How to choose a 4G LTE Router

When we discuss the topic of 4G LTE, we still can not ignore the fact that in the perspective of global network communications, many countries’ people still face a problem of the expensive cost and slowly download rate on 4G network traffic. Under such circumstances, how to make rational use of network resources is a problem worth to study.

The emergence of 4G LTE router solves some people’s needs for portable Internet access and sharing for multi-machine of wireless networks. Here we are going to talk about the 4G LTE  router.

The development of this kind product is closely related to the traffic price on 4G network from network service providers, with the decline in rates, this product may be slow out of the market, but it is certain that it will not be eliminated, because it can still meet the needs of some particular groups, and it has played a very important role in numerous wireless products over the past few years.

1. 4G LTE speed in countries 2016-2017 From OpenSignal)

portable wifi net

2. 4G LTE router implementation principle

First, the LTE wireless gateway accesses the 4G network, and then the 4G network provides users with a high-speed wireless backhaul link, while the LTE-WiFi downlink provides a WiFi coverage environment for users, finally the users login to the operator’s network through a terminal device such as a smartphone or an iPad.(The diagram resource: Billion Electric)

portable wifi net


4G LTE speed VS WiFi

portable wifi net

The limited speed is 300Mbps on the wireless end of  4G LTE WiFi router. In the best of circumstances, if the application efficiency for data traffic at entrance of LTE side is 100% = 100Mbps, and the wireless side traffic efficiency is normally 50%(300Mbps * 50% = 150Mbps), so it’s enough to meet the 4G LTE download rate, At the same time, the data rate from the network service providers may be limited usually, which is actually a waste of bandwidth (see the above global 4G network speed comparison table).

3. Several Application scenarios of 4G LTE  router

Generally speaking, this kind of product can be used almost where the 4G network is deployed, and you just need to choose a suitable type according to your actual needs. Here I list some of the common use of this product to give you a reference.

1> Indoor LTE-WiFi Coverage

Deploys LTE-WiFi wireless gateway devices in indoor hotspots and transmits them back through the TDD-LTE / FDD-LTE network to meet the indoor wireless access requirements of WiFi users. The device is usually used in airports, railway stations, bus stations, coffee bars, teahouse, hotels and other hot spots in the city.

2> Outdoor LTE-WiFi Coverage

Deploys LTE-WiFi wireless gateway devices in outdoor hotspots to provide backhaul through 4G networks and data services to WiFi users. The LTE-WiFi wireless access gateway device for outdoor is installed on the top of buildings, WiFi coverages of the surrounding environment. It is generally used in stadiums, city squares, industrial parks, urban parks, residential quarters, tourist attractions, beaches and other areas.

3> LTE-WiFi Wireless Coverage in Cars

Deploys LTE-WiFi wireless gateway devices for urban buses and private cars, and provides backhaul through TDD-LTE / FDD-LTE networks to provide data services to WiFi users in the car ,also brings the experience of LTE high bandwidth advantage to users. It is used in private cars, buses, long-distance cars, subway and light rail, to meet the passenger demand for wireless Internet access.

4. Three Product forms of 4G LTE Router

 1> The first kind is providing the service through the USB interface on the router, you just need to plug in a 4G USB modem to the USB interface, through the sharing of 4G data services to achieve Internet access multiple computers. Particularly suitable for those users who are not easy to access fixed broadband or need to share the mobile network. 

TP-Link N150 Wireless 3G/4G Portable Router
TP-Link N150 Wireless 3G/4G Portable Router

TP-LINK Portable 3G/4G IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b Wireless N Router


2>The second is the 4G router with sim card slot but without USB interface, generally also integrates an LCD screen, just insert a SIM card and do some simple configuration before you can achieve WiFi  Internet access.

Netgear Unite Explore 815S 4G LTE Mobile Wifi Rugged Hotspot
Netgear Unite Explore 815S 4G LTE Mobile Wifi Rugged Hotspot

Brave the outdoors and bumps of everyday life with the FIRST rugged mobile hotspot from AT&T and NETGEAR – AT&T Unite Explore. It’s tough, secure WiFi that can travel with you, globally on 4G LTE.

GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot

Worldwide High Speed WIFI Hotspot with 1GB Global Initial Data, No SIM Card Roaming Charges International Pocket WIFI Hotspot MIFI Device (Black)


3> The third one is through the provision of WAN interface to support ordinary broadband access, such as support for traditional DSL and Cable broadband access. But also has superior compatibility, it is easy to share Internet access between multiple-users. In addition to supporting multiple access methods, the other also supports a variety of practical features, such as support for WDS features, you can wireless bridge a few wireless Router, expand wireless network coverage. , You can effectively control the download rate of each client through QoS bandwidth control function.

TP-LINK TL-MR3040 3G/4G Wireless N150 Portable Router
TP-LINK TL-MR3040 3G/4G Wireless N150 Portable Router

Battery Powered, AP/WISP/Router Mode, Compatible with Selected ATT/Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile USB Modems


5. The main technical indicators for 4G LTE Router

What aspects do I value more in my years of experience in using this product? Here I probably list some key points, I hope it can give you a reference.

  • Physical dimension, These products are mostly small size, mainly easy to carry, the best can be directly installed in your pocket.
  • Endurance, Different brands of products, providing different endurance, the general requirements to meet the 24-hour Internet access needs, but also best to meet the mobile phone charging needs.
  • Flow rates, According to the local operator’s traffic package, different packages correspond to different prices
  • Supporting App, To include the SMS service, network traffic usage, network speed,  electricity consumption and other parameters of the statistics,
  • Signal quality, Too many factors affect the wireless network, according to the actual use of the scene analysis.You can refer to my previous post  21 factors affecting your wifi speed
  • Download and upload speed, General download speed of such products is100Mbps, upload speed is 50Mbps

6. The defects of 4G LTE Router

1> Coverage is limited because the use of built-in antenna technology, the radiation of wireless signals will be weaker than the traditional wifi router

2> Over-reliance on the operator’s network traffic rates.

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