How to Share a 3G Mobile Broadband Connection on a Fixed/Wireless LAN
Currently there are so many mobile carriers and Mobile Virtual Network Operator’s (MVNO) who are allowing their customers increasing amounts of data sharing. They are offering more deals with lower prices and more amounts of 3G data. The network prices for most of the network providers in Australia can be as low as under $10 per month for a GB of data. Just a year ago the prices were thrice of what they are today.
Most of us have DSL connection in our homes. This may be through fixed wireless broadband, ethernet, or maybe even a fiber optic cord. On the other hand a 3G mobile broadband connections have coverage where most mobile phone carriers do, which is almost everywhere. With the 3G mobile broadband connection you can even disconnect your DSL service and save money, because the DSL is providing nothing else but an immobile internet connection to you and it is a hassle to use with its outage times.
Most of the mobile broadband service providers supply one USB modem with their connection, which is mostly a Huawei device in countries like Australia. It is not a problem for a person who has one PC or laptop at home or who will be connecting one device at a time to the internet. But it is a big problem for someone who wants to access the internet from multiple devices or is not the only person in their house who has a laptop to connect to the internet. It also cannot be used to connect devices like the iPad and Tivo/DVR that do not have a USB port at all.
Where a Wi-Fi router can very easily be connected to a DSL connection and make it a wireless broadband connection, what is the solution for a mobile broadband connection in these conditions?
A mobile broadband connection is already a wireless broadband connection. A lot of the mobile broadband service providers have realized the issue of accessing multiple devices at the same and of connecting devices like the iPad. That is why they are also offering an alternative device that can create ‘Wi-Fi Hotspots’ so that more than one device can be connected to it. However, they also have the limit on the number of devices that can be connected through Wi-Fi usually around 5. Plus, they don’t allow connection of wired devices like PC’s, printers, etc. to the internet.
A TP-Link wireless router solves this problem for you. The TL-MR3420 is a wireless N router for the 3G mobile broadband connection and has an additional Ethernet port to connect your DSL broadband modem to it. That means you no longer have to face any issues regarding network compatibility because TL-MR3420 will have the connection to your 3G mobile broadband network. Now you can connect to your to your 3G connection through any of the 4 network ports it has or via the Wireless LAN. The wireless speed is advertised to be up to 300 Mbps with WEP, WPA and WPA2 security.
SETTING UP THE TL-MR3420
It is quite easily set up. Connect it to a power socket and your PC. Visit its company (TP-Link) website to follow the setup procedure. You will have to download the latest firmware from the website; it is a good practice to keep updating the firmware with the latest releases. When configuring the router you can set the 3G broadband or the WAN as the default connection and the other one as back-up.
Also, note that by default the Wi-Fi settings are without any security option. So be sure to set up these options and don’t just use the ‘auto’ setup option. Use a Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) or Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) for verification. You don’t want everyone in range using your network and eating up your data limit.
You can also choose the option of staying permanently connected by changing the reconnection value to ‘zero’ seconds. When you are done with the setup, ‘reboot’ and you are all set to start using your 3G Mobile Broadband Connection on a Fixed/Wireless LAN without having to worry about the device limit and device’s port restrictions.