In September 2020, Cradlepoint became an independent subsidiary of cellular infrastructure giant Ericsson - a move designed to give Cradlepoint even quicker access to new technologies with a focus on "5G for business".
Cradlepoint used to have options for "average" users, all of which have been discontinued over the years as Cradlepoint has focused more exclusively on the higher-end and enterprise segments of the market.
This guide runs down the key options in the Cradlepoint lineup and goes over some of the details that are universal across Cradlepoint models of interest to the nomad community.
Despite Cradelpoint's focus on enterprise users, individuals with particularly demanding needs are often drawn to Cradlepoint hardware - and in particular, Cradlepoint's COR Series of mobile routers have earned many nomadic fans over the years.
Here are the Cradlepoint models we specifically track:
ALERT - NetCloud Subscription Required:
In June 2019 Cradlepoint announced a new policy where an active NetCloud subscription would be required to maintain access to basic firmware security updates. Everyone considering purchasing a Cradlepoint router should keep this new requirement in mind.
Without an active NetCloud subscription, user access to even basic router settings is blocked. It's not really practical or advisable to try to use a Cradlepoint router without this subscription.
Cradlepoint primarily targets the enterprise market with LTE gigabit-class capable mobile routers and LTE access points.
Most Cradlepoint products come with an embedded modem plus the option to add a separate Cradelpoint MC400 modem module, giving dual-modem capability. Cradlepoint has LTE Category 4, 6, 11, 12 and 18 modem options available, as well as 5G (with LTE Cat 20) depending on the model and available options.
Here is an overview of the products of potential interest to mobile users:
- COR and R1900 Series Mobile Routers:
- Consists of the R1900, COR IBR900, and COR IBR1700 models.
- The R1900 was released in early 2021 and comes standard with a 5G/LTE Cat-20 modem. Similar to the COR routers, the R1900 series offers "docks" that add additional hardware functionality including the option for a 2nd cellular modem.
- The two COR models are similar, but the IBR900 is more compact and designed specifically for mobile connectivity. They come with embedded Cat 11 or 18 modems. A second Cat 4, 6, 12 or 18 modem can be added (or 5G for the IBR1700). The IBR900 requires the optional COR Extensibility Dock) to utilize a second modem.
- AER and E- Series Branch Routers:
- Consists of the AER series routers, which are being phased out, and the E-series models.
- Several routers in this series can be configured with various embedded modem options as well as the option for a second modem.
- The AER 2200 comes with an embedded Cat 11 or 18 modem. A second Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18 modem can be added.
- The E100 is Cradlepoint's "entry-level" branch router that is marketed for small and home offices. It comes with either an embedded Cat 4 or Cat 7 modem.
- The E300 is designed to be compatible with future Cradlepoint 5G adapters. It comes with either an embedded Cat 4 or 18 modem and a second Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18 modem can be added.
- The E3000 is the "big brother" to the E300 with more ports and a lot of extra processing power to handle multi-gigabit connections. It is only available with an embedded Cat 18 modem, but a second Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18 modem can be added.
- CBA Series LTE Access Points:
- Consists of the CBA550 and CBA850. The 850 is of most interest to nomads. These models do not have Wi-Fi.
- The CBA850 does not have an embedded modem but is sold with an MC400 modem module (Cat 4, 6, or 18) included.
NetCloud Subscription Required
You can track a fleet of police vehicles on a map, manage data plan usage for ambulances, offer paid internet options to hundreds of passengers on a train, or administer widely dispersed remote offices - all from one dashboard.
For a long time, a Netcloud Manager subscription was not necessary - consumers could get Netcloud OS firmware for routers, including important security updates. But in June 2019 Cradlepoint announced a new policy where an active NetCloud subscription would be required to maintain access to even basic firmware security updates as well as most router features.
Everyone considering a Cradlepoint router should keep this new requirement in mind - a NetCloud subscription is not really optional. Without it, most features are disabled and users can no longer make any configuration changes, although the router will continue to use the current configuration. If you need to change this configuration, however, even something small, you'll need an active NetCloud license.
News, Videos & Status
We have tested a variety of Cradlepoint products over the years, details can be found within individual product pages linked above.
Related News Center Articles
- An Overview of T-Mobile LTE Band 71 and Compatible LTE Modems & Routers (WiFiRanger, Gli.Net, Mofi, Pepwave, etc.) Posted on: March 13, 2020
- Cradlepoint 1200M Modem Certified for Verizon Posted on: June 19, 2019
- Cradlepoint Changing Support Policy, Requiring Service Contract for Firmware Security Updates Posted on: June 7, 2019
- High End Update: Cradlepoint Goes Gigabit LTE & Peplink Pioneers Roof-Mounted Cellular With Indoor SIM Cards Posted on: January 28, 2019
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