I’m looking for views on portable/mobile 3G mobile routers (with built in battery) !
My wife suggested we consider this for our travels, as this may be an interesting way to go (and we are both Internet fiends). The philosophy is one has a very small (deck of cards size) router that obtains the Internet signal via a 3G connection. It then turns around and rebroadcasts this signal via a short range wireless. One can then connect their laptop, or tablet to that wireless, and thus have Internet anywhere.
And one also can use ONE single 3G phone account and not have to have separate 3G devices in each mobile device. Nor does one have to pass the USB 3G dongle back and forth between users.
My wife has an Ipod without 3G, and she has just ordered a Netbook (Lenovo X220 w/13.5" screen). Plus I have my larger Dell Studio 1537 laptop (15" screen) and I may purchase a Tablet toward the end of the year. Thus she is thinking (and I tend to agree) that it may be just as cheap and more flexible for us to purchase a 3G router that we take with us on our travels. That way in the Hotel room or in a Cafe, we can switch ON the router, receive the internet via 3G, and rebroadcast to our mobile devices. The battery means its good for a Cafe (or on the Train), and in the Hotel room we can plug it in to power in the room.
ROUTER W/3G Modem
At first my wife was considering the Huawei MiFi E5836S 3G Mobile WiFi router, which has a built in 3G (with a slot for the simm card) and it retransmits the wireless. Its very popular in Thailand where we would likely use it.
The ‘risk’ here is 3G is not the same in every country, and while this my work in Thailand for some 3G suppliers, it may not provide good flexibility to work in Europe nor North America where the frequencies are different. I did read one complaint (from a British Columbia, Canada user) who noted its reception was not good. But my wife notes she found a Thai review stating the opposite. Here is a Thai review (which I don’t understand the words, but the video provides the concept):
ROUTER w/OUT 3G-MODEM but use USB 3G device
Than I stumbled across the Edimax 3G-6218N - 150Mbps Wireless 3G Portable Router with Battery which is a slightly different concept.
It is cheaper than the Huawei MiFi E5836S 3G Mobile WiFi router but it does NOT include 3G hardware. However it has a USB slot where a 3G USB modem can be plugged into the router. 3G USB modems are mostly incredibly cheap, and so this approach has obvious advantages, as one could use a different 3G modem for different countries.
Here is a video in Japanese (?) (I think - maybe Chinese - again I don’t understand the words but the video provides the concept):
… ie one plugs the USB modem into the Edimax. One switches on the Edimax and receives the wireless on one’s iPod, Tablet, Netbook, or Laptop. ie both my wife and I could surf at the same time when travelling.
**CONCLUSION ? **
I have no conclusion yet. I’m leaning toward the Edimax 3G-6218N - 150Mbps Wireless 3G Portable Router - with Battery but I am curious as to who else may have a view point here ?