Kitz Forum

Broadband Related => Mobile broadband => Topic started by: Ronski on January 24, 2021, 04:13:49 PM

Title: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 24, 2021, 04:13:49 PM
My monthly discount on Virgin is coming to an end, and also there's the 12% price rise notification I've received. So I thought I'd have a look at 4G mobile broadband to see if that was a viable option. Not sure it will be a full time option, but if I do have to cancel Virgin then I need to know how well it will tide us over.

So after a bit of research I ordered a refurbished Huawei B818-263 from efones, which to all intents and purposes looks brand new, the user interface is branded Optus, which is an Austrailian telecoms company. By all accounts the internal antenna's are very good, but there are connections for external anttenna's if required. It's a CAT 19 device, with Carrier Aggregation (this is dynamic) and has bridge mode. LTE H-Monitor (https://www.ltehmonitor.com/en/) also works with it.

I live 440 meters from the closest cell tower, and have direct line of sight from a window. As far as I'm aware there is no 5G, I have no way to test either so I didn't go for the 5G version, which is also double the price.

Screenshots of all the screens in order

(https://i.postimg.cc/YjcsyVhq/HomePage.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/KYHSD0r4/Mobile-Network-Internet-Connection.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/0yyBXpNS/Mobile-Network-Mobile-Network-Searching.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/qqG1jRVQ/Mobile-Network-Ethernet-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/gkNMhnK2/Mobile-Network-Ethernet-Status.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/3wD9z9Qk/Wi-Fi-Settings-Guest-Wi-Fi.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/J0RqDLDX/Wi-Fi-Settings-Wi-Fi-Basic-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/J0RqDLDX/Wi-Fi-Settings-Wi-Fi-Basic-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/cCJ3G4tF/Devices-Online-Devices.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/XqFrbG7c/Tools-SMS-Conversation.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/prNdqWY9/Tools-SMS-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/CLg18KxX/Tools-Statistics.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/zXFfF1LB/Tools-Parental-Control.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/bw6N4H9f/Advanced-Wi-Fi-Wi-Fi-advanced-settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/zvSq7nGM/Advanced-Wi-Fi-Wi-Fi-Security-settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZqBZ2kq6/Advanced-Wi-Fi-Wi-Fi-MAC-Filter.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/zXzN5HBz/Advanced-Wi-Fi-Wi-Fi-WPS.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/h4rFC40H/Advanced-Updates.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/2Sggq1zB/Advanced-Router-DHCP.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/63fP1zCd/Advanced-Router-DDNS.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/7Y6Rm3h2/Advanced-Router-Bridge-Mode.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/pdDcpkGg/Advanced-Router-VPN.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/mkrmp4Ls/Advanced-Security-Firewall.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/6QLz9qTK/Advanced-Security-MAC-Address-Filter.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/YqH6SMKq/Advanced-Security-IP-Filter.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/T1qWb5M2/Advanced-Security-Virtual-Server.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Wb8kbZwX/Advanced-Security-Special-Applications.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/dt5hKYJf/Advanced-Security-DMZ-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/4dv32C8B/Advanced-Security-SIP-ALG-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/59n4XSDY/Advanced-Security-UNPn-P-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/RV2ztsdF/Advanced-Security-NAT-Settings.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/WztQFgJg/Advanced-Security-Domain-Filter.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/XJBPn4Mk/Advanced-System-Device-Information.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/0y5HbpRQ/Advanced-System-Restart.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/YSZXnZ4G/Advanced-System-Reset.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/RCcPdPvh/Advanced-One-click-Check.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/wT2w87yd/Advanced-System-Diagnosis.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/VLKWZppf/Advanced-System-Modify-Password.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/BvK5666b/Advanced-System-Pin-Code-Management.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/65pdZz3D/Advanced-Security-System-Settings.jpg)

I've set up a Windows Batch script using the Speedtest CLI to run regular speed tests to the same server on an Intel NUC that just happens to be in the room with a suitable window. I use Scheduled Tasks to run the script every half an hour between 8am and midnight, then on the hour in until 8am.

Code: [Select]
@echo off

set myfile="C:\Users\Ron\OneDrive\Documents\Results.csv"
for /F %%I in ('curl http://ipecho.net/plain') do set ip=%%I

set timestring=%TIME: =0%
set str=%timestring:~0,5%

set datetimef="%date:~0,2%/%date:~3,2%/%date:~-4% %str%","%ip%",

SPEEDTEST -s 37471 -f csv >Speedtest.csv

set /P var=<Speedtest.csv

ECHO %datetimef%%var% >>%myfile%

The fastest download speed test so far is

(https://www.speedtest.net/result/c/34e6c0b1-20ab-4d56-9e93-8db75b1b1b55.png)

and the slowest - no idea why this one is so slow, the two either side were 67 and 88 Mbps.

(https://www.speedtest.net/result/c/f86b4631-bff9-4aa0-9bc6-7a6fa5038dfb.png)

the average download is 96.46Mbps, and the average upload is 22.32 Mbps

Fastest upload has been 31.44 Mbps, and slowest 9.61 Mbps

The speed test ping ranges between 16.668 to 98.979 with an average of 45.44.

Jitter ranges between 0.105 and 20.974, average of 4.02.

I'm going to create some graphs, and see how things look on there, it's would be nice if the Speedtest CLI allowed you to link the speed test results to an account, but like the Android and Windows Apps I don't this is possible.

So far I've had the same IP, the modem set it's self up with the 3internet APN which apparently results in a public IP address and no NAT at Three's end. Only problem is I can ping the IP 92.x.x.x from my Three mobile, but I can't ping it from my home network, of via TBB Ping monitor, any idea's?
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: burakkucat on January 24, 2021, 06:50:53 PM
. . . I ordered a refurbished Huawei B818-263 from efones, which to all intents and purposes looks brand new, the user interface is branded Optus, which is an Austrailian telecoms company.

 :hmm:  I wonder how different a vanilla Huawei device would be when compared with the Optus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optus) branded version?

Thank you for your first report (I hope that there will be more in the future) and all of the images -- which will now take a while to examine.  :)
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 24, 2021, 09:16:08 PM
:hmm:  I wonder how different a vanilla Huawei device would be when compared with the Optus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optus) branded version?

Having just flicked through this video of the 5G version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4DfKaMqctI) the user interface looks identical, the only difference I noticed was the ability to set a time period for the indicator LED to be off.

PS. There will be some more reports to follow, but this is new territory to me.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: pob on January 25, 2021, 09:40:30 AM
Thanks for the detailed screenshots.
As you've already found, the user interface is identical to my 5G Hub from Three (Huawei CPE Pro H112-370).  Three have locked down the firmware though so a number of features are not accessible such as bridge mode and DNS changes. 
I would have liked to bridge my 5G Hub into my Velop mesh WiFi system.  Instead I've had to use the 5G Hub as the router and put the Velop into plain access point mode.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 25, 2021, 10:20:16 AM
I haven't yet tried Bridge mode yet, it doesn't appear to locked on mine, I will give it a try at some point. I'll probably run it our network off it for a while just to see how it all performs.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 25, 2021, 08:52:15 PM
Well speeds are all over the place, which is to be expected

(https://i.postimg.cc/BnNKtCmb/Speedtest-Graph.jpg)
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 26, 2021, 08:48:53 PM
A couple of differences have come to light between the vanilla Huawei device and the Optus branded one.

On the vanilla Huawei one when CA is in use the home page shows 4G+ (mine does not), this changes on the fly and on the device information page the vanilla one doesn't have CA mode displayed.

PS. Had a change of IP address at 1am this morning, so that's the first change in 13 days, this time I can actually ping it.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2021, 08:08:43 PM
After yesterdays IP change I was able to setup up a ping monitor, you can see my automated speed tests.

