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.
Here are the Cradlepoint models we specifically track:
ALERT - NetCloud Subscription Required:
In June 2019 Cradlepoint announced a new policy where an active $180/year 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.
With this change, we have dropped our 'Top Pick' designation for this product line.
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, depending on the model and available options.
Here is an overview of the products of potential interest to mobile users:
- COR Series Mobile Routers:
- Consists of the IBR900 and IBR1700 models. These two models are similar, but the IBR900 is more compact and designed specifically for mobile connectivity.
- It comes with an Embedded Cat 11 or 18 modem. A second Cat 4, 6, 12 or 18 modem can be added (IBR900 requires the optional COR Extensibility Dock)
- AER Series Branch Routers:
- Consists of the AER1600, AER2200, E300, and E3000 models.
- The Cradlepoint Branch router can be configured with various embedded modem options as well as the option for a second modem.
- The AER1600 comes with an embedded Cat 4 or 6 modem. A second Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18 modem can be added.
- The AER 2200 is the "big brother" to the 1600, with more Ethernet ports, support for POE, and 4X4 MIMO. It comes with an embedded Cat 11 or 18 modem. A second Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18 modem can be added.
- The E300 is the newest router in the line and 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 gigibit 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.
But if you have a single Cradlepoint router installed on an RV or a boat - 99% of what NetCloud offers is completely superfluous.
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 $180/year NetCloud subscription would be required to maintain access to even basic firmware security updates.
Everyone considering purchasing a Cradlepoint router should keep this new requirement in mind.
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
- 2017 Mobile Internet Year in Review & Looking Forward Into 2018 Posted on: December 30, 2017
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