The new MBR624GU wireless broadband router that Netgear showcased at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has the ability to connect, via a USB port to 3G USB modems.
This, in effect, allows up to four users (although switches can be daisy chained) plug into the router's four ports to use a single wireless USB dongle to access the net and more can connect to use the resource wirelessly.
Netgear has been smart enoigh to include a bandwidth usage tracking feature that will alert the user if the bandwidth cap is reached.
The device supports SPI, intrusion logging and reporting, denial-of-service (DoS) protection, up to five IPsec VPN endpoints, NAT and comes with energy saving features but alas no line bonding features.
The MBR624GU can also be used on the road thanks to an optional car power adaptor and can automatically detect compatible USB modems without prior configuration but it does not support 802.11n protocol and has no WAN port should you want to connect other broadband modems.
Netgear has said that the broadband router will be available in the first quarter of 2009 for as little as £90 or $130.
T-Mobile has a slightly similar Share Dock device but is only available through the mobile network provider. Three also has the Huawei D100 wireless router but is compatible only with Huawei mobile broadband dongles.
Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links
Three provides a broadband dongle with a 3.6mbps speed and 15GB worth of data allowance for £30 per month. Sounds expensive although you have to bear in mind that it doesn't include BT's line rental.
CES 2009: Netgear turns 3G dongle into portable Wi-Fi hotspot