CTO and founder of CradlePoint Gary Oliverio just sent me the company’s CTR35 – wireless N portable router allowing you to plug in a USB dongle and light up a room with WiFi – where up to 16 devices can share a wireless broadband connection. And the great news is this gadget can now share a 4G connection.
I tested it with a Verizon 3G EVDO card and was able to achieve average download speeds of 1.9 Mbps downloads and 500 kbps uploads which is respectable considering I did the tests from TMC’s HQ where 3G coverage isn’t generally super-strong.
The router supports devices from AT&T, Bell Canada, Clearwire,
icket, Rogers, Rover, Sprint, T-Mobile, Telus, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless (Alltel), & Virgin Mobile and claims its range is about 350 feet – for WiFi. I did test the range inside of TMC’s headquarters and got to about 100 feet of dense metal and electronics and found the signal started to drop dramatically. This is in line with all other WiFi APs I have seen – more or less so I would say the range of this device is comparable to any other generic AP out there and all this with a small size – about the same as two iPhones stacked. So basically – 350 feet of open air range is well within within reason based on my tests.
The device allows you to have dual SSIDs – in case you want to share a second one with guests and it has bulletproof installation – you plug it in and it works. It starts off in a secure mode and the initial password is located on the device itself.
What is great about the CTR35 is it doesn’t lock you into a specific carrier or speed- you can upgrade your modem from 3G to 4G if you like or something newer in the future – assuming the device will support something beyond 4G. Moreover, you can switch providers at will based on location or other factors which make sense to you.
The device is light – lighter than an iPhone in fact so my initial thought that a battery be added seems to be counter to what the company has done here. Moreover there is a charging brick which is a decent size and although it isn’t very light – it is proprietary which makes the device less useful – if you forget the charger for example.
The price for the CradlePoint CTR35 is around $80 or so and is reasonable – CradlePoint was a pioneer int he space and continues the innovation with this new wireless 4G router and I recommend it.