T-Mobile 5G Home Internet AND Blue Iris Updated 2021-12-24

Ssayer

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I'm starting this thread simply because I have posts all over the place and someone looking into T-Mobile 5G Home Internet might actually want some info on it prior to getting (or NOT getting) it, from someone that has absolutely nothing to gain whether you get it or not, all in one place.. This way, you can see how I got to the point where I'm happy as can be with it and I'm not hijacking other threads about it. A quick perusal of this post shows me learning as I go. Hopefully it helps you.

Timeline:

2021-11-24
After a recommendation from @IReallyLikePizza2, I ordered it today.

2021-11-28 Ok, got it. Went all over the house finding the most bars and three bars is the best I can get. Then I went in and checked. Even though they don't show you anywhere, by looking at the band, I only get 4G. That's all I'm going to get here. Cellmapper.com agrees, Regardless of what the salesperson on the phone said, I'm out of range for T-Mobile's 5G. That said, on Speedtest my DSL was giving me 4.93/.56 and T-Mobile is giving me 61.97/10.23, so...

2021-12-02 There is only one tower around here. 3/4 mile away as the crow flies. The next tower is about 3-1/2 (actually it's 4-1/2) miles away in the other direction. I've optimized the connection as best I can to the nearer one. As best I can tell, I never see the other one from any window in it's direction. Once I got it to the best spot, I haven't moved it. The changing WAN IPs that I am speaking of has been since I located it properly.Speed is about all I could hope for with 4G. No complaints there. It is a dumb modem/router, no doubt about it. I've got just enough skills to get past it's limitations for all of my junk around here. I wish I could have changed it's LAN IP, but it is what it is. It's funny how I kept having to think, "Oh that's right, I've still got xxxx that needs a new IP to work"...
The only take away is that I don't have the skills to be able to get Blue Iris viewable when I'm out and about. It's probably doable, but if it is, I've got some more learning to do.
Impressions so far? Heck, I went from about 5/.5 to around 60/12. Thus far (please don't jinx myself!), it's been a solid connection. So, what's not to like in that respect? We'll give it a few weeks and see.

2021-12-08 For a few hours, I got 5G. Didn't know why, but wow! 180/26!

2021-12-09 OK! Lesson learned here. They tell you to turn it on unplugged (because it has a battery) and walk around your house to find the best signal, which you see by looking at the top of the modem (nothing else works unless it's plugged in). Walking around my house I got any where from 0 to 3 bars, usually 2. I found the most convenient/aesthetic 3 bar, plugged it in and tested it. 4G and around 60/12, I tried the two other 3 bar spots with about the same result. So, that's where I had it for what... 2 weeks? Anyway, after the 8 hours of 5G, I figured it was time to try again. Same thing.
Now, HERE is the lesson learned. It really is a dumb modem (almost as dumb as me, I guess). It doesn't tell you whether those bars are 4G or 5G on the top of that modem, just how many bars. This time, I grabbed one of my 550 UPSs and walked around with it actually working, where I could check things out with my cellphone. Lo and behold, a lot of those two bars were 5G! Now I did the walk around routine again, this time being able to check signal strength with it's app on my phone, and..... 5G it is!

2021-12-11 So... T-Mobile is staying, AT&T DSL is gone. We already know that the one caveat of what I have is that I can't view the cams from the outside world as is. I sort of like being able to at least know that my house still has electricity (and would like that and more). :p

1. My options are, figure out a way for VPN (VPS?) to work. This is currently all greek to me, but the best option.
2. When I'm not home, automatically take a screen shot every XX minutes, upload to a server, and view the screenshot there.
3. When I'm not home, automatically take a screen shot every XX minutes and send it to my email address.

Option 3 is easy peasy, but would give me a ton of worthless emails. With Option 2, I could simply overwrite the file and only see the latest, or combine and watch a quick video. Option 1 is by far the best if I could get it to work.

2021-12-11 This is where @bp2008 stepped up and did his magic. He offered to "help" me out to get it going. Hah! More like (using Zoom) I gave him control of my computer, watched him, and pressed keys on either computer as was needed. This would not have happened without his gracious offer , knowledge, and time.

From @bp2008: "Hey all, so @Ssayer and I tried a couple of things to get that VPS and VPN tunnel going so he could remotely access his cams.
First was trying to run pfsense in a VPS from vultr.com, so we could use it as a wireguard server and use pfsense's interface to do the routing through to his Blue Iris box. But it was a pain to get pfsense installed, and halfway through configuring wireguard, the pfsense interface just stopped working with no explanation. Admittedly this was the "overkill" solution when all that was needed was Blue Iris remote access. So we scrapped that idea and just installed the zerotier client on the Blue Iris server and on a basic Debian virtual machine. Joined them both to the same network, and that was it. Connectivity achieved between the cloud VPS and Blue Iris machine.
To actually pass Blue Iris traffic through the zerotier tunnel, we put nginx on the VPS and configured the default nginx site to proxy the traffic to Blue Iris via zerotier according to the example nginx configuration in UI3's github wiki. I also got letsencrypt certificate with autorenewal set up. Since we were using a proxy server capable of HTTPS anyway, I figured why not. The only major stumbling point was realizing that Debian's default firewall was blocking the inbound communication to the VPS. That is solved by opening each desired TCP port via the command sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT (where 80 is the port number).
I should note that the cloud VPS is technically optional when using Zerotier. If you install the Zerotier client on every device that needs to remotely access Blue Iris, then you can connect to the Zerotier network directly without needing a public routable IP address anywhere. Myself, I am not thrilled with that option because an always-on VPN is going to be a bit of a drain on battery life."

2021-12-12 I'd like to give a BIG Thank you to @bp2008 ! We're lucky to have someone with his knowledge and willingness to share it (and his TIME) here!
Thanks to his expertise, I now have it all... a fast connection AND internet access to Blue Iris! As he said, the cloud VPS is optional so long as everyone else uses Zerotier, but that requires setting up your family (and extended family! ) with Zerotier on their devices. If your people are like my people, well... It's well worth the few extra bucks ($5/month) to pay for the VPS. The fact that he was able to go through the hoops and make it work means that anyone with a wireless internet connection can get around the limitations and have it work.

2021-12-15 Bwahahaha! So, now that I have my T-Mobile Wireless Home Internet set up and going great with an average of say 125+Mbps down and no data cap for $50 a month with taxes included (got my first bill and yep, that's it)... AT&T just sent me an offer because they are now offering Wireless Home Internet. Ready for this? 25Mbps on average, 350GB of monthly data for the low low price of $59.99 plus taxes IF you also have or get AT&T wireless phone service. Each additional 50GB is $10. Such a deal!!!

2021-12-16 (A glitch!) Hah! I'm glad I don't have to feel that I jinxed myself. A few hours ago I got 552Mbps down on a speed test and was going to post about it but decided to just keep my trap shut for a while. Well... a couple of hours ago I lost 5G and my 4G is 1 to 2 bars back and forth. I've done all the quick and dirty reboots and cold reboots with no change. I've posted over at T-Mobile hoping to not have to go through Tier1 support. (heavy sigh :p :p :p )

2021-12-17 Quick update. It has to be tower stuff. I woke up this morning to a good (3 bar - RSRP -98 , RSSI -64) 4G LTE that's giving me a solid 70-100 down and 20 up on a band that I hadn't seen before. I looked it up on cellmapper and it originates on a tower very close to the one that gives/gave me 5G. Still no 5G and obviously I'll keep monitoring it, but I won't complain in the meanwhile if the connection continues as is. I'm told on the T-Mobile forum that's it's probably cell tower work as T-Mobile is really ramping up the home internet. As we all know, any time you get bleeding edge stuff, you tend to bleed once in a while. :p

2021-12-17 I'm sort of feeling like I've hijacked a thread, but... one more... I've got 5G again on the same band I had it on early yesterday. I'm not there, so I can't be 100% positive, but I had to rotate the can about 25° to get the strongest signal, which would seem to infer that it is now on a different tower?? Anyway, speeds are back.

