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afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL

1 edit

[Equipment] Verizon 4G LTE for gaming in my area.

Hi, I am currently having a debate with my father on ISP providers. We do not have access to cable or DSL providers, currently all we have is AOL Dial-up and Hughes Network. Both of which I consider to be garbage.

So what are debate is centered around is not the fact that Verizon's 4G LTE network is fast, but whether they actually provide by us and its reliable because my father has the belief that what they say and put on their website and what reality is completely two different things, due to his interactions with AT&Ts 4G phone network.

I have spoken with a customer service individual and checked their coverage maps dozens of times and all sources point in my favor.

So what I would very much appreciate is some outside opinions and assistance on a few things:

1. If Verizon covers my area with 4G LTE or even 4G
2. How efficient it would be
3. How would my speed be for only gaming
4. Would I go over on my data plan for online gaming, 10GB most likely, (Games like SWTOR, SC2, Generic FPS')
5. What modem would you recommend? I would be running this on a Windows 7 64 bit desktop.

Regarding the dropping of signal, I am aware of the use of antennas but I am not entirely sure how I would set that up. If you could explain that it would be much appreciated.

For checking if my area is covered what info would you need? Zip code only?

In case you are wondering, I am not doing this to one up my father, but rather to get the facts straight for myself.

Thank you so much advance. You would be doing me such a huge favor.

EDIT: Would tethering my grandfathered unlimited data plan from my phone to my computer be a reasonable alternative?


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2

1. The Verizon coverage maps are very good. They are not perfect. They are based on both actual testing and engineering estimates. I know of one area where the estimates, for any type of Verizon Wireless service, were off by 0.5 mile. There was a dead zone whose radius needed to be increased from 1 mile to 1.5 miles. After months of input from dropped calls they finally changed the map. If you are in the center of a large LTE area, you are probably at 99% confidence of getting LTE. If you are at the edge of a large LTE area, you are probably at 1% confidence of getting LTE. The LTE network is not completed and has suffered outages. It is a work in development.

Put in your exact address into the Verizon coverage map service and see where you are within the LTE service area. Make sure to check the LTE coverage box and then click the refresh map button. You must be in the regular LTE service area. I do not know what the LTE extended coverage area is, but I bet it means more money out of your pocket.

I put in Frankfort, IL and got the intersection of West Nebraska Street and South Locust street. 3G EVDO territory. You are on the boundary of LTE at the intersection of Route 45 and West Nebraska.

2. Efficient? In terms of what? Electricity? Time? Money? Radio frequency spectrum usage?

3. Gaming. I do not do gaming. The people I know who have EVDO RevA 3G Verizon service and do gaming say it is better than nothing, but varies too much to be enjoyable consistently. I suspect that LTE will be the same. Maybe in the future when LTE is fully mature it will be an enjoyable experience consistently.

4. Yes, if the content you are transferring (upload and download combined) is 10GB, you will go over. This is because of resent data packets, which are normal on the internet. You also have address bytes which direct where packets go. Then there are firmware updates. The good thing is that the overage charges have gone from $50/GB under 3G EVDO to $10/GB for LTE. There is a danger in that, it seems to me from reading the LTE terms of service, you can be charged at the $50/GB rate if you have overages that are logged on the old 3G EVDO network or 1XRT network. You really want everything to be on the LTE network.

5. The Pantech 4G LTE USB Modem UML290 gets the best reviews for just a modem and has an external antenna port. The Verizon Jetpack™ 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi® 4510L has an external antenna jack and is a mobile hotspot. You are restricted to 5 WiFi clients.

External antennas can range from small $40 magnetic mount ones to $400 large direction roof mounted ones. I use several for EVDO Verizon service. I have small magnetic mount, large parabolic grid, external truck mirror mount, small desktop sector, and flat window mount. There are fewer available designs for LTE, but more are being developed. Here is one website's list of LTE antennas »3gstore.com/antenna_frequency/7m···nas.html.

