Do you need a router with a SIM card to take with you on vacation, to ensure that you have an alternative method of connection in case the fiber network goes down, or simply because you want the most versatility for your home network? We analyze the strengths of these routers, and what you should look for and we recommend a selection of them.
Having a router with the option to insert SIM cards allows you to expand the range of possibilities in the Internet connection, it also offers much more security. They are not common devices, but they are not worth much more than “ordinary” routers. Are you looking for one? Let’s see everything you need to know to acquire it.
Important aspects to consider before purchasing a router with SIM
Devices that combine routers, access points, and modems for mobile networks have a very wide price range: you should consider them if you are going to use mobile connections for long periods. If you need it on an occasional basis (a couple of weeks of vacation, for example), we recommend that you create an access point on your phone (both on your phone and a second mobile).
As you can see, the ballot is often solved by relying on the connection-sharing capabilities of smartphones. Routers with a SIM card are very useful if you have a wireless security system and you want the possibility of an alert to never remain, for example: if the cable network goes down, the mobile connection will come into operation (it is advisable to connect the router to a UPS in case the mains power is also disconnected).
With the fiber offered in the second residence, it is not so worthwhile to set up a network over mobile Internet, although you could also use the router for that. It is even possible to take advantage of unlimited rates; with the risk of the operator cutting off the service for improper use, inserting the SIM into a router is not usually supported.
Operators do not usually authorize the use of SIM routers for their rates, especially in the case of unlimited rates. Check that the card you are going to use with the router has no limitations.
Once the possible uses of routers with mobile connectivity have been put on the table, let’s see what you have to look at before purchasing one of these domestic devices.
- Make sure you have good coverage in the place where you are going to put the router. Before buying anything, check with your mobile that you have sufficient mobile coverage in the place and that the download, upload, and latency are adequate.
- Check that the router is compatible with the bands used by the operators. In general, there are usually no problems in this aspect (at least if you buy the router in a store in the country where you are going to use it), but it is worth making sure. Look at the compatible frequencies and what mobile networks it supports (3G, 4G, 4G+, 5G…).
- Routers with 5G mobile connectivity are not yet recommended. Compatibility with different networks is important: you should look for a router that has, at least, support for 4G networks (ideally, it has 4G+). The ones that offer 5G (not to be confused with the 5GHz Wi-Fi band) are still expensive and not worth it unless you think long-term.
- Evaluate if you need a generic router with SIM or one compatible only with mobile networks. We recommend that you buy a device that offers you the maximum compatibility with networks: apart from space for SIM, that also enjoys WAN (including built-in ONT). Of course, the more complete the more expensive: if the only thing you are going to use is our mobile networks, you are not going to make a good router profitable.
- WAN separate from LAN ports. Continuing with the maximum compatibility of connections, the more ports the router has, the better. And, preferably, that the WAN port is separated from the ethernet.
- Verify that the range of the network will cover your address. A small apartment will surely not have a problem, but everything changes if you are going to use the 4G router to bring WiFi to a townhouse (especially if the walls are thick). Make sure your router has dual-band Wi-Fi (ideally Wi-Fi 6 compatible), offers a wide range of use, and has enough ethernet ports (running a cable is often easier than fighting Wi-Fi). If the extension to be covered is wide, you may need WiFi repeaters.
Once the main requirements have been put on the table, let’s see what are, in our opinion, some of the best routers with a SIM card that can currently be purchased.
It is the most basic, also the cheapest you can find. What do you need a router to connect a few devices via WiFi? With this Huawei USB, compatible with 4G LTE networks, you have more than enough.
The HUAWEI E8372h-320 allows you to offer a connection without configuration after inserting a SIM from most operators (it is free). It plugs into a USB port and not only provides Internet to your computer, but it also becomes an access point to connect up to 16 devices. For download speeds of up to 150 Mb/s.
We go up a notch in terms of performance with a router with a SIM card that becomes a portable access point (MiFi). The advantage of this type of device is that it provides WIFi coverage autonomously since it has its battery: insert a card and you will be providing a network for up to 10 devices.
The TP-Link M7350 is a router with a 2,000 mAh battery (up to 8 hours of connection) that offers download speeds of 150 Mb/s under 4G LTE networks. It has an informative screen and an app with which to configure the parameters.
“Traditional” style router for mobile networks
What are you looking for a device with which to bring the internet to your second home permanently? Then you need a more “traditional” router: with its ethernet ports, greater network range, and with the capacity to connect dozens of devices (up to 32).
The TP-Link TL-MR6400 router is a very good option for its price: for just over 60 euros you have a complete network solution suitable for 4G mobile networks. It has four LAN ports (with WAN included), it includes two antennas, the download speed is up to 300 Mb/s and it offers advanced network tools; such as firewalls or parental controls.
High capacity router and compatible with 4G
The Asus RT-AC68U that we are proposing offers a great leap in performance, both in terms of WiFi network capabilities and its number of ports (4 ethernets, 1 WAN, 2 USB 3.0…). Wide signal range and, as a downside, it does not include compatibility with mobile networks as standard. Yes, you can connect a USB dongle (like the Huawei one we mentioned) to provide up to 4G to the router.
This is a very complete solution if what you need is a high-quality all-terrain router. The Asus RT-AC68U offers a great WiFi range, has a huge number of configurations, is very secure, and can even mesh with other Asus routers. You need, we emphasize, the 4G modem.
A complete router with 4G included
We finish off our recommendations with one of the most complete routers you can find with 4G LTE already included: the ASUS 4G-AX56. It is indicated to use mobile networks in case of need, not as the only method of connection.
This router is perfectly suitable for providing high-speed Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house. A multitude of different configurations, high levels of customization, all the security that Asus offers, four LAN ports, one WAN, and the relevant socket for the SIM card.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.