Verizon 7501 Wireless Router - DOES NOT SUPPORT 3G DATA CARDS

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Wednesday, 07 July 2010

Verizon Wireless recently started selling a "wireless router" on their website for $9.97 + free overnight shipping. The product page claims that it is compatible with almost every 3G-enabled phone and Verizon aircard, including ExpressCards, which seemed strange since the router only has an ethernet port and USB port. We were very skeptical of what Verizon was claiming that this product could do for such a low cost, especially since they claim it supports virtually every 3G device on their network. To see if these claims were true we ordered one for our technicians to find out just how well these units performed.

The "wireless router" that Verizon is selling is actually a re-branded Westell 7501 wireless router. Right out of the box we confirmed that the router doesn't have an ExpressCard slot, meaning that all the ExpressCards they claim its compatible with definitely won't work. It does have a USB port, but after connecting several different USB modems to the USB port on the router, we weren't getting any connectivity nor were we getting any indication that the router was detecting the aircard.

To see why the router wasn't detecting any of our USB aircards including the USB720, USB727, and USB760, we decided to take a look at the router's administration page, which usually provides connection information. After reviewing the router's documentation we couldn't find any information on how to get to the routers administration. We tried contacting Westell support to determine the router's administration page address, but they told us that we would have to contact Verizon Wireless for support. After several calls to Verizon they seemed to be confused by what we were asking and were not familiar with the product at all. Since Verizon's support & their documentation seemed to be of no help at all, we investigated further and were able to login to the admin page.

After reviewing the administration page, we found no mention of supported aircards or any features that indicate that it should work with a Verizon Wireless device. The only mention we found of USB was under "network status", which indicated that no devices were connected when we tried connecting several of Verizon's most popular aircards. After speaking with Verizon Wireless Level 3 support, we finally got them to divulge that this "wireless router" that they claim to be compatible with Verizon Wireless devices is actually just a standard Cable/DSL WiFi router that is only intended to be used with their Verizon landline DSL service and not their 3G EVDO Mobile Broadband devices.

Verizon Wireless Router Administration Page - Indicating Mobile Broadband Devices Are Not Supported

After our testing with the Verizon "wireless router" we can confirm that this product WILL NOT work with any Verizon Wireless devices, despite the claims on their website (as shown below). As much as we'd love to find a mobile broadband router that cost just $10, this simply isn't possible - standard routers are not equipped to support cellular modems. If you are looking for a mobile broadband router that will work with Verizon Wireless devices, you should purchase a CradlePoint mobile broadband router. You can check to make sure your device is compatible with the CradlePoint router using our router compatibility chart.

Despite Verizon's Claims these devices are not compatible with their WiFi Router

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 July 2010 )
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