The Peplink Balance 20X is a router that includes a single embedded cellular modem and the option to add a second cellular modem via a "Flex" module. While not designed for mobility, the Balance 20X can be used in a mobile setup and is a value-priced option.
Initially, the Balance 20X came with a low-end LTE Cat-4 modem as the only embedded modem option, but Peplink now is coming out with a Cat-7 modem for $579, an additional $130 above the Cat-4 model, which should be shipping in July 2022.
The Cat-7 modem is more advanced and offers a faster peak download performance of 300 Mbps thanks to carrier aggregation, and support for all the major LTE cellular bands for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
The new Cat-7 modem for North America supports the following LTE bands:
- 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26, 41, 42, 43, 48, 66, 71
The Cat-7 is a significant upgrade over the Cat-4 option in terms of carrier support and performance and makes the Balance 20X a more appealing product for our audience of nomads, RVers, and cruisers. The ability to add a Flex Module with an additional modem is an additional benefit that provides for future upgradeability. The Flex Modules come with options for Cat 6, 12, 18, and 5G/Cat-20 modems.
But the Balance 20X still comes with some downsides, and the biggest is that internally, cellular connections are limited to 150Mbps.
This is a hardware bus limitation that affects all cellular connections. So even if you have the Cat-18 or 5G/Cat-20 Flex modules installed - which are capable of Gigabit+ speeds - the router itself can only handle 150 Mbps.
Still, 150 Mbps may be plenty of speed for most users, particularly those who are attracted to the Balance 20X price and feature set.
Key Mobile Internet Related Considerations:
- The Peplink Balance 20X now comes with an embedded Cat-7 modem option, offering improved performance and compatibility over the Cat-4 version. A second modem can be added via a Flex Module.
- The Balance20X has an internal limit of 150 Mbps for cellular connections.
- The Peplink Balance 20X with the Cat-7 modem is priced at $579 and ships in July 2022.
For more information:
Related Content at the Mobile Internet Resource Center:
- Gear: Review: Balance 20X by Peplink
- Gear: Product Lineup: Routers by Peplink (Mobile Routers)
- Content Collection: Using Cellular Data for Mobile Internet
- Guide: Mobile Routers - Local Area Networking with Mobile Internet Integration