Table of Contents


Products Covered

  • All Pepwave Max & Balance Series Mobile Routers


Summary

One of our most common reported issues is customers stating that their internet speeds are inconsistent. While there are plenty of reasons for mobile internet speeds to vary based on the demands of the cellular and WiFi networks one uses to get online, there are other factors inside of your internal network that may also be contributing to the slow down.


When traveling and using a healthy cell tower with 20+mbps of bandwidth to give, you may not notice when a single device is downloading a large file or update. That can change quickly however when your location has limited bandwidth overall and a single device like a iphone or Windows machine decides to download a 1-4GB file in the background without asking crushing your internet. Your Pepwave does a reasonably good job of ensuring no single device hogs all the bandwidth but when internet resources are low, it can be difficult for the modem to compensate and that is often when your intervention is recommended. 


 In this article we help you understand how to identify what devices on your network are using your valuable bandwidth, possibly without your knowledge and show you how to troubleshoot. 


Using Dashboard to See Realtime Internet usage

As you start to troubleshoot, start by logging into the administration panel and looking for total bandwidth usage across all of your devices by following these easy steps. 


Step 1: You can access the administration panel on any device connected to the Pepwave's WiFi by opening a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge. Enter the Pepwave's IP address into the address bar. The default is http://192.168.50.1.. Login using your username and password. The default username is "admin" and password is "admin"


If you need help connecting to your administration panel for the first time, visit our Get Started Guide here. If you lost your password you can check our our article Device and Password Resets


Step 2: Once connected you will see the connection dashboard. Scroll down on this page to see the total traffic the Pepwave is processing. Under "Device Information" The pepwave will show both upload and download bandwidth being used by your devices in realtime as shown in the below screenshot. 


This section is a great location for summary information about how much traffic is passing through your Pepwave device. As a general rule of thumb when traveling mobile, if more that 70% of your upload or download total bandwidth is shown being utilized then a single device may be effecting the browsing speeds of other devices. 


To identify your total bandwidth available you can use a speedtest website such as speedtest.net or by searching "internet speed test" on google to use the google speed test. Remember speeds vary based on location, time of day and other environmental conditions and testing will incur cellular data usage. 



Identifying Clients On Your Network Using Bandwidth

If your summary usage on the Pepwave dashboard shows higher than expected usage then its time to dig deeper into which client is using bandwidth.  "Clients" on your network are another name for devices connected to your Pepwave. Clients can range from a PC, phone, Apple watch, Smart TV or even printer. Anything using the internet and connected to your Pepwave is considered a client and must register with the Pepwave to use your internet connection. 


Identifying clients on your network is easy using the administration panel. Navigate to the "Status Tab" at the top and then navigate to the "Client List" Sub-menu as the screenshot below shows. 



Sorting Clients By Bandwidth Usage

To quickly identify which devices on your network are using the most amount of bandwidth you can quickly sort the client list by clicking either the "Download" or "Upload" column header to sort from low/high or high/low usage. You may need to click the column header twice to show highest usage at the top of the list. See screenshot below for example. 




Limiting Bandwidth Per Client

Many devices especially streaming devices will use as much bandwidth as they can get their hands on regardless of whether it is needed or not. This often is done to provide up to 4K video quality which can come at an extremely high cost if the usage is using up your valuable data plan. Your Pepwave has powerful bandwidth controls to allow you to limit the amount of bandwidth used per client. Below is an example of an Apple TV hogging all available bandwidth while the user is trying to work and family members are watching tv.



Most streaming services like Netflix can stream with at little as 1mbps of download bandwidth at standard quality and 3-4mbps at HD quality yet will use 10-20mbps if they are allowed to crushing your data plan and the browsing experience of other clients/devices on your network.


You can enable the max amount of bandwidth any client can use on your network by using the bandwidth controls function in your Pepwave. For customers with Max Transit Series or ENT series modems, you can go one step further and create groups and separate networks to enforce group rules for certain devices. For more advanced features such as bandwidth groups the user manual is a good place to get started. For this article we will focus on the basics of limiting bandwidth across all clients which can be done with just a few clicks. 


Step 1: On the Pepwave administration panel click the "advanced" tab and then click the "bandwidth control" sub-tab. See the below screenshot. 



Step 2: Depending on the model of your Pepwave this screen may look slightly different.The above example is a Max BR1 Series mobile router. To enable individual bandwidth limits check the "Enable" checkbox and then enter your max download and upload speeds per device.  This number should be based on your total available bandwidth at your location. We recommend entering a number equal to 50% of your total download and upload bandwidth if you are unsure of what to enter. For example if you ran a speed test and found you have 10mbps download and 2mbps upload at your current location, then we recommend entering 5mbps in the download field and 1mbps in the upload field. If you have children or other heavy data users in your party you may want to consider lowering these limits to allow more clients to work simultaneously. 


Step 3: Hit "Save" at the bottom of the page and "apply changes" at the top right of the admin page.



Remember to adjust or disable bandwidth limits when you are at a new location with faster download speeds or when you want to test your total download/upload speeds. Enabling bandwidth limits will by nature limit the speed shown in a speed test. This is often overlooked and a cause for frustration when moving so don't forget to update your settings regularly!


Setting Bandwidth Limits By Sim Card

If you wish to set bandwidth limits by sim card you may do so as well. We have written a separate article on how do this which is shown here: Monitoring Data Usage & Setting Bandwidth Allowance Monitor


Requesting Assistance

If you feel you are not getting anywhere or there is another issue you can always reach out to our team directly by initiating a ticket here on the support portal or by emailing info@mobilemusthave.com


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