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29/10/2018

ZTE MF286 4G LTE Router Test

Since LTE networks are becoming more and more popular, there are many stationary or mobile LTE routers from various brands on sale, and one of the most interesting routers is ZTE MF286 4G router. It combines the features of stationary router and the mobile router.

 
  
  ZTE MF286 
 
 
Not as well-known as Huawei B593 router, ZTE MF286 is quite a new router, it was introduced to some network providers in Europe at the end of last year. It supports the latest network standards, primarily LTE Advanced (aggregation of two bands, downloading at speeds up to 300 Mb/s), and within the Wi-Fi network, it supports the 802.11ac standard (2x2 MIMO, or up to 867 Mb/s).
 
  
 
  ZTE MF286 
 
 
 Of course, there are no miracles in practice, the LTE speeds drop down in real use. Wi-Fi bandwidth is also a fraction of the theoretical value: between computers in the LAN and WLAN during testing it did not exceed 288 Mbit/s. Like other desktop routers, the ZTE MF286 has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port for connecting a USB drive and file sharing, as well as an analog telephone line connector. Of course, there is also a built-in modem and a slot for mini SIM cards, under the plugs, two SMA connectors for the external LTE antenna.   An unusual feature is a removable battery with a capacity of 3000 mAh. It is a bit similar to the equipment for mobile 4G routers because you can take it anywhere and use it for at least 3 hours. It is a pity that instead of the USB charger, it has a 12-volt AC power adapter - you cannot power it with a power bank.
 
  ZTE MF286 
 
 
The function set is similar to other stationary LTE routers. The main screen of the configuration interface shows a network diagram where you can go to LTE settings, Wi-Fi or a list of connected devices. An interesting thing is the ability to choose the bandwidth that can be used by the modem built into the router. However, the Wi-Fi capability is much larger, above all the advantage is simultaneous operation in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band. The router has a Wi-Fi optimization function - it scans the radio band, detects existing networks and automatically selects the best channel. You can enable an additional guest network (Multi SSID) on both frequencies, limit the number of clients in each SSID network, and set a time limit for guests (in hours). 
 
 
 
ZTE MF286
 
 
 
Hardware and software provide the possibility of using WPS to quickly establish connections, as well as completely disable Wi-Fi. When it comes to managing devices on the network, there is actually only one function: blocking with one click (this is an easy-to-use MAC filter implementation):   
 
 
 
 
In the lower part of the interface, there are additional functions, among them SMS and address book supported, but there is no USSD code support. There is an important function of setting the mobile data transfer limit (or time of using the network). After exceeding a certain threshold (eg 80% of the limit), a notification appears in the interface and in the form of a red color of the 4G indicator. It is not clear how (manually or automatically, on a certain day of the month), to reset information about the use of the data packet. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There is also parental control consisting of three elements: a list of "children's" computers, a network access schedule (division into days of the week and hours), and a whitelist of pages. The feature affects the operation of security. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the advanced settings, you can find a lot of additional functions, characteristic for the ZTE LTE router. This includes passing VPN connections, static MAC-IP binding (MAC address must be "patched" manually or copy device lists), packet filtering, manual port forwarding, UPnP, DMZ zone. The firewall is enabled by default and it is not possible to disable it. The advanced feature is the ability to adjust the power of the Wi-Fi signal (although it should probably be in the section on Wi-Fi), as well as the URL filter (should be in the parental control). 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other advanced features include DDNS, date and time configuration, SIM card PIN configuration, saving/loading configuration to/from the file, periodic updates software and ping diagnostics. The WatchDog function is interesting, which pings a specific IP address with a specified interval. After a few failed pings (their number can also be determined) resets the router to re-establish a connection. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There is also a file server function, there must be files on the USB memory stick in the network. So the router has a lot of functions, some very useful. It is a pity that some of them do not work as you would expect. Compared to other fixed routers, there is a lack of options, such as bandwidth management, any event log, e-mail notifications, or VPN connection (as in business equipment). The ZTE MF286 4G Router does not have a mobile application, but for smartphone management, you can use a good-looking mobile page with the most important settings. 
 
