Everyone tells you that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do – and I don’t disagree, its been fraught and challenging at times thats for sure. However as a geek – my biggest worry was what I was going to do about broadband.
You see I do a lot of out of hours support of systems (VIP user support, maintenance and new builds mainly) and I often work from home, but without a reliable connection I wouldn’t be able to do either. Plus I use a voip handset for the out of hours support I provide so I really did need something to tide me over between moving in and the new providers circuit going live.
Luckily I had a Pepwave Max HD2 on the shelf at work – so I brought it back to ‘field test’ it.
The HD2 is a great bit of kit. It has two internal 3G modems, two external WAN ports, a 4 port switch and two pairs of 2.4Ghz Wifi antenna connections (a pair for local WiFi AP provisioning and the other pair acting as a WiFi wan port so you can connect to a wifi hotspot). Best of all the HD2 supports Peplink Speedfusion (previously known as Peplink Site2Site VPN) so I can use it to VPN to my head office.
The install is necessarily basic (its just on the floor in the study), I’ve just plugged in the two AP WiFi antennas, the two GSM Antennas (which are out of shot – stuck to the window) and powered it from the mains (it can run on 12v in a vehicle too).
The end result is I can now stream iPlayer… I mean work from home doing important things. Notice the Yealink T22P handset? Yup VoIP works too – and considering there is a relatively high latency over 3G (about 110ms) its not at all bad.
Here is the dashboard of the Pepwave MAX showing the two 3G connections:
You can see from the image that I have three and vodafone 3G sim cards in the MAX. Sadly three 3g coverage around here is limited, but combined I’m getting peak throughputs of 2.83Mb which is more than enough for a phone call and some light web traffic.
The MAX also understands that the cheapskates amongst us will be using pay as you go data sims with a capped bandwidth allowance. In this case the vodafone has a 3Gb allowance and the three sim is unlimited. I have told the MAX about these limits in the config and it will stop using the vodafone SIM just before it reaches 3Gb leaving the three SIM connected for the duration.
When the time comes, I’ll slap my brand new cable modem into WAN1 on the MAX and move the 3G connections down to a priority 2 banding. That means that if the cable modem should fail it will failover to the 3G again.
All in all a very clever way of bonding 3G connectivity, aggregating bandwidth to enable me to work from home without a cabled broadband connection.
What about GPS?
You can register your Pepwave MAX with Pepwaves Incontrol service to monitor the GPS