How do I connect mobile internet to a router?
February 10, 2010 10:24 AM   Subscribe

How do I connect mobile internet to a router?

I have a piece of equipment that I use for my business; the equipment is in a hut sitting out in the middle-of-nowhere. Previously, I was using an ISDN line, connected to my router, connected to my equipment, so I could plug in the IP of my equipment and connect from my office, 20 miles away.

The ISDN service just went away (no longer offered in the area), so I'm looking into mobile internet.

Ideally, what I'm looking for is the little USB device that I've seen people use in airports or field offices to get internet access when there are no land-line options.

But, I don't have a computer out at my hut; is there a way to plug the wireless devices directly into a router so that I can access the IP of the router?

I have a basic (but obviously limited) understanding of how these connections work, so I am open to just about any suggestions that y'all might have.

How could I connect to my equipment, if there's no land line? (I'd like to avoid getting a computer to sit out there, as it'll be on 24/7/365, doing nothing but running this internet connection... but if that's what I have to do, I'll do it)

Thank you very much,
posted by Seeba to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
It's my understanding that Clear (and presumably services like it) have an option for you to get a wireless modem. It receives a connection wirelessly, and sends that connection to a router via ethernet. You could then connect your equipment to the router, and connect to it from anywhere.
posted by lholladay at 10:29 AM on February 10, 2010

Simple as one of these?

There's many others that turned up for a quick Google of "mobile router".

If you're digging deeper, I'd look for a router that has a "watchdog" or some such capability that will make sure the internet connection is up and running - and will restart/reboot the router or connection as needed.
posted by Fat Elvis at 10:31 AM on February 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks-- that's a start; Clear looks like what I'd need, but they don't have service in my area; the same issue came up with the routers: they seem to be perfect, however they use a PC card that's not offered in my area by my service provider. I'll keep looking.
posted by Seeba at 11:00 AM on February 10, 2010

The Cradlepoint MBR1000 takes a USB or ExpressCard 3G or 4G modem and gives you Ethernet and/or WiFi. It is also sold as the Kyocera KR2 with the addition of a PC Card slot, which should cover about every possible connectivity option. Looks like $150-$200 on eBay for either.
posted by kindall at 11:10 AM on February 10, 2010

Most Cellular carriers offer some flavor of this. Go with whomever you have service with...4G is better if you have coverage (currently Sprint, Comcast and Clear.) Be aware that most cellular carriers have a cap on transfers (usually 5 gigs/month.) They have various models that have USB connectivity.

Then, Google 3g router. You get your cellular service, plug it into the router and to your computer it looks just another wifi spot.
posted by filmgeek at 11:29 AM on February 10, 2010

You might consider finding some gear that will support DD-WRT and a usb-based network card from ATT or Sprint or whoever. There's now standalone devices that simply ape an access point and I suppose you could just as easily deploy one of those and a marginally smart router (something that would update a name so you can access it remotely) but I dunno how confident I'd feel about that.

You could also simply find an older, cheap netbook and install something like Easy Peasy on it. My little Asus just worked when i plugged my Sprint 597 into it - no additional software required.

How middle of nowhere is this? Meaning, just how bulletproof does it need to be?

By the way - all new contracts with AT&T and Sprint for their mobile broadband claims "unlimited" but actually limits total monthly use to 5Gb of transfer. Something to consider if you're moving a lot of info.
posted by phearlez at 12:00 PM on February 10, 2010

MultiTech makes a few devices that might fit your needs. It would accept any SIM card. I owned a previous model with serial output and it could be programed to 'dial out' at intervals. As any cellular product is going to give you a dynamic IP (or even NATed), you may need to consider that in your new solution.
posted by joelr at 6:49 PM on February 10, 2010

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