Internet in the car: very easy with 3g-wlan-router

Reading time: 2 minutes More and more car manufacturers are offering Internet in the car for new cars, but the surcharges are steep, plus expensive subscriptions have to be taken out, and the result is limited Internet access that is not accessible to all passengers. A 3G WLAN router is an inexpensive alternative that can also be installed in older cars, providing fast Internet access for all occupants in the car.

Internet in the car: very easy with 3G-WLAN-Router

Internet in the car: very easy with 3G-WLAN-Router

How to get internet in your car – a small plastic box makes it possible

You know WLAN routers from your home Internet connection; a 3G WLAN router works in a very similar way: up to five people can access the Internet together via a wireless network. The router distributes the data packets.

In the case of a 3G WLAN router the Internet access takes place however over the portable radio net and not over DSL, VDSL or cable, as that with the stationary WLAN router at home the case is, if the Internet does not come also there from the portable radio net.

A 3G WLAN router is much smaller and lighter than the home WLAN router. For stationary use and for power supply I use a battery, the cigarette lighter of the car or a USB port.

There are 3G WLAN routers in the size of a surf stick and slightly larger plastic boxes. Both fit nicely in a trouser or jacket pocket for use outside the car: so, for example, put them on the table in a restaurant or beer garden so that everyone at the table has Internet access.

What to consider when choosing a 3G WLAN router

An important criterion in any purchase is the price: here the offer starts at around 30 EUR, for example, with the 7Link WLAN GSM router “WRP-310.mini” offered by Pearl. A SIM card can be inserted or a surf stick plugged in via USB connection.

Somewhat more expensive are devices with rechargeable battery like the “WRP-320.mobile” for about 40 EUR or the “4G Systems XSBoxGO” for about 50 EUR.

The price is higher for the “4G Systems XSBoxGO” despite the smaller battery. For this, a microSD slot for a 32 GB memory card is included, which allows the WLAN router to be used as an “external hard drive” or (wireless) network drive for the connected devices.

Both devices offer high-speed Umts with up to 7.2 Mbit/s (HSDPA/CDMA). If you want more speed, you need an LTE WLAN router like the “Huawei E5776” or the “XSBox GO+LTE”, which then cost around 150 € and require an expensive LTE tariff.

It’s important for every 3G WLAN router, even the cheaper models, to support the WLAN standards 802.11b/g/n for up to 150 Mbit/s are supported. Also very important is the support of the encryption standards WEP, WPA and WPA2.

An RJ-45 LAN port is needed for stationary use, for example if you want to use the router to turn the Internet connection in the hotel with LAN cable into a WLAN for your smartphone or tablet.

How to set up a 3G WLAN router

For operation, the SIM card is inserted or optionally the surf stick is plugged in. Then the router is connected to the power or charged up.

If the router has extra features like a microSD slot, smartphones need to install the manufacturer’s app to access it.

The configuration of the mini-routers is done via web interface, i.e. through the browser of a connected computer.

This is independent of the operating system and can be done via notebook, smartphone or tablet. The exact procedure can be found in the manual of the device.

Also make sure you have access protection when configuring, otherwise everyone can surf on your WLAN who receives it with sufficient strength. For example, a PIN code can be specified for some devices.

picture credits: simona / stock.adobe.com

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