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4G Routers for CLEAR/Sprint Modems

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4G Routers for CLEAR/Sprint Modems

 

Cradlepoint MBR1000 with CLEAR w100 USB modem

 

4G wireless internet service available from CLEAR's w100 or u300 (AKA the "4G+" modem) USB modems and Sprint's U300 and the new u301 USB modem, can be a perfect solution for folks who live and work on the road in areas with 4G coverage... but what if you want to share that internet connection with multiple devices when you back at home or at the office? Being able to provide internet access to ALL of your computers and other wireless-enabled devices like the iPod Touch, Sony PSP, or Nintendo DS would make your 4G service even more valuable

Now that 4G coverage is spreading to many more cities, we're getting this question more often: how can I share 4G service from my USB modem with multiple computers, or other devices that need internet access?

The great news is that there are several 4G routers available that allow you to do just that! Mobile broadband routers like the Cradlepoint models sold by 3Gstore work just like the more common 'cable/dsl' router you might have used in the past for a home/office DSL or cable-modem connection, but mobile broadband routers have the unique ability to support 4G modems as their source of internet connectivity. With a router that supports your4G  device, you can plug in your 4G USB modem and instantly create your own local area/WiFi network, powered by 4G connectivity!

3GStore.com has been selling these specialty routers for over five years now and no online company has sold and supported mobile broadband routers longer than 3Gstore has! While there are literally thousands of network experts who can work magic with conventional routers, we're the experts at mobile broadband routers. Quite often, we get phone calls from "network experts" who just don't get this "mobile broaband stuff"... we understand... this stuff can be tricky.

The 4G router setups are some of the trickiest configurations we've ever had to support, and we know it will be challenging for even the seasoned mobile broadband users. Thats why when you buy a 4G router from 3Gstore.com, we offer a service to pre-configure the router for your 4G USB modem, before it even leaves our warehouse... for just $15 more than the sale price of the router itself! Allowing us to pre-configure your router for 4G use could mean a lot less frustration for you -- we really think its worth the money.

Of course, even if you don't pay us to pre-configure your router for 4G use, we'll provide you with our 3gstore-prepared Support CD that includes our latest tipsheets, the latest router firmware, the latest 4G modem firmware, and utilities our tech support department have found useful for helping customers out of tricky situations.

Which 4G Router For You?
Choosing between the many Cradlepoint 4G options might be a challenge for those of new to mobile broadband. We're here to help. You'll find complete compatibility information maintained at our sister site: http://www.EVDOinfo.com/routers -- and here is some info that compares the major 4G router options. (note: router firmware to support Sprint's u301 will be available shortly after this article is published. watch this thread on 4gforums.com for an announcement)

phs300

Cradlepoint PHS300 Battery Powered Router
Carriers Supported: Sprint, Verizon, CLEAR, Alltel, AT&T - see router compatibility chart
Form Factors Supported: USB, ExpressCard (with ExpressCard-to-USB adapter)
Wireless Range: Operates on Wireless "G". Range is approximately 80 feet, depending upon factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls. Range CANNOT be improved (no port for WiFi antenna)
Ethernet Ports: ZERO. Do NOT puchase this router if you need to hardwire a computer via ethernet! If you have a computer that does not have wireless capabilites, you can purchase an 802.11N USB Adapter to make it WiFi-compatible!
Load Balancing: NO
Portability: The best!! Built-in battery provides about 2 hours of WiFi when you don't have a power source. Very compact and light; cigarette lighter adapter available (also charges battery).
Manufacturer Support: Excellent. Cradlepoint is very responsive to suggestions and complaints and makes a concerted effort to improve their products. Very quick to release firmware updates to support more devices/fix bugs.
PROs: The only 3G router to feature a built-in rechargable battery, compatible with many aircards and phones/PDAs, compact, good security options, WiPipe technology improves performance of most difficult connection types, latest version supports 4G WiMAX (note: if you have an older "version 1" PHS300, it is NOT compatible with 4G)
CONs: Wireless G, no option to add a WiFi antenna, no ethernet port, no indicator showing battery life (additional batteries available)
This Router is Best For: With its built-in battery, the PHS300 is ideal for anyone on the go -- business executives, reporters, bloggers, even families on road trips! Thanks to its diminutive size, this router can be taken anywhere and used for up to two hours without even being plugged into a power outlet!

