I’ll be coming to the Deux-Sèvres/Vienne region to look for a new home in October, and probably again in January. Internet access is important for work. So, please can anybody tell me how I can test the 4/5G signal strength in various locations without signing up for a full annual contract?
And which provider to go with? Probably not Orange from what I’ve read here.
Thank you Graham. Both will be useful. I have found the Arcep site and another that has 4 and 5G coverage zones. The worrying issue is that one property I’m looking at is somewhere on the border of 4G coverage and ‘desert’.
Test Master Pro is going to be a valuable tool.
What I did was buy Pay As You Go SIMs, put them in my 4GLite router and tested that way for the best signal, worked a treat, Bouygues came out tops, I already knew where the local mast was located and what providers used this mast.
Don’t forget an external antenna really helps boost and maintain signal strength.
It tries to get you to contribute/upgrade but if you continue to use it in its free form, the adverts soon stop.
I use this tool quite a lot to test our local mast for signal strength when the Bouygues router seems to struggle. If the phone is giving a good response, rebooting the router usually works.
I used a Bouygues 4G box in Normandy from Feb to Aug this year. The 4G signal was always fine but the network was so overloaded you could not even run a speed test some days/times. Expensive and rubbish I’m afraid.
Moved to the Loire now and just had fibre connected. Cheaper than the 4G box and 500MBPS both ways! So a 4G box “works” but you’ll probably be disappointed in it.
P.S. I’m a software developer so good internet is really important for me and was the first “must have” when we were house hunting.
If fibre isn’t happening anytime soon and DSL over a copper phone line isn’t possible and your property has zero 4G coverage, it might be worth investigating whether anyone in your area offers internet over a radio link if you have line of site to a water tower from your home.
Oh that we could all be so endowed
Here in the Charente, our local town has Fibre but we are a few km’s out from the centre in the sticks in a small lieu-dit which has been promised, but possibly not until the new year
We did have a “wet string” solution from Orange and what we amusingly called our Deadbox but the best that managed was ~4Mb (and not that often) so, in the meantime, we have a Bouygues 4G router which more often than not provides ~20Mb but does occasionally drop down to a lower speed. The mast is some 1.2 km distant as the crow flies with a wooded area in between us and the mast and a major RN road close by (with, from time to time, heavy road traffic passing by) but it is after all consistently better than the alternative we did have in place.
The router is placed in the house on the furthest corner from the direction of the mast but since the house is a wood frame build, there appears to be little depreciation in signal to the router, nor indeed to our mobiles signal in the house on the same network.
I have yet another appointment with an Orange engineer on Monday to install fibre - fingers crossed. I’ve lost count what number appointment this is over the past 3 months. I wouldn’t put any money on me getting it before you, Graham.
Hi @AntPics - we’re based in 79 and remote not close to any major towns and not connected to any cables !!
For all our internet use for Work (large international corporation, TV via Nord VPN, mobile phones and tablet etc, we use a 4G router with a FREE sim costing 19.99 euro/ month for 210gig data.
The router has external Poynting antenna clamped to pole on chimney. Not the fastest internet (average 20kg) but overall excellent value for money. Next step is to get a 5G router and test the FREE sim in that.
@graham - for 5G we appear to have a mast not far away from us. I only know as friends came to visit with new super fancy phones and showed us they could get 5G !!! I’m still on iPhone 11 (maybe) so limited to 4G as is the router, but my Poynting Antenna is theoretically 5G compatible so worth a punt as they say !!
On list for iPhone 14 now too, so maybe we can go a little faster in our old age
Presumably, which provider to go with will be decided in part at least by what you discover from testing the signals of the various providers.
If Orange gives the best signal, personally I would necessarily not be put off because other people have had bad experiences.