 



Summary
 
 
 
ZTE MF286 can work like as a stationary router and as a mobile WiFi router. The web interfaces provider rich options for internet settings and WiFi features. It provides enough functions for daily use. If you are looking for a stationary router, you may consider ZTE MF286 Router.

26/10/2018

Huawei B612 VS Huawei E5186

We had introduced the Huawei E5186 VS Huawei B525 Cat6 router a few months ago and now Huawei presents a new 4G Cat6 router B612 to Europe market. We had compared the Huawei B612 with Huawei B525 router and today we will check what the difference is between Huawei B612 and Huawei E5186 router.

 
 




Huawei B612 VS Huawei E5186 Appearance and Interfaces

  
 
 The front of the two routers are similar, they both have a few indicators for power, mode, WiFi and signal with Huawei Logo on the front. The Huawei E5186 has one more indicator for Voice. One the back, Huawei E5186 router has 3 LAN ports and one LAN/WAN port. It also has two telephone ports and one USB port, but Huawei B612 has only one telephone port and no USB port available. The Huawei B612 router has an angled backrest which makes it stand more stable.   The SIM card slot of Huawei E5186 modem is at the edge side of the device while the Huawei B612 SIM card slot is at the bottom. The Huawei E5186 has the WiFi button and WPS button with the reset hole at the below side of the SIM card slot. The Huawei B612 power button is at the top side with WPS button. They both have two connectors for external antennas. The connector type is SMA and covered by a cap. 
 
 
 

Huawei E5186 VS Huawei B612 Specs and Features

  
 
The two routers Huawei B612 and E5186 are both in the typical design of Huawei 4G wireless router. Then let’s compare the specifications of Huawei B612 and Huawei E5186 to see more difference:  
 

Model Huawei B612 Huawei E5186
Product type Huawei WiFi Router with Ethernet port Huawei WiFi Router with Ethernet port
Category LTE Cat.6 LTE Cat.6
Chipset HiSilicon LTE Cat6 Chipset HiSilicon LTE Cat6 Chipset
LTE Data rates DL 300Mbps/UL 50Mbps DL 300Mbps/UL 50Mbps
Supported 4G LTE frequency bands Huawei B612s-25d:  B1/B3/B7/B8/B20/B38/B40/B41/B42/B43 Huawei B612s-51d: B2/B4/B5/B7/B41 Huawei E5186s-22a: Band 1/3/7/8/20/38 Huawei E5186s-61a: Band  3/7/28/40
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac, single-band 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
Max supported users 32 users 64 users
MIMO 4 x 4 MIMO 2 x 2 MIMO
Antenna Two, SMA-female jacks Two, SMA-female jacks
Buy Antenna Huawei B612 external antenna Huawei E5186 external antenna
App management Huawei Hilink APP Huawei Hilink APP
SIM Size Micro SIM Micro SIM
Battery NO NO
Dimensions 240 × 155 × 78 mm 190 mm × 200 mm × 32 mm
Interfaces * 3 x LAN port(RJ45) * 1 x LAN/WAN port (RJ45) * 1 x telephone port(RJ11) * Two external LTE antenna ports (SMA-female) * One micro-SIM card slot * 1 x USB 2.0 port * 3 x LAN port(45) * 1 x LAN/WAN port (45) * 2 x telephone port(RJ11) * Two external LTE antenna ports (SMA-J1.5) * One micro-SIM card slot * 1 x USB 2.0 port
Datasheet Huawei B612 Datasheet(PDF) Huawei E5186 Datasheet(PDF)
User Manual Huawei B612 User Manual(PDF) Huawei E5186 User Manual(PDF)
Other features  Firewall, CS Voice, VoIP, VoLTE, IPv6/IPv4 dual stack, NAT, DHCP, VPN, DMZ, UPnP, ALG,  Firewall, CS Voice, VoIP, TR069 Remote Management, HTTP Online Upgrade, QoS, USB Share, UPnP, IPV6, DLNA, Fax, Print, VPN
Firmware download Huawei B612 firmware Huawei E5186 firmware
Driver Huawei B612 driver Huawei E5186 driver
Reviews Huawei B612 Review Huawei E5186 Review
Price/USD 399.00USD 169.00USD
  
 
 


Summary   
 
 
From the specs table, we can see the two Huawei Cat6 routers both could achieve peak download speed up to 300Mbps. They both have two variant models now. The Huawei E5186 supports dual-band WiFi while Huawei B612 supports only a single band on 2.4GHz. Huawei E5186 router could support up to 64 wireless users while Huawei B612 supports up to 32 WiFi users. However, the Huawei B612 supports 4 x 4 MIMO technology while Huawei E5186 supports 2 x 2 MIMO. Except for the interface difference, the MIMO technology should be the key difference.   
 
 
 
One more thing we have to mention is that perhaps the Huawei B612 is the latest new model, the price is more expensive, but we suppose the Huawei B612 price would become cheaper soon. If you want to buy a 4G LTE modem router, we think the Huawei E5186 is very good to recommend based on the price/performance ratio.

23/10/2018

TP-Link Deco M5 Review

TP-link Deco M5 is a WiFi router available in 2017 and now is well-known in many countries. The highlight of TP-Link Deco M5 is that WiFi mesh system which provides WiFi throughout the house, at high speed and without interruption. With the arrival of the new WiFi mesh routers, it is finally easy to realize a good WiFi connection in every nook and cranny of the house without pulling wires.

 
 



What is WiFi mesh?

These new WiFi mesh systems work as follows; Each WiFi point is connected to the other units via a mutual wireless connection. Each device has a separate WiFi transmitter that is used purely for mutual communication between these units.   WiFi devices such as your smartphone and tablets are connected to the network via a private WiFi transmitter in the unit. The big advantage is that the available bandwidth of such a WiFi point does not have to be shared between for example your tablet and the mutual communication between the different WiFi points. 
 
 
 
 
 
The main advantage, of course, is that you do not have to pull any wires. For example, you put a unit in the living room, a unit on the first floor in a bedroom and the third unit in the attic. These three units form one large WiFi network together.  
 

TP-link Deco M5 WiFi Roaming

An additional advantage of these WiFi mesh systems is that they ensure that connected equipment is always automatically connected to the best available transmitter. They also call this technology “WiFi roaming”. 
 
 
 
 
Suppose you have a station on each floor and walk from the attic to the ground floor with your tablet while watching a movie, then the system will automatically and without interruptions transfer the signal to the wifi point with the best connection.  

TP-Link Deco M5 Test


The Deco M5 system comes with 3 separate mesh routers that are identical so it does not matter which unit you will use as the main unit. In addition to the routers, there are 3 power adapters and a LAN cable. You connect 1 of the units to the LAN port of the modem/router, then download the free app on your smartphone and start the installation.   
 
 
 
 

TP-Link Deco M5 installation and configuration



The installation is really very simple and within 5 minutes the system is installed. You will first have to create a TP-Link cloud account by choosing an e-mail address and password. Next you will be asked to enable your location data and bluetooth on the smartphone. After logging in you can start the installation.   The TP-Link Deco M5 is installed via bluetooth and during the configuration, you will have to stand next to each unit with the smartphone to install the unit. After that, the entire system can be centrally controlled from the app. 
 
 
 
After starting the app, it will automatically find the deco nearby and will first be asked to choose a name and password for your wireless network. After filling in a network name and password, you will be asked where the Deco unit is located. So you can easily indicate in which room of the house the unit is located to get a clear overview of the network later.     After choosing, the Deco will be configured and the LED will turn blue when it is ready for use. In principle, the system can already be used, but we repeat this step two more times to install the two other units. The app also asks you if you are ready or want to add another unit at that moment. 
 
 
 
 
To configure the other two units, you have to stand in the vicinity of the units as the installation works via bluetooth and can therefore only be done at a short distance. When you have finished configuring the units, the network is ready for use. The whole process takes at most 5 minutes! 
 
 

TP-Link Deco M5 APP options

When the installation is complete you can further configure the system via the TP-Link App if desired. The Deco M5 system has a lot of nice options. The home screen shows immediately which Deco M5 units are connected and what the last measured internet speed is. You can also see directly in this screen which devices are all connected to the system. If you click on the device, you will receive more details about the device and you can add it to a group. 
 
 
 
 
Such a group is useful because you can deny these groups WiFi access at certain times and filter content. This is useful for families with small children.      

TP-link Deco M5 Content filtering and WiFi schedule


This division into groups is relatively easy by giving a name to the group and then choosing to what level the group belongs. This way you can choose a group for small children or adults or create your own group. It is possible to block certain websites or content and thus you have full control over what users see. You can then only access these groups at certain times to the internet. If you do not want the children to be on the Internet after 8 hours, except on weekends, you can easily arrange this. 
 
 
 
     

TP-link Deco M5 WiFi guests network and security

Through the app you can throw a WiFi guest network in the air with a few taps on the screen. This guest network is separate from the rest of the network and can be provided with its own network name and password. Of course you can also manage the connected devices with a WiFi scheme and content filtering. This way you can give visitors access to your internet connection, but you have complete control over what they view and when. 
 
 
 
 
Unique to the TP-Link Deco M5 is that there is Anti-Virus software from Trend Micro. This actively monitors the network for viruses and protects all equipment before the malicious software can be installed.  

TP-link Deco M5 QoS

With the QoS function in the TP-Link Deco M5, you can easily give priority to certain data. So you can choose that gaming gets more priority compared to chatting and surfing, or vice versa. You can also set the QoS settings yourself if you do not want to use the preconfigured priority list. With the help of handy sliders, you can screw the level up or down per part.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TP-link Deco M5 WiFi performance

The TP-Link Deco M5 is therefore easy to configure and has some nice options in the app, but the most important of these are the performance of the system. We are very pleased with the results of the Deco M5, we get the maximum out of my 300 Mbps through wired connection and wirelessly we also achieved almost the full speed. This speed is really more than enough to stream movies from Netflix, for example, even in 4K resolution. Even wireless gaming should not be a problem with this performance.   
 
 
 
 
 

TP-link Deco M5 Disadvantages

The Deco M5 is a bit slower with roaming. If you walk between the different points, switching between the wifi points can take a little longer than with Amplify. But then we are really talking about a difference of no more than 10%. No disadvantage for our test, but for some users maybe: you have to create a TP-Link cloud account at the beginning and turn on your GPS location. If you are very fond of your privacy/anonymity, you may not like this. 
 
 
 
 
The app is sometimes not entirely translated in some languages. There are some English texts hidden here and there, but that will not influence for normal use.  

TP-link Deco M5 Advantages

Anti-Virus software is built in which is very nice to protect your equipment. Another great advantage is the price of this set. The price of TP-link Deco M5 is very attractive now comparing the price when it’s first available in the market. A third advantage of the TP-Link Deco M5 is its design. The router of the mesh points Deco M5 units are small and handy to place.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Conclusion


The TP-Link Deco M5 is currently the best WiFi mesh system available. The price/quality ratio is very good, the app is convenient and extensive and the WiFi range is top notch. The test was carried out in a new house on 3 floors, where WiFi signals often pass through walls and ceilings without any difficulty. The fact that we were able to realize a perfect WiFi network at high speeds indicates that the quality is good!