(https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/thumb/ec967ef31d202b799f6088157f3d4a1e16995bd1-27-01-2021.png)

Someone over on the ISP Review thread (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/huawei-b818-263.36602/) posted a youtube link (https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M) for how to change (debrand??) the firmware on the B618 (SIX 18), so I'm guessing the B818 will be similar, but apparently firmwares are very hard to find for the B818. I won't be trying, not at the moment anyway.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M[/youtube]
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2021, 08:38:13 PM
Just switched the whole house over to the Three connection, this will be interesting, especially to see if I get any complaints from my daughter tomorrow  ;)
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2021, 08:58:21 PM
Bridge mode seems to be working, updated the VPN on my phone with the new IP and I can now VPN from my phone to my home Network.

PS. And thanks to Chrysalis Pfsense notified me of the IP address change, so looks like things are working so far.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: burakkucat on January 27, 2021, 10:57:22 PM
Someone over on the ISP Review thread (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/huawei-b818-263.36602/) posted a youtube link (https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M) for how to change (debrand??) the firmware on the B618 (SIX 18), so I'm guessing the B818 will be similar, but apparently firmwares are very hard to find for the B818.

I took a look at that YouTube video (https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M) and have to say it would not be something I would be willing to risk on a different device, a B818 . . . Even if I had a B618 I wouldn't feel confident, as the video was essentially useless at imparting the relevant information.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: meritez on January 27, 2021, 11:13:44 PM
I took a look at that YouTube video (https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M) and have to say it would not be something I would be willing to risk on a different device, a B818 . . . Even if I had a B618 I wouldn't feel confident, as the video was essentially useless at imparting the relevant information.

I did something similar with my b525 to install mod firmware using the following guide: http://www.bez-kabli.pl/viewtopic.php?t=50771

I find Huawei pretty indestructible for a modem, killed far too many smartphones though
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: burakkucat on January 27, 2021, 11:48:40 PM
I did something similar with my b525 to install mod firmware using the following guide: http://www.bez-kabli.pl/viewtopic.php?t=50771

Thank you for sharing that link. I've made a note to check it, sometime tomorrow.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on January 28, 2021, 06:19:03 AM
I took a look at that YouTube video (https://youtu.be/JhLyrT6Gp-M) and have to say it would not be something I would be willing to risk on a different device, a B818 . . . Even if I had a B618 I wouldn't feel confident, as the video was essentially useless at imparting the relevant information.

I agree, and seeing as it working perfectly in bridge mode there's no point.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: meritez on January 28, 2021, 01:02:00 PM
Thank you for sharing that link. I've made a note to check it, sometime tomorrow.

The 4pda forum has a long topic on the B818: https://4pda.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=953767
Google Translate is needed.

I see Vodafone have just launched the B818 as a 4G Gigacube: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/01/vodafone-uk-launch-4g-gigacube-b818-mobile-broadband-plans.html
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: craigv on February 08, 2021, 08:56:03 PM
LTE H-Monitor (https://www.ltehmonitor.com/en/) also works with it.
Thanks for mentioning LTE H-Monitor - I'm only now experimenting with mobile broadband myself for the first time (also on Three) this proved invaluable to helping me get the positioning right for the best possible signal :)

So far I've had the same IP, the modem set it's self up with the 3internet APN which apparently results in a public IP address and no NAT at Three's end. Only problem is I can ping the IP 92.x.x.x from my Three mobile, but I can't ping it from my home network, of via TBB Ping monitor, any idea's?
Tbh I'd not tested pinging the connection (as think it may have been blocked at my firewall anyway) but I did test exposing a webserver, and I was able to access that from the big wide interwebs without any hassle, which shocked me at first as I'd pretty much assumed there was going to be NAT.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on February 08, 2021, 09:06:11 PM
My IP's changed again, and now I don't have external access again, forced the IP to change several times now and still no go  :(
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on February 14, 2021, 05:10:31 PM
Just to follow up on this thread, we have been using Three as our broadband connection since the 27 January. I've had no complaints from my daughter, and I really haven't noticed any difference in use myself, apart from the IP address changing frequently.

