Product Overview: AER Routers by Cradlepoint (Mobile Routers)

Cradlepoint is a well respected mobile router manufacturer focused on enterprise and fleet deployments, competing primarily with Peplink's Pepwave router lineup.

Cradlepoint used to also have options for "average" users, all of which have been discontinued over the years as Cradlepoint has focused exclusively on the higher end segments of the market.

Individuals with particularly demanding needs though are often drawn to Cradlepoint hardware - and in particular Cradlepoint's COR Series of mobile routers (read our gear guide page) have earned many nomadic fans.

The Cradlepoint AER routers though are also worth a look - packing similar functionality into a less rugged package.

NOTE: The AER1600 and AER2200 are the two current models in the AER lineup offered by Cradlepoint, though older models such as the AER2100 and AER3100 are still found for sale. Be sure to consider the tradeoffs carefully before investing in one of these now discontinued models.

Table of Contents

Cradlepoint AER1600 Series

The AER1600 is an enterprise level solution in Cradlepoint's AER (Advanced Edge Routing) line.

It comes in several different configurations with embedded and plug-in modems available. The model with the LP6 modem is the one of most interest - it features an LTE-A Cat 6 capable modem with support for most North American carriers.

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Do however keep an eye out in the future for an even more advanced 600M model with 600Mbps LTE support to match the AER2200 and COR IBR900.

NOTE: Be aware - the AER1650 series does not include any Wi-Fi support. The AER1600 however does - pay attention to the "50" in the model number.

Specifications: AER1600
  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes
    • Wi-Fi Band: Dual Band Concurrent 2.4GHz/5GHz: 802.11b/g/n/a/ac
    • Wi-Fi Antenna: Internal Antennas, 2x2 MIMO
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: 1x USB Port (USB Modems only - no hotspots!)
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes - field-upgradable MC400 modem slot - Dual modem capable
    • Carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint (Auto Switching)
    • LTE Bands (US): 1-5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41
      • Verizon: 2, 4, 5, 13 (XLTE support w/carrier aggregation)
      • AT&T: 2, 4, 5, 12, 29, 30
      • Sprint: 25, 26, 41 (LTE Plus Support)
      • T-Mobile: 2, 4, 12 (T-Mobile Wideband LTE Support)
    • Fallback: WCDMA/DC-HSPA+: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes (2x)
    • LTE Performance Category: LP6 Modem - Category 6
      (Max Theoretical Speed: 300 Mbps Down / 50 Mbps Up)
    • Cellular Antennas: 2x SMA/Female Antenna Ports
    • SIM Slots: Dual Mini-SIM (2FF)
  • Ethernet Ports: 5x 1,000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet  (WAN / LAN Configurable)
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Auto Failover, Load Balancing, Integrated GPS
  • Power Source: 12v or 110v AC
  • Dimensions: 8.3" x 6.6" x 1.7"
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price:  $889 (Or $589 with no cellular modem included...)
Specs Sheet: AER1600 Specs Sheet

Cradlepoint AER2200

The Cradlepoint AER2200 is the 'big brother' of the AER1600. It is a physically large, has a more advanced LTE-A modem, has internal space to add an optional second LTE modem, and has many more ethernet ports - including some which support power-over-ethernet for providing both power and data to supported remote devices with just a single cable.

If you need to provide wired networking and powerful Wi-Fi to an entire remote office, or you need a second dedicated cellular modem for instant failover or load-balancing - the AER2200 might be worth a look.

But for all but the most demanding users, this device is likely overkill.

Specifications: AER2200
  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes
    • Wi-Fi Bands: Dual Band Concurrent 2.4GHz/5GHz: 802.11b/g/n/a/ac
    • Wi-Fi Antennas: 4x External dual-band high-gain WiFi antennas (reverse SMA) included
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB:  1x USB Port (USB Modems only - no hotspots!)
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes
    • Carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint
    • LTE Bands: 1-5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 40, 41, 66
    • 4G/3G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz (No Verizon / Sprint 3G)
    • 2G: No
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes (3x)
    • LTE Performance Category: Category 11
      (Max Theoretical Speed: 600 Mbps Down / 75 Mbps Up)
    • Cellular Antennas: 2x SMA/Female Antenna Ports
    • SIM Slots: Dual Mini-SIM (2FF)
    • Special: Space for an MC400 modem, enabling a second internal LTE modem with 2x additional SIM card slots.
  • Ethernet Ports: 10x LAN/WAN switchable - 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Auto Failover, Load Balancing, Integrated GPS, Supports POE over four LAN ports.
  • Power Source: 65 W AC/DC power adapter.
  • Dimensions: 7.3'' × 8.3'' × 1.7''
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price: $1,129
Specs Sheet:  AER2200 Specs Sheet

Comparison of Cradlepoint's two most popular AER Routers:

Cradlepoint AER Series Testing Status

We do not currently have plans to do any hands-on testing with the AER series, but we have completed an in depth look at the Cradlepoint COR IBR900 - including a full dive into the user interface and various Cradlepoint quirks. Read it here:

Review: COR Routers by Cradlepoint (Mobile Routers)

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Purchasing Options

NOTE: Cradlepoint includes one year of "NetCloud Essentials" with purchase of these router models, which provides for remote management, GPS tracking, and ongoing 24/7 support. Extending beyond the first year however requires an expensive service contract - so don't get too hooked on any of these features.

Cradlepoint AER Router
  • Hardware
  • User Interface
  • Customer Service
  • Overall Performance

Quick Take

Cradlepoint offers the AER router series, targeted for the mobile enterprise market.

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