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Will tethering my Jetpack 6620l be faster than using wi-fi?
speops38
Member

Is tethering faster than WIFI? How do I tether? Does the antenna help a lot?

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Correct Answers
Re: Jetpack 6620l
kccrosser
Member

Pedantically, "tethering" is connecting your MiFi to your computer via a USB cable (the cable is the "tether" - a cord, string, etc, used to connect a moveable object to a reference object - think of the "tetherball" game).

As 7e18n1 notes:

A "tethered" USB connection may get you a 450 Mbps connection between the MiFi and your computer.

An un-tethered WiFi connection may "only" be 150 Mbps (3x slower).

However, since any data between you and the outside world is going through a 4G LTE system, which is typically limited to around 20-30 Mbps, you aren't likely to see any gain in performance by physically tethering the device vs. just using it as a WiFi hotspot.  If 4G LTE could support rates above 150 Mbps, then physically tethering would be faster than WiFi.

An external antenna for your jetpack *may* improve the 4G LTE rate, but only if you are in a fringe/poor reception area.  If you are already getting 17-20 Mbps speeds (try "speedtest.net" to see), then you are unlikely to need an external antenna.  If you are in an area with marginal signal strength (as I am), an external antenna *may* help.  If you get an external antenna, be aware that you will need a 4G LTE external antenna, and will almost certainly need to get an adapter cable to connect from the external antenna's cable into the small "test port" connector on the jetpack.

Another consideration - your MiFi jetpack should be located where you get the best 4G LTE signal strength (use the meter information on the jetpack and walk around your house/building).  Unless that happens to be in the room where you want to have your computer, you may want to get a "WiFi Extender".  That would let you put the MiFi jetpack in the best signal location and have your computer(s) in another area.  In our house, the best LTE signal is in the far Northeast bedroom corner, while all our computers are towards the South end of the house, so I have a WiFi Extender located about halfway between the two areas.

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Re: Jetpack 6620l
RushFan2112
Sr. Member

Tethering is a catch-all for using your phone as a connection to the Internet by some other device (usually a computer or tablet).

There are different types of tethering.  You can use Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB.  Bluetooth tethering is the slowest and WiFi and USB are both fast. 

USB tethering requires the use of a USB cable and the proper drivers installed on a Windows computer.  It is also very secure.

Bluetooth requires your computer to have a Bluetooth adapter so it can connect to the phone via Bluetooth.  Some laptops have Bluetooth, some don't.  Most desktops do not have any Bluetooth capability.

WiFi tethering (also called hotspot) is easiest. You turn the hotspot on on the phone and from your computer you connect just like any WiFi connection.

Re: Jetpack 6620l
7e18n1
Sr. Member

Your Jetpack’s maximum Wi-Fi connection speed is 150 mbps, its USB interface should be around 450 mbps. This is pretty much irrelevant, because both are subject to Verizon’s 30 mbps cap (or whatever it is). It may very well have a 450 mbps connection, but if Verizon is only moving 450 kbps that’s all you’re going to move.

To tether: connect the Jetpack’s USB cable to a USB2 or USB3 on your computer and your operating system should do the rest.

An external antenna is for the cellular bands and how much one helps depends on several factors. You might spend some time researching this before throwing money at it.

Re: Jetpack 6620l
kccrosser
Member

Pedantically, "tethering" is connecting your MiFi to your computer via a USB cable (the cable is the "tether" - a cord, string, etc, used to connect a moveable object to a reference object - think of the "tetherball" game).

As 7e18n1 notes:

A "tethered" USB connection may get you a 450 Mbps connection between the MiFi and your computer.

An un-tethered WiFi connection may "only" be 150 Mbps (3x slower).

However, since any data between you and the outside world is going through a 4G LTE system, which is typically limited to around 20-30 Mbps, you aren't likely to see any gain in performance by physically tethering the device vs. just using it as a WiFi hotspot.  If 4G LTE could support rates above 150 Mbps, then physically tethering would be faster than WiFi.

An external antenna for your jetpack *may* improve the 4G LTE rate, but only if you are in a fringe/poor reception area.  If you are already getting 17-20 Mbps speeds (try "speedtest.net" to see), then you are unlikely to need an external antenna.  If you are in an area with marginal signal strength (as I am), an external antenna *may* help.  If you get an external antenna, be aware that you will need a 4G LTE external antenna, and will almost certainly need to get an adapter cable to connect from the external antenna's cable into the small "test port" connector on the jetpack.

Another consideration - your MiFi jetpack should be located where you get the best 4G LTE signal strength (use the meter information on the jetpack and walk around your house/building).  Unless that happens to be in the room where you want to have your computer, you may want to get a "WiFi Extender".  That would let you put the MiFi jetpack in the best signal location and have your computer(s) in another area.  In our house, the best LTE signal is in the far Northeast bedroom corner, while all our computers are towards the South end of the house, so I have a WiFi Extender located about halfway between the two areas.

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