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.
Alex, am very happy you like the CTR350… its an awesome tiny router!
For those interested, the CTR350 doesn’t only work with USB EVDO devices… it also works with Sprint EX720 and Verizon V740 ExpressCards, using a usb-to-expresscard adapter.
Much more information at our full review (with pix):
This makes me feel so behind the times… I need to get something like this ASAP.
I got the Linksys WRT54G3G for my EVDO PC card . I got it about a year ago when it was the only option for sharing EVDO. Its a lot bigger than the CradlePoint, but its still going strong. We take it on all of our work trips and couldnt live without it! I’ll have to check out the cradle point when i finally go from PC card to express card 🙂
There may actually be reasons why you get faster speeds when using your CradlePoint – it is called WiPipe Technology and it is built-in to every CradlePoint Router, more info here:
There is now a 2nd model of CradlePoint EVDO Router — the new PHS300 Portable HotSpot improves upon the CTR350 by adding a rechargable battery, providing a new kind of wireless freedom that no previous router ever has!
Check out the full PHS300 Router Review at:
Do your current CradlePoint customers get a discount/upgrade to this version? 😉
[…] all sharing my EVDO modem over WiFi right now. […]
I have both the Cradlepoint CTR350 and the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST routers. In a head to head comparison, the Linksys wins hands down. Flawless up time, never disconnects accidentially, instant connection when turned on, and outstanding WIFI broadcast. The connections are always faster with the Linsys, probably because it uses the superior PCMCIA connection or Express card connection (using an adapter) that just blasts the data through without having to go through a USB port and the associated overhead.
The Cradlepoint still has issues with the Franklin modem, so if you really want a trouble free setup, get the Linksys WRT54G3G-st. Its about $20 to $60 more, so shop around. Its well worth the additional expense.
FWIW, I’ve never had any of the issues John mentions. I have a Novatel 720 USB EVDO modem.
[…] on the stellar recommendation from Alex, I purchased a Cradlepoint PHS300 for my recent trip to Minnesota.Â Since I switched to the […]
[…] articles from people using the Cradlepoint CTR-350 and the Verizon USB727 EVDO modem. Alex has been using this solution successfully since the end of 2007. I picked up these two components along with a BixNet 5V Li-ION […]
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