Newbie Questions - Home Setup for Streaming and work from home

Want to to cut the cord with reasonable time to recoup initial outlay.
Looking for one time investment in hardware that will allow capability to grow as service expands.
Want to recoup initial cost inside 18 months if possible.

  • Max adaptor 5G
  • Balance 2 router
  • Indoor AP
  • External antennas?
  • Roku / firestick / etc

Immediate function – current supplier for internet and media is > $200 / mo Data is rock solid but rate is low (25Mbps).
Gbps connections exist only via cable provider we left because they could never get our TiVos to full channel list after about 4-5 service calls and simply don’t want to deal with them.

So - I think 100Mbps min to even consider.
Media: streaming for 4 HD streams is stated as 4x13Mbps and for uninterrupted lets allocate 100 to 150 Mbps.
(YouTubeTV seems to be preference
Devices/Work: like to get >100Mbps without competing with media.

Towers: Verizon - approx 1/2 Mi; ATT 2 in opposite directions approx 2.25 mi each; T-Mobile 2 in opposite directions approx 2.5 mi.
T-Mobile is only that clearly indicates 5G (but not ultra 5G yet) available. They offer via MetroPCS an unlimited 5g hotspot but not clear it metered in amount of 5G or even high speed LTE data if I put sim card in Max Adaptor.

Does this seem reasonable?

I find it difficult to determine the real terms of the wireless providers plans and would appreciate insight where and how to shop smartly.

I can find frequency/channels associated with the towers (I think) using internet searches. How can I assess the true data rates achievable so I can select the correct wireless home data plan?

How do I correctly assess the need for external antenna and the gain. With 4 cell SMA connectors, not sure if other directional antenna form other sources can even be considered.

first thing to do is find what data plans you can get that are compatible with the router you plan to use. find out what cell towers are nearby, what carriers are on them, how many GB/unlimited/deprioritization/etc, and then do some testing.

we actually got by fine with 10mbps service with multiple people streaming on TVs, working from home, etc. we travel a lot and our primary peplink setup is mobile. some times we only have a few mbps, some times 20mbps.

we route all tv and security camera traffic outside speed fusion. we use the primary speed fusion with smoothing to balance other devices, such as computers, and cell phones, used for work, surfing, etc. then we have a secondary speed fusion tunnel for mission critical that has more expensive WANs, for things like wifi calling/texting, voip, etc.

we decided to rate limit the TVs as we didnt need super HD quality and limit guests.

the setup works very well but we find that we need multiple WANs to maintain stability. in some locations signals are bad / non-existent. in some cell towers are too busy. so having two cellular options and WiFi wan is recommended unless you have a single stable connection. most of the time we are balancing 3-4 WANs but some times we are lucky to have 1 working WAN.

as for antennas, we went with external omni antennas, due to the mobile aspect. depending on your location/use case, you might be better off with directional. you definitely will want separate LAN AP if you are setting up external antennas. a cheap AP for LAN should suffice as long as it offers the coverage you need.

once you determine your potential carriers, data plans, and throughput needed, you can easily select which peplink router suits your needs.

there is so much good information in this forum, spend some hours/days reading past threads.

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