Pepwave Max BR1 Mini Wifi is very slow

I just received a Max BR1 Mini as a gift. I intend to use it in my RV but I am testing it in my home to see how it will perform. I live in an area with pretty weak cellular service from T-Mobile. I temporarily installed a T-mobile SIM card from one of my phones in the Max BR1 mini. The signal strength is comparable to what I’m getting on my other phone (approx. -112db).

When I run a speed test from the other mobile phone while connected to the cellular network (no Wifi), I’m receiving download speeds of roughly 25-30mbs. When I connect an Ethernet cable from my laptop directly to the Max BR1 Mini and turn off my laptop Wifi, the speed test results are actually a little better at 36mbs. But when I connect my other phone to the Max BR1 Mini Wifi AP and run the test, even if I’m standing right next to the unit, the speed test result is less than 1mbs. When I connect my laptop to the mini’s Wifi AP, the speeds are a little better at 6mbs, but still significantly less than when connected directly to the LAN port or when the phone is connected directly to the cellular network.

Any ideas as to what could be causing the difference in speeds, and any recommendations for improving it?



try loading the beta firmware

make sure you turn off/arent using wifi wan

make sure your antennas are all properly connected

did you re-test the LAN speed immediately after to confirm you are still getting 36 mbps off the peplink?

Thanks for the suggestions. I did update the firmware this morning but I used the automated update feature so I’m not sure if it installed the beta firmware or the latest GA version. I’ll check it and I’ll check the wifi wan configuration. Both cellular antennas are installed, as well as the Wifi antenna, although I wasn’t sure if the wifi antenna is used to broadcast the wifi signal to my devices or to receive wifi as an input source. I didn’t pay for this feature.

OK, if you don’t have the optional license applied you are not using wifi-as-WAN.
The next thing I’d so is (1) ensure there are no other clients attached to wi-fi other than the device you are using to test speeds. (2) manually set the AP on channel 1, test it, then channel 6, test; finally 11 and test.

The first step is to ensure you don’t have a client with poor connectivity reducing the data rate. The second is to check for interference from a near-by system.

If you used the automated “check for new firmware” feature you did not get the beta. Betas must be manually downloaded/installed

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Hi - Just checking if there was any solution to this problem? We have a bunch of these and are seeing the same slow speeds. They initially worked fine, but now we only get about 0.8-1.2 Mbps. I have verified with our cellular provider that they are not throttling anything.

One other thing I noticed is that when I hook up an external WiFi AP to the LAN/WAN port and connect to that instead of the Pepwave AP, the speeds go back to where they should be at. Thanks in advance

This is a design flaw of the Pepwave BR1 Mini. It claims to support WiFi WAN, but that is not entirely truthful on the part of PepLink. The problem is that the device has only one WiFi radio. When it uses the single radio to support both WiFi AP (broadcasting an SSID to connect clients), and WiFI WAN (connecting the BR1 to the Internet), it suffers a serious performance degradation. This device should have been designed with 2 separate WiFi radios & 2 separate WiFi antennas. There is a “work-around” that is actually fairly cheap & affective. You can buy a WiFI (extender) to Ethernet converter device from Amazon for about $45. Use that to connect to a local WiFi signal, then attach the ethernet port of the extender device to the WAN port of the Pepwave BR1 mini. My throughput went from 2-3Mbps, up to 30Mbps. IMHO it is a bit ridiculous to have to add a cheap WiFi (extender) device to a much better & more expensive device (the BR1) in order to get the much better device to actually work properly. It tells me the design engineers should have found this flaw and added another WiFi radio for $45 into the BR1 during the product development phase. I would have gladly paid a few $$ more to not have such a serious design flaw in the BR1 mini.
I hope the engineers at PepLink see this review & consider fixing such serious design flaws on future products & revisions. That being said, I think this is an excellent device - short of the one major design flaw. The device management menu & controllable features otherwise earn an A+ from me, when compared to many other network products. It is Enterprise worthy at a SOHO price.

As you can see these results I got & the solution I propose is in alignment with what Joe Nielson experienced too. This is consistent to this product line.