Now for my totally biased opinion. Go visit Millenicom at »www.millenicom.com/page/plans#advanced_plan. You get 20GB of 3G Verizon service for $60/month. Ignore any of the other plans. Too many headaches. Get a Cradlepoint MBR95 wireless router »3gstore.com/product/3029_cradlep···r95.html or »www.cradlepoint.com/products/sma···g-router. Wait a couple of years for Verizon to fix the problems with LTE coverage and operations. Then see what is available.


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL

On my coverage map I am covered by the standard LTE coverage and like .2 miles SW it turns into extended coverage.

By efficiency I mean how fast is the speed once connected and does it fluctuate often and drop.

Even if it was for strictly online gaming I would run over? But I've read that it shouldn't be an issue if its for gaming online and that is all its used for. Even Verizon told me that I would be fine.

Now is 3G viable for online gaming because I have seen people playing console games online and running almost flawlessly.

If its okay for console, why not PC because based on your above logic of the receiving and sending of data packets I would encounter an issue (in terms of overage) and that you get dropped and that it is too inconsistent.

I will definitely look into Millenicom if I find that 3G is viable for gaming.

I'm really only doing this to make sure that my internet is stable and fast enough for SWTOR, that is my MAIN concern. So basically if 3G will work with an MMORPG or SWTOR specifically (been having a hard time finding this info).

I am really trying to cover all bases because I am sick of Hughes Network. What probably going to happen first before we even get on a contract for a usb modem is were going to run a hardline from our Hughes network modem into my desktop and see if that eliminates some ping to make it viable (I doubt it).


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2
reply to afh1121

Compared to Hughes Network you will be enthralled with the 3G EVDO OR 4G LTE network performance. Ping times are much lower because you are not trying to communicate with a satellite 22,236 miles away. I was basing going over monthly GB allowances on gamers who have to download lots of games or updates. The speeds will vary for both 3G EVDO or 4G LTE. It is a cellular/mobile shared resource. When I download files, the speeds for 3G can fluctuate from 0.02 Mbps to 2.0 Mbps. I imagine the speeds for LTE might vary from 0.1 Mbps to 10.0 Mbps. It depends how crowded a particular tower is and what the crowd is using it for. As more people use Verizon LTE devices, the severe crowding will get more frequent.

You could use Verizon's trial period to see if you like the LTE service. But you have only 3 days of trial without the activation fee being charged, You still pay for data and any applications bought. After 3 days but before 14 days you pay the activation fee. Subtract 1 to 2 days to allow for Verizon's notorious screwups and you are down to 1-2 days of no activation fee and 12-13 days of no ETF fee. Make sure you know the exact time of activation in the store and make sure you get back well before that time. I would show up 24-48 hours early and then add in a couple hours time for waiting on a customer service agent to process your request. You do not want to pay fees for a service that is not going to work for you.

If it was me, I would not use the LTE because you are too close to that LTE Extended Service Area. The Verizon maps for LTE may not be that accurate at the boundary and the operational LTE area may have to be changed to reflect real world usage. The Extended coverage areas revert to 3G EVDO service at times. I also would like the known quality and reliability of the Novatel 760 USB 3G EVDO modem.

Whatever cellular/mobile service you choose, Verizon or Millenicom Advanced, you will be way happier than with dialup or satellite. I have helped several people get off of satellite or dialup with these companies and they all said it has gone well. But each one took some planning and proper equipment purchases. You might want to look at EVDO Tips and Tweaks at »evdotips.blogspot.com/ for more information.



Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

I usually get around 90-120 ms ping. Perfectly good for online gaming.


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2

Is that 3G EVDO REV A or 4G LTE? Or both?


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL
reply to davidhoffman

said by davidhoffman:

You could use Verizon's trial period to see if you like the LTE service. But you have only 3 days of trial without the activation fee being charged, You still pay for data and any applications bought. After 3 days but before 14 days you pay the activation fee. Subtract 1 to 2 days to allow for Verizon's notorious screwups and you are down to 1-2 days of no activation fee and 12-13 days of no ETF fee. Make sure you know the exact time of activation in the store and make sure you get back well before that time. I would show up 24-48 hours early and then add in a couple hours time for waiting on a customer service agent to process your request. You do not want to pay fees for a service that is not going to work for you.

