Many users of Mobile Broadband simply plug their 3G USB Modem into their laptop or PC and start surfing the web. Hoever, if they also own a WiFi iPad and want to use their mobile broadband modem for this, then they can’t. The same applies to other laptops or WiFi products in the house. You could invest in a MiFi unit that runs on batteries and share the connection, but for the home this might ot give the best coverage and will not allow the connection on non WiFi devices.
The 3G Router is the answer to this problem of sharing a single USB 3G Modem, simply insert the modem into the router and you can nowconnect multiple devices using a wired or wireless connection. The Option Globesurfer X1 is a great example of this type of solution. When you plug in your 3G Dongle it provides WiFi for mobile devices and two Ethernet ports for wired connections. The Globesurfer X.1 also feature an additional USB port for a USB Printer or memory stick for file or printer sharing.
Another 3G Router option is using an embedded 3G Router. This simply means that the 3G technology is already inside the router so you just insert your mobile broadband SIM card and connect your PC’s or devices using the traditional Ethernet and WiFi interfaces. The advantage of using an embedded 3G Router is that in most cases is is easier to connect an external antenna to help improve 3G signal reception in poor signal areas. An embedded 3G router provides a more long term solution so is ideal for a home or business user that wants to use a 3G router to replace their ADSL broadband service. Some embedded 3G Routers include a built-in ADSL router so they can be used as a normal ADSL Broadband router and automatically fail over to 3G in trhe event that the wired broadband services become unavailable. This is especially useful for businesses that rely on their internet connection. In fact, the Telecom FM Dataroute router has this built in functionality and even sends the user an SMS message when the router fails over to 3G to warn that the ADSL is down so the problem can be remedied.
One of the problems faced by long term mobile broadband connections is the factthat mobile broadband providers have a tendency to drop the connection which requires the owner of the 3G router to reboot the router to re-establish the connection. Many embedded 3G router manufacturers have tackled this problem by inlcuding some form of automatic reboot. In the example of the Telecom Dataroute, when used in 3G mode only it will send a ping to an IP address on the internet at set intervals and if it does not receive a reply it will assume it has been disconnected and reboot and reconnect to the mobile broadband service. This makes this type of embedded 3G router with Ping Reboot feature very reliable for M2M applications (Machine to Machine). For example, a CCTV company that wants to remotely monitor some cameras can install a lower cost 3G Router mobile broadbad solution instead of an ADSL service and can remotely access their CCTV equipment via the 3G network, with the peace of mind that they can ensure a reliable, long term 3g connection. Other M2M applications include digital signage ad remote monitoring and management applications.