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Using a cellphone as a hotspot long term (remote location with no internet, for surveillance system connection)

Joe Bauers
Go to solution Solved by Donut417,
2 hours ago, Joe Bauers said:

Interesting setup, so basically a USB-C connector to ethernet and then to the router for larger Wi-Fi radius?

 

I guess I'll have to block incoming calls somehow then.

Thats an option. My Synology RT2600AC can do this via the USB port. But device support is kinda limited from what I read up on it. But basically you just tether your phone to the router and you should get better WiFi reception. Like I said never tried it. But you still need to see what your hotspot/tethering data limits are. Most of the time they just deproritize your packets when you go over, but Im sure Verizon charges Comcast a lot of money for users who use a lot of data on their network. Im sure Comcast might have their own data policies.

Fun project:

 

I have to install a surveillance system on an abandoned home in a bad neighborhood with verified drug dealers on the street.  I know because I spoke to them and they even offered.  Doesn't seem like they sell the hard stuff but I don't want to find out.  One of the guys even has an injury from a drive by.  I'd call the Navy Seals to do the install but I think they have better things to do.

 

Anyway, this place has no internet and there are no plans to install any.  The owner is offering the use of an extra cell phone in hotspot mode.  It is an Xfinity plan which unfortunately doesn't sell dedicated hotspots. 

 

I will be connecting  2 - 3 4K PTZ camera domes.  There will not be much data usage other than a periodic logging into the camera to check the premises.

 

Are cellphones used as hotspots reliable long term and can you have a cellphone plugged into a charger for weeks or months?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bauers said:

It is an Xfinity plan which unfortunately doesn't sell dedicated hotspots. 

Thats because they dont own a wireless network. Xfinity uses the Verizon network along with some of their public hotspots. Some areas they have hotspots on utility. They have attempted to use their modem/router combos at business and a residential addresses to provide hotspots but many Xfinity customers have that disabled, due to security concerns.

 

1 hour ago, Joe Bauers said:

Are cellphones used as hotspots reliable long term and can you have a cellphone plugged into a charger for weeks or months?

Not sure. But id assume that WIFi range would be a limiting factor. I mean Its not like a phone has large antennas like a standard router. You might also want to check if hotspot data is included with the plan. Because it might be limited due to them leasing Verizon network resources.

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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1 hour ago, Donut417 said:

You might also want to check if hotspot data is included with the plan. Because it might be limited due to them leasing Verizon network resources.

That's a great point.  I was not aware there are differences in data limits when it comes to hotspot data vs regular. 

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3 hours ago, Donut417 said:

You might also want to check if hotspot data is included with the plan. Because it might be limited due to them leasing Verizon network resources.

...it might be limited because vast majority of most mobile plans (at least in the US) don't offer unlimited mobile hotspot.

 

Someone else already pointed out the downsides of using a phone long term. 5G home internet plans from Tmobile, ATT, or Verizon if offered in your area would be better and I know at least 2 of them don't have a hard cap on data, and they let you use their 5G modem/gateway with WiFi 6 without paying either an extra monthly fee or up front for the hardware. But if that's not something affordable or offered in your area, then I suppose you are back to the mobile phone hotspot option.

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I have a similar setup at home...

Phone with unlimited data + USB-OTG-Ethernet into any old router with Wi-Fi... done.

 

(Recent?) Android phones can limit their charge to 70% if you want to connect to a charger 24/7.

 

Only problem I encountered over 2 months: If someone calls the phone the hotspot dies 🙂

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11 hours ago, JimnyVR5 said:

I have a similar setup at home...

Phone with unlimited data + USB-OTG-Ethernet into any old router with Wi-Fi... done.

 

(Recent?) Android phones can limit their charge to 70% if you want to connect to a charger 24/7.

 

Only problem I encountered over 2 months: If someone calls the phone the hotspot dies 🙂

Interesting setup, so basically a USB-C connector to ethernet and then to the router for larger Wi-Fi radius?

 

I guess I'll have to block incoming calls somehow then.

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2 hours ago, Joe Bauers said:

Interesting setup, so basically a USB-C connector to ethernet and then to the router for larger Wi-Fi radius?

 

I guess I'll have to block incoming calls somehow then.

Thats an option. My Synology RT2600AC can do this via the USB port. But device support is kinda limited from what I read up on it. But basically you just tether your phone to the router and you should get better WiFi reception. Like I said never tried it. But you still need to see what your hotspot/tethering data limits are. Most of the time they just deproritize your packets when you go over, but Im sure Verizon charges Comcast a lot of money for users who use a lot of data on their network. Im sure Comcast might have their own data policies.

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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12 hours ago, Joe Bauers said:

Interesting setup, so basically a USB-C connector to ethernet and then to the router for larger Wi-Fi radius?

 

I guess I'll have to block incoming calls somehow then.

That's the setup, yes. (well, it's micro USB to eth)

Something maybe relevant for your setup: There's no port forwarding on a phone hotspot

 

Hotspot resumes after the call... my phone switches to Edge on an arriving call, maybe that's just a me problem 🙂

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I probably would look at a dedicated cellular internet solution (one of the plans the big guys sell), a dedicated data only SIM plan and a router that can accept a SIM or an actual hotspot device, or maybe Starlink internet depending on if you want to remotely save data offsite so it's recorded. You might think it's not much activity, but if you have it set up to record events, you might have a decent number of those if people are wondering on the property or letting dogs run around and stuff like that. I personally would want a fairly wide detection zone vs just at the front steps in front of the door, etc.

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