2021-12-17 I've been posting on a different thread, and am trying not to hijack any threads. Anyway, I've had the T-Mobile since Nov 28th. T-Mobile is upgrading their service everywhere so there are still growing pains (like yesterday evening), but all in all I am extremely happy with it. I test it often. I've gotten as high as 552Mbps down with it, many times in the 200s, and except for that glitch yesterday evening, I normally get 125+ during high traffic times. Uploads are very nice too! Just an FYI for those on the Starlink waiting list...

2021-12-18 Until today, there are two things that I was concerned about: What will happen to my connection when it snows and what will happen to my connection when all the leaves are on the trees come spring. Now there is only one thing. It was snowing pretty darn heavy when I got up this morning, so I quickly came over and checked my connection in the app. It was a tiny bit worse, but still seemed pretty good. I jumped over to do a speed test and it was one of my faster speeds. It was Saturday at 7:15am, so that was no doubt the reason it was so fast. BUT it did show me that snow won't be a factor. Happy days! :)

2021-12-24 A week now since I properly positioned the can for 5G. I'm always on the B2 4G LTE tower as primary, but I'm randomly on the 5G N41 and N71 towers for Secondary. From my house they're so close to the same direction that I just can't seem to pick and choose. Each has it's advantages but either is MORE than sufficient with N41 having faster download speeds but N71 having faster upload speeds. Here are the speed tests that I got this morning (these speeds are rather typical):

N41

N41-12-24 092409.jpg

N71

N71 -  2021-12-24 093340.jpg

2021-12-28 So, I went in to the township office today to pay my taxes. The office is right next to the tower on the other side of my house that was only giving me (a decent) 4G signal. While talking to the clerk, she mentioned the questionnaire going out in January about single source garbage pickup and internet. I told her that I'd be hard pressed to switch away from T-Mobile now as, even though my best signal is from a tower that's 4-1/2 miles away, it still blows away my old DSL. She said, T-Mobile? That's on the tower right here. I said, yep, but it's only 4G. She said that I might want to check again as T-Mobile was out late last week doing some kind of an upgrade. (Long story, eh?). Anyway, I moved my can back over to that side of the house and... :)

T-Mobile 2021-12-28 093647.jpg

2022-01-02 I keep checking, and it's still being rock solid. On this one, the Download is about as slow as I've seen but upload is the fastest thus far.

1641166214913.png

2022-02-28 Three months in. T-Mobile has been putting flyers out like crazy around here and I have noticed a slight degradation of speed. Still, it's been great for me and I have absolutely zero complaints. This is just a screen grab from right now. Download: about normal for what I'm getting now, Upload: A tad low as I still usually get in the mid 90s.


Screenshot 2022-02-28 132414.jpg
 
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handinpalm

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Thanks for all the info. The cable companies have to be shaking in their boots, because soon, everyone will be migrating over to cellular internet/online streaming. My cable company keeps increasing my rate every 6 months or so, and tries to pressure me to use their cell service. Good to hear that Brian @bp2008 helped you out. He is a great credit to this forum and tools he develops for all of us! I just hope things become easier in the future to VPN into home network. Keep us posted how things develop down the line.
 

Ssayer

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After messaging him what I was getting and for what price, my son-in--law asked me for more info on it because of what he is paying his cable provider. He gets slightly better speeds than I do but pays quite a bit more. He and my daughter work from home and a reliable internet connection is a must. I told him that as much as I'd like to recommend it to him, that I just can't do that yet as T-Mobile is having growing pains with their home internet service (I closely follow everything T-Mobile now on different sites). Work is work and until you can be sure that it's rock solid, well... caveat emptor ...
 

Ssayer

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I've got a 3 year old 4G Samsung Galaxy S9 on Verizon (I've had Verizon since... '96). My daughter's family recently switched to AT&T 5G since Verizon signal sucks at their house. My wife is very happy with the phone she has (and you know old people don't like change ;) ), so I won't do any changes until one of our phones breaks or we get a deal that we can't refuse.
 