Read the full review
Purchase the PHS300 from 3Gstore


CTR500

Cradlepoint CTR500
Carriers Supported: Sprint, Verizon, CLEAR, Alltel, AT&T - see router compatibility chart
Form Factors Supported: USB, ExpressCard
Wireless Range: Operates on Wireless "G". Range is approximately 80 feet, depending upon factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls. For more range, add the optional wifi antenna for up to 30% more WiFi coverage.
Ethernet Ports: One 10/100 Ethernet port operates as WAN input or LAN output
Load Balancing: YES
Portability: Excellent. Very compact and comes bundled with both a "global" 110/240v ac adapter as well as a 12v cigarette lighter adapter
Manufacturer Support: Excellent. Cradlepoint is very responsive to suggestions and complaints and makes a concerted effort to improve their products. Very quick to release firmware updates to support more devices/fix bugs.
PROs: Same high-power processor as flagship MBR1000 router, ExpressCard slot (some ExpressCards can be used with the PHS300 but only with an adapter), compatible with many devices including many phones/PDAs, compact, antenna jack to improve WiFi range, signal strength lights on body, supports fail-over (with priority assignments), supports load balancing, global ac power adapter, WiPipe technology improves performance of most difficult connection types, compatible with 4G WiMAX
CONs: Not many for this great router! Wireless N would be preferable to G, however.
This Router is Best For: The CTR500 is excellent for travelers and home/office users alike. The small size, signal indicator lights and included cigarette lighter adapter make it a great choice for RV-ers. With the extensive list of supported devices - including many phones/PDAs - and Cradlepoint's track record for providing updates when new devices debut, the CTR500 is a great investment likely to last a long time, even if you upgrade your device.

Read the full review
Purchase the CTR500 from 3Gstore


MBR900

Cradlepoint MBR900
Carriers Supported: Sprint, Verizon, CLEAR, Alltel, AT&T - see router compatibility chart
Form Factors Supported: USB, ExpressCard (with ExpressCard-to-USB adapter)
Wireless Range: Operates on Wireless "N" and is backwards-compatible with B/G. Range is very good, 6-10x what you'll see with a wireless G router. Even your G devices will benefit from the super-powerful N radio (or purchase an N adapter and upgrade your computer!). Of course, remember that range can depend on factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls.
Ethernet Ports: Four (4) 10/100 LAN ethernet ports, One (1) 10/100 WAN ethernet port
Load Balancing: No
Portability: Average. It's not huge and there is a cigarette lighter adapter available, but its two non-removable WiFi antennas make it a bit bulky.
Manufacturer Support: Excellent. Cradlepoint is very responsive to suggestions and complaints and makes a concerted effort to improve their products. Very quick to release firmware updates to support more devices/fix bugs.
PROs: Wireless N provides great range, compatible with many devices including many phones/PDAs, signal strength lights on body, four ethernet LAN ports and a WAN port, works great as a cable/dsl/satellite router (with optional failover to cellular), least expensive 3G/4G cellular router that features 802.11 N WiFi, WiPipe technology improves performance of most difficult connection types, compatible with 4G WiMAX
CONs: No load balancing, USB port only.
This Router is Best For: The MBR900 is a great "entry level home-use router" and it's a good choice for customers who want wireless "N" and multiple ethernet ports but don't need the additional features that the MBR900's bigger brothers like the MBR1000 and MBR1200 can provide (such as load balancing and support for ExpressCards and PCMCIA cards).

