How to Pick the Best Cellular Router

If you’re searching for a cellular router, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot of brands and models to choose from at a wide range of prices. Overall, cellular routers are designed to provide high-speed Internet access in areas where traditional wired Internet connections are not feasible or reliable. But each router offers different data speeds, coverage, and more. What’s best depends on what you’ll be using it for.

Which Cellular Router is the best?

Here are some of the most common types of cellular routers:

5G Routers

A 5G cellular router connects to 5G cellular networks to provide Internet connectivity to other devices. Instead of getting Internet connectivity from a fixed line like DSL, cable, or fiber, a 5G cellular router has a built in cellular modem that connects through a 5G cellular network. While not every community has 5G service yet, 5G networks are expanding around the world.

5G SIM Routers 

A 5G SIM router uses a removable Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card to communicate with a cellular carrier’s network and share this connection with other devices within range. 5G SIM card routers combine the capabilities of a router with the ability to connect to 5G networks with a SIM card like the one inside your cell phone to provide the best of all worlds.

Multi-SIM Routers  

A multi-SIM router is a device that has slots for multiple SIM cards and can switch between them or use them simultaneously to provide network connectivity. Some SIM routers [link to new 5G SIM router page] can handle as many as eight SIM cards  – and even up to 48 for very specialized use cases – from the same or different providers, which can to boost your signal strength and optimize Internet performance.

4G LTE Routers

A 4G router is a networking device that connects to 4G networks, meaning the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, to provide high-speed Internet access to multiple devices in a specific location. 4G networks are slower than 5G cellular networks.

As you evaluate routers, here are some factors to consider:

Connectivity Needs

Network Compatibility and Band Support: Does the cellular router you’re considering support the network technologies and bands used by your cellular carrier? Different regions and carriers may use different frequency bands and technologies, such as 4G LTE or 5G, so make sure the router is compatible with the service from your carrier.

Data Speeds: Consider the maximum data speeds the router can provide. If you need high-speed Internet, opt for a router that supports faster cellular standards like 5G (if available in your region) or 4G LTE-A. Also consider the router’s data throughput, as some routers have faster processing speeds and can handle faster data connections than others.

SIM Card Slots:  Some routers allow you to supply your own SIM card or offer dual SIM capabilities, [Link to new What is a multi-SIM router? page] allowing for connection failover or using two different carriers. Consider how many SIM cards you plan to use and make sure the SIM router has enough SIM card slots. Learn more about multi-SIM routers.

Multi-SIM Router can connect to multiple carriers

Use Cases

Home vs. Travel: If you’re traveling and plan to be away from power sources, a compact router can be essential. If you intend to use the router in your home or office, a larger model with more features (like more Ethernet ports or external antenna connectors) may better suit your needs.

Rural Areas or Large Spaces: In areas with weak signals, consider a router with external antenna connections or multiple antennas built in to boost reception and extend coverage. 


Ethernet and USB Ports: Will you be connecting wired devices like computers, smart home appliances or IP cameras, or sharing storage? Make sure your router has all the Ethernet and USB ports you’ll need. 

Security Features: VPN support, firewall capabilities, and strong encryption are essential for business users and those concerned about privacy.

Management and Configuration: Some routers offer user-friendly apps or web interfaces for configuration and monitoring. Others allow remote management from a central location using network management software or cloud services.

Price: Cellular routers vary widely in price, so consider your budget and compare options within your price range. More expensive routers tend to have advanced features and better build quality, meaning increased reliability, but there are many budget-friendly options that may also suit your needs.

Additional Features: Some routers come with additional features such as failover capabilities, external storage support, and cloud management. Assess your specific needs to see if these features are important.

Which Brand is Right for You?

Brand Reputation: Popular cellular router brands include Peplink, Cradlepoint, Netgear, and Sierra Wireless. Established brands often offer better customer support, firmware updates, and have a proven track record of reliability.

Reviews: Industry reviews and user feedback can provide valuable insights into real-world performance, reliability, and any potential issues. For instance, you can see reviews of Peplink cellular routers for business use on

Future Proofing: If you plan to use your router for several years, consider its potential longevity in the rapidly evolving world of tech. You may want to check its compatibility with upcoming network standards or its software update frequency.

Choosing the Best Router

Ultimately, the best cellular router for you will depend on your unique needs, so evaluate your specific use case and requirements carefully before purchasing a router. At Peplink, we frequently help people determine which router is right for them, so feel free to reach out to us or one of our certified partners.

Supercharging transit connectivity

With the introduction of 5G to metropolises, public transportation companies like Cyprus Public Transport are modernizing their transportation systems, enhancing their onboarding experiences, and better monitoring and managing their fleets.

When Cyprus Public Transport decided to provide fast WiFi connectivity via 5G for their buses and bus stations, they knew it would be difficult to implement, as their fleet had over 200 buses. They needed a network that would support reliable connectivity plus a centralized management system so they could easily manage all their devices. They also wanted to use this network to generate a marketing platform to increase customer engagement. 

To bring their plans to fruition, Cyprus Public Transport deployed Peplink MAX Transit 5G routers to each vehicle to enable onboard WiFi connectivity. InControl, Peplink’s cloud-based management platform, was used to configure the 240 devices in buses and ease deployment and management of devices across all buses.  With simultaneous dual-band WiFi, MAX Transit 5G reduced WiFi congestion and interference, delivering reliable and uninterrupted internet to all passengers. Additionally, the support for custom and external captive portals enables Cyprus Public Transport to connect to an advertising server to generate insightful reports on user demographics and improve vehicle efficiencies.

Read more about WiFi on public transit

Seamless connections at sea

Sailing crew Vert Banquise planned to depart from France and sail North for three months, passing different regions along the way. The crew needed Internet access to stay in touch with their businesses while at sea. They required a network setup that would provide a connection, at least near the coast, so they wouldn’t have to leave their vessel.

Before their departure, Vert Banquise deployed a Balance 20X aboard their vessel to enable cellular connectivity. They installed a Peplink Dome with 5G capabilities at the masthead, adding another 5G channel to the setup. Since the Dome is about 20m high, a SIM Injector was connected and kept at an accessible location. The Dome made it possible to reach 5G signals while sailing by the coast, and the SIM Injector enabled the crew to use SIM cards for different regions. This setup helped keep their workflow fully operational and made it possible to achieve fast connectivity speeds when not too far from the coasts.

Read more about Internet while at sea

Supercharging New Years with unbreakable broadcasting connectivity 

Leading Philippine TV Network NET25 required an uninterrupted and smooth broadcasting stream for the highly anticipated New Year’s Countdown in the Philippines. In the Philippine Arena event venue, however, implementing a temporary MPLS connection wasn’t practical. In addition, the nearest cellular towers were highly congested due to the area being densely populated. A feasible and efficient solution for fast and reliable internet connectivity was needed to transmit the live broadcast over to NET25 headquarters without any interruptions.

Peplink devices were used to solve these challenges and create an extremely stable and reliable network. A Balance 580X, MAX HD2, and Starlink dish were installed in the arena, resolving the traffic congestion issues at the cell towers by utilizing multiple carriers and satellite connectivity. A Balance 380X was deployed in their headquarters master control room and a Balance 580 at the broadcasting center to create an unbreakable and versatile network, which enabled NET25 to create an unbreakable VPN tunnel and become the first major Philippine TV Network to implement IPNG (IP News Gathering) in a major event, with a flawless live stream that had extremely low latency and exceptional video quality. Additionally, Peplink SpeedFusion technologies allowed for virtually zero disruptions in the live stream and for higher bandwidth throughput.

Read more about global maritime Internet connectivity

Explore cellular routers from Peplink

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Additional topics to explore:

Your Best Guide to 5G Routers

Is a mobile router better than a hotspot?

What is the difference between an LTE and 4G Router?