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Zoom 3G Wireless-N Travel Router review

Zoom 3G Wireless-N Travel Router
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £49.99
inc VAT

Not the fastest, but not bad value if you want a portable Wi-Fi router that can share a 3G mobile broadband connection.


802.11g, 1x 10/100 Ethernet ports

3G Wi-Fi routers are a great way to share a 3G mobile broadband connection between two or more computers, and battery-powered variants are a simple way to provide a 3G connection for Wi-Fi-only devices. Sadly, despite its name, the Zoom 3G Wireless-N Travel Router doesn’t quite go this far. Yes, it’s a portable wireless router that can run for a claimed seven hours away from the mains, but 3G isn’t part of the deal — you’ll need to plug in your own 3G USB dongle for that.

As a standalone device then, the Zoom 3G would appear to offer little more than internet connection sharing, like you could do with an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network. Fortunately, there is a bit more to it than that. Behind its cheap-looking plastic exterior is a full set of router of features and you’d be hard-pressed to emulate these easily with Windows’ Internet Connection Sharing.

Getting the Zoom 3G up and running is easy enough, there’s push-button WPS for easy security setup. Although, we simply made an unencrypted connection and immediately logged into the web-based admin panel for manual security configuration.

Zoom 3G Wireless-N Travel Router

The usual array of Wi-Fi router options is all present and correct, and neatly presented, too. Usefully for a device designed to share an internet connection with computers that may not be your own, the Zoom 3G has a wide selection of security settings. There’s filtering for inbound and outbound packets, domain logging and blocking by keyword, and URL-based whitelists and blacklists. The QoS settings could also come in handy when sharing a limited bandwidth, high-latency 3G connection, but this can only prioritise traffic based on IP address and port, which isn’t particularly convenient when using DHCP.

A single Ethernet port can be used for direct connection to an ADSL or cable broadband router, or to join the Zoom 3G to a wired network. The single USB port supports a very long list of USB 3G modems too (detailed on the Zoom web site), so finding one that works shouldn’t be a problem.

Sadly, the 2.4GHz N-Lite Wi-Fi performance is decidedly average and the small internal antenna limits range. Connected to our Centrino test laptop, the Zoom 3G gave speeds of around 26Mbit/s at 1m, but this plummeted to 14.5Mbit/s at 10m and the connection dropped at 20m. It’s not suitable for household use then, but its limited range isn’t a big issue when sharing 3G in say a hotel suite or meeting room.

The Zoom 3G Wireless-N Travel Router isn’t a bad option if you already have a 3G USB modem and want to share the connection with a few devices when you’re on the road. Its mediocre range and speed isn’t a huge issue for such a device, but we do feel it’s a little bit chunky, at 76x106x22mm, to always carry it for only occasional use. Its reasonably priced though, and so worth buying if you’ll get a lot of use form it, just make sure that your USB 3G dongle is compatible.

Basic Specifications

Modem type3G
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportno
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
Turbo modenone
Stated speed150Mbit/s


128-bit WEPyes
MAC address filteringyes


Internal/external antennasExternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports1
Ethernet connection speed10/100
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableno
Power consumption onN/A

Other Features

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

Buying Information

WarrantyOne year