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I've got an S9 on AT&T through Consumer Cellular. Still works fine although I may need a new battery in another year or so. There's a local shop that does battery replacements at a reasonable price so I'll probably got that route rather than a heat gun here at home.
 

CCTVCam

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That N71 is showing congestion / faults. Apart from the lower line speed overall, you can see the dips where the speed drops both on connection and during the test. Could be an indication of line faults.

I've seen plenty of these graphs as I'm always battling line faults / congestion. The usual cuplrit is a dip at connection then full speed. You ring your ISP and they say your line is OK because you're getting full speed when they run a speed test, but if you can persuade them to run a line test, they often detect line faults.

So far as I can tell from experience, the graph should rise quickly straight to it's maximum speed and stay there, a bit like the line in N41, although both lines should merge faster than that. The light blue line in that one is also rising too slowly.

Here's a rare perfect graph from mine this morning - maybe Santa did bring me a present. I think the colours are reversed in the UK results as the fastest rising line is always the fastest and the 1st to graph ie down speed:

Perfect Result.jpg
 

Smilingreen

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This is mine, although it is cable modem, it only costs me $69.00/month for unlimited and I get decent speeds. Where my farm is, is surrounded on 3 sides by hills that are close to 350' of elevation above my home elevation. So, wireless is definitely out. When I am at home, I have to connect all of my cellphones to my router to do VOIP, as I am not guaranteed a cell signal. This speed test is originating from TN, to a VPN server in Toronto Canada. Not too bad.

Screen Shot 2022-01-02 at 5.40.08 PM.png
 

JesseSR

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Few extra comments for T-Mobile Home Internet Gateway...

I've been using it for about 4 months now -with- 2 Waveform MIMO external antennas hooked up to it and the internal antennas disabled. I have no high speed internet where I am, and my previous internet was good for about 8Mb down and < 1Mb up. Since switching to T-Mobile Home Internet with the external antennas, I get anywhere from 25-90Mb down and 25-60Mb up -- the speed variance is dependent on tower utilization (not my signal as the signal remains the same). External antennas can help your performance but they may -not- help either (all depends on RSRP/RSRQ/SNR, etc.)

The device itself is as dumb as it gets. You cannot a) change from the default 192.168.12.0/24 network, period.. Nor can you b) add DHCP reservations or change the DHCP scope range. This is a major consideration if, like me, you have lots of statically assigned IP addresses on your network as you -have- to accommodate the devices 192.168.12.0/24 network, and choose your static IPs very carefully, no exceptions. Furthermore, you cannot put a proper ipv4 firewall behind it and hope to do port forwarding/NAT'ing, or IPSEC tunnel VPN access. (at least that I've been able to determine so far). I'm trying to find a cloud VPN solution that I can use --- I tried Hamachi, which I can get to work via Hub-Spoke model (so directly to another computer), I cannot get Hamachi to work via Gateway mode (bridging, to my entire network) so I'm still considering options. The VPN struggle is tough,ugh. But the trade off of a decent internet connection is still worth it to me.

Mine has been reliable and latency has been good overall (typically 28-38ms when constantly pinging Google's IPs). Can't beat the cost overall..
 

Mike A.

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External antenna you say?

image0 - Copy.png

50' tower that my kid recently put up for Internet service.

They tried using T-Mobile but too far out. Service was kind of pitiful where they are. StarLink got pushed back another year.

Told her she should rent space on it to T-Mobile. ; )
 

JesseSR

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Nice, yeah before T-Mobile I also had a site to site bridged wireless link to my ISP as well (not on a tower but on a NPR/mast on my roof) ... I got a whopping 8Mb/1Mb with it, so the T-Mobile setup with my externals is so much nicer. I'm also on the waiting list for StarLink since Jan 2021 so it's been a year, probably another 6-12 months out yet on that I bet.
 
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