Best solution for multi-WAN 4G LTE backup for rural location

Thought I should give an update on this thread. Jonathan set me up with a Peplink Balance 20X, a Mini LTE flex module that fits inside the Balance, and a 5G MAX Adapter that connects via USB, plus two IP67 Omni antennae, plus, setting me up with accounts with T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T, which saved me time. I moved on Halloween and had everything set up in time for when my wife and I returned to work on Nov 12th.

Jonathan put a lot of work in navigating workarounds for equipment not available yet, finding the best deals with the cell providers, and troubleshooting issues, often doing so late into the night. It’s been a learning curve, but the important thing is that we’ve had consistent internet connection, and the bandwidth bonding even solved the problems that I used to have back in Chicago using a cable gig connection – it was fast, but had frequent dropouts that cause audio issues in Teams. I haven’t had that with Peplink, which is amazing.

Thanks Jonathan! I look forward to trying the 5G flex module when it finally comes in!

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Thanks Tony! I appreiciate it.

Thank you for the update!

Which plans do you have with each carrier and what are you paying, if you don’t mind me asking…

What is a “remote antenna kit”?

On a similar note, has anyone been able to use the Max adapters, put antenna on roof, max adapter in attic, and then convert the usb to ethernet or run a very long usb to router in a different part of house? I am looking at doing a somewhat rural setup for a possible new location, and I’d rather not put the peplink up in a hot attic. I have put some units on boats, and the ones in climate controlled areas with ventilations run nice, but the ones in non climate control/non ventilated areas get super hot, and I start to experience cellular drop outs at the hottest temps…

I pay $100 each for 300GB with Verizon, 100GB ATT, and I have two T-Mobile SIMs at 100GB each for $100 each. Yeah, expensive, the cost of rural living beyond the fiber grid. T-Mobile is the only provider where I truly get 5G signal, so I use it for most important work applications and exclude it from my entertainment streaming.

I bought 10 of these 35 ft cables which are just enough to go from my office to the rooftop:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08YR7Y2GY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hired a guy to cut a hole with a sealed cable box to fit all of them through. He also ran an ethernet cable to the next room where my wife works.

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Thanks. so the longest run is 35ft or you are connecting multiple lengths together?

The top of my antenna pole on the roof is just under 35ft away. If you need longer there are 50ft cables available. The place that had lengths of 500ft and more that you would cut yourself did not sell the SMA male & female connectors I needed. Apparently those connectors are not common, which is why my installer didn’t have them and I had to scramble to order and pay for him to come out twice.

Antenna kits:

I use a AT&T postpaid Unlimited Elite sim. Technically deprioritized after 100Gb, but in rural areas there is never enough traffic to cause issues, and with starlink as the primary streaming service I never get anywhere near the card limits. Before Starlink I would run around 300Gb/month including 1080p streaming… I didn’t get a 4K TV until after Starlink, but I still only average 350Gb per month.

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Oh ok you just mean an external antenna.

I am trying to find if there is a solution that allows me to have external antennas on roof and then a cellular modem it connects to nearby/in attic but then that modem some how connects to the Peplink router/brain further away…

I dont know if the Max Adapters can have a very long USB or even USB to ethernet without messing up speed/signal? I am trying to avoid a 50+ foot antenna run with multiple wires… also trying to avoid the expense of the Domes for this setup… especially because I want the main router to be the brain and just handle everything in one interface…

Thanks!

I ran my b20X in an unconditioned attic 2 summers ago and didn’t have any problems with the heat. July and August in NJ… I would still test it.

You can run any of the MAX BR’s or transits in drop in mode, or a routed mode, I had a max transit in the attic for a bit until we put in place the directional antennas and moved the B20X to the attic, When the starlink terminal is available at that second property I don’t know if I will move the B20X and run LMR400, or just run another ethernet up to the B20X in the attic. That attic has a temperature controlled fan that runs when it gets hot.

I have my B20X in the basement today with a 35’ dual (soon to be 4) LMR400 cable run (3 floors) that gave about 4db of loss… I just tested the wire before running it, and as long as the signal was good enough I could move the B20X to the basement, otherwise I would have left it in the attic with a shorter run and had to run another cat5-e cable from the basement to the attic.

USB extenders do exist, but I’m going to assume they are speed limited and I haven’t tested them.

Options I would consider for POE powered outdoor rated cellular are BR1 IP67, HD2 dome, HD1 Dome.

I currently use a balance 30 LTE, and because of my rural enviorment I don’t use the internal LTE.
I use a hd2 dome, DSL , and a ATT product called Fixed Wireless Internet.
You have to line of sight and the tower/area has to be approved capacity for the plan.
Then they charge you an install fee and install a external external CAT16 model and a internal router.
Then you can uplink it to your peplink via ethernet. I plan to do a full write up of my rural adventures in another post.
I’ve considered doing a test for a long run max adapter for a while now.
I’ll find some time to do some testing.
The only thing frustrating about the max adapter at this time is it’s really only good for a single sim card when using with a peplink router. The sim switching currently does not work when connected to a 20x as an example. I’m working with peplink on testing , but I’m guessing it will be v9 before this is resolved.

PM me or send me an e-mail if I can help order equipment or plans for you.