It was a throwaway remark. A passing comment on Twitter. Last night I did a quick speed test and got 365Mbps down.
However, I got a few questions about how it was achieved, so here goes. The speed was the result of me combining my Vodafone 4G connection and my Virgin Business Broadband connection. How did I do that? Well, read on my friends, because although it can boost your speeds, there’s some things to consider.
First, a bit of history. You may remember how insanely geeky I was a few months ago. I binned the home phone line rental, moved my “traditional” home phone number to a VoIP provider then, as you can read in my previous post, had a pure internet-only feed from Virgin Business. Just as an aside, I must admit that the business side of Virgin Media is a world apart from the residential offering. I get emails when engineers are scheduled to do work in the area, I get solid connection and I get really responsive support.
Anyhow, my wife recently took a new Vodafone deal which saw her signing up for a massive 50GB monthly plan. This, I’ll confess, is way beyond what she actually needs. However, she’s got the Galaxy S9 she wanted (we reviewed it here) via a retention deal and all the Spotify goodness. In the S9, and the S8, the Galaxy S7 and other Samsung devices, there’s an option under Settings->Connections->More connection settings called “Download booster”. Turn this on and any download which is over 30MB will use WiFi and 4G at the same time. In the test above I was using 5GHz WiFi and the Vodafone 4G was pretty strong, so the ideal situation really. My wife has that 50GB plan, so data usage isn’t too much of a worry and she can merrily download Spotify tracks in seconds so that they’re local on the device.
This functionality is available in some other handsets too, so take a look for it in your settings.
What you should remember, of course, is that if you use it regularly it’ll be taking data from your mobile package. If you don’t have a healthy amount of data then you’ll soon eat through it. However, if you’ve got an “OK” home broadband connection and a good 4G connection, combining the two will give your phone a big speed boost.
For those without this ability, there’s options like Speedify or a load balancing router which will pick up the 4G connection and your standard ADSL2 / FTTC connection to combine into one fast pipe.
Oh and yes, my upload is a bit pants, but .. hey.. 🙂