Review: Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3 by Peplink (Mobile Router)

The new 802.11ac Surf SOHO uses three Wi-Fi antennas to deliver a huge local wireless speed increase over the previous generation.

The new 802.11ac Surf SOHO uses three Wi-Fi antennas to deliver a huge local wireless speed increase over the previous generation.

Peplink is a large and well respected company in the mobile networking space - primarily focused on high end applications covering everything from providing cellular connectivity to fleets of vehicles to enabling whole-building network installations for hotels and offices.

While Peplink's Pepwave routers are not specifically designed with individual mobile users in mind, they do offer solid and well supported products that many mobile uses have grown to rely on.

In particular, the Pepwave Surf SOHO (Small Office / Home Office) is a capable router with four downstream gigabit ethernet ports, an ethernet WAN port, and great support for tethering cellular modems and hotspots over USB.

This potent combination of features makes the Pepwave Surf SOHO very well suited to be the hub of a mobile network - and we consider it to be a worthy Top Pick.

Specifications - Pepwave Surf SOHO (Rev 3)

  • Wi-Fi Router: Yes - Simultaneous Dual Band
    • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n - 450Mbps Max (3x3 MIMO)
    • 5GHz Wi-Fi: 802.11 ac/a/n - 1300Mbps Max (3x3 MIMO)
    • Wi-Fi Antenna: 3x RP-SMA/Female Antenna Port, 3x Indoor Antennas Included
    • Wi-Fi as WAN: Yes
    • Guest Wi-Fi Network: Yes
  • Cellular Tethering via USB: Yes - Most USB modems & hotspots supported.
  • Integrated Cellular Modem: No
  • Ethernet Ports: 4x 1,000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 1x Gigabit WAN
  • Special Features: Data Usage Tracking, Auto Failover
  • Power Source: 10V - 24V DC Input, 110V AC Adapter Included
  • Dimensions: 9.17" x 5.6" x 1.18"
  • Outdoor Rated: No
  • Retail Price:  $199

Other Models & Variations

This is the third version of the Pepwave Surf SOHO, and the most significant change to the product line yet.

The second generation Surf SOHO lacks 802.11ac and simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi, and we have a full review featured in our review center here.

The original first generation version of the Surf SOHO was essentially identical to the second, with the only significant difference being that it had 100Mbps fast ethernet ports rather than 1,000Mbps gigabit ethernet ports, which were added in a quiet product refresh in early 2015.

TIP: You can recognize the third generation SOHO because it has three antenna jacks on the back, rather than two.

Review & Testing Status

Peplink sent us a review unit of the new 8021.11ac version of the Surf SOHO for evaluation in late 2016.

We have had the Surf SOHO in active head-to-head testing against several other competitors since the beginning of 2017 - and we have even made it our primary mobile router for weeks on end to stress test it.

We share our more detailed analysis, hands-on thoughts, and an in-depth video guide with our members below.

And members can view our ongoing field testing and range results here:

Mobile Router & Wi-Fi Gear Testing (Winter 2016/2017)

Unboxing Video

Here is our quick unboxing video and first impressions of the 802.11ac Pepwave Surf SOHO after we received it:

Our deeper analysis, impressions, and video guide are in our members-only section.

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The Rest of this Review is:
Member Only Content

We are thrilled & honored to be primarily member & reader funded - allowing us to present unbiased content. The in-depth review section of this product listing is part of the premium membership benefits of joining. Members can also leave their own reviews on products.

If you're a member, please log in above to read the in-depth review for this product and/or leave your own review. If you've not joined yet, learn more about membership at:

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Purchasing Options

NOTE: Do be careful when shopping that you get the new 802.11ac capable version of the SURF SOHO, and not the older model which is lacking in this key feature.

Related News Center Articles

Pepwave Surf SOHO
  • Hardware
  • User Interface
  • Customer Service
  • Overall Performance

Quick Take

Peplink's feature-packed small office / home office mobile router, now even better with 802.11ac Wi-Fi for much faster local networking.

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