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Magic Box is Actually Slowing Down Download Speeds


Magic Box is Actually Slowing Down Download Speeds

We’ve been having problems with network speeds for several months now. Thought it had to do with maybe an overload as there are so many now working from remote locations. Figured Sprint and the others would adjust to the “New Normal” and things would improve. Didn’t happen. In fact, about three weeks ago things got decidedly worse. Secure sites like Banks and Credit Card Companies stopped letting me sign in. I have to tether to my phone and use Cellular Data to communicate with them. Hard on limits and phone battery.

Here is where we stand right now.

Without the Magic Box powered on, our phones and mobil hotspot (Franklin 910a, which we took to local store and it checked out just fine) show only one or two bars of signal strength with downloads speeds averaging somewhere around 45 Mbps.

Plugging in the device gives us a full four bars but the download speeds fall off the proverbial cliff. 

Laptop runs anywhere from a high of 11.23 Mbps and a low of 0.62 Mbps, averaging out after several tries at 4.2 Mbps.

The phone drops to an average of 0.24 Mbps.

Have reset the device as instructed, but nothing changes.

When looking through the men on the screen, I see a drop-down in the Network Settings with choice of either LTE Backhaul or WiFi Backhaul.

With LTE selected, everything goes just fine. With WiFi chosen, the setup never seems to quit. 

Any thoughts? 


It is entirely possible we have two different versions of the Magic Box and that could account for some of the differences. But, since I was going by memory on mine I decided this morning to go back through the setup on the box itself (not using the stupid app they tell you to, which just helps with position and nothing else). 

Here is my screen after changing the setting to wifi backhaul:


Mine has an indicator for each signal it needs to obtain/maintain. Even though wifi backhaul is set as the preferred connection, it appears to still be connected to LTE ... Whether as a backup or a simple "calling home" type of situation where it is only using LTE to authenticate the device. 


From a speed test perspective, I only get between 10-20mbps down with it on wifi backhaul. My home internet is 70(ish) and the Magic Box is only connecting to the 2.4Ghz wifi so it's about what I would expect. 


Now, when I go to LTE backhaul, I just did a speed test there and it got 70(ish) down and not even 10 up, which is no doubt better --- but at my house, the native Sprint tower is less than a quarter mile away and I get upwards of 200mbps down and between 10-20 up. So at home for me, the Magic Box is really a bottleneck. But I've actually taken it to my wife's office where their signal sounds a lot like what you have going on and it won't connect to the wifi there for backhaul for whatever reason. I do their IT work so I'll probably try again after upgrading their WiFi router and see if it will connect then but it really makes no sense as all other devices have no trouble connecting there. 


So that last part leads me to believe that it may be that "calling home" to the Sprint tower that is not 100% reliable when you have a poor-to-just ok LTE signal to begin with. But then if that is the case, these devices are not really worthwhile because it's when you have that lower LTE signal that you want to be able to supplement with wifi backhaul anyway. If you have really good LTE without it, as I do at my house, what good is the device? They need a device like Magic Box that exclusively uses wifi to change that into an LTE signal you can use ... Rather than requiring good enough LTE signal before the device will work right. Just my opinion. 


Allegedly they do ... But I've only ever seen the Magic Box. They supposedly have another device that will boost your signal in poor coverage areas ... But again, I've never seen it in action to know it actually exists. 


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