CradlePoint PHS300 Personal Hotspot - Wireless access point - 802.11b/g (Version 2.0/2.5.3)
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- Installation of 1 router
- Password protecting your network
- Connecting up to four internet-ready devices
- Providing use and troubleshooting instructions
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- Tethers to select Smartphones or over 200 USB Modems for Wi-Fi access anywhere
- Compact Size You Can Take Anywhere
- Up to 150 feet of Wi-Fi Range
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This item CradlePoint PHS300 Personal Hotspot - Wireless access point - 802.11b/g (Version 2.0/2.5.3)
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Teton Camera LLC||Harry's Accessories||InStock Group|
|Data Transfer Rate||—||150 Mb per second||300 Mb per second||150 Mb per second||100||300 Mb per second|
|Item Dimensions||2.5 x 9.7 x 6.1 in||0.9 x 2.9 x 2.6 in||2.2 x 2.2 x 0.7 in||2.75 x 3.75 x 6 in||4.8 x 2.83 x 0.75 in||6.85 x 4.37 x 1.2 in|
|Item Weight||1 lb||2.12 ounces||7.2 ounces||0.75 lb||3.53 ounces||0.6 lb|
|Total LAN Ports||—||—||—||1||1||1|
|Wireless Compability||802.11 B/G||802.11bgn||802.11 a/b/g/n, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency||802.11B, 802.11G, 802.11n||802.11B||802.11bgn|
The PHS300 Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot is a true plug 'n' play solution that creates a powerful 3G/4G WiMAX Wi-Fi network almost anywhere. Connect all your Wi-Fi enabled devices by simply plugging in your activated USB data modem and turning on the PHS300. It's that easy! No more searching for a hotspot, you are one!
Top customer reviews
The unit is built in hard plastic, pretty sturdy, but I would be careful of not dropping it as a breathable pouch may not be a bad idea. The battery is made in Japan, whereas the unit itself is made in Taiwan. The initial setup is easy. If you're technically challenged, you can go with the default setup which should get you up and running in a few minutes. If you acclaim yourself as a techie, play around the setup menu and you can tap into a lot more features. By default, go to: [...] from your browser after connecting to the device, it opens up a wealth of menus that you can customize to your own liking
During the setup, I would suggestion doing the followings:
1. Firmware upgrade, the process is easy, but you need to have a working wifi USB to grab the firmware.
2. WPA2 personal is a good security protocol to use, but it does slow down the connection a little bit, but not significant
3. I probably should have put this as item 1 but no big deal. Change the setup password for your protection.
If you screw up the configuration, no worries, just like most of the home routers, you can use a needle to poke a reset button, which is inside the unit, next to the battery compartment, and everything will be reset.
That's about it for the setup part, now let's talk about the design.
Good: relatively compact, light weight, and not too hot after hours of usage. It won't burn your hand or breast if you put it in your shirt pocket. The LED status lights give you good idea of the unit's operation state. Believe it or not, it's pretty useful. The charger is pretty small, takes about 3 hours to charge it full from empty, which is not too bad. Cradle Point claims it should last about three hours, and I found it to be reasonably true, if I only connect one device to it. If you connect more, it will shorten the battery life. The cost of the replacement (or spare) battery is less than $50, which is a bit pricey to me. But I will talk about usage tips later. Wireless broadcast range is quite good, but of course you can't compare it with your home wireless router. Yet, I have never had any trouble connecting with maximum signal with a size of my office, which is about 300 square feet. After all, this is mainly for travel companionship, and you shouldn't be too far away from the unit anyway.
Bad: The thing I hate the most, is the way that you have to plug in your USB device, which is on the side of the unit, right next to the charge port. When plugged in, it sticks out from the unit and it's easy to break in my opinion. If you put it in your jacket or shirt pocket, and if you're not carefully enough, you might bend the USB and destroy the USB port. If CradlePoint is reading this, maybe they should re-design the housing, to have some room side, fitting a wireless USB drive in there. This would protect the drive from accidental damage.
User experience: My goodness, I love this thing. I bought my iPad the first day it came out, and I received this unit the night before I got my iPad. Let me tell you, it makes the iPad so much more fun to use. I can use it anywhere I like. Since it fits any brand of wireless USB, I'm not at the mercy of AT&T's crappy data service. I'm using it with my Verizon 760 wireless modem, and it works like a champ! Since this unit can take on 16 continuous connection, I can use it along with my netbook, or my wife can use it with her iPod touch concurrently. No problem at all!
Tips: If you intend to use the unit for an extended period of time, and you can plug it to a wall jack for powering it up, I would take out the battery, so you won't have to charge the battery continuously. CradlePoint claims that the battery won't have any memory effect, which I seriously doubt, but taking out the battery from the unit takes less than 5 seconds, so why not?
Hope you like my review, and if you do, please rate. Thank you for reading.
Plenty of research showed me that there was a good chance it would work with my Virgin Mobile device so I bought it. I wasn't sure how the process would work on the iPad so when it arrived I gave it a test.
With the Cradlepoint charged up I put the Virgin Mobile modem in the USB port on the Cradlepoint and turned it on. In about 15 seconds all the lights lit up. I then turned on the iPad and went to wifi setup. The Cradlepoint hotspot showed in the list and I selected it. The next thing that happened is my browser came up automatically and went to the Virgin Mobile web page login. I logged in and it took me to where I can top off my device.
It's incredible how easy this was. Even easier than on the laptop and the speed is great.
I can keep the Cradlepoint in my pocket or anywhere within about 50 feet and access the web. It supports up to 16 devices at one time but I'm not interested it that.
The nice thing is that if I ever decide to use another modem such as Verizon or T-Mobile, I have that option.
This is a must buy for anyone in my situation.
Although CradlePoint announced end-of-production and last firmware update way back in 2011, I notice they are still available on Amazon and other sites, so I thought I'd provide an update. I've had mine since about that time and it still works great. Price is only slightly higher than I paid for mine from Amazon 4 1/2 years ago. The replacement item from CradlePoint is the COR IBR600NM (NM = no modem), but it's not nearly as portable. They also have versions of that product with built in wireless access, but the NM version and this older PHS300 require a separate USB air card or USB tether to a cell phone from the wireless carrier of your choice (Verizon, Sprint, etc.) If considering on using the tether, check your cell phone specs to see if it provides this capability. If you're using one of the IBR 600 models with the built-in wireless modem, you'll need a contract with a wireless carriers, so either way, you need a separate wireless contract.
Since the connection to the air card or tethered phone is USB, you can use a USB extension cable to place the air card in a window with the CradlePoint somewhere more convenient to provide better WiFi coverage in the room or to be near an A/C outlet.
I use mine with a Verizon USB720 so I only get 3G. Thinking about upgrading to 4G LTE, but may have a problem finding a compatible air card. Be sure to check the CradlePoint website for the air cards that the PHS300 is compatible with. Since the last firmware date was in 2011, newer cards probably won't work.
Other folks have commented that battery life is short, but not so short that it presents a real problem. I usually operate mine with the charger always plugged in unless I'm traveling or otherwise away from an A/C power outlet. I have a cigarette lighter A/C power converter in my truck that I often use. Replacement batteries are still available for a reasonable price. Setup is very easy as other reviewers have mentioned. Connection is very stable. (Better than my DSL connection often is.)
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