Unreliable USB Modem or MiFi Hotspot? Upgrade to the MAX BR1 Mini!

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Tuesday, 03 January 2017

Unreliable USB Modem or MiFi Hotspot? Upgrade to the MAX BR1 Mini!

Did you know that USB modems and MiFi hotspots are NOT meant for 24/7 operation? If you are using a USB modem or mobile hotspot and are trying to use it in your home or business as your primary internet connection, you’ve probably already figured this out. Chances are you are plagued with disconnects, reboots, and a generally unreliable connection that is limited further by a device with zero features. The solution has always been embedded cellular routers but they have always been expensive ($650 and up) UNTIL NOW! Introducing the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini. If you have a MiFi hotspot, 4620, 5510L, 6620, Unite, Zing, 340U Beam, USB620L, or any other USB modem or htospot, this is for you!

Here is the TL:DR version, in video form, outlining all of the reasons you should switch from or avoid trying to run a home or business off of an unreliable consumer grade device.



There are some main things to look at when comparing USB modems and MiFi hotspots to embedded cellular routers. First, is form factor. When you initially look at the size of a USB modem or hotspot, they seem small and convenient. And they are if you intend to put something in a pocket and have temporary internet access on the go. But for a home or business, or M2M deployment, their size is actually a big drawback. There are no ethernet ports, meaning connected devices have to be WiFi and the number of WiFi connections is limited. To convert the modem or hotspot to have an ethernet port takes a second device which adds to the size and adds another point of failure to the equation and complicates installation and troubleshooting. With the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini, a single device is all it takes to connect wirelessly, by ethernet, mount and install, all in a small package. Because of their small size, USB modems and hotspots do not have external antenna ports with reliable connectors. Instead you have to use small push in adapter cables which are not suited for any type of business use and can easily disconnect.The BR1 Mini has high quality screw on SMA connectors for a reliable cellular connection and the ability to easily adapt to larger external amplifiers and antennas if needed.

The next consideration is temperature ratings. Consumer USB modems and hotspots are not meant for any type of exposure to a non temperature controlled environment. This means they are never suitable for any type of M2M application or installation that requires an enclosure since they will simply overheat and shutdown. In fact, even when well ventilated these devices tend to overheat over longer periods of time causing disconnects and shutdowns. With the MAX BR1 Mini you get a device that can handle temperatures below freezing and as high as 150 degrees fahrenheit! Installed in an ATM, in an enclosure, server cabinet, or desktop, the BR1 Mini will run consistently regardless of heat or cold.

The other consideration is cost, and cost is a major factor when looking at a device to run a home, business, or M2M deployment. While there is no doubt that USB modems and hotspots are less expensive in the short term, it is the long term cost that needs to be taken very seriously. Let's take a look at a typical USB modem or hotspot to be used in a business as a primary or backup internet connection. Let’s also assume this device was provided free from the carrier for setting up a new line of service. Sounds good so far! However, what does it take to make that connection work in a business? A small business may not have a need for ethernet ports, but then again most have a network printer or PoS system that needs to be connected. To convert a hotspot to an ethernet port you are looking at adding at least $119 to the price, same if you want to convert a USB modem to WiFi and ethernet. Now the free modem just got expensive, and you have two points of failure. System setup is now complicated by multiple devices, and money is lost spending time with technical support and troubleshooting these less than reliable cellular devices. What happens when a device in the field fails? Now you lose money by having to drive out to the site, sending a tech, and lost productivity because the business is offline. If you had an ATM machine or digital sign that relied on connectivity, would you really trust it to a device that could shut off at any time, cutting off all chances of making any money until it is fixed or replaced? Then the long term costs of continued support, replacing devices, sending techs, and downtime, all add up to be far more expensive than the MAX BR1 Mini.

The BR1 Mini on the other hand starts at $299 up front, but now you have something meant to run 24/7 and can be relied upon day in and day out. Health checks keep the cellular connection active, and remote management through InControl 2, Peplinks cloud based management utility equals no downtime and no site visits to diagnose issues. Long term you’ll end up saving money, and most of the time the BR1 Mini pays itself off the first time you would have had an issue with a consumer modem or hotspot.


For more information on the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini, read our full review here , visit our YouTube page for more videos, and check out the BR1 Mini at 3Gstore.



Last Updated ( Monday, 09 January 2017 )
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