Read the full review
Purchase the MBR900 from 3Gstore


MBR1000

Cradlepoint MBR1000 - the Flagship 3G/4G Router
Carriers Supported: Sprint, Verizon, CLEAR, Alltel, AT&T - see router compatibility chart
Form Factors Supported: USB (2), ExpressCard
Wireless Range: Operates on Wireless "N" and is backwards-compatible with B/G. Range is excellent, 6-10x what you'll see with a wireless G router. Even your G devices will benefit from the super-powerful N radio (or purchase an N adapter and upgrade your computer!). Of course, remember that range can depend on factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls.
Ethernet Ports: Four 10/100Mbps Auto-MDIX LAN Port and one 10/100Mbps WAN Port
Load Balancing: YES
Portability: Average. It's not huge and there is a cigarette lighter adapter available, but its three non-removable WiFi antennas make it a bit bulky.
Manufacturer Support: Excellent. Cradlepoint is very responsive to suggestions and complaints and makes a concerted effort to improve their products. Very quick to release firmware updates to support more devices/fix bugs.
PROs: More powerful on-board processor than PHS300, Wireless N radio provides excellent WiFi range, ExpressCard slot (some ExpressCards can be used with the PHS300 but only with an adapter), compatible with many devices including many phones/PDAs, supports fail-over (with priority assignments), four ethernet LAN ports and a WAN port, works great as a cable/dsl/satellite router (with optional failover to cellular), supports load balancing, great admin features, signal lights on router body, WiPipe technology improves performance of most difficult connection types, supports 4G WiMAX
CONs: The antennas are not user-removable, so there is no easy way to improve your WiFi range (although the range is excellent).
This Router is Best For: The MBR1000 is the top-of-the-line 3G/4G router and is an awesome choice for just about any application (unless you have a PCMCIA card). Excellent value for the money and a great long-term investment thanks to its wireless N radio and frequent firmware upgrades courtesy of Cradlepoint. There isn't much you can't do with this router!!

Read the full review
Purchase the MBR1000 from 3Gstore


MBR1200

Cradlepoint MBR1200
Carriers Supported: Sprint, Verizon, CLEAR, Alltel, AT&T - see router compatibility chart
Form Factors Supported: USB (3), ExpressCard, PCMCIA (the ONLY Cradlepoint router that supports PCMCIA!)
Wireless Range: Operates on 802.11 "N" and is backwards-compatible with B/G; even your G devices will benefit from the super-powerful N radio (or purchase an N adapter and upgrade your computer!). Range is excellent, several times what you'll see with a wireless G router, although slightly less than the MBR1000 because the MBR1200 does not come with external WiFi antennas attached. Optional external WiFi antennas are also available to increase your WiFi range even more. Of course, remember that range can depend on factors such as interference from other electronics and physical interference such as thick walls.
Ethernet Ports: Four (4) gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN/WAN configurable ports and One (1) 10/100/1000 WAN (ethernet)
Load Balancing: YES
Portability: Average. Larger than the "travel routers" but more compact than the MBR1000 (because there are no attached WiFi antennas). There is also a cigarette lighter adapter available for use on the go.
Manufacturer Support: Excellent. Cradlepoint is very responsive to suggestions and complaints and makes a concerted effort to improve their products. Very quick to release firmware updates to support more devices/fix bugs.
PROs: More powerful on-board processor than PHS300, Wireless N radio provides excellent WiFi range, optional external WiFi antennas are available to improve the WiFi range even more, more modem ports than any other 3G router, ExpressCard slot (some ExpressCards can be used with the PHS300 but only with an adapter), ONLY Cradlepoint router with a PCMCIA card slot, compatible with many devices including many phones/PDAs, supports fail-over (with priority assignments),support for up to five concurrent VPN sessions, four gigabit ethernet LAN ports and a WAN port, works great as a cable/dsl/satellite router (with optional failover to cellular), supports load balancing, great admin features, signal lights on router body, WiPipe technology improves performance of most difficult connection type, optional security enclosure available, supports 4G WiMAX
CONs: Not many for this powerful router! The higher cost may be hard to justify for users that don't need all the features, though.
This Router is Best For: The MBR1200 is a no-brainer for PCMCIA card users (if you upgrade in the future to an ExpressCard or USB modem, you won't need a new router!), and folks needing advanced VPN functionality will love it as well. Load balancers will love its five modem ports, and the optional security enclosure make it a great choice for in-the-field applications.

Read the full review
Purchase the MBR1200 from 3Gstore