I bought a TP-Link TR-MR3420 to replace my aging D-Link DIR-300 router which was beginning to play up.
I’d been looking at the Unifi wireless modems which seem very good (from a first hand account I received) but a bit more expensive than this model, which has the added bonus of allowing you to use it to beam the internet signal from an EVDO USB modem around the house. As we have one of these sticks (we use it as back-up in case we lose our normal connection, and also to access the internet if any of us goes away somewhere) this seemed to fit our needs perfectly… and so it proved.
Setting the thing up was pretty straightforward but I’ll skip the standard WAN set up and focus on the 3G/4G setup as the only difference between this and a normal router is that you have four options to choose from - whether you want to use it solely for use with an EVDO stick or a cable connection, or both in which case you can choose which should have priority when both are plugged in (and both have an internet signal coming in).
The EVDO stick just plugs in the side and it connected to the internet automatically as soon as I plugged it into my new router.
Here is the screen showing the four basic set up options:
Here is the basic 3G/4G screen showing my settings which worked with my local provider (MagtiFix).
This is the advanced settings screen. For my local provider in Georgia (MagtiFix) I just left the dial number as the default setting (*99#) and left the username and password blank, like so:
That’s all there was to it. I tested it using both connections and it picked up the two different connections perfectly, though I must admit that I only plugged them one at a time as I don’t intend to actually leave both plugged in permanently.
I haven’t used this for very long but the TP-Link gear I’ve used before has been pretty good. I also have a TP-Link Range Extender to boost the signal to the furthest reaches of our thick-walled home and so far so good - signal strength is excellent and we’ve had no real issues connecting three devices to the internet at any one time. The cable (WAN) connection speed is quite expectedly much better than the measly EVDO connection speed, but it’s great to be able to share the EVDO connection rather than fight over who gets the stick when the cable connection goes down - though we’ll still do that when there’s a power cut, but a decent UPS is next on the shopping list! It’s also great that this new router allows us to also connect to the internet via the EVDO stick using a mobile device - something which was impossible before now.
It’ll also be useful to be able to take this router with us if we go to a guest house somewhere, and be able to connect to the internet from a few devices instead of a single laptop.