Speed test from Max 700 less than a speed test from a phone

We have a MAX 700 connected via SpeedFusion to a Balance 710 on 1 gbps dedicated fiber.

We have the MAX 700 at a trade show, and the speeds we’re seeing are not that great. The unit supports 4 USB modems, and we have 2x Sprint, 2x Verizon, 2x TMobile and 2x ATT (all purchased in the last 6 months) so when we get to a site we can adjust based on the coverage.

The problem I’m running into is the speed as measured on the unit is about 20 mbps download, but somebody with using their cellular connection on their phone is able to get 40 mbps download.

We have tried different modem configurations, as well as using external antennas but still are just barely equal to the speedtest results of a solo phone standing right next to our peplink (that has 2x ATT modems plugged in) using the same carrier, in the same place, at the same time.

I know there’s a ~19% overhead using speedfusion, but I feel like I’m missing something.

Have you tried with two different cellular connections? (not both on ATT, etc)

Most likely, both of your SIMS are connecting to the same tower - so basically, both SIMS are competing for the same resources on the ATT network. You may have better luck with one ATT and one TMobile (mix the carriers to avoid potential bottlenecks)

I have both of my WAN connections going to the same ISP and I deal with this quite often. No sense in using SpeedFusion for me since I will always have a single point bottleneck at my first hop. Whatever bandwidth I get is what I will get regardless if I am using one or two connections/IPs. The ISP uses a “FairShare” and oversubscription model. During peak times, no matter what I do - I cannot improve my throughput or latency. There just isn’t enough resources on the transponder that I am connecting both my WANS to.

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Yes, we started with 1 of each carrier and have tried changing out the various providers based on latency and speed with little or no impact. The speeds are consistently low

Work through each sim/usb modem in turn and verify the optimal MTU settings for each carrier. Then use a sim/usb dongle combination from a network operator that is the same as a phone and run the speedtests consecutively (first smartphone, then MAX 700 and compare). Also verify the results against two different speedtest providers (like http://speedtest.net & https://sourceforge.net/speedtest/).

Then let us know how you get on.


Hello @HelloWill,
Trade show are always challenging locations with any form of wireless communications, you often are within an RF shielded building (be it due to metal roofs and walls and concrete), there may be a DAS operating by one or multiple of the carriers (a Distributed Antenna System), though during trade shows and conference the area becomes saturated with mobile devices (phone, WAPs, two way radios, and many other RF devices).

If you have already done what @jmjones mentioned and also what @MartinLangmaid recomends, then you may find the following explains some of what you are experiencing (this based from experiences at many exhibitions and conferences).

Previously we use to regularly parked an RF scanner looking at activity in an area of to one side at conferences and exhibitions. An example of the results at a recent broadcasting exhibition in Sydney over the duration of just 30 minutes we picked up over 100 people moving around operating with there built in Wi-Fi from there phones, plus there was the exhibition sites Wi-Fi, several of the exhibitors doing there own Wi-Fi and also Wi-Fi detectable from the exhibition next door. Now imagine the load on the mobile/cellular network when so many people and exhibitors all in the area.

We too provide services to exhibitors, though we always push for them to go with a Wired Connection from the venue (yes we know the venues charge like wounded bulls for the privilege), though it gives the best guarantee of service normally. We avoid like the plague using any USB dongles at exhibitions/conferences to provide services, we always use an industrial modem with a MIMO solution antenna properly installed.

Once you have a MIMO option and a venue wired connection, Peplink routers then become an excellent option to manage the connection with some potential redundancy through the mobile/cellular network options or with another wireless service (using the existing features already with the Peplink MAX range).

Based on the hardware you have, being the MAX 700, we would suggest (in this order):

  1. Get a physical connection at the venue as your primary connection (make sure it is not a wireless relayed connection) and use that on the WAN connection,
  2. The MAX 700 has WI-FI WAN available, use that to connect to a venue supplied Wi-Fi service (look for 5Ghz service, 2.4Gz will become very congested during the exhibition/conference), this is then your second WAN connection,
  3. Keep your dongles as a fall back or put them on a lower priority the options 1 and 2.

Finally, some carriers enforce an automatic load-balancing and network priority on there networks, although you may be only getting 20Mb on your USB Dongle compared to 40Mb on your phone, the APN used in the USB Dongle combined with the manufactures IMIE may result in the connection having a higher priority within there carrier network network and higher levels of service guarantee, you need to ensure that the assigned SIM cards APN you are comparing to on the Phone and the Broadband Modem (USB Dongle) are identical and on the same account (this is more than just moving the SIM card between devices).

Remember that cheep USB dongles do not always do all of the available frequencies you will find in a modern phone that carrier may use and not all dongle are capable of operating across multiple channels simultaneously.

