Author Topic: Router and 4G dongle issue?  (Read 208 times)

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Router and 4G dongle issue?
« on: July 07, 2020, 05:07:51 pm »
We have a business broadband connection from the company that brought us Buzby and introduced Maureen Lipman's nephew with the "ology" - i.e. BT

The router has a dongle attached to it that should swap to a 4G connection should the main wire connection drop for any reason - it should be seamless - it isn't and doesn't seem to work.    We get quite a few drops in service - usually for a couple of minutes . . . . not mission-critical or life-threatening BUT in my view the service is short of the quality and connectivity we are paying for.

We are using a BT supplied Powerline connector to connect the router via the mains electricity to a hub that then has 2 PCs and a printer connected to it - would that stop the switchover to the 4G?      [I know that there are criticisms of using powerlines BUT ours works fine - it's on the same ring main, although I'm not sure that makes a difference]

The router is the latest BT Business Smart Hub and there's a 4G Assure dongle.

Thoughts please?

Rob

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Router and 4G dongle issue?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 05:13:29 pm »
Seems unlikely that it's anything to do with the LAN, assuming you can still reach the router.  (If you're losing the connection to the router, then it's not a 4G failover problem.)

The answer (or at least a hint of what might be going on) lies in the router logs, if you have access to them.  Could be all sorts of things.  Off the top of my head:

- Router fails to detect a drop in service, for whatever reason (eg. the DSL is up but no data is flowing, or an upstream routing problem means you can only see part of the internet, but whatever's being monitored still works).
- Dongle doesn't work, for whatever reason (buggy drivers, hardware failure, etc.)
- Dongle works but LTE fails to connect, for whatever reason (eg. LTE provider also has issues.)
- Router fails to switch between DSL and LTE in a smooth and timely manner.
- Some weird edge-case effect that you'll only believe once you fully understand it.

In my experience most non-trivial network problems come into the latter category.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: Router and 4G dongle issue?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 05:31:50 pm »
Seems unlikely that it's anything to do with the LAN, assuming you can still reach the router.  (If you're losing the connection to the router, then it's not a 4G failover problem.)

The answer (or at least a hint of what might be going on) lies in the router logs, if you have access to them.  Could be all sorts of things.  Off the top of my head:

- Router fails to detect a drop in service, for whatever reason (eg. the DSL is up but no data is flowing, or an upstream routing problem means you can only see part of the internet, but whatever's being monitored still works).
- Dongle doesn't work, for whatever reason (buggy drivers, hardware failure, etc.)
- Dongle works but LTE fails to connect, for whatever reason (eg. LTE provider also has issues.)
- Router fails to switch between DSL and LTE in a smooth and timely manner.
- Some weird edge-case effect that you'll only believe once you fully understand it.

In my experience most non-trivial network problems come into the latter category.

I can access the logs but I haven't a clue what they mean!   I have WhatsApp on my PC (as well as phone) when the connection drops that bleeps so I'll make a note of the time and then look at the log for that time.  The log does seem to use the words "drop" and "disconnect" quite frequently!

The whole broadband thing has been a series of disasters since moving in late February - moved about 1.4km across the town, still on the same exchange cluster, retaining the number - and connecting to an existing BT supplied wire at the new place (owner was a BT customer) - sounds simple . . . . .


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Router and 4G dongle issue?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2020, 05:41:01 pm »
Nothing's ever simple when our-favourite-telco are involved...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...