3G Wireless Router Shrinks In Size

Written by Mendelson Tiu     31/05/2010 | 05:52 | Category name i.e.WIRELESS & NETWORKING

The NetComm MyZone is a credit card-sized 3G router that allows up to 10 users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. It is thin, small, mobile, and can last for up to six hours.



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The MyZone is compact and lightweight, with the unit measuring 97 x 60.6 x 9mm and weighing 77 grams. Users do not need to plug the unit all the time as it comes with a Li-ion battery built in. It supports tri-band 3G (850/1900/2100 Mhz) and promises download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps.

Setting up the unit is a snap. All a user needs to do is to put a SIM card in (prepaid or postpaid), turn the unit on, and wait until the 3G indicator flashes. As soon as the light flashes, a user can use a wi-fi enabled device to search for the wireless network named Netcomm MyZone.

You will then be required to put in a default password (the default in this case is password). As soon as that is done, the device will now be connected to the Internet.


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If a user is happy with the default password (password), then he/she no longer has to do anything. But those who want to change the SSID, network authentication, and password can type my.zone on an Internet browser to access the web-based interface.

The interface will show you the battery level, 3G signal strength, and the mobile broadband carrier and SIM status on the front page. Clicking on the Login tab will allow you to configure wireless, 3G settings or to see the status of your connection.

While the device automatically connects to the 3G service, a user can also manually choose from a list of APNs on the device. The list includes Telstra, Optus, Three, Vodafone, DoDo, Virgin Mobile, Blink, Internode, Primus, TPG, and Exetel.


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Despite having a 'Strong' signal from the included Telstra SIM, this WiFi router wasn't as fast as we expected it to be. Using the website Speedtest.net, we were only to achieve a download speed of 0.34Mbps and an upload speed of 0.24Mbps. This resulted to various image-heavy websites to load slower than usual. The battery lasted for about 5 hours before we had to recharge the device (via USB or AC).

Overall, the NetComm MyZone is a very portable device that makes any location a wi-fi hotspot. Those who own 3G USB dongles, notebooks with 3G SIM card slots, and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G may not see the need for this device, but for others who want to stay connected, this is the way to go.

Apple will sell this device exclusively for eight weeks for $299. 

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Form factor; Quick setup; Easy user interface; Includes advanced options; Battery life; Not network locked; Up to ten users can simultaneously connect

Cons:

Does not support 900Mhz frequency; Only supports wireless 802.11 b/g