Key Features to Look for in a Cellular Router

Cellular routers allow businesses to provide connectivity on the road and track assets, but there are many factors to consider when choosing the best solution.

Form factor: Enterprises can choose from several types of cellular routers, including an embedded interface that's located inside an enterprise-grade router, an external add-on to an existing router and various types of stand-alone USB routers. Deciding which type to use depends on the application.

Speed: Buying a 4G LTE-compatible cellular router doesn't guarantee high-speed data rates. In many rural areas, users must settle for 3G or even slower service. In many remote locations, such as across vast areas of Southwestern deserts and Northern forests, cellular data service is simply unavailable.

Wi-Fi compatibility: Router models are often designed to work with both cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Besides saving space and reducing network complexity, many of these devices provide automatic failover/failback capabilities to support business continuity in the event of a wired service failure.

Software: Enterprises should consider cellular routers that support encryption, intrusion prevention, a stateful firewall and policy-based routing to ensure quality of service for critical apps, such as voice and video.

Ruggedness: Very high or low temperatures, excessive moisture, or rough handling can significantly shorten a cellular router's life — or even disable it. Several router suppliers offer “rugged” models that are designed for reliable use under extreme conditions.

Power source: A cellular router featuring an internal battery can be used in locations where electric service isn't available. A router with an internal battery will also keep the network up and running in the event of a power failure.

Integration issues: A cellular router supplier can explain any potential integration issues or compatibility conflicts with existing network and security software.

Carrier compatibility: The cellular router an enterprise selects should be fully compatible with a current or planned carrier.

For more on this topic, check out, "Cellular Routers Offer a Tantalizing Prospect: Wireless Anywhere."

Jul 07 2016