Wireless communications is full of “gotchas” like above. See how you go with all of the above advice and information.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

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Thanks you all for your suggestions
HelloWill is a coworker of mine, currently on vacation. We got the unit back from the show and finally had a chance to do some more testing here in the office, a more controlled environment than a tradeshow floor

@MartinLangmaid, I’m getting worse results after tweaking the MTU. Can you spot if there’s anything wrong in what I’m doing?
I plugged each USB modem, one a time, to a windows 10 computer with wifi / ethernet disabled.
ran 2 speedtests and ran ping -f -l xxxx with various values of xxxx until I found the maximum.
These are the results:

sprint: 996
verizon: 1400
at&t: 1402
tmobile: 1412

Plugged the 4 modems into the pepwave max, didn’t change the MTU from the default 1492 and repeated the ping test from the system → tools → ping panel and confirmed the max payload values I got before and that the mtu is payload + 28.
Connected the computer via ethernet cable to the unit and ran the same speedtests while keeping an eye on the speedfusion status panel. Sourceforge always failed in the middle of the latency test, so I used beta.speetest.net and proof.ovh.net
Then for each modem I changed the MTU from the default 1492 to those values +28 and repeated the tests.
Repeated the tests by removing the Sprint modem, the least performing one. Here are all the results

It appears that fine tuning the MTU makes things worse, removing low performing modems has the highest effect (but I would have hoped that speedfusion could identify them and send less traffic through them). Repeating the last test with bandwidth smoothing normal or disabled has no appreciable effect.

(I have another reply with some test results playing with the MTU currently hidden by the spam filter)

@mldowling, yes, tradeshows are tricky environments, but we aren’t getting much better results here at the office as well (downtown Detroit, not a very populated area, great coverage from the 4 carriers).
Sure, purchasing a wired connection at each tradeshow would guarantee better results, but that’s what we were hoping to avoid with this unit.
We are still puzzled why a USB modem plugged to a PC performs consistently better than 4 USB modems from different carriers plugged in the MAX 700. We are trying to make this unit work at its full potential.

Remember that cheep USB dongles do not always do all of the available frequencies you will find in a modern phone that carrier may use and not all dongle are capable of operating across multiple channels simultaneously.

We were suspecting something like this, so e verified with the carriers (we purchased the modems from them) that their USB modems do not support carrier aggregation. That explains why good phones get better speed than the USB modems we have.
So I tried to use Android USB tethering through a Nexus 5X and a Galaxy S7 (t-mobile and AT&T), connecting only 1 at a time to the max 700. I couldn’t get the Galaxy S7 to be recognized by the unit. Speed directly on the phone was considerably better than speed from USB tethering on the max 700, so I would also exclude that carrier aggregation plays a big role in the issues we are having

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Hello @hicla,
Have you spoken with your supplier (they should be a Certified Peplink Engineer) about this, if you are unable to get them to help you resolve this, you may need to raise a support ticket with Peplink. Peplink may know of a local specialist in your area they can put you in touch with.

Before Contacting Peplink Support, have you:

  1. Verified the list of modems you are using against the compatible list of modems
  2. Spoken with your local Peplink Certified Enginner (ask Peplink if needed for a Cellular specalist in your area)
  3. Worked the the advice from @jmjones & @MartinLangmaid & @mldowling above
  4. Download the Diagnostic logs from the router
    Obtaining a Diagnostic Report from a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX Device

If you have gone through all of these and still having challenges, then raise a support ticket at https://contact.peplink.com/secure/create-support-ticket.html

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

Does this sound similar to what anyone else is seeing?
Looking at https://download.peplink.com/partner/SpeedFusion_Best_Practices.pdf
Page 4 describes the use of IMIX (RFC 6985 - IMIX Genome: Specification of Variable Packet Sizes for Additional Testing) traffic flows.
Page 5 describes using IMIX over a multiple WAN speedfusion, with the example Download: 10Mb + 10Mb = 20Mbps – 19% = 16.2Mbps
That sounds excellent.

Our setup with SpeedFusion between two Balance 710s (fw ver 7.1.0) has one B710 with a 500Mbps Internet connection, and the other B710 has 5 WAN Internet circuits:
All WAN Internet circuits have been tested to rated capacity individually.
Download: 100Mbps (W1) +60Mbps (W2)+ 60Mbps (W3) + 60Mbps (W4) + 60Mbps (W5), but the throughput using speedtest.net is 35Mbps.

Does that look right?


@DKonkin, thanks for reading through our document of SpeedFusion Best Practices. If you have chance to review the page 6 of this document, you can find our recommendation below:

WAN links with different bandwidth profile (e.g. speed, latency, packet loss) may degrade the bonding performance.

Question 1

May I know what is the hardware revision of both Balance 710?

Question 2

May I know how you confirm the bandwidth above? Test with speedtest.net? If so, this is not an appropriate comparison with the SpeedFusion Bonding throughput. Have you noticed the nearest speed test server always be chosen when you do the speed test? Why? This is because throughput will be degraded (latency and packet loss will be increased as well) if the distance is further! This is well explained in the URL links below.

Question 3

Have you checked is there a bandwidth sharing between the WAN links? This is very common in broadband connection. This is well explained on page 10 of our document of SpeedFusion Best Practices. You might need to check with the ISP.

Since you have opened ticket, I would suggest follow up with our technical support there. Unless you wish get others opinion here.


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Hi TK,

Both are revision 3


Thanks. The maximum SpeedFusion throughput will be 400Mbps. Please continue work with our technical support engineer to rule out and understand the mentioned environmental influence.

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