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Welch
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AT&T ZTE 700a vs ZTE MF279

Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:56 am

So unfortunately, my only Internet option at my "new" house (2 years) is AT&T cellular internet. Not because I live in the complete sticks, but because the local ISP has no reason to expand their network across the road for a few people :roll: .

Alas, I am stuck with AT&T, which sure beats out spending $180 a month for Gigabit down and 50 up, but how I miss the speed. On a good day my current ZTE 700a "HomeBase" affords me 3-4 Mbps down and usually more upload. Other times, I find my connection choked to sub 1mbps, bringing me back to my Diablo 2 days when we upgraded away from dial up. My thirst for more speed has led me to the new version of what is not called a HomeBase anymore, the ZTE MF279 or WHPI (Wireless Home Phone & Internet) which supplant the formerly mentioned hardware. This time I shelled out $200 to try this new unit.

The difference appears minor from the outside until you notice the 2 cellular antenna Jack's. The documentation is labeled wrong and says they are TS9 but they are not. They are in fact the much more commonly used SMA female ends. This should make adding some directional Yagi antennas easy work this summer. The older 700a had some internal connectors that I played around with but provided little to no improvement without some serious modification and possibly damaging the unit, which I opted not to do. The new units added antenna ports are a very welcomed addition.

The older z700a utilizes the MDM9215 mobile modem chipsets
The newer MF279 makes use of the much more modern Qualcomm x16 that the iPhoneX and other devices use with theoretical gigabit LTE speeds.

I don't expect to see these sorts of speeds but I am hoping to increase throughput and stability. I'd assume that even if I was at the same signal strength of around -110db, that I would be pulling a much faster speed with the new unit as opposed to the older and much slower unit.

I'll see if I can report back on this sometime in the near future after I've had time to test the new unit. I'm a bit eager to try it out and am hoping for consistent 15-20mbps down where I can host even basic things like security cameras at my house for remote viewing when out of town.

Any other gerbils also stuck in the trenches for Internet, this love is a battlefield :lol:
Last edited by Welch on Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Welch
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
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Re: AT&T ZTE 700a vs ZTE MF279

Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:38 am

So I did my first test on this unit and... WOW, what a difference. I went from 1-3mbps to 15-18. The upload seemed to normalize a bit as I was hitting near 7mbps before, now I'm sitting around 5. I'll keep testing this long term and report back for those that care. Surprised to see 60 ms of latency, that is insanely low considering wired internet here in my town is 90-100 to Seattle. Very happy in this moment that I dropped the cash on this new unit. Will have to see it over the course of a week. Just even surfing the TR website feels like being on a real connection vs a first gen 4g phone hotspot :P

http://www.speedtest.net/result/7066729780
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

1600x | Strix B350-F | CM 240 Lite | 16GB 3200 | MSI 7850 | 850 EVO | Corsair 400R | Seasonic X 850 | Corsair M95 / K90 | Sennheiser PC37x
 
biffzinker
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Re: AT&T ZTE 700a vs ZTE MF279

Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:39 pm

This was in the news again:
Chiefs of top intelligence agencies in the United States told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Chinese smartphones posed a threat to American customers.

Directors of the National Security Agency, FBI, CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency unanimously agreed that phones of smartphone makers Huawei and ZTE should not be used by U.S. citizens. They testified the same before the committee stating they will not recommend the use of the phones manufactured by the Chinese manufacturers over products from Apple.

http://www.ibtimes.com/chinese-smartpho ... rn-2653747
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