In Review: COR Routers by Cradlepoint (Mobile Routers)

 

Cradlepoint is a high-end mobile router manufacturer, carrying multiple router lines, mostly geared towards enterprise markets.  Cradlepoint used to have many options for "average" users most have been discontinued over the years as Cradlepoint has focused on the higher end of the market.

Individuals with specific needs though do often find value in going with Cradlepoint hardware

Cradlepoint's COR Series features ruggedized, compact routers offering a variety of functions integrated into a single device.

Table Of Contents

COR IBR900

Cradlepoint launched this flagship mobile router in January 2017.

On paper at least, this is by far the most advanced cellular integrated mobile router we have seen to date.

Cradlepoint describes it this way:

"With an embedded Category 6 modem for LTE Advanced, 802.11ac Wave 2 support, and a quad core processor, the IBR900 series is designed for the most demanding in-vehicle and M2M/IoT applications that require near-Gigabit speeds for both Ethernet and WiFi."

The catch is the cost - the COR IBR900 starts at $869, without any antennas included!

But for those looking to have just about everything integrated into a single (expensive) industrial-strength device, the COR IBR900 may be very well worth taking a close look at.

Get the Book

NOTE: The IBR900 is more advanced in almost every way than the older COR IBR1100, but yet it costs the same. Do be sure to compare specifications closely before deciding to go with the IBR1100.

The Cradlepoint COR IBR900 features an integrated LTE-Advanced cellular modem, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two gigabit ethernet ports, and a USB port - all packed into a small rugged metal case designed to run off 12V vehicle power.

Specifications - COR IBR900
  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes
    • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n - 300Mbps Max, 25dBm (2x2 MIMO)
      18dBm Transmit Power (63mW)
    • 5GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/n/ac - 866Mbps Max (2x2 MIMO) - Wave 2 Support
      16.5dBm Transmit Power (44mW)
    • Wi-Fi Antenna: 2x RP-SMA/Female Antenna Port, No Antennas Included
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
    • Guest Wi-Fi Network: Yes - 4 SSIDs supported.
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: Yes - 1x USB Port (USB Modems only!)
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes
    • Carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint
    • LTE Bands: 1-5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41
    • 4G/3G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz (No Verizon / Sprint 3G)
    • 2G: No
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes (2x)
    • LTE Performance Category: Category 6
      (Max Theoretical Speed: 300 Mbps Down / 50 Mbps Up)
    • Cellular Antennas: 2x SMA/Female Antenna Ports, No Antennas Included
    • SIM Slots: Dual Mini-SIM (2FF)
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet  (WAN / LAN Configurable)
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Auto Faillover, Load Balancing, Integrated GPS
  • Power Source: 9V - 33V Direct DC Input, 110V AC Adapter Optional
  • Dimensions: 4.6" x 4.5": x 1.2"
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price:  $869.99 (w/o antennas), $899.99 (w basic antennas)
  • Testing Status: This unit was included in our Spring 2018 Testing Round. Members also have access to more in depth review of this device below.

COR IBR1100

The COR IBR1100 series is designed with mass transit and ambulances in mind. Featuring a simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac WiFi radio paired with an integrated LTE modem with support for external cellular and WiFi antennas. It has an option for a dual modem doc.

The COR IBR1100 is engineered to protect against extreme temperatures, humidity, shocks, vibrations, dust, water splash, reverse polarity, and transient voltage.

Versions:

  • LP6: LTE Advanced LTE/HSPA+ (SIM-based Auto-Carrier Selection for all North American carriers)
  • LPE: 4G LTE/HSPA+/EVDO (multi-carrier, North America)
  • LP3: 4G LTE/HSPA+ (Europe, EMEA, and Australia/New Zealand)

NOTE: The new Cradlepoint COR IBR900 is more advanced in almost every way than the older COR IBR1100, but yet it costs the same. Do be sure to compare specifications closely before deciding to go with the COR IBR1100.

Specifications - COR IBR1100
  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes - Dual-Band, Dual-Concurrent
    • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
    • 5GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/n/ac
    • Wi-Fi Antenna:
      • 2 WiFi antenna ports (R-SMA)
      • No antennas included
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: Yes - 1x USB Port (USB Modems only!)
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes
    • LTE Bands 1-5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41
      • Verizon: 2, 4, 5, 13 (XLTE support w/carrier aggregation)
      • AT&T: 2, 4, 5, 12, 29, 30
      • Sprint: 25, 26, 41 (LTE Plus Support)
      • T-Mobile: 2, 4, 12 (T-Mobile Wideband LTE Support)
    • Fallback: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes
    • LTE Performance Category: 6
    • Cellular Antennas: two SMA male plugs (no antennas included)
    • SIM Slots: Dual
  • Ethernet Ports: 3x 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet  (WAN / LAN Configurable)
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking (Limited), Auto Failover, Load Balancing, Active GPS
  • Power Source: 12V or 110V AC - no power adaptors included
  • Dimensions: 5.3" x 4.4" x 1.4"
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price:  $799 -$899
  • Testing Status: No plans to test this unit

COR IBR1700

The COR IBR1700 is the 'big brother' of the COR IBR900. It is a rugged, dual-modem capable unit with even more ethernet ports, and additional WiFi antenna ports.

Specifications - COR IBR1700
  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes - Simultaneous Tri Band 2×2 2.4GHz + 2×2 5GHz + 4×4 5GHz WiFi
    • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
    • 5GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/n/ac
    • Wi-Fi Antenna:  6 antenna connectors (R-SMA)
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: Yes - 1x USB Port (USB Modems only!)
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes
    • LTE Bands: 1–5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 38, 40, 41, 66
    • Fallback: Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes
    • LTE Performance Category: ___
    • Cellular Antennas: 2 antenna connectors (SMA)
    • SIM Slots: Dual
  • Ethernet Ports: 5 LAN/WAN switchable 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Auto Failover, Load Balancing, Active GPS
  • Power Source: 12V
  • Power consumption:
    • Sleep: 10 mW
    • Idle: 8 W
    • Typical: 14 W
    • Heavy Usage: 24 W
  • Dimensions: 8.8'' x 7.5'' x 1.7''
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price: $1549
  • Testing Status: No plans to test this unit

COR Series Testing Status

Based upon its impressive specifications, we thought that the COR IBR900 was likely to be a "Top Pick" and deserved a closer look.

After several attempts to obtain an evaluation unit, we had to purchase a device at full retail price to conduct a review. We feel this product is worthy of the expense and are thankful that our premium membership funding allows us some budget for acquiring review gear when needed.

Here is our unboxing video of our unit that we purchased in December 2017:

In early 2018, we took this unit along with the new comparable Pepwave MAX BR1 MK2 on the road for some in-depth head to head testing.

Join the MIA

Our field testing results can be found here for our members who want to follow along:
Cellular Signal & Embedded Router Field Testing – IBR900 | MAX-BR1 | Drive Sleek | MIMO Antennas (1st Quarter 2018)

We do not currently have either the CORIBR1100 or the CORIBR1700 in for testing. 

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Specs Sheets

COR IBR900

COR IBR1100

COR IBR1700 

Purchasing Options

You can buy the IBR900 with a set of two Wi-Fi and two cellular antennas, or you can use external roof-mounted antennas mounted on top of your RV.

 

Cradlepoint COR Routers
  • Hardware
  • User Interface
  • Customer Service
  • Overall Performance

Quick Take

The COR router series by Cradlepoint are ruggedized, enterprise level routing solutions.

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