The IP address has changed multiple times, I even forced some changes, but only once got an IP address that was externally accessible, and this was using the 3Internet APN. Not a major problem, but I prefer to have access to my network when away from home.

So today I made that phone call to VM, and was eventually offered M350 for 38.50 a month (a rise of 1.50), on an 18 month contract. Not particularly keen on an 18 month contract, but given the time of year it will be about 11 months until the next price increase get out option comes along, by then we may have FTTP or 5G available.

So I've accepted the above offer, yes I could have saved some money over the year by moving to Three (10.60 a month after cashback), but in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't be much, and as others have mentioned our 4G could get a lot worse, or we could have 5G become available, but I've decided to play it safe, and it keeps the network tidier as well.

I do have an eBay special 100GB EE SIM to experiment with - we have line of sight to their tower as well, and it's closer than the Three tower, once I've tested that I'll post the results.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: broadstairs on February 14, 2021, 05:31:45 PM
If you find you need access to home when away you could use NO-IP which is what I've been using for sometime now, it has a small program which runs under windows to keep your IP updated with its records. I use a paid for account which negates the need for any messing around, not expensive for 12 moths at a time. (yes I do have one Windows PC  ;) )

Stuart
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on February 14, 2021, 06:43:21 PM
Hi Stuart,

Unfortunately that won't work, it's not that I don't know the IP address (pfSense emails my phone every time it changes), its that its behind CGNAT. Only way around CGNAT is to use a suitable VPN, something like what A&A offer.

It is possible to get accessible IP address's from Three, as I did have one, and Three actually state they can help with a static IP address (https://www.threebroadband.co.uk/swindon/help/order-deliver-and-set-up/can-i-get-a-static-ip-address), but I didn't enquire - this was only an experiment in case VM didn't play ball with what I felt was a reasonable price rise compared to theirs.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: cacoe on April 12, 2021, 04:29:46 PM
As anyone usually is, sorry to kick up an oldish thread :)

I can't believe I'm saying this but I too am interested in Three 4G for my home connection.

Did you stick with it in the longer term? On average, just going by my Three phone speed tests, I seem to average at least double the speed of my wired connection (varies between 60-100mbps) - Maybe it is substantially worse at certain times but I haven't noticed that so far.

Biggest disadvantage seems to be the substantially higher pings, but I don't really game online that much so I think I could live with it.

I can't actually get 5G in my area, other than future proofing (and the fact that 3's 5g modem is much prettier) do you think there's much advantage with going with their "fancier" model?

In fact, do you think it's even worth going with the Three supplied routers at all? From my experience consumer ISP routers in general seem notoriously bad (or I've made many bad choices)
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on April 12, 2021, 05:42:28 PM
Trouble is, the only person whose opinion is any use is someone else on the same tower you'd be using, as it depends entirely on how loaded that tower is.  Even then, exactly how good a signal you get in your house can vary.

From my own experience I used to get the same as you on my phone with Three, but when I used it more consistently I found it would far too often be 2-20Mbit with pings sometimes clocking up to 2000ms.

On the other hand I now use Voxi (Vodafone) for heavy downloads (in addition to VDSL) and that rarely drops below 50Mbit, frequently hitting 120Mbit.

So basically it can be great, it can be terrible, and it can drift between those states at any given moment based on network load.  I'd personally always keep a backup DSL connection for the bad days.
Title: Re: Experiments with a Huawei B818-263 and Three 4G
Post by: Ronski on April 12, 2021, 09:11:47 PM
Hi cacoe, no I didn't stick with it, I was able to negotiate a price I was happy with for VM 350, so have stayed with them and sold the 4G modem.