Current 3G Portable Routers

I was browsing around for a 3G dongle for a MacBook Pro when I noticed that there appears to be a bunch of 3G Portable routers out there. I wasn’t even aware of this category until now:


The E560 seems to be the only one that’s directly supported by CHT - it supposedly has a 5 hour battery life, but the model is already 18+ mo old I think, which makes me wonder if a new model could come out. The M5350 looks nice, but I don’t see it being sold anywhere in Taiwan, so it may not even work here (compatibility?). My favorite is the MB-1112 (with its whopping 8hrs of battery life), but I’m not sure it’s even being made any more. I sent Sapido an e-mail to find out what’s going on.

Has anyone played around with these units? Any recommendations or experiences you can share?

My biggest concerns are battery life and reliability (solid connection). Even if I have to wire up an ethernet cable to the 3G router to save power, that’s fine with me - I just want the unit to have its own battery (or in the case of the MB-1112, 2 batteries) so it doesn’t suck the juice through the USB port like a dongle does.

FWIW, I am currently paying NT100 for a cheap mobile that I rarely use voice on, and sometimes just text. I considered going to a smartphone and using a bluetooth tether to the laptop is a possibility, but since I have to have a laptop anyways and I can do more with a laptop than a smartphone, I just can’t get myself to pull the trigger on a nice HTC One or an iPhone 5 (despite my drooling all over their hi-res screens). Besides, the laptop will prolly suck the batteries right out of those smartphones - no way they would last a day.

I got a reply from sapido sales today - it apparently works with CHT Sims (going to ask if it also works with TWM).

Anyone have experience with the reliability/speed of either networks?

I currently use CHT for my home internet connection, so I will lean towards CHT, but if TWM is cheaper, but as good, I will go with them.

I’ll need to head down to both their shops to see what kinds of contacts are available. Hopefully, they have reasonable month-to-month contracts (I don’t want to get locked in, if possible).

EDIT: forgot to mention, sapido sales sent me link for purchasing the unit on-line. … &date_buy=

English manual here: … .0.doc.pdf

BTW, does anyone know if the 3G SIM cards (data) used in these kinds of units is identical to the 3G SIMs used in smartphones?

Also looking into the Huawei E586 which runs on 3.75G, rated at 21Mbps.

I will need to check with CHT and TWM to see if this will run with their sims.

I have a D-Link 3G router, but it’s not portable. I plug my portable 3G USB modem into it and use an Ethernet cable to connect my laptop to the router. I could, of course, just plug the 3G USB modem into the laptop’s USB port, and for a long time that is what I did. I now use the router because it makes it easy for both me and the wife to use the 3G modem at the same time. The only other advantage of the router is that it has a built-in firewall.

But one thing I will caution you about - if you plan to connect to your 3G router with wireless (as opposed to an Ethernet cable), it’s going to be so sloooowwww. I’ve tried it and it was terrible.