Hotspots vs Cradlepoints

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by diane143, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1
    Since everyone here knows everything I figured I'd ask here!

    I need to get 10 netbooks on a shared hotspot. Our kits came with Cradlepoints that can hold 2 modems each. We were going to go with half AT&T, half Verizon to deal with coverage issues. The netbooks may be split in 2 groups and the hotspots can handle 10 at a time and 30'

    One of the guys in the group thought the Cradlepoint can do 600' but can the USB modems do that? Or only when hardwired?

    Just looking for the best solution before sending the boss out. Ideally I had wanted to set it up as a business account but they would rather put it under my name and I don't want that!

    Thanks so much,
    Diane
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    Which Cradlepoint do you have? MBR1200? I have used the older MBR1000 quite a bit with dual modems (AT&T + Verizon also) and it's a good solution.

    When using a router like the Cradlepoint, the hotspots plug into the router via USB. The hotspot is being used just as a modem at that point, all your netbooks connect to the Cradlepoint router directly via Wifi so the user limits on the hotspot's built-in wifi router don't come into play.

    600' range from the Cradlepoint isn't unreasonable in open air.
     
  3. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    Ugh! AT&Ts site just crashed my FF!

    Sorry, it's an MBR1200B

    So this with the USB stick modems would be a better option than the Verizon Jetpack/AT&T Mifi? We can still connect at least 10 devices per modem, correct?

    It looks like the Panatech modem for Verizon and I'm going to send this before hitting AT&T again!

    Do you use a modem or connect the hotspot to your Cradlepoint?

    Thanks so much!
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    I used USB modems with my Cradlepoint but that's just what was available at the time I set it up, at least 5 years ago. There is no difference in performance or operation between using USB modem or hotspots, when you plug a hotspot into a Cradlepoint router with a USB cord the hotspot becomes a modem automatically.

    The number of devices is limited by the router; the MBR1200B will support 64 wireless devices plus additional Ethernet devices. Your hotspot will only have one "device" connected - the Cradlepoint router - so the 10 device limit there is not a factor.
     
  5. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    So even though the AT&T USBConnect modem says it will support up to 5 wireless devices, it will support more if plugged into the MBR1200B?

    That's where I'm getting confused.

    Thanks!
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    Yes. The AT&T USBConnect modem will only be supporting one device, the MBR1200B. The MBR1200B then supports all the rest of the devices. It will work fine.
     
  7. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    Ah! OK I had it backwards. :)

    Then the last question. If a hotspot gets plugged into the Cradlepoint, that would be via cable rather than a direct plug in? I didn't realize until you said so, that they both could go in the Cradlepoint. I also didn't have my hands on the Jetpack yesterday.

    Let me make sure I have all this (since I now have to send the boss shopping):

    We can use either the hotspots or the modems in the Cradlepoint for a wider range and more devices. (looking at the AT&T modem, it's pretty fat and I'm not sure how much room is between the USB ports of the Cradlepoint?)

    Hotspots and modems are going to have activation fees and data usage.

    Hotspots can be used on their own, the modems.... hmmm I suppose in a pinch they could be plugged into a chromebook? The can be used plugged in or not.

    The stick modems are smaller and I'm not sure if you can use them when they are being charged?

    Thank you again, you have no idea how much you've helped me!
     
  8. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    Update - after talking to Best Buy, Verizon and AT&T I've come to the conclusion that none of them understand all the uses of the products they sell.

    Only one of the 3 had heard of Cradlepoints and that one said we'd have to install software onto the chromebooks to get the modems to work. Actually that was Verizon and I know that is not true as I then talked to our timer who has the Verizon modem which we used in the Cradlepoint yesterday. I think that is correct if we try to use the modem directly in the chromebook.

    I had to go to AT&T with the Cradlepoint to make sure their modem fit as it is a fat one. Turns out it rotates, which no one knew either.

    Bottom line is I have two of each modem held at both Verizon and AT&T. I can't even finalize the deal as one would be added to the bosses phone line and the other needs to be set up as a new business account.
     
  9. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #9
    Diane, very few people are aware of the Cradlepoint-style routers and the powerful capabilities they provide. Frankly if you gathered 100 employees of Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T together I'd bet $100 that not more than one person in the group would even know what you're talking about. Don't be too hard on them though, you could gather 10,000 average users of one of these modems/hotspots and only one of those would have a NEED for the capabilities of a Cradlepoint router.

    An excellent resource is www.3gstore.com - this is where I always bought my Cradlepoints (I had 4 of them at one point) and always got excellent & accurate advice.

    Feel free to PM me if you run into any other questions or issues... in a nutshell, you're on the right track; just get the MBR1200B and two USB modems >or< hotspots, and you are in business.
     
  10. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #10
    Thank you again for your help. She was able to pick up the AT&T ones. Got all the Chromebooks working on both Cradlepoints in the office. First event is Sunday - fingers crossed! She'll need to get the Verizon ones soon too.

    So glad I came here to ask instead of taking what they said as true!
     

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