The Cradlepoint AER1600 comes in several different configurations with embedded and plug-in modems available. The 1600 is offered with either an LP6 modem – which features an LTE – A Cat 6 capable modem with support for most North American carriers – or an LP4 Cat 4 modem.
Basically, this device is sort of the ‘little brother’ of the AER2200. It has the same advanced LTE-A modem, but lacks the same internal space to add an optional second LTE modem. Plus, it has fewer ethernet ports.
What is a router, exactly?
Basically, a router does one simple thing – connect two or more devices to the same network. It can be used for mainline or back-up connectivity. A basic home router can simply inter-connect the devices within your home or office and nothing else. For instance, if you want to print a photo from your smartphone to your home printer, all you have to do is connect the two devices to the router’s wireless hotspot.
Now, since your home router is using WiFi, it doesn’t need internet to do these things. Therefore your router doesn’t need to have a simcard to pick internet from your mobile network of choice.
That said, routers can hook your devices to all sorts of networks. They can be your own little home network (LAN), in which case your router is simply inter-connecting your devices so that they can talk to each other. For example, you can connect your laptop and smart TV to the home WiFi network created by your router. In addition, you can connect to your mobile operator’s network with or without cables.
But the AER1600 is more than just a home router, right?
Yes. For starters, LTE routers like the AER1600 contain a built-in LTE broadband modem. Plus, they enable local Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet devices to share the LTE connection.
They can also have some additional features such as firewall, layer 7 filters, DHCP server, and advanced QoS. What’s more, the 1600 supports up to 128 connected devices.
Performance of the Cradlepoint AER1600
The Cradlepoint 1600’s WAN Connectivity is 4G Cat 6/Cat 4 (depending on the option you choose), GbE, and LAN Connectivity is Wi-Fi 4 with 2×2 MIMO support. It’s embedded Category 6 LTE modem offers 300 Mbps download speeds, and 50 Mbps upload speeds. The Category 4 version delivers 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds. It has 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
What’s the difference between Wi-Fi and LTE?
LTE and Wi-Fi serve different purposes. LTE modems are an evolution of the cellular connectivity that normally provides Internet access to your mobile phone. Wi-Fi works best for servicing wireless local area networks while LTE works well for long-distance communications and roaming. LTE is often used for temporary applications, or as backup in case of failure of the primary connection.
LTE as a temporary Internet connection makes sense because of one of LTE’s advantages; it’s super quick and easy to set up. In the business world, this speed and flexibility can be a short-term lifesaver.
However, LTE is definitely ideal as permanent connectivity for a large variety of fixed, and mobile use cases. There could be various reasons for using an LTE router for permanent, primary Internet connectivity. Some of the most common examples would be retail stores or pop-up shops where there is a lack of wired connectivity.
The ultimate mobility of course is with vehicles, where Internet connectivity can easily be provided by LTE routers. For example, think of cases where the vehicles are part of a mass transportation system such as buses or trains. For these vehicles, LTE routers can provide Internet connectivity for passengers in the form of WiFi. Some other uses include mobile clinics, first responders, and law enforcement.
NetCloud IoT Package
The AER1600 is sold as a package with a cloud-based plan called NetCloud (read about it here). It is a secure, cloud-based networking plan built for Internet of Things and machine-to-machine uses. It’s similar to the bundles that firewalls often come with. This cloud-based service adds greatly to the features and capabilities of your router. For example, NetCloud offers secure, cloud-based management and control of your 1600. Netcloud is offered in three and five-year software subscriptions that include 24×7 support.
In addition, there’s the option of the Advanced Plan, with NetCloud Perimeter. It provides critical security protocols for IoT networks. Also, it adds remote connect, out-of-band management, advanced VPN and tunneling, and location-based services.