Fixing Rural Internet: Received OTR Mobile Hardware

I received my Netgear hotspot device from OTR Mobile earlier today. My CenturyLink service is still running at 843Kbps, about half of what I’m supposed to get (paying for 1.5Mbps, or 1500Kbps.)

I opened the box for the Netgear Nighthawk LTE device and it already had the SIM card installed. Even though it was a certified refurbished unit it looked brand new. I installed the battery and I let it charge for an hour.

To activate my service I had to go to their website and use the chat feature to give the tech my account number. After about a five minute wait until I was at the top of the queue, the tech activated my service in about fifteen seconds. He told me I needed to give it up to an hour to start working.

Five minutes later I gave it a shot and it registered and connected with no issues. I switched out one of my laptops to the new wifi connection and ran a test using Google’s free speed test. Right off the bat, with only two bars of service, my download speed jumped by over a factor of ten. The AT&T tower is further away than the Verizon tower, so I’m hoping the cell booster with the focused Yagi antenna will give me a solid five bars out of five. I’m using the new connection to post this and uploading the speed test image took seconds instead of minutes.

So far, if you read the description of my service on the image, my connection is now fast enough to stream HD video. That’s one of my goals for this project accomplished, plus the download speed is fast enough to make large file downloads like PhotoShop .PS cover files quick enough where I can’t go brew a 20oz mug of coffee and snag a doughnut.

My next step is to mow the side of the house, dump some insecticide to get rid of the ants and ticks (tiny obnoxious seed ticks, yuck!), and then install a J-pole and the antenna, making sure to get it pointed at the correct tower. After that’s accomplished I need to run the antenna wire through the wall and into the house to the cell booster amplifier, which has to be mounted on the wall.

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