- The new Peplink B One is an entry-level multi-WAN router with very impressive specifications, released at an extremely attractive price point.
- The B One fills the market niche left by the retirement of the Peplink Surf SOHO - a multi-WAN capable router that can bring multiple connections together, and serve as the hub for a small office or mobile network.
- The B One does not have integrated cellular, but provides many WAN connectivity options - including 2x Gigabit Ethernet WAN ports, 1x USB-C port for tethering, and Wi-Fi 6 WiFi-as-WAN.
Today, Peplink released the all new B One router for pre-order, the long-awaited successor to the very popular Surf SOHO router that was retired last year.
Unlike most of Peplink's recent product launches, the B One does not have an embedded 5G cellular modem.
But with two gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB-C tethering port, the B One is extremely well suited to bonding together Starlink with stand-alone 5G routers or hotspots for an overall more capable connection.
The B One provides a lot of capabilities and features for just $299, but is it worth getting a router without an embedded cellular modem in 2024?
Let's dig into the details...
Table of Contents
First Look Video
B One Features
The B One is the natural successor to Peplink's Surf SOHO router, a capable device that had been one of our Top Picks for many years.
Like the Surf SOHO before it, the B One is primarily intended to serve the needs of small businesses and home offices who need more connection redundancy and reliability than a typical single WAN router can provide.
The B One is not a ruggedized mobile device - and it is not designed to handle the environmental extremes that the Peplink MAX routers can.
But the B One can work extremely well as the center of a mobile network while in a boat, van, or RV - particularly if it is kept in a climate controlled tech cabinet.
For many nomadic installations - the B One should fit in just fine.
And particularly for those who are focused on connecting via Starlink or a standalone 5G router like T-Mobile or Verizon Home Internet or other tethered mobile hotspots - the lack of integrated cellular might not be much of an issue at all.
Upgraded Internals And Faster Throughput
One primary feature of the B One is the significantly upgraded internals, which give it the same processing throughput as Peplink's BR1 Pro series - 1 Gbps max routing speed for normal throughput, 400 Mbps when using Peplink's SpeedFusion VPN when unencrypted, and 200 Mbps while encrypted.
It is fabulous to see Peplink bringing "Pro" level performance to a value priced router - and this increased processing speeds will allow the B One to handle multiple fast connections at once without slowing down.
Extensive WAN Options
The B One doesn't have an internal cellular modem, but it can support a variety of WAN options.
To start with, the B One comes with two dedicated Gigabit Ethernet WAN ports, double the usual number found on most routers.
Ethernet WAN ports allow for many different upstream connections - such as Starlink, T-Mobile or Verizon Home Internet, mobile hotspots with Ethernet out, or even traditional wired internet options like cable or DSL.
Having two WAN ports really adds to the flexibility.
And with Peplink's vWAN feature, one or more of the LAN ports can be used as additional WAN port as well. Peplink includes a single free vWAN port for routers as part of a PrimeCare support contract - which newly purchased routers include free for the first year.
A lifetime vWAN license can also be purchased separately if you need more than the two standard WAN ports and don't plan to keep a PrimeCare subscription active.
The B One also comes with a USB-C port that can also be a WAN interface for USB devices like Peplink's Max Adapter, or for tethering via USB to a mobile hotspot, or an Android phone.
Like most Peplink routers that feature Wi-Fi - WiFi-as-WAN is also an option on the B One. This allows the router to connect to any available Wi-Fi source (such as campground or marina Wi-Fi) for an additional upstream internet connection.
The B One has pretty standard capabilities for local networking - with four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for wired connectivity and dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for hosting a Wi-Fi LAN.
The B One doesn't support the more advanced Wi-Fi 6E standard, or the just finalized Wi-Fi 7 standard. Wi-Fi 6 is the norm for most routers today, especially at this price point.
The B One has two external Wi-Fi antenna ports and comes with small plastic antennas, but it can be used with external and roof-mounted Wi-Fi antennas if desired.
B One Use Cases
So how might a B One work in a mobile arsenal?
There are several straightforward use cases for this router for mobile users, but here are four obvious ones:
Bring Redundancy to Starlink
Starlink has become the centerpiece of many nomadic connectivity arsenals.
But whether it is slowdowns from congestion or dropouts due to trees, or the hassles of needing to setup and tear down - Starlink alone is usually not enough for many nomads who need a reliable connection.
A multi-WAN router like the B One is a great way to combine Starlink with some additional connectivity options - such as a cellular hotspot or 5G home router.
Peplink is particularly excited about how well matched the B One is with Starlink - and now that Starlink and Peplink are officially working together - we can only expect that this integration will improve in the future.
5G Hotspot or Adapter Hub
The B One could be a good upgrade option for nomads who currently rely on hotspot devices or residential cellular routers to get online.
If you want a more capable router but don't want to ditch your current cellular options to buy an expensive cellular integrated router - the B One is a great way to go.
Especially for those who have already recently invested in more modern hotspot devices with Ethernet-out ports, the B One could let you leverage your existing methods to get online and add the key advantages of Peplink's multi-WAN technology.
Synergy With Existing Peplink Gear
Those with an existing Peplink router could use a B One with Peplink's Synergy feature to combine the two routers into a single, virtual router. Depending on which existing Peplink router you currently have, the combinations could be quite interesting, varied, and powerful.
For example, several Peplink routers lack USB WAN ports or only have a tiny total number of Ethernet ports.
Adding a B One and using Synergy mode would fill in those capability gaps, while allowing the B One to control and take advantage of the cellular capabilities that are already integrated into your older device.
Relay Mode For Part Timers
Relay Mode is a Peplink feature that lets you create a connection between your mobile Peplink router and a private network at a different location - such as at a home residential address. This allows you to connect "back home" while traveling to access your home network and to connect to the public internet as if you were at home.
Nomads with a home base or only travel seasonally or part-time could use the B One as their "home" router for a wired home internet connection. It's less expensive than many routers designed exclusively for stationary use in a home and would work well in that role.
Then, when traveling in an RV or boat with another Peplink router, Peplink's Relay Mode can allow you to connect back to your home network via SpeedFusion or access the internet as if you were at home - avoiding many location-based hassles with streaming and other services.
Peplink also sells a dedicated relay device that is limited to just this functionality, and it sells for $100 less than the B One.
Anyone considering buying that limited relay device should consider spending $100 more for a full-featured router with much faster SpeedFusion throughput.
In the past, the Surf SOHO was one of our favorite routers and we are glad to see that Peplink with the B One has finally come out with a worthy successor that fills the same niche - and more.
The B One provides an immense amount of capability, at a very attractive price.
The absence of an integrated cellular modem might be a deal killer for some, but it undeniably keeps the price down. The lack of an integrated modem can actually be seen as an advantage - since cellular modem technology tends to advance and become outdated more quickly than router technology.
The B One is one of Peplink's lowest-priced routers and a tremendous value for the features and capability it provides.
We will be getting a unit in for testing - and we hope and expect that the B One will prove to be a new Top Pick option.
Pre-Ordering the B One
The B One is available for preorder today for $299 with shipping expected in late February, 2024.
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Related MIRC Content
- Guide: Selecting Mobile Routers
- Gear Center: Peplink B One Router
- Gear Center: Peplink Product Line-Up
- Learning Center: Peplink for Mobile Internet
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