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New Verizon Jetpack pretty slow


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I upgraded my mobile Internet service to a Verizon Jetpack MiFi 6620L. I have been running speed tests once or twice a day and most of the download speeds have been 600 Kbps or less. I initially attributed this to low signal strength which has been around -106 dBm. I am at the military campground outside NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. But on two occasions, I got a speed of about 8 Mbps with the same or less signal strength. During one of those tests, the signal strength was -119 dBm. I took my Jetpack and computer to another location in the city where signal strength was -83 dBm and the speed was 21.8 Mbps.

 

My previous 3G air card had an antenna jack and I used one of two antennas. One was the old Wilson Cellular Trucker antenna that I bought back in 2003 to use with my cell phone and then with my 3G air card which I bought in 2007. The Jetpack doesn’t have an antenna jack and I am not even sure that these antennas are compatible with the 4G LTE frequencies. Can anyone comment on that?

 

What is the preferred method used today to boost the signal strength of the 4G LTE signals received by my Jetpack since a simple antenna like a Wilson antenna cannot be connected directly to my Jetpack. I read Jack Mayer’s report on the Wilson Sleek 4G Cradle Amplifier written in July 2011. I guess things have changed a lot since then. I have also read the section of his website that describes wireless amplifiers and the issue of separating the “tower” antenna from the “phone” antenna. I also bought The Mobile Internet Handbook and read the chapter Enhancing the Signal. I have also gone to the companion website RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (http://www.rvmobileinternet.com/). I found that these resources contain a wealth of good information but concluded that the 4G LTE technology is so new that not a lot of products seem to be available for it.

 

So, for those of you with a Jetpack, how are you able to boost the signal received from the cell towers? And if that signal needs boosting, I guess the signal being uploaded to the towers needs boosting, too. What are you using, if anything?

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The 6620L does have an external antenna port, its covered by a small black rubber plug. So you can directly connect your same external antenna. But a better solution is to put the 6620 in a Wilson(weboost) Sleek booster and connect the external antenna to the Sleek booster.

This shows the antenna port location ... http://3gstore.com/device/512_verizon_novatel_jetpack_mifi_6620l.html

(you may need a new adapter cable/connector to properly fit this port)

 

In a highly populated area like Virgina Beach your speed can vary significantly based on each individual tower's load. Also, if the tower nearest the NAS is overloaded, it may be shifting some of the load to a more distant tower.

That's also an area where you likely have both 3G and 4G signals at the same time, and some of your variation may be jumping from 3G to 4G. By default it looks for the strongest signal, which may not always be the fastest signal. You should review the many configuration settings within the device menu. Some of those settings can force it to favor 4G signals, even when weaker than a nearby 3G signal.

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Our company just upgraded? to this new MIFI and we have been having nothing but problems. One of my computers will only work if it is tethered. Neither computer is able to do a remote desktop connection. My home wireless DSL works fine but the MIFI will only connect limited

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The Users Manual refers to that port as a "Test port — Use for testing and diagnostics". If I could get the correct adapter from the 3GStore, I wonder if either of my antennas would work with the current 4G LTE frequencies. One antenna is a Wilson Cellular Trucker that I purchased in 2003 to initially use with my cell phone. The other is a Freedom antenna post-617-0-18121100-1436707919_thumb.jpg that came free with my air card that I bought in 2007. The specs on the Freedom antenna say 800-2500. I assume that is MHz. Doesn't the 4G LTE currently use 700 MHz?

 

The Wilson Cellular Trucker antenna specs say "Designed primarily for 800/1900MHz frequencies, but has about 3.1dB gain on 4G 700MHz frequencies." I will call the 3GStore and talk to them and see if they have an adapter for my Jetpack.

 

The 6620L does have an external antenna port, its covered by a small black rubber plug. So you can directly connect your same external antenna.

 

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Doug, Yes, the Wilson Trucker Antenna will help with 4G, at least the 32" tall version I had improved my 4G signal in several different areas.

its not as powerful as some of the newer 4G LTE Omni fiberglass cylindrical antennas, that I've been switching over to.

The ARC Freedom I had never seemed to help with 4G, it was ok when most areas were still 3G, but once 4G took over I trashed mine.

The 3Gstore guys will help you out.

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I too recommend the Wilson Boosters. We used a Verizon Jetpack for 3 years and just deactivated it. First to save some money, they are a separate phone line, but secondly because our smartphone used as a hotspot works just as well and sometimes better than the jetpack. Using the proper Wilson Booster, you get double benefits and faster connections. Keep in mind that if you're in an area that only has 3G it can get painfully slow. We have often been in a situation where we had 4G service and it suddenly dropped to 3G. Chuck

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I just added this to my 6620L.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DSPV1IY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

Mounted on my crank up TV antenna. The antenna came with a 10' and 20' cable plus an adapter for the antenna port (aka test and diag port). Tested in an area with one bar or -116db signal. Cranking up antenna and connecting boosted my signal to -96 and cut S/N ratio in half. Doubled speed. Fast pages and instant YouTube. Very happy. One thing though. Choose a morning not a hot afternoon in the Goergia sun to install. You'd think I knew better.