Is that like there offical return policy? If I do that I won't get screwed into a 2 year contract of 250 dollars? Where would I go to find my nearest Verizon store also?

afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL
reply to Metatron2008

3G or 4G LTE? Do you have issues with data overage?



hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:4
reply to afh1121

Click for full size
As long as you return it before 14 days you will be fine, you will have some of the start up fees and will be billed for usage but would avoid the eft.

I get decent Ping on 4g, see above for some tests around my area.

Data you should be fine with just gaming, I tether every so often and unless you are streaming or downloading a lot of data it doesn't really add up. If the game you are playing has voip, that could break you tho, you would want to track the data usage for your first 14 days to see how you are doing.
--
STOP THE NSA WIRETAPS


They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
~Benjamin Franklin

diragono

join:2005-07-21
Decatur, TN
reply to afh1121

If the VZW maps are showing you in regular LTE coverage with extended coverage being available just down the road, you stand a very good chance of getting a decent 4g signal. I am about 1 mile OUT of the extended coverage zone, but using an antenna I still manage to pull in 1-2 bars of 4g.

Now as to your questions, and this is coming from my personal experience only
1. See statement above

2. Efficient as in what? Not sure what your meaning there

3. The speed is more then enough for online gaming at 4g, with 3gEVDO(assuming your not on a completely crowded tower) has more then enough speed for any online game, but I'm assuming you mean the latency. My latency varies game to game but I've yet to find a game that I have trouble playing. In World of Warcraft my latency is around 90-150ms, in League of Legends my ping usually is 95-105ms and in Battlefield I hover in the 80-98ms area all of which is certainly playable.

4. If your only online gaming, I highly doubt you would go over your plan, especially with 10gig plan, the biggest concern there would be the updates for the games. With WoW, the major updates can be a couple of gigs.

5. As far the modem, I only have experience with two of them, the LG VL600 and the Pantech UML290 and I personally prefer the Pantech. I've never had any problems with it and it has performed flawlessly for me.
--
Finally, LTE! From 300Kbps to 10Mbps...Like day and night
Desktop Computer: Alienware Area-51 ALX
Laptop: Acer 5570Z
Netbook: Acer Aspire One AO532H


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL

How would I find out if my tower is crowded?

Efficiency as in dropping and any inconsistencies. Like how viable it is.


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL
reply to hitachi369

How can I track my data usage?


diragono

join:2005-07-21
Decatur, TN
reply to afh1121

You can tell your on a crowded tower by severely slow 3g speeds. So far I'm unaware of any crowding issues with 4g, all the speeds I've seen have been at least 5+mbps.

My connection is rock solid, besides the few outages my connection is always up. I use a 4g router and I stay at 99% uptime. Weather has yet to affect it in any way.

You can check your data usage in two simple ways, if you connect using vzw access manager everytime you connect it will show an estimate of data usage, or you can simply sign in to My Verizon(www.vzw.com) and check usage there. They will also email you alerts when you have used 50% of your allowance, 75%, and 90% and then of course when/if you exceed
--
Finally, LTE! From 300Kbps to 10Mbps...Like day and night
Desktop Computer: Alienware Area-51 ALX
Laptop: Acer 5570Z
Netbook: Acer Aspire One AO532H


danry25
Premium
join:2008-05-21
Seattle, WA
reply to afh1121

I'd check out Clearwire & Sprint too, they both appear to have coverage in your area.


StLCardsFan

join:2011-06-06
Lafayette, LA
Reviews:
·LUS Fiber
reply to afh1121

pick up a 4g LTE booster/repeater... your connection will be as consistent as possible.

I'm using a custom rom'd galaxy nexus on verizon ... and it does fine playing bf3 online.

