Router basics - Help a newb out!


#1

I’m moving in to a new apartment soon, that lacks wired net access, so I’m looking to get a 3G/4G router. A trusted friend heavily recommends the Pepwave Surf, so that’s what I’ve been looking in to recently

However, I’m really bad at understanding these things - and failing to comepletely grasp all this I though I might try asking here:

  1. As I understand it I’ll need a modem also, correct? Is this something carrier specific, or do simply no routers come with slots for SIM-cards? I’d really like to avoid getting a seperate modem, if possible.
  2. Does anybody have any experience using the Surf in Sweden/Scandinavia/Europe? It looks like it should work, but some confirmation would be nice.
  3. Would it be possible to connect to multiple ISPs, like dual WAN - but for 4G SIM-cards?

Sorry for the banality of my questions, but I really want to get this sorted before moving and my head hurts trying to grasp it all. Never dealt with any 2G/3G/4G products. :slight_smile:


#2

I’m a regular Surf-OTG user, but not at home (in the Netherlands) . I have tried that but found that the quality of the 3G connection is too dependent on the weather conditions (Rain +fog= no connection) or the traffic congestion on the nearby highway (every morning between 07:00 - 09:00 = no connection). Not a Surf problem, but an ISP problem.
I have been using the Surf almost in all countries in Europe. You need to buy a 3G/4G modem with SIM in the first country you are visiting. Make sure that the first USB modem stick is SIM lock free and is compatible with the SURF. In the next country you only have to buy the SIM card + data contract. Have been working for me all the time.
So, the modem doesn’t have to be carrier specific, however the settings are. Be absolutely sure that you ask for all specific settings (like AP name) every time you need to buy a new SIM card. There is no such thing as an European ISP. As soon as you cross a border you start roaming and that could result in either quick depletion of your pre-paid data contract, or simply no connection. Prices vary, the longer the contract (day, week, month) the better your price/Mbyte.
I guess PepWave has routers that support multiple 4G ISP’s, but not the Surf. Only place for one USB modem. However in case you can connect to a WiFi (airport, hotels etc) you can configure the Surf to use that WiFi as Wan with the 3G/4G connection as backup.
LAST REMARK: Be aware of the quality of the network, select the provider based on his coverage AND capacity in the area you are visiting. The cheapest contract in general has the worst network. I have been in countries where I had good signal/reception but could not get a single byte through. Often the case in touristic area’s where too many people connect to the same tower trying to get their Whatsapp images uploaded.
Succes!


#3

Hi water-man,

You have provided great answer! :up:

Hi z3pst3r,

This answer provided by water-man applied to Surf Soho as well. If embedded modem is needed, you may need to look for Max series. Please find here for more details.