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My Verizon Galaxy S5, using Speedtest.net, shows 25mbs to 50mbs depending on time of day (Running SpeedTest.net directly on phone.)

 

Laptop PC, connected via wireless using Galaxy S5 as hotspot, only gets about half that.

 

Same Laptop PC, running though my Verison myMiFi, (Accessing same data plan but with its own assigned number) also only achieves the same 50% rate, ie about half what the S5 direct connect gets.

 

I wonder why?

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Doug -

 

Thanks for purchasing our book, and visiting RVMobileInternet.com. In case you didn't find it directly, here's our complete listing of mobile 4G LTE boosters: Comparison: Mobile 4G Cellular Boosters (weBoost, SolidRF, MAX-AMP, SureCall)

 

We've personally been using the Wilson Mobile 4G (now called the weBoost Drive 4G-M) for over a year with great results. The mag mount antenna that comes with most boosters will give decent gain on the 4G frequencies.. but most the trucker style will give slightly better in the 700mhz range (less in the upper ranges, which isn't the primary frequency in most markets). Is it worth upgrading? Hard to say.

 

The BoatAnt linked to above does give much more gain in the 4G frequencies, and Jack Mayer wrote an extensive review of it in our resource center (currently a member only document: Selecting and Installing a Cellular Antenna (Overview of the BoatAnt by WirENG)).

 

We have hopes of more antenna options optimized for 4G are coming to market. Keep in mind that the antenna port in the 6620 is technically referred to as a 'test port'. It's not designed for frequently removing and inserting an antenna, or necessarily handling the vibrations that can occur while in motion.

 

We have review units inbound of all of the new 4G boosters coming out this summer.. and will spend the fall doing extensive head-to-head testing of them. Including the weBoost Drive 4G-X, Max-Amp, SolidRF and RV 4G.

 

- Cherie

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The new Jetpack we just found out does not work will all laptop wireless adapters. A Broadcom adapter does not have a new driver that will allow this to work unless it it tethered. The Intel adapters work fine.

 

The Jetpack is a lot slower for the exact same location as where the older Jetpack was used.

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I also have a 5510L Jetpack and it provides a good to very good connection. I still use it to work from home on occasion. The speed is fast enough to make the VPN connection where I work. It does take good speed to make this connection. So for, happy with our Jetpack.

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Cherie, I'd be interested at what kind of speeds you get overall. I think a lot of us have different speed requirements. Some of you work from your RV or home so you need the speed definitely. Some do a lot of streaming. However, many of us are just happy to plug along. :) with low demand everyday stuff like email and web surfing.

 

Having gone from the Pocketmail device when we first began full-timing, the clunky speeds we sometimes get still seem like lightening! (You're too young to have used Pocketmail).

 

What is a good speed to strive for nowadays?

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.

 

Having gone from the Pocketmail device when we first began full-timing, the clunky speeds we sometimes get still seem like lightening! (You're too young to have used Pocketmail).

 

What is a good speed to strive for nowadays?

I remember Pocketmail fondly..... :) I thought that was the "greatest technology" at the time. Sure beat trying to find or beg a modem connection someplace. And "back then" there were still things called "phone booths" that almost every campground had. No wifi at all...it was not deployed back then, although it did exist through some of that time.

 

A good speed these days at the low end for web browsing is around 1.5-2 mbps. That handles most web browsing fine...but it will not like some videos on Facebook or YouTube, unless your connection is rock solid at that speed. Most connections, if you speed test them at 2 mbps, actually have dips well below that. It is those dips that play havoc with video, even with buffering. But for normal web browsing that speed range results in a reasonably "snappy" connection. JMO.

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If we're going to age ourselves, when I worked for Bell Labs back in the 70's, Ma Bell manufactured most of the original modems and the speeds were 300 or 600 bits per second. The data (1's & 0's) was actually transmitted as different audio tones over the phone lines. Since we had just gone through the transition from rotary pulse dialing to touch-tone multi tone dialing, all the central office equipment was designed to recognize & process different audio tones.

 

"What is a good speed to strive for nowadays?" Typical for me in a 3G area varies from 1 - 3 mbps; in a 4G area its 5-20 mbps with my avg around 15 mbps. I don't spend much time around larger cities, but in some of the cities with the latest upgrades you'll find some 20-50 mbps available.

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I remember 300 baud modems for my early IBM and Commodore systems in the 80s.

 

I have a chance to get a Verizon USB 4G LTE Pantech adapter, IT is at a Goodwill for $6.99 and looks new. It says 4G LTE and Verizon on it so I'll likely try it out as if it works great! If not oh well just a few bucks wasted. Next week they tear out our place and we will be living in our new to us fiver on our newly installed full hookup RV Pad on our property. 30 Amp outlet and water line to spigot on the workshop too. The Oxidation pond is just 50 feet behind it so I'll likely just get a macerator pump with a long hose on it. So we are going to buy and try a hotspot of some sort for the next month which we know will be a big change from 50mbps cable modem which is what it is up to as of last week for standard service. ( They have a 15 mbps and a higher than 50 mbps speeds too but I haven't even checked them for pricing) I'll check back and see how it goes as I am last minuting this last bit.

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