Wi-Fi Router Shares Cellular Broadband
At a Glance
New EVDO networks from Verizon and Sprint support broadband-speed Internet access in ever-expanding locations, but service plans don't come cheap. And if your travel partners need Net access, too, the expenses for multiple plans can mount quickly.
Kyocera's $299 KR1 Mobile Router offers a clever alternative. Developed in partnership with D-Link, the KR1 is a Wi-Fi router that allows multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices to share broadband access provided by a single EVDO PC Card.
I popped a Kyocera EVDO PC Card for Verizon Wireless's BroadbandAccess service into a slot on the back of a shipping router, ran the supplied ethernet cable between the router and a laptop, and completed a browser-based setup wizard. After that, I could easily connect a Wi-Fi-enabled notebook to the KR1 network--but only if I hadn't used the wizard to add encryption, since its arcane settings required changing a Windows default for Wi-Fi adapter security. Fortunately, you can adjust the router's encryption settings through the Web browser interface. Net access via the KR1 network felt like DSL and was similar to working with the EVDO card connected directly to the laptop.
One caveat: The product has a USB port for use with an EVDO phone, but this function requires carrier support that neither Sprint nor Verizon as yet provides.
Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router
A money-saving way for a team of mobile workers to share a single EVDO broadband account.
Price when reviewed: $299
Current prices (if available)