Balance 20X - Cat18 FlexModule Breaks SpeedFusion


I have owned a 20X for a few months, bonding a WAN source, a Cat4 SIM, and a USB-connected phone to a FusionHub located at AWS. After the learning curve, this has been flawless and a joy.

Deciding to upgrade, I added the Cat18 module and a Puma antenna.

Observation 1: when the Cat18 is inserted and the box is booted, the message “Remote SIM component is incompatible to the firmware” is displayed at the bottom of the Dashboard page of the 20X. The message disappears when the Cat18 is removed. The message reappears when the Cat18 is added.

Observation 2: Many experiments here, so abbreviations are needed.

*Cat4 + USB + WAN: bliss - all sources participate in the PepVPN (assessed via Live Status view).

*Cat18 with no other devices or SIM cards attached: data flows through the PepVPN; WIFI IP compatible with AWS.

*Cat18 + USB: only the USB participates in the PepVPN; WIFI IP compatible with AWS.

*Cat18 + WAN: only the WAN participates in the PepVPN; WIFI IP compatible with AWS.

*Cat18 + Cat4: only the Cat4 participates in the PepVPN; WIFI IP compatible with AWS.

*Cat18 + Cat4, but Cat4 is “Disconnected (Manual)” via the software: PepVPN will not start, all WIFI IP is compatible with SIM card provider.

A good mystery for someone … (both 20X and Fusionhub are 8.1.0, 4938 and 4940, respectively).


Clarification: I do not have a remote SIM device – the SIM is inserted directly into the FlexModule.

Go to support.cgi and check for modem firmware updates. My flexmodule was not at latest when I received it.

Thank you for the suggestion. This tool indicates that the firmware for the Cat4 and Cat18 are up to date without intervention. For the Cat18, the tool reports: “Current:

Ticket #20110857.

Update regarding “*Cat18 with no other devices or SIM cards attached: data flows through the PepVPN; WIFI IP compatible with AWS” : this has not been reproducible – saw it once but not since. I have been keeping screenshots of all experimental data, so I know I saw it. The speed data were the fastest I’ve seen with this unit. Now, with the same SIM card (Visible), Cat18 IP shows VZW source, not AWS. Slowness occurs with ATT SIM (Cat18 speeds are similar to Cat4, even when Cat18 is showing LTE-A).

I want my bonding back – help!

What Wan connection Priority (in the speedfusion cloud profile) is the Cat18 module set to? Is it “— OFF —” perhaps?

Thank you for the response Mr. Langmaid!

I am a novice, but I am very diligent. I have pressed every button (some of them small and hard to see) on the Speedfusion and 20x remote access portals – searching for a hidden gotcha. So far as I know, every list that contains the 3 other WAN sources also contains the Cat18 in an active mode.

Because I am a novice, if specific instructions on how to navigate to the potential trouble spot are offered – then I will follow them (or a screenshot).


A couple of quick sanity checks I would do are:

Can the Cat18 module actually reach the FusionHub - on your 20X go to System > Ping, select Cellular1/1 as the connection source and enter the public IP of your FusionHub, assuming ICMP is not filtered do you get a response? If you get no response check via your other WANs to see this is a valid test or is ICMP filtered at your FusionHub?

When you have multiple WANs enabled including the Cat18 module what is the status of the link on the PepVPN details page? Is the tunnel for the Cat18 module up, or is it down, if it is down are there any interesting error logs?

Certainly sounds like a strange issue, I don’t have any Cat18 modules for the 20X to do any testing with but if it were me I would possibly consider backing up the config on your 20X and factory defaulting it and then build just the minimum configuration necessary to bring the SF tunnel up and see what happens. If no difference then restore your original config, if it suddenly starts working begin rebuilding your config until you find what possibly causes it to stop working.

This was repaired by Mr. Langmaid remotely. THANK YOU

I will not have time to find this ‘hidden’ (hidden to me) setting until the weekend. This hunt will hopefully enhance my knowledge of the software.

To Peplink: perhaps you can include some documentation in the box or on the website for FlexModule installations. I diligently searched for instructions prior to opening the box and found none. Further, the manual for the 20X does not meaningfully address FlexModules. Documentation is a basic expectation for most industrial goods.

Glad to be of assistance.
For anyone who has something similar happen, in this case there was an active Speedfusion profile that had been configured in IC2 before the Flexmodule was added to the Balance 20x. As such, that Speedfusion Profile knew about all the previously available WAN links on the Balance 20x and had included them in the profile, but it did not know to add the CAT18 module.

When I looked in the Advanced WAN settings for this profile on IC2 I saw that the CAT18 module had been Disabled.

Putting it into P1 and saving the profile added it to the Speedfusion VPN connection again.


Good to know - I wonder if this is also true on something like an SDX/EPX if you swap one module for a different type.