A guy a few floors down from me has one of those 4g booster things (about 350 dollars installed) and he consistently gets 20mbit/20mbit speeds just using his phone as wifi hotspot with the razr. He pings at 80ish ms. Not perfect for online gaming ..but certainly better than hughesnet or 3g or clear.


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2
reply to afh1121

Cradlepoint MBR95 WiFi capable router at »www.cradlepoint.com/products/sma···g-router has modem data transfer usage monitoring function. Also see »3gstore.com/product/3029_cradlep···r95.html



Duramax08
To The Moon
Premium
join:2008-08-03
San Antonio, TX
reply to afh1121

For a better signal try using a antenna. This post might help.

»LTE with Antenna Results


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL
reply to StLCardsFan

How often do you play BF3, whats your data plan? What are you racking up in terms of data per month? You ever go over?

Or do you have grandfathered contract?


StLCardsFan

join:2011-06-06
Lafayette, LA
Reviews:
·LUS Fiber

1 edit

i have a grandfathered data plan. I've never really checked how much data I use. I guess that could be an issue given the updates for most PS3/XBox 360 games are generally 1gig or better.

Basic figures for you to go on...

Netflix HD streams .. about 1gb/hour (this isn't exact, but its easy to figure)

online gaming ... I don't really know but it certainly isn't 1gb/hour.

I don't know what kind of compute use you have ... but its generally next to nothing if you aren't torrenting or downloading huge attachments ...or uploading huge files to a cloud.

some other figures:

matroska encoded blurays are generally 4.37gb (scene 720p) or about double that for the 1080p versions ...

a standard 1:1 bluray rip is anywhere from 25gb all the way to 50gb ..and even more if all layers are used on the disc.

most mp3 albums are somewhere around 100mb @ 320kb depending on the length and number of songs obviously.

FLAC albums - 1:1 lossless can be quite large 700mb and greater

hope some of these data figures helps you decide how much you typically use..or at least maybe a ballpark figure on what you need.


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL

I'm running a custom PC build,
Z68 motherboard with Intel 2nd gen i5
Nvida GTX 560 2GB of Memory
8GB RAM

Would it possible for you to check how much data your using when playing online? Like say a days worth of gaming.

I generally game on the weekends and occasionally on weekdays, on weekends I can do like 10-14 hours straight depending on the day, and on weekdays during the school year, when I am not in any extracurricular activities, I do maybe 2-4.



Duramax08
To The Moon
Premium
join:2008-08-03
San Antonio, TX

When I use to play halo reach tethered to my iphone, it seems to use 75-100 mb an hour. It also depends what games you play. MMORPG's sips on bandwidth like WoW and RuneScape.


StLCardsFan

join:2011-06-06
Lafayette, LA
Reviews:
·LUS Fiber
reply to afh1121

well ... 10 gb will give you roughly 110hrs of solid gaming (keep in mind thats gaming only... no patches...no surfing ..no downloading..NO VOIP-MIC usage).

The kicker is using VOIP while gaming ...which takes a good bit of bandwidth as well. THis can fluctuate wildly.

I don't game on a PC ...and these figures are from ps3 playing bf3.

I still keep the ATT 18/1 adsl2 line active because its cheap and relatively simple to use for torrents...and Verizon doesn't send me hate texts for using TB's of data haha.

If you really plan on using the 4g LTE for home service ... call and inquire about "tethering" ... sometimes if you get a good agent they will offer you unlimited tethering for whatever the current data package price is. Its then well worth the investment of one of the superb 4g LTE 700mhz boosters you can get from a number of vendors ...


BB_Hunter

join:2008-05-16
reply to afh1121

To answer your questions I'd recommend taking a look at this article - »3gstore.com/gaming

I've put up a couple demos of 3G gaming and 4G gaming as well as information about the components. I also have another video showing the data usage that gaming actually uses (will very based on the game).


afh1121

join:2011-12-24
Frankfort, IL

Thanks man but can you absolutely 100% guarantee that I will not go over my data plan?



