Mar 14, 2013

TP-Link TL-MR3020 3G/3.75G Wireless N Review

This is just my personal review and hands on to TP-Link TL-MR3020 3G/3.75G Wireless N Review. Recently, I had a situation which I need to solve and that is my mum’s place need internet connection but at the same time, a simple solution is required instead of the big bulky router with cables running all over setup.


My mum is a recently converted internet user. She had no previous computer knowledge thus she went for a basic computer cum internet course as well as the most advance Email communication course at the local community center. As she is still very much a new computer user, all her laptop setup and internet connections is done by yours truly.

But as I am moving out in the next couple of weeks, I am migrating my internet connection and all the infrastructure including my Aztech Homeplugs therefore, I was on the look out for an easy simple solution that still works on Ethernet cable and requires nothing more than 3 steps. With some initial configuration of the device by me, the 3 step usage solution is no longer a dream but a reality.


TP Link 3G/3.75G router is really simple to use. Moreover, it has all the features of a full fledged router such as Wireless N, Mac filtering, firewall rules, Ethernet port (only 1) and anything else you could have think of in a normal wireless N broadband ADSL router. Just that this router runs its internet connection via a mobile broadband dongle.


It comes with microUSB (for power via a separate power adapter or USB of the laptop), Ethernet port (for connecting the Ethernet cable to the Laptop/PC if you do not like to use wireless) as well as a USB port (for the connection of USB Broadband Mobile dongle).

Initial configuration

The configuration requires you to plug in the USB mobile broadband dongle and the model will be automatically detected by the router. Thereafter, you need to continue with the set up by choosing the country you are in as well as choosing the service provider such as Vodafone, Singtel, M1, etc. (Remember to choose Connect Automatically option)


After the set up is done, you will notice that the LED light on the dongle should be lighted up in solid colour. And the router’s Internet symbol should be lighted in solid yellowish green color too.

This indicates that the internet connection is establish.

Click on Status page and you will see that the 3G/3.75G signal strength as well as other data such as packet up and packet down.

You can try out the internet connection via your trusty usual browser such as IE, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

Experience

The experience on setting up, configuring, using and sharing the internet connection is really a breeze. I do not see much of an issue except that it took a couple of mins to detect the model of the USB Mobile broadband dongle.

Even if the USB Mobile broadband dongle that you have is not detected automatically by the router, you could try and download the list via TP-Link website and update your router.

I have done some test on the heat dissipation on this mobile device and found it to be acceptable. Not hot but with a slight warmth (good for a cold winter night) though the mobile broadband dongle is abit more warm than the router but thats quite usual.

During this test, i was using a USB Mobile broadband dongle by Huawei ( Model – XXXXX ).

Overall, the experience on setting this device up was pleasant and simple enough for a layman.

Price and availability

This device cost SGD$49 and it is available at computer stores such as Challenger. You can check with your local distributor for more information.

Suitability of device

There are numerous uses for this device such as an ad-hoc internet connection sharing or even personal home use for those who do not want to have bulky cabling in their rented apartments. I would like to point out that it should not be use for latency critical applications such as online Multi-player games or First Person shooting games.

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