back to article New 4G router pitched at biz bods sick to death of titsup networks

With increasing 4G coverage, mobile data is becoming a sensible option for corporates who want resilience for their company networks. This is especially true in major American cities which have more mature 4G coverage than the UK, a stark turnaround from the early days of GSM. Cradlepoint from Idaho has launched a router which …


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  1. Cliff

    Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

    Out on an island building site in the Middle East just now, can't get a fibre or copper to the cabins so we use a load of 4G-Wifi wireless routers with ethernet connections, 802.11n, etc. Cost a fraction, so if anyone's looking for a home version, try TP-Link?

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

      The point is not the 4G connection. The point is it has both fixed and 4G connections, so the router fails over to 4G when the fixed line goes titsup (see article subheading).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

      My Asus RT66U with Merlin firmware already does this for ~ £100...

      1. foo_bar_baz

        Re: Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

        As does Vyatta and pfsense, both are free and can be installed on a bunch of hardware platforms. How many machines would you put behind your Asus with Merlin firmware? 5, 50, 500?

        It's horses for courses of courses. Some people find it comforting to pay for stuff, don't want to spend time on setting stuff up, or perhaps offload responsibility to a 3rd party. If your boss wants to pay for IBM and Oracle, you pretty much know what they'll choose for a firewall.

        I personally wouldn't touch a firewall that is hooked to the "cloud" (i.e. US-based servers) with a bargepole.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

          The Asus can handle tens of thousands of concurrent connections, and has throughput well in excess of the peak performance of 4G - so 5-500 users would be well within it's capabilities.

          nb - Merlin firmware isn't actually required for 3G failover - it does it with factory firmware also...

          The ASUS is not connected to the cloud at all unless you choose to enable cloud based services

  2. spegru

    Ah but is it 4G?

    As apple found, out european 4G requires LTE, not some old 3G stuff like they have in the US

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Ah but is it 4G?

      Apparently it is.

      AER 2100LP2-EUF – 4G LTE/HSPA+ for Europe

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $1100? Pricey. We've got a 4G router in our toolkit for rolling up to client sites. Cheap little Huawei thing that our mobile provider gives us for free. Happily pulls 40Mbit/s+ down the pipe in central London. If you really want the corporate networking features you'd probably be better off just whacking a cheap box behind that.

  4. ElNumbre


    That's an expensive router. Say £200 all in for a mini-itx pc with memory, hdd, case and PSU plus an installation of pfSense and you're away. The only issue you may have is needing to have a gateway modem (£20 TP-Link DSL modem for me) if your fixed line provider doesn't have ethernet presentation.

  5. TrixyB

    Draytek Vigor 28xx

    Erm, Draytek have been doing this for years on 28xx series. 2830n is about £180

  6. Dazed and Confused


    Does this thing take external antennas? This was what I found limited the supply of 3G and 4G routers. The windows in my office decimate the phone signal, open the double glazed door, 5 bars, close the door 1bar :-( So I needed a router that would take an external feed. Latency was more important for my app and 4G didn't seem to offer any improvement over 3G, so it was cheaper to stay at 3G.

    1. IglooDude

      Re: Antennas?

      I'm reading on Cradlepoint's site that yes, it does take external antennas. Most 3G/LTE routers nowadays do.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We used to own one of Cradlepoint's CTR350 'travel' WiFi routers ($100 price class) that had a USB slot intended for the purpose of plugging in a USB data stick. We used this approach for whole house WiFi hotspot Internet during a period when we had no other high speed option. They're a good company; each time the mobile telco changed USB sticks (happened several times), Cradlepoint had already updated the firmware to accept the new stick. Zero downtime. We even rigged up the CTR350 with battery power and we had a WiFi-equipped car well ahead of most everyone else - but just for one day as an experiment.

    It's not clear why this new gadget needs to cost an order of magnitude more. Also, I'm not sure I'd want the data sticks to be embedded; what with them changing standards every two or three years.

    By the way, "Unlimited" equals about 5 or 6 GB per month. Given present usage patterns (50+ GB/month), it's an obsolete alternative for whole house Internet. Thankfully there's now an optical fibre with 175 Mbps just weeks away.

  8. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    As others have mentioned, it does seem expensive. Then they want $500 for a second 4G modem? I can pick up a 4G USB stick for under £100. So what am I getting for the extra cost?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost

      Nothing. US providers are stunningly expensive compared with EU providers and usually have a fairly captive market.

      Having a good laugh at the "more mature market" - not sure I know ANY US peeps who'd agree with that.....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    May be assume the 4G has been back-doored with a software SIM to leak any "interesting" packets inspected by the router to the NSA?

  10. DNTP

    It doesn't have a skull on it so you don't need to get it.

    Seriously though, I expect some idiot to order an IT department to install one of these, get an "unlimited data" 4G contract without reading the fineprint, have their wired provider go out for a day or two, and then get hit with a huge bill for all the company's traffic for that time going over 4G.

    Then of course recklessly fire lawsuits around because its the American way, and as a bonus we get to make fun of them!

  11. IglooDude

    It is a better deal when you have a hundred sites, and can pool your usage - hopefully, you're not rolling on backup too often at any one site. I've seen a lot of this being sold, particularly when the remote sites are all hub-and-spoke'd to the core corporate LAN anyway.

  12. RNixon

    This is not just a router with failover.

    Cradlepoint makes a whole line of routers that do failover from wired to wireless - I use one myself, a 1400 series. (It's vastly overkill for what I really need, but I wanted the gigabit ethernet.) Their consumer routers start at about $150.

    This thing appears to be completely nutso over the top. It seems to be intended for people managing Serious Networks.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US$1,100 for a new brand?

    That's in the same price range as Cisco's 819 4G models, which are limited to only one WWAN modem but also give you more-or-less full-blown IOS for whatever strange and exotic configurations you want to put in, and they also offer a hardened / industrial environment model for about US$300 more.

    Pro-tip: if your price point is in the insane-o-sphere with Cisco, you had better offer a Cisco feature set.

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