Duramax08
To The Moon
Premium
join:2008-08-03
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by afh1121:

Thanks man but can you absolutely 100% guarantee that I will not go over my data plan?

No one can guarantee anything, its up to you and your online habbits.


Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ
reply to afh1121

couple concerns...do the home broadband/aircard plans have caps? if not then go with them.

If they are also capped...good luck. Installing most games via steam or other download service will be 10GB by itself.


sublime420ec

join:2008-06-23
Bumpass, VA

to the person who wrote this

quote:
for most PS3/XBox 360 games are generally 1gig or better.
u are way off the biggest update for my xbox has been 100mb and that's just because they update the dashboard every few months....and as for game updates i have not seen one over 20mb

but back to the gaming....i have verizon 3G and it plays games just fine it is a wireless connection and shared so there will be times of lag when the towers are under heavy use .....i get 3-4bars in black ops.....mmorpg games play fine too.....and since ur looking into 4G you shouldn't have to worry about a thing 4g is faster than my buddies xfinity comcast connection.....just make sure to get a antenna(if signal is sub par)

and as for the CAP if u are going with Millenicom i don't think they charge you extra if u go over they just throttle you till ur data resets...but if u go with verizon i think it's like 10$ per gig over....but gaming does not use much data AT ALL.


Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ

said by sublime420ec:

to the person who wrote this

quote:
for most PS3/XBox 360 games are generally 1gig or better.
u are way off the biggest update for my xbox has been 100mb and that's just because they update the dashboard every few months....and as for game updates i have not seen one over 20mb

but back to the gaming....i have verizon 3G and it plays games just fine it is a wireless connection and shared so there will be times of lag when the towers are under heavy use .....i get 3-4bars in black ops.....mmorpg games play fine too.....and since ur looking into 4G you shouldn't have to worry about a thing 4g is faster than my buddies xfinity comcast connection.....just make sure to get a antenna(if signal is sub par)

and as for the CAP if u are going with Millenicom i don't think they charge you extra if u go over they just throttle you till ur data resets...but if u go with verizon i think it's like 10$ per gig over....but gaming does not use much data AT ALL.

all games you buy in XB Live Arcade and PSO you have to download. most are relatively simple and small but many are >1GB. Using mobile BB with a capped plan with overages would completely preclude you from using Steam on the PC unless you buy retail and add the CD keys to steam. what a PITA. i havent purchased a retail game since The Orange Box in october 2007, and that's only b/c a B&M store had it for $30 the day of release.

while online gaming itself wouldnt be too bad, installing or updating the games could use all your monthly bandwidth.

sublime420ec

join:2008-06-23
Bumpass, VA

well yea if ur download full version games from ur console and via steam on pc yes u will go over in a heartbeat .....i was not talkin about that i was talking about the console updates for games are norm 3mb-20mb ........ pc is a diff ball park...you can't have 3g-4g and expect to download full version games....not gonna happen unless u have unlimited plan...and yes certain pc game updates such as bf2 are like 500mb ......i play alot of games on steam and i can only update one at a time per month such as cs:s update was like 1.5gb 3g/4g is perfectly fine for gaming but if u plan to download games and do large updates i would suggest using a friends connection to update or shit and use wi-fi somewhere ....i don't understand why some people want 4g over a wired connection tho....when they could pay 20$ a month for cable and get faster speeds with no cap i myself live in a area where it's either 3g or 28k dial up lol...i take my console or pc to friends house for major updates to spare my usage...it's a pain in the ass....but i'm not gonna download a full version game on 3g anyway nor would i recommend it....simply because it will take forever! lol exp on a crowded tower.... 4g diff i guess(way faster) but i don't think there's any unlimited grand fathered 4g connections...im pretty much just rambling but people need to realize 3g/4g should not be used as a primary connection unless u live in a area where it's the only option it piss's me off i have to pay so much for 3g and have a cap...but got sick of playing fps on 28k dial up...cuz i could only play old games like cs tfc and cod1.......hmm i lost track of what i was getting at so i'll shut up now...