EVDO Over WiFi (CradlePoint CTR350 Review)

Having an EVDO card is one of those “once you have one, you can never go back” sort of things.

A normal EVDO card is great when you’re out around town and/or traveling alone, but if you’re with a group1 it can be a bit of a pain to try to share the connection. Also, the USB card that I have is a bit of a battery drain on my laptop – sometimes this is an issue, sometimes it isn’t.

I’m trying the CradlePoint CTR350 EVDO to WiFi router as a solution to this. Simply plug your USB EVDO card into it and it creates a WiFi network using your EVDO connection. Now the group can share the EVDO connection, and my battery life is extended by just using the WiFi antenna instead of powering the USB EVDO card.

The CradlePoint device is actually smaller than I expected, and the power brick is an acceptable size – good choices for a device touted as a travel router. The configuration screens are the typical fairly ugly router screens but everything seems to work pretty much as expected and as advertised.

All in all I’m quite pleased with this device thus far, and plan to keep it in my everyday gear bag.

I bought the CradlePoint from the good folks at 3Gstore, who helped get it delivered to me in Hawaii. This is the second purchase I’ve made from them and I have nothing but good things to report; highly recommended2.

UPDATE: I’ve got no hard data to back this up, but my laptop seems to do a lot better with simultaneous data transfer through the WiFi router than it does connected directly to the EVDO modem. I’m not sure what is balancing the transfer better (the router or the WiFi on the laptop), but given the choice I’d rather connect through the CradlePoint router. This is a bit of a surprise.

  1. Or if the power goes off in your office while your whole team is there, which happened to us a couple months back. [back]
  2. I don’t get any referral kickback from them and I am not affiliated with 3Gstore.com and EVDOinfo.com except as a happy customer. [back]