Would like help choosing the correct Pepwave product

Hello,

 I live in a rural area and do not have access to internet other than through cellular.  I have used a Surf SOHO tethered to a MiFi box for the last 5 years.  This setup worked well for some time, but recently the surf SOHO started to crash and lose wifi (plugged in connections still worked) about every day requiring me power it down and back up.  I updated the firmware from 7.1 to 8.1 and that did not fix the issue.  I enabled the watchdog, and it seems to recover on its on now, but it is still going down.

 I could be wrong, but I assume it is a HW issue.  It is 5 years old and had been more or less trouble free until recently.  I considered just buying another SOHO, but I noticed that the MAX line is now available where I could put the SIM card directly in the unit and skip the tethering.  Eliminating a piece of HW is attractive to me.

 My situation requires wireless over a very large area (house and a couple of barns)  I liked the range of the SOHO (I ran it on Max & Boost)) and would want as much or more with the new setup.  The unit is located in my attic, I have 2 external cellular antennas hooked to the MiFi and the MiFi is tethered to the SOHO.

Questions:
Will the MAX units have as good or better WiFi range as the SOHO?
If so, which MAX unit would have the best range?

Thanks,
-Joe

Unfortunately the only answer anyone without ‚country view knowledge‘ can give, is, depending on the area (walls, trees, humidity etc)…

Could you be more specific about the “crash” of the router? Are there any messages in the Event Log? You can create a diagnostic report for the router and open a ticket with Peplink tech support.

As for hardware, I suggest, at the least, plugging the router into a good surge protector. If Internet access is really important to you then plug it into an on-line UPS.

I have no idea about WiFi range, but if it is not good enough for your needs, you can always add an Access Point to any router. Ethernet cables can get fairly long and if nothing else, may help you bypass something that is blocking the signal.

When the “crash” happens, the WAN is still visable, but anything connected to it has “no internet” Strangely, devices connected to the wired ports work fine. It happens every few days. The watchdog does not seem to catch it, and a manual power off and power on is required.

This behavior is new and I suspect it is a HW issue as there were no SW changes that precipitated the issue. Subsequent to the issue presenting, I have updated the firmware, but it did not provide resolution.

I purchased a new MK3 SOHO that is scheduled to arrive today. I also purchased a directional antenna that I will connect to one of the SOHO wifi antenna ports and point at the outbuilding, and leave the other 2 antennas as they came. Hopefully the directional antenna will improve signal at the outbuilding and the new HW will fix the “crash” issue.

When the “crash” happens, the WAN is still visable, but anything connected to it has “no internet” Strangely, devices connected to the wired ports work fine.

OK, its a WiFi failure. Are all WiFi devices knocked off-line or perhaps just one WiFi frequency band? You can create 2 new Wifi networks, one on each frequency band, to test for this. Does the router see the WiFi devices when things are bad? Look in the list of client devices and if the Wifi devices are there, what is their signal strength? Compare the WiFi signal strength when things are working and when they are not. Also, in firmware 8, in the AP tab, there is a log file that you could review.

Also, if you only have one WiFi device, the problem may be with the device rather than the router. If you have 3 or more WiFi devices, then clearly its the router at fault.

This behavior is new and I suspect it is a HW issue as there were no SW changes that precipitated the issue.

Since its WiFi the problem could be something new in your neighborhood. Some new device causing interference. Another reason to test each WiFi frequency band individually

Good luck.

When the failure occurs, all WiFi devices are not connected to the internet. The WiFi SSID is being broadcast, but the status of the devices is “connected - no internet”

I don’t know if the router sees the wifi when things are bad, as I can not remote into it. Going to the router IP via WiFi will not open the settings and I have not brought a laptop into the attic where the SOHO is located.

There are five WiFi devices connected and they all go dead. Powering the router up and down resolves the issue.

I purchased a mk3 Surf SOHO and it has been stable for the few days I have had it connected. Since it had 3 WiFi antennas, I left 2 the 5dB omnidirectional antennas that it came with, and hooked the center one up to a 10dB directional antenna pointed at the barn that had poor signal. Signal improved dramatically in that location.