Going to get a pepwave device for rural home internet

I am currently using viastat which is terrible. I have a week verizon signal at home. I have been told that the pepwave could do wonders. So I have a br1 mini that someone has given me to do a trial run with just to see if I can get service. If it works which I’m praying it does I will be looking for a better pepwave device. I need help deciding which one will work best so far I thing the br1 ent or the duo will work but also will a cat 6 do what I need do I need a cat 12 or high I will stream movies but at standard Definition. I’ve bought a mimo antenna to try I’m about ten miles from my closest tower. Also I will be using 3 or 4 tvs and have 2 or so cell phones look for internet from the router. I know it’s a long shot but I have to try something also will wifi calling work on the pepwave might do 1 verizon sim with 1 att sim or just 2 verizon Sims

Hi Michael,

There are 4 parts to this setup you need to consider:

  1. The mobile data signal in the area / Mast location / Direction of mast
  2. The Router
  3. The Antennas
  4. Budget

The router on its own will go some way to helping you out however if you are able to satisfy all 3 points above you will have good success.

Do some research into masts in your area and providers on those masts this will give a good indication of what you maybe able to get out of these services. In the UK we have various Apps we can use to get this information and you may have something similar where you live.

Once you have understood what providers / masts are in your area the next decision you will need to make is if you use the paddle antennas that come with the router (indoor) or go for High Gain outdoor antennas (recommended if possible) which will make a decent difference to signal and stability of the internet connection.

Lastly you have the router, any of the routers you mention will do the job but as for cat-6 / 12 / 18 the higher up you go the more stable the connection will be but not more bandwidth. The cell tower can only provide you what it has so if you only get 20Mbps that is all you will get regardless of what CAT-x modem you use it will just me more stable.

As you can see the combination of all of the above working together is what you need to look at but budget will dictate what you can / cannot do. For example I would use in the internal antennas first to see what you get before going out and buying external outdoor high gain antennas as you may not need them.



Thank you yes I have already bought mimo Directional Antenna for outside and know where my towers are I’ve already bought a verizon sim to try out just gonna be doing it here in a few days I will be putting the Antennas about 3ft above the peak of my roof so will a cat 12 be stable enough I just can’t justify a the price of a 5g modem yet

I dont know that any providers are deploying 5g in rural settings right now and if they do it could be a long way away. If you have no cell signal even at the roof, you have no cell signal, there is no magical way to increase it. First step IMO is to figure out if you get any usable signal from any carriers and go from there.

If you have usable signal, the next worry is bandwidth. Some cell towers don’t have much or are oversubscribed. Each carrier has different plans that are on different priorities. Some deprioritize as well. You might have to do some testing and keep fingers crossed that nothing changes or a neighbor doesn’t start using all the bandwidth.

I have verizon I just need insight as to which pepwave to get

yes, but you also said you have a weak signal. a peplink device does not magically improve signal. having an external/roof mounted antenna may help a little but also does not magically improve signal. you will need to consider lightning protection as well. perhaps a local peplink reseller can loan you a device to test? or you can safely access your roof and do a survey of signal levels and bands using a device?

as for which device, the more bands that can be aggregated the better, but some rural towers have a limited number of bands so that could be a moot point. do you know what bands your local tower broadcasts? also note the number of antennas you need can increase with more aggregation / higher CAT modems. A single antenna may not work well unless it has multiple elements.

Yes I have 2 yagi antennas to do 2x2 mimo and I also know the tower closest has 13 and 5 the othere one has 13,5,66 for verizon

Also att towers have 2 12 4 14and 66 the other has 2 12 and 14 which I currently have a celfi booster off of that tower

To summarize the background (to make sure I got it right):
You have two possible cellular carriers (Verizon and AT&T), both of which may be of questionable quality. For each carrier, you may have one or more towers.
You have a loaner BR1 mini that you can use to test connectivity.

I would suggest the following:

  1. Get one SIM card for each carrier.
  2. Test them on the BR1. If one or both work well, be happy, and get a single-modem router.
  3. If both are dodgy then get a dual-modem (or dual-capable) router and deploy both carriers.

For a single-modem router we have found that the Balance 20X works really well, and it offers a degree of future-proofing (it is capable of 900Mbps routing, and the FlexModules allow for upgrades as your needs (or the carrier support) improves above the CAT-4 modem that is built into the B20x). You can get CAT-6, CAT-12 and (soon?) CAT-18 and 5G modules, resulting in a dual-modem configuration (see below).

If both carriers (or towers) are dodgy/less than sufficiently capable, then a dual-modem router is tempting. We have found the Transit Duo CAT-12 to represent a sweet spot, in our case usually being a combination of TMO and VZW deployments. The two modems provide a robust connection and an improved bandwidth. Deploy them with speedfusion turned on and you get a very capable system.

Having said that, if you are willing to accept an asymmetric dual-modem set-up (one modem being more capable than the other) then a B20x with a CAT-12 (or better) FlexModule gives you CAT-4 + CAT-12 simultaneous connectivity at a lower price than the Transit Duo CAT-12, a higher throughput capability, and that extra future-proofing of the FlexModule upgrade option.

The cherry on top is that the PrimeCare cost of the B20x is quite a bit lower than that of the Transit Duo.

Just the usual $0.02


PS: Carrier-upgrades can occasionally seem rather random. In our neck of the mountains we used to have VZW only, and that only at CAT-4. Then, boom!, we suddenly have VZW at 5G/CAT-12, and TMO at CAT-6, with the combination in a dual-modem router being very satisfactory indeed.