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Edimax 3G Portable Router 3G-6210n review

Kat Orphanides
11 Mar 2010
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Edimax 3G Portable Router 3G-6210n
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
inc VAT

With its compact size, low price and stable 10m range, this is our favourite portable 3G router to date.

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Specifications

802.11g, 1x 10/100 Ethernet ports

Edimax's tiny battery-powered 3G router is about the size of a pack of cards and designed to let you share an internet connection wherever you are over WiFi. As well as sharing a connection with laptops, you can also use it to give internet access to other WiFi-enabled devices, such as an iPod touch.

To share a 3G connection you first need to plug your wireless dongle into the router's USB port. There's also a 10/100 Ethernet port, which can either be used as a LAN port to give internet access to a wired device or, using the dedicated button on the side, switched to a WAN port. This lets you turn the 3G-6210n into a standard portable router and share a regular internet connection, such as those found in hotel rooms.

Configuring the router is easy. There are quick setup tools both on the accompanying CD and built into the router's wizard. These take you through configuring your internet connection (3G or wired) and setting up a secure wireless connection.

Setting up a 3G internet connection is easy, and a simple matter of entering the correct connection information for your internet provider. If you don't know your provider's details, Edimax's website will help: just click on the Compatible tab for a complete list. This also tells you which dongles the router is compatible with. Most dongles are supported, but Zoom's Model 4501 has even better support, although no battery.

The router has plenty of features, from remote management to keyword and address-based URL blocking. Basic QoS allows you to assign bandwidth limits and prioritise different IP and port ranges. Dynamic DNS settings, enabling you to point a fixed URL to your router even if its IP address changes, support a number of popular free and commercial services. If you have both wired and 3G connections available, you can set one up as a backup connection, so that if your wired connection goes down, the router can seamlessly switch to using 3G.

The router is 802.11n compatible and has a maximum throughput of 150Mbit/s when using channel bonding. This is turned on by default, but we disabled it, as using two wireless channels creates lots of problems through extra interference. Using our Centrino 2 laptop we got throughputs of 24.44Mbit/s at 1m and 23.34Mbit/s at 10m. Sadly, we could not get a connection at 20m; this lack of range is common to most single-antenna 150Mbit/s, 802.11n-compatible routers.

That said, for its intended purpose, the throughputs and range are more than adequate for sharing a 3G connection. Switching to Edimax's own EW7718Un 802.11n wireless adaptor (£25), we got significantly lower speeds that with our laptop and range wasn't improved. Edimax claims that the router will last for around one-and-a-half hours using the integrated Li-ion battery. In our tests, we found that this was true and the 3G-6210n lasted for xxh xxm.

This is an excellent portable router and it's one-third of the price of Novatel's similar MiFi 2352. If you don't need the battery life or portability, Zoom's Model 4501 is cheaper and supports a wider range of USB modems, but isn't as fast.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Modem typeCable/3G
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportno
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed150Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size16x102x69mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports2
Ethernet ports1
Ethernet connection speed10/100
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on3W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportno
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£80
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.pcworld.co.uk
Detailswww.edimax.com