Peplink is a large and respected company in the high-end mobile networking space, particularly well known for providing cellular connectivity for everything from fleets of vehicles to cruise ships to dispersed corporate offices.
This Gear Center entry covers Peplink's most affordable Pepwave MAX "mini" routers, which used come in two major flavors, the Max Transit Mini and the Max BR1 Mini.
The MAX BR1 Mini and MAX Transit Mini routers were ostensibly the little brothers of the original Pepwave MAX BR1 (our review) and Max Transit (our review), but the similarity only extends to the name. The MAX Transit Mini was retired in 2022, simplifying this product line.
In general, the Mini routers are smaller, less expensive, and less capable. But they also cost a lot less, which makes them a potentially good value.
Differences from Non-Mini Versions
Here are the essential differences from the Mini's big brothers, the MAX BR1 and MAX Transit:
- The Minis are physically smaller.
- By default, the Minis can only use cellular as an upstream WAN connection. WiFi-as-WAN, Ethernet WAN, and failover features are disabled in the Minis - but these features can be unlocked with an extra fee:
- A one-time $99 Feature Pack Purchase
- Active Primecare subscription ($49/year) - one free year of PrimeCare is included with the router purchase.
- The Ethernet ports on some models are only Fast Ethernet (100Mbps).
- Some Minis only come with single-band 802.11n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and the Wi-Fi radio is less powerful.
- The Mini routers have slower internal components with less peak throughput.
Generally, the Mini routers are less capable and have fewer features, but they also cost less.
The Peplink MAX BR1 Mini HW3 is a redesigned and upgraded version of the previous BR1 Mini HW2 model. WiFi-as-WAN, Ethernet WAN, and some other features are disabled, but you can purchase a "feature pack" to unlock these features, or they also come with an active PrimeCare subscription.
It is available with a Cat-4, Cat-6, or Cat-7 cellular modem.
We recommend the Cat-7 version for maximum performance and carrier support.
- Model: MAX BR1 Mini HW3
- Router Specs:
- # of Connected Devices: Up to 60 (recommended)
- Wi-Fi Router: Yes
- Wi-Fi Standard: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) - Simultaneous Dual-Band (2.4GHz / 5GHz)
- Max Theoretical Wi-Fi Speed: Not Specified
- Wi-Fi Antenna: 2x RP-SMA/Female Antenna Port
- Wi-Fi as WAN: Available for an additional fee or with Prime Care
- Claimed Wi-Fi Range: Not Specified
- Guest Wi-Fi Network: Yes
- Default Control Panel Address and Password: Not specified
- USB Tethering Support: No USB Port
- Ethernet Ports: 3x Gigabit Ethernet - 1x LAN/WAN, 1xLAN and 1xLAN with PoE, 1x vWAN with PrimeCare
- Router Throughput: 300 Mbps / 20 Mbps Encrypted
- Cellular Modem Specs:
- Cellular Modem: Single 4G
- Supported Networks and Bands: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
- LTE Bands:
- Cat-4 Model: 2, 4, 5, 12/17, 13, 14, 66, 71
- Cat-6 Model: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12/17, 13, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41
- Cat-7 Model: 2, 4, 5, 7, 12/17, 13, 14, 25, 26, 41, 42, 43, 48, 66, 71
- 4G/3G Bands:
- Cat-4: HSPA+: Bands 2, 5
- Cat-6 Version: WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+: Bands 1, 5, 8
- Cat-7 Version: HSPA+: Bands 2, 4, 5
- MIMO Support: 2x2
- LTE Performance Category:
- Cat-4 (Max Theoretical Speed: 150Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
- Cat-6 (Max Theoretical Speed: 300Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
- Cat-7 (Max Theoretical Speed: 300Mbps Down/ 150Mbps Up)
- LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: 2x Download (Cat-6 and Cat-7 models)
- Cellular Antennas: 2x SMA/Female Antenna Ports
- SIM Slots: 2x Nano
- Dimensions: 5.0 x 4.2 x 1.4" - 0.95lbs
- Other Ports: GPIO
- Power Source: 10V – 30V DC or PoE
- Outdoor Rated: No
- Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Integrated GPS
- Retail Price:
- $349 (Cat-4 MAX BR1 Mini LTEA, HW3)
- $449 (Cat-6 MAX BR1 Mini LTEA, HW3)
- $399 (Cat-7 MAX BR1 Mini LTEA, HW3) - recommended
- PrimeCare: First year free, then $49/yr
View our Peplink product line overview and articles - co-authored with our education & action partner at MobileMustHave (who offers advanced support, guidance and discounts to our members):
News, Videos & Status
We have had some brief hands-on time with a MAX BR1 Mini and MAX Transit Mini but have not focused on these entry-level devices as they are generally not very interesting to our core audience.
Related Video Overviews:
Related News Center Articles
- Peplink Offers Promotional Discounts On Balance 20X & MAX BR2 Pro Posted on: May 23, 2023
- Peplink Lowers Price of MAX BR1 Mini Cat-7 Model to $399 Posted on: May 15, 2023
- Peplink Firmware 8.3 Is Packed With New Features: Synergy Mode, Dynamic Weighted Bonding, Unlimited SpeedFusion Data and Virtual WAN Posted on: February 23, 2023
- Peplink Lowers Price of MAX Transit Duo Pro Router to $999 & Updates Name Posted on: November 21, 2022
- Cellular Modem Update: Fall 2022 5G & LTE Developments Posted on: October 12, 2022
Alternatives to Consider
For other popular mobile routers on the market we are tracking - here are our featured options:
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Purchasing Links & Disclaimer
We don't sell stuff, we are primarily member funded. Some links below may be affiliate links (see our disclaimer), which also helps fund MIRC.
The vendors displayed below provide larger discounts to our MIAs that we have negotiated instead of displaying affiliate links while they are logged in.
MIA Discounts - Learn & Save!
Our Mobile Internet Aficionados (MIA) get special discounts from the below vendors. Members please check for discount codes before ordering. With savings up to 11% off, you could save more than your membership cost!
Members - check the Member Discounts page for some potentially substantial savings on purchasing Pepwave routers.
Affiliate Vendor Links - Using these links helps support MIRC's mission (MIAs, please log in to get special discounts):
- MobileMustHave: MAX BR1 Mini (HW3) Cat 7 | Full Timer VR3 Internet Bundle
- MobileMustHave Internet Bundles (discounted kits with antenna & other options / member discounts stack - learn more)
- TechnoRV: MAX BR1 Mini (HW3) Cat 7
- Amazon: MAX BR1 MINI Cat 7
Other Vendors (non-affiliate):
- 5G Store: MAX BR1 Mini (HW3) Cat 7
WARNING: Peplink doesn't tend to give their products new model numbers when they refresh them; they also tend to keep older models around for a while. Make sure you know what you are getting by checking specs carefully, and don't end up with a device incompatible with your preferred networks or lacking capabilities!
Routers can serve as a central conductor of your local area network in your RV and boat. Mobile routers are different from residential routers in that they typically support multiple internet sources like cellular and Wi-Fi, can be powered off of 12v or AC and support external antenna for better receiving signal.
But you might not need a router in your setup. Here's a quick video overview the variety that routers come in:
For more on learning about mobile routers and how they might fit in your setup, follow up with our educational resources: