Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cradlepoint CTR-350 Cellular Travel Router

CradlePoint CTR-350


Wow wow wow.

My new Cradlepoint CTR-350 arrived today.

It is tiny, about the size of a deck of cards. The 595U plugs directly in the USB port on the side. The only other connection I use is the AC adapter (5Vdc, 2.5A).

There is an Ethernet port, but for Internet access only (DSL or Cable). At this time the Ethernet port is NOT for your PC.

[UPDATE: New firmware allows Ethernet port to be used in either direction: WAN as before, or LAN.]

Price class around US$150, plus US$25 for FedEx. I really like FedEx. I had to pay the HST (about $21) when it cleared customs, but at least the FedEx fee was only about $7 (which is perfectly fair). Not like being hosed by UPS for $50. Anyway...

To use, just plug the Sierra Wireless 595U into the side of the CTR-350. Use WiFi from laptop to access CTR-350 which then accesses the Internet via EV-DO over the Telus network.

The thing just plain works. Now the whole house can access the Internet all at once via our own little portable WiFi hot spot. Right now the DSM-320 is streaming a radio station from the Philppines, the kid's Nintendo DS is battling on-line, and I'm here typing in the blog.

They call it a 'Travel' router I guess because no one is really thinking about EV-DO in terms of being a viable alternative for high speed Internet access from a primary residence. But it is!! When there are no other options (other than satellite), then the EV-DO option floats to the top.

Satellite can be a bit cheaper ($55 per month), but you need to sign-up for a multi-year contract and the speed is only 0.5 Mbps for that monthly fee. If you want 1Mbps, then you pay $100 per month. And don't even mention the Ping-time latency bouncing up and down to a satellite as compared to a nearby cell phone tower.

More to follow later about all this gear.

No comments: