Cradlepoint MBR1200 3G/4G Router Review
|Friday, 02 October 2009|
Cradlepoint MBR1200 3G/4G Cellular Router
Update 2/13/2012: Cradlepoint has removed the PCMCIA card slot from the MBR1200 :( Read more
3Gstore.com has the MBR1200 on sale, Check out the latest sale info on the MBR1200
The Cradlepoint MBR1200 is a cellular router that simultaneously supports up to five separate 3G or 4G mobile broadband modems as its internet connectivity. The key purpose of any cellular router is to allow multiple computers access to the internet -- via 3G modems like those from Verizon and AT&T, or 4G devices like those from Sprint and Clear -- and the MBR1200 is the most versatile router to make that happen.
With its three USB ports, expresscard and pcmcia slots, the MBR1200 officially supports more 3G and 4G modems than any other cellular router, and Cradlepoint stands alone as the manufacturer who adds support for the newest modems in the shortest amount of time -- often having support for a modem even before the modem is officially launched by a carrier!
Aside from having the most inputs, the MBR1200 doesn't hold back when it comes to creating a local area network. The MBR1200 is the first cellular router to offer a built-in four-port ethernet switch that offers not just 10/100 speeds, but also 1000mbp/s LAN connectivity (a.k.a. "gigabit ethernet"). In addition to its gigabit switch, the MBR1200 supports up to 64 wireless clients over 802.11N WiFi (backwards compatible to WiFi B/G) through two internal MIMO antennas or two external high-gain WiFi antennas.
Beyond just being a cellular router, the MBR1200 also features a dedicated ethernet WAN port allowing it to perform as a Cable/DSL/Satellite router... but it doesn't stop there. The MBR1200 also features the ability to convert LAN port #4 to serve as WAN port #2, allowing for a total of seven different paths to the internet.
To provide connected users the highest level of "internet uptime", the MBR1200 can failover between ANY of the internet sources, and will even simultaneoulsy provide load balancing across all active internet sources. This ability to quickly switch from a failed service to a backup service means many businesses with unstable internet service will find the MBR1200 hard to live without.
Another feature is support for up to five concurrent VPN sessions, making the MBR1200 a great option for branch offices, client-site workgroups, and remote enterprise gatherings... we're sure the MBR1200 will also allow more executives to work remotely from home, even when that home does not have common cable/dsl service available to it.
The MBR1200 ships with a 110v A/C Power Adapter (12V, 1.5A output), CAT5 Ethernet Cable (5 ft), Mounting Hardware, Quick Start Guide, and Accessory Guide. An optional 'Security Cover' is available that covers modems to prevent theft. Optional high-gain WiFi antennas are available to extend the wireless range to and from the router. Optional 12v cigarette lighter adapter allows for use in vehicles.
The MBR1200 is arguably the MOST versatile a 3G/4G cellular router on the market today.
Cradlepoint MBR12000 Features/Specification/Requirements
MBR1200 Failsafe Gigabit N Router, Power Adapter (12V, 1.5A), CAT5 Ethernet Cable (5 ft), Mounting Hardware, Quick Start Guide, Accessory Guide
As of the publish date of this review, the MBR1200 is compatible will all the same USB and ExpressCard modems as the MBR1000 and adds official support for these PCMCIA cards:
EVDOinfo maintains a complete list of router/device compatibility at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/routers
With all officially support devices, the MBR1200 will transfer maximum bandwidth provided by any internet service/carrier. Devices that function in MBR1200 but are not officially supported, may experience less than maximum available throughput made available by attached modem.
The MBR1200's gigabit ethernet switch was able to do a local transfer of a 1GB file in an average of 50 seconds or approximately 20 megabytes per second. The same file over the 100mb/s switch on an MBR1000 took an average of 95 seconds or approximately 10.5 megabytes per second. The MBR1200's increased LAN capacity will seriously benefit professional film crews that need to move video files around on local network, before sending "dailies" to film executives.
The MBR1200 has two built-in WiFi MIMO antennas that work very well, but initial testing resulted in about 10% reduced range compared to the MBR1000's three external antennas. However, when we added the two external WiFi antennas designed for use with the MBR1200, their high-gain design signficantly increased signal power over the MBR1000's three external antennas. Its worth noting that other high gain WiFi antennas can be used with the MBR1200 but they must be used in pairs. In the near future, we are planning to do a thorough WiFi range shootout comparing the older MBR1000's three external antennas vs. the MBR1200's internal antennas vs. the MBR1200 with Cradlepoint's external antennas vs. the MBR1200 with the WiFi booster antennas we sell for the CTR500.
What We Like and What We Wish It Had
If you are in the market for a cellular router for mobile use or for failsafe backup, the MBR1200 has state-of-the-art features that make it the most versatile choice in the market today.
If you have questions about the MBR1200 feel free to contact the mobile broadband experts at http://3gstore.com
Cradlepoint MBR1200 Video Review
Cradlepoint MBR1200 Photos
Two photos above show the sides of Cradlepoint MBR1200
The optional Security Cover for the MBR1200 hides the modems to prevent theft.
Click here to see an animation that explains what the cover does.
The fourth LAN ethernet port can be switched to serve as 2nd WAN port, via admin.
Click here to see screenshot of all seven interfaces in use.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 13 February 2012 )|
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