This review was originally posted June 13, 2009.
Cradlepoint CTR-350 Cellular Travel Router (Black)
I got the Cradlepoint Travel Router (Black) so I could finally have a wireless network in my house. My son wanted to play his friends on his Nintendo DS via Wi-Fi connection, I wanted both of my computers to have wireless access via my Sprint Aircard 595U, and I wanted to network my printer. This little unit is perfect for the job.
The initial setup is very easy. I just plug in and asks for a password and there is a wizard to set the security level. It was a little frustrating at first when some things didn’t work, but it was not the fault of the router. Rather, the other computer and the Nintendo DS did not support WPA2 that I had configured the router to. Nintendo DS accepted WEP and my other computer would only do WPA. I can choose to use WEP or WPA with this router, if I want to make it compatible with my other devices.
My printer gave me the biggest headache. Again, not the fault of the router. I just didn’t know how to set it up correctly. It was recognized by the network computers, but it wouldn’t print. I had to make sure the computer was set to “online” and reboot the printer. I thought at first the WAN port did not accept printers, as I’ve read that in other forums. Apparently, that was dated information. My CTR-350 came with updated firmware that does allow the Ethernet port to accept LAN connections. That was my biggest concern and worry when deciding to buy this. I am very happy I can use that port.
My computers are not next to each other. One sits in my office and the other sits in the kitchen about two large rooms away. The signal is very strong between the rooms. For some reason, maybe the size of the router, I just thought it would be a little flimsy in the signal department. It’s hefty enough to provide signal in my house.
THINGS I LEARNED
- watch the security level you set the router to and make sure it matches with the devices you are connecting.
- CTR-350 has an Ethernet port that will connect to printers and computers. It has WAN/LAN connectivity.
- if you connect a printer, make sure the printer is set to “online”!
WHY I LIKE CTR-350
- it’s small and compact.
- it will network my printer via Ethernet cable.
- it doesn’t need batteries (it needs to be plugged it).
- I can use it to network up to 16 other users.
- it has WPA2 security.
- it is easy to set up.
WHAT I’D LIKE IMPROVED
Nothing. It’s way perfect.
This router would be so easy to take along with me on the road, but I’m using it for home networking. It’s great for that, too. If you need more than one Ethernet port, you’ll need something else. Otherwise, this little one’s a terrific pick!
UPDATE: I still love this thing. It take it everywhere with me and we use it at home, too. Just one improvement I found I’d like: it would be nice to have it wireless. Next time, I’ll try the Cradlepoint PHS300.