming Cat 5 connection and 4 outgoing Cat 5 ports that I've never needed to connect to. No USB.  I only use it wirelessly. I think the model is WRT54GL and it's the only one they sell marketed to RVs I think. There are 2 antenna ports, one in, one out. The out one has a rubber duck antenna. The in uses either a rubber duck or an antenna mounted on the ladder and connected by coax cable. I haven't used the exterior antenna in 6 months or more because it hasn't been worth the trouble. But when I have had good park signal, yes, every device works perfectly on the home wireless network. Lately, I've just used the router only for the network printer.  That's a 2 step process if I'm printing from the internet and a cumbersome procedure.

JefaTech says the reason the iPhone hotspot doesn't connect well is because it times out before it connects. I don't really think that's the problem but that's what they said. They also said it will connect to a hotspot but I can't see what the difference would be which I think is what you are saying also. 

If the iPhone and iPad see the hotspot as a wifi network, I don't think I'll need the repeater anymore. I would just move all the devices to the new hotspot network. 

As I reread the answeres, I think I need clarification on the Unite Explore before I buy it.

Do only 5ghtz devices connect to it? 

How do I check my devices?

Do all the devices on the Unite network need to be the same ghtz?

If they aren't all 5ghtz do I use the router?

Blue Lightning- thanks for the other option info. I think I should get the newest device that will work. They get old so quickly.  And the end of month backups make sense too.

I have a Verizon Jetpack that I used once with a prepaid card. I might be able to get an AT&T SIM card for that. 

 

Thanks again, I really appreciate the info.  Deb

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3 hours ago, Al and Deb said:

Do only 5ghtz devices connect to it? 

How do I check my devices?

Do all the devices on the Unite network need to be the same ghtz?

If they aren't all 5ghtz do I use the router?

Blue Lightning- thanks for the other option info. I think I should get the newest device that will work. They get old so quickly.  And the end of month backups make sense too.

I have a Verizon Jetpack that I used once with a prepaid card. I might be able to get an AT&T SIM card for that. 

 

Thanks again, I really appreciate the info.  Deb

The Unite Explore should support both 2.4ghz and 5ghz network. The question would be does it support both simultanously or not if you need it for some of your devices? (I don't know the answer to that, but someone else probably does) If not and one or more of your devices don't support the 5ghz network, you can always use 2.4ghz network which is fine. There is just more bandwidth on the 5ghz and way less congestion which usually helps your speed. 

I assume you mean how do you check if your devices support 5ghz? You can check the specs or just turn on a 5hgz network and see if they see it? If they don't then they don't support it.

You could still use the router if you have 1 or 2 devices that only support the 2.4ghz and keep those on there if you want to use your other devices on 5ghz. Or just keep the Unite Explore on 2.4ghz to keep it simple and only have 1 device active.

Yeah, probably best to get the latest and greatest. That is a nice hot spot

Only thing to check on the verizon jetpack is what frequencies it supports. Not all devices, especially carrier specific devices have all the LTE/4g/3g frequencies. If you are missing one or more of the common AT&T frequencies, then it won't do you very good if you are in any area with only those frequencies you don't have.   

Edited by BlueLghtning

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"Smitty - Can you explain what you mean about connecting directly to a Unite? Without the router?"

-The Unite Explorer accepts up to 15 connections. As explained well by BlyeLghtning, this can be 2.4 or 5 ghz. And this can be from 802.11B up thru 802.11AC (The "B" was primarily followed by "G" and then "N" and now "AC" is the current latest and greatest. Each level or protocols, increase speed and usually range. And as I mentioned earlier, having 2.4 and 5 ghz does also help, as the 2.4 is a much 'busier' and that means potential interference, mentor of WiFi.

 

-The device also has USB 3 and and will also accept Micro USB - which I believe can be 'hard wired' int your router, probably with a Micro USB to USB cable connection. (By doing hard wiring, you eliminate any WiFi type interference, and usually get the highest possible speeds and data volume transfers. 

I only mentioned the 'direct connect' to the Unite Explorer, because say your router only broadcasts in 802.11N WiFi level protocol, on 2.5ghz. You could actually see higher download speeds, if you have a device that is capable of 802.11AC and say 5ghz - going via WiFi to the Unite Explorer. (iPad, or MacBook Air, or iPhone, or Samsung S6/7, etc.) 

Having a router can simplify life, as you can have all of your 'WiFi stuff' connected to the this router (WiFi router), and then use multiple methods of getting out to the internet. Your   JefaTech would connect to whatever the source is (Unite Explore, Hotspot on a phone, park WiFi, etc.) - and anything that was connected to your JefaTech - would be up and running without having to also update each and every device... The tradeoff could be possibly slower internet, at times, depending upon the capabilities of the JefaTech and or the Source to the Internet. 

You seem to be on the right path, asking good questions, and you have good equipment (Well, I don't know the specifics on our JefaTech, but the Unite Explorer is currently pretty much state of the art for normal Cellular Hotspots:)!)

Don't get too bogged down in the details. Find a KISS approach that works for you, best,

Smitty

 

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This is very helpful information. Thank you. 

I'm going to order the Unite Explorer. There is an unlocked one available for $50 less than AT&T price. It will be a few weeks before I have it in hand due to shipping and remailing. 

If the JefaTech cooperates, I will probably get a USB to Ethernet adapter and stay on the current home network with a wired connection. I did see JefaTech now has a USB version that is new. That way, as you said, if there is good wifi available it's an easy switch over. 

I'll keep the Verizon as back up with Verizon when necessary. 

Thanks. Deb

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On 3/14/2017 at 7:07 PM, Al and Deb said:

Aggie- do your iPhones back up?

 

I manually back them up to the Mac with iTunes.  Have not tried relying on the cloud for backups due to my previous 30GB data limit.

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On 3/13/2017 at 10:40 PM, Al and Deb said:

Will a hotspot device be seen as a "wifi" for IOS backup purpose? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply, no. Remember what a router is by definition. A router is a device that connects networks. When you have a Jetpack connected, or your phone set to tether, your LAN devices (iPad, etc) are connecting to that Jetpack (which  in that context is your router) and the Jetpack connects you to the WAN, which in this case is over cellular. So while your in-house connection is via wifi to the Jetpack, out the other side of that Jetpack your traffic is over cellular.

Maybe a good plan to do what Apple demands be done via wifi would be to pull into a Walmart or a Lowes where you can hit their wifi and do your thing on their wifi while you shop. 

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Our solution to the iPhone wifi update problem was to turn on the hotspot on my phone allow her iPhone to connect to it and then download the update.  We have laugh about it because both phones are on the same shared plan.

Later,

J

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