What is 3G/4G Sharing and How to Use It?

Discussion in 'ASUS N Routers & Adapters' started by Bulldog, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Bulldog

    Bulldog Occasional Visitor

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    My RT-N56U has a feature called 3G/4G data sharing that is not described in the User Guide or in Asus' knowledgebase. Even the Asus tech I contacted doesn't know about it.

    From Google-ing I gather that this is a way to use your smartphone's data plan to access the internet. Is that correct?

    [If the answer to the above is 'yes':] Why would you want to use your 3G or 4G data plan - which probably has a monthly bandwidth cap - to access the internet if you already have internet access through your ISP?

    Finally, how would I use this feature? I imagine I would need a mobile hotspot from my wireless provider. Could I also tether my smartphone? I have not found any instructions from Asus.
     
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  3. Bulldog

    Bulldog Occasional Visitor

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    Well, after doing a little research I am able to answer my own questions. Two sources that helped me: the SmallNetBuilder review of the RT-N66U, which put me on to the idea that 3G/4G connectivity can be used for a full or backup internet connection, and this WiseGeek article titled "What is WWAN?"

    Here, briefly, are my answers, for the benefit of lurkers:

    1. The Asus 3G/4G feature provides a way to connect your computer to a wireless phone provider's data network.

    2. You would want to do this if you find yourself in a place that does not have broadband internet access; perhaps while travelling.

    3. To use this feature you must have a mobile hotspot from your wireless phone service provider. You would attach the mobile hotspot to your router. However, in the typical use case you would attach the mobile hotspot directly to your computer, or you would tether your smartphone directly to your computer. You would do this with your router only if you needed to create a network.
     
  4. Nerre

    Nerre Senior Member

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    What you use is what would be called a "3G/4G modem". It is a USB dongle including more or less a "cell phone without display and headset". So you put a SIM card in it and use the cell providers internet access.

    I will probably use it as a backup in case the normal connection goes down (instead of attaching a modem to each computer at home). But currently it doesn't work as expected on the RT-AC66U. Sure, if WAN goes down it switches over to 3G. But it doesn't switch back automatically when WAN goes up again... So the switchover seems to only be done when the "conenction currently used" goes down. Not what you would want for a backup solution. (Because if you don't notice, maybe because you are not home, you might be using expensive 3G for a very long time.)

    Also the detection of "WAN down" is not fool proof. Our ADSL sucks (every time it rains it goes down, bad cables somewhere out there). But the router won't recognize it as down when it is not working, probably because what happends is just that packets stop coming in. The router would need some kind of "active probing" to be able to correctly detect a failed connection (as well as a resumed connection).
     
  5. wayner

    wayner Regular Contributor

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    Having 3G sharing is a great way to have backup internet. If you ever want to change your ISP you may be without internet for a day or two - that would be a disaster for me. So using 3G/4G as a backup is a great way to smooth the transition although I wouldn't want to be downloading too much data on those days.

    Can you actually use your phone for this rather than a 3G USB stick? My Blackberry phone allows tethering - I can use it to provide internet service to my laptop when there are not other options. Could I plug my Blackberry (model 9900) into this router via USB and have it provide me with an internet connection to the router?
     
  6. gleep52

    gleep52 New Around Here

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    iPad 3 hotspot?

    Is there a way to get an iPad 3 on Verizon to share the data?

    I plugged in my iPad3 with the verizon/auto option selected... it says to dial #777, but the iPad doesn't dial anything, it's not a phone... soooo... it can't "dial" that then if I'm not mistaken. I tried taking the #777 out, but after it applied it showed up again, as if I never removed it.

    Ideas? Advice? I specifically have the N66R, but I've read the datashare is the same...

    I'd love to use my iPad's LTE for my home network when things go dark here.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  7. RogerSC

    RogerSC Very Senior Member

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    Go into "Settings" your iPad 3, and you'll find a tab on the left called "Personal Hotspot". If you have a Verizon data plan for your iPad, you can use this to enable the Personal Hotspot feature and share your data connection as a WiFi wireless hotspot.
     
  8. hoppercaid

    hoppercaid New Around Here

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    Shared data plans? This couldn't be any more perfect. Bottom line, the carriers aren't gonna do anything that doesn't make them money. So, I'm sticking to my current plan. ;)
     

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