Review: MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4 V2 by MoFi Networks (Mobile Routers)


Canadian router manufacturer MoFi has been on our radar for a while, and we became especially intrigued when MoFi launched the MoFi 4500 line in August of 2015, with an optional integrated cellular radio.

The cellular-integrated MoFi 4500 models feature two Wi-Fi and two cellular antennas.

The cellular-integrated MoFi 4500 models feature two Wi-Fi and two cellular antennas.

Similar to a WiFiRanger Go or the Pepwave Surf SOHO, the MoFi routers provide a local Wi-Fi and ethernet LAN network, and support tethering to a cellular hotspot or USB modem to share your cellular connection.

MoFi also supports direct USB tethering to Android phones, and was the first router to support direct iOS smartphone tethering (a feature now matched by WiFiRanger).

With an integrated cellular radio included with many MoFi verizons, the tiny MoFi box can do away with the need for a separate cellular hotspot entirely.

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This packs a ton of capability into a small metal shell - with a price substantially less than the seemingly somewhat similar Pepwave MAX BR1.

But while MoFi looks great on paper - the actual hands-on experience is, at best, challenging.

Specifications - MOFI4500-4GXELTE-SIM4

  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes
    • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n - 300Mbps Max, 21dBm Transmit Power (125mW)
    • 5GHz Wi-Fi: N/A
    • Wi-Fi Antenna: 2x RP-SMA/Female Antenna Port, 5dBi Antennas Included
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes (see review)
    • Guest Wi-Fi Network: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: 1x USB Port
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: Yes
    • Carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint
    • LTE Bands: 
      • B2 (1900MHz) - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile LTE
      • B4 (1700/2100MHz) - Verizon (XLTE), AT&T, and T-Mobile LTE
      • B5 (850MHz) - Verizon & AT&T Future LTE Expansion
      • B12 (700MHz) - T-Mobile's "Extended Range LTE"
      • B13 (700MHz) - Verizon's Primary LTE
      • B17 (700MHz) - AT&T's Primary LTE
      • B25 (1900MHz) - Sprint's Mid-Range LTE
      • B26 (850Mhz) - Sprint's Long-Range LTE
      • B29 (700MHz) - AT&T's Future "Download Only" LTE Expansion
      • B30 (2300MHz) - AT&T's Newest LTE Band
      • B41 (2500MHz) - Sprint's Short-Range LTE
    • 4G/3G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz
      Global roaming supported.
    • 2G: GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
    • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes - 2x 20MHz Channels
    • LTE Performance Category: 6
      (Max Theoretical Speed: 300Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
    • Cellular Antennas: 2x SMA/Female Antenna Ports, Basic 5dBi Indoor Antennas Included
    • SIM Slots: Mini-SIM (2FF)
  • Ethernet Ports: 5x 100Mbps Fast Ethernet  (1x WAN / 4x LAN)
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Band Locking, Extreme Customization
  • Power Source: 110v AC Adapter Included (Optional 12V vehicle power supply)
  • Dimensions: 4.3" x 3.3" x 1.2"
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price:  $299.99

Other Models & Variations

The MoFi 4500 is available in several versions - make sure that you get the right one:

  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE - The basic MoFi model without a built in cellular radio, designed for customers who intend to tether to a USB device. Our review page on this model. ($149)
  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM2 - Integrated cellular radio intended primarily for AT&T usage, with support for LTE bands B2, B4, B5, and B17. Verizon and Sprint are NOT supported. ($239)
  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM3 - Originally rolled out to add support for T-Mobile's LTE Band 12, and also supports AT&T and some Canadian carriers. Verizon and Sprint are NOT supported. ($279)
  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4 - MoFi now strongly recommends the SIM4 "All Providers" version over the prior incarnations. The LTE-Advanced cellular radio in this model works with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and (eventually) Sprint. This is the version covered in this review. ($299)
  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM4-GPS - The SIM4 version, plus the addition of a fifth antenna for GPS signal reception. This is intended for fleet vehicle tracking applications. ($349)
  • MOFI4500-4GXeLTE-SIM5 - Identical to the SIM4, but with different LTE bands for international markets. MoFi warns customers: "Note the SIM4 is better than the SIM5 since it has more bands as many customers beleive that since the SIM5 is newer, it is better but this is not the case. 99% of all cutomers should go with the SIM4 model. If you are in Canada or USA, you need the SIM4, not this SIM5." ($299)

All the current MoFi 4500 models being sold are "version 2" hardware with twice the internal memory (32MB Flash / 256MB RAM) as the 2015 versions (16MB Flash / 128MB RAM). If you are shopping for a MoFi 4500 - make sure that it is labeled version 2. All SIM4 variants should be.

WARNING: The older MoFi3500-3GN is also still occasionally available some places online, but the 4500 series offers a lot more features for the same price so the older model is best avoided now. The older version of the MoFi does not seem to be receiving any ongoing software updates.

Testing Status

MoFi has provided us with both a basic MoFi 4500 and the universal cellular SIM4  model, and we have tested them in a range of locations and situations.

We've shared our in depth testing notes with our members in more detail below, and in our testing notes:

March 2018 Update: After hearing multiple recent reports of improvements in the MoFi stability and firmware, we will be placing our SIM4 unit back into testing for re-analysis.

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Quick Take

The MoFi-SIM4 router has a powerful built-in LTE-A cellular modem - but this powerful hardware is crippled with buggy and hard-to-use software.

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