Before we get into Cradlepoint routers, lets talk cellular connectivity in general. Cellular or LTE Routers have always been vital instruments for wireless connectivity. Their job is to direct, or route, data between one network and another. Without them, few computers would be able to access the internet.
Computer usage has exploded in the last few decades, and today, almost every business in North America has at least one. As a result, there are many router manufacturers competing for your business. If you don't know how they work and how to get the most out of them, they can all seem the same.
Today, we're here to talk about Cradlepoint, a consistently praised router developer based in Boise, Idaho. Customers love their devices because of their reliability and versatility. Whether you need internet at home, at work, on the road, or anywhere in between, Cradlepoint has a solution for you.
If you're trying to understand your Cradlepoint wireless router or decide which one is right for you, keep reading to learn the advantages and disadvantages of Cradlepoint's routers and how to get them up and running.
How Does a Cradlepoint Router Work?
Cradlepoint has a few unique quirks that makes it stand out, and these aren't just from the routers themselves. Their software is just as important as the hardware in creating the most adaptable and convenient system for users. Let's go over a few things you can expect from Cradlepoint, along with some tips on how to set up your Cradlepoint router.
One of the main draws of a Cradlepoint product is the company's NetCloud software. This all-in-one, subscription-based service makes it easy to set up, manage, and maintain your devices. Cradlepoint NetCloud offers a number of other benefits, including but not limited to:
- 24/7 support
- Lifecycle product warranty
- On-demand training for your devices
- Zero Trust network security
- Edge security strategies
- 5G network slicing
Applications of a Cradlepoint Router
Cradlepoint's routers are designed to provide wireless WAN network connectivity in a number of situations. You'll find plenty of the fixed routers that you're probably familiar with, but the company offers more flexible models as well. These are meant for use in vehicles, home offices, and rural areas. In addition, many Cradlepoint routers have strong internet of things (IoT) compatibility, working with all kinds of endpoints. No matter your needs, Cradlepoint can offer you the same standard of high-speed connectivity.
Configuration and Installation
Before you can use your router, you must first set it up properly. If you're having trouble with this, you can visit Cradlepoint.com and find a Quick Start Guide for your device. This index has links to Quick Start Guides for every router and adapter Cradlepoint has (as well as NetCloud). Once you click on your model, simply follow the instructions, and you'll be configured before long.
Cradlepoint Router Set Up and Log In
Now that your router is configured, it's time to set it up. You can access your device's set up pages through the NetCloud manager or by IP address. The NetCloud manager is the preferred method, as you can place your device in a group that automatically shares configuration settings. Click here for a more detailed explanation of how to log into your Cradlepoint router along with troubleshooting suggestions.
After you follow the above steps, your Cradlepoint router should be ready for deployment. If you can connect to the internet, you're good to go! We strongly recommend connecting your device to NetCloud to make the process of managing it easier.
As with any router, you're likely to experience some technical hiccups throughout its lifespan. To prevent most of these networking issues, you should regularly check to make sure your antennas are connected, your SIMs are correctly inserted, and your NetCloud is up to date. If you're still having trouble, this article has links to guides that help resolve some more specific problems you may encounter. If all else fails, Cradlepoint's customer service has a good reputation, so reach out and see what they can do to resolve your Cradlepoint router problems.
Sometimes, you might need to know the nitty-gritty details of your router. If you need information like this, you can find it in Novotech's database. Simply search for your Cradlepoint router to find data and specifications for it. You can also find the data sheet under "Downloads." Here's an example for the L950.
How Do You Access Your Cradlepoint Router Remotely?
The primary and recommended way to access Cradlepoint routers remotely is via its NCM Remote Connect menu. To enable this:
- Log into your router's NCOS page.
- Click SYSTEM.
- Click Administration.
- Click Remote Admin.
- Check the "Allow Remote Web Administration" box.
- Take note of the "HTTP Port" or "Secure HTTPS Port" number.
- Click Save.
- Click OK.
Alternatively, you can achieve remote access through your web browser. To do this, go to its access bar and enter [protocol][IP address]:[port number].
- [protocol] is the aforementioned HTTP or HTTPS number.
- [IP address] is provided by your carrier.
- [port number] is the same number that you selected during configuration of remote management.
The full address might look like this: https://18.104.22.168:8443. The page that loads will look just like it does with the primary method.
What Carriers Does Cradlepoint Router Work With?
Cradlepoint routers work with every major carrier in the US and Canada. This includes Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. The flexibility of Cradlepoint doesn't stop there — some models are configured to work with any carrier anywhere in the world. If you're looking for a router that will remain usable even when you switch carriers or move abroad, Cradlepoint is one of your best options.
How Much Does a Cradlepoint Router Cost?
Cradlepoint has a large lineup that ranges from cheap to high-end. Here's a general overview of what you can expect to pay for each model:
- Least expensive: IBR200 Router, IBR600C-150M-D Router, L950 Series LTE Adapter
- Cheap: E100 Enterprise Router, COR IBR900-1200M-B Gigabit-Class Mobile Router
- Average: W2005 Series 5G Wideband Adapter, W1850 Series 5G Wideband Adapter, FOR IBR1700 Gigabit-Class LTE Router
- Higher than average: R1900 Series 5G Ruggedized Router, E3000 Series 5G Router with WiFi, CR4250 5G Branch Performance Router
- Most expensive: E300 5G LTE Branch Router, W4005 Series 5G Wideband Adapter
Pricier doesn't always mean better, especially with such a wide selection. We recommend starting at the lowest tier and trying to find a router that fits your needs. Keep going up the ladder under you find the perfect router.
Are Cradlepoint Routers Good and Reliable?
Cradlepoint routers earn good reviews on a regular basis. In fact, user reviews on gartner.com average to an impressive 4.5 out of 5. Users on trustradius.com have a favorable opinion of them as well.
According to these reviews, one of the best points of a Cradlepoint router is its reliability. This applies to both network connectivity and ruggedness (hardware durability). Initial setup, however, received mixed reviews. While some praised their router's ease of installation, others found it complicated and had to use a paid management portal. Some customers wished that firmware downloads were faster or more frequent. Still, most users of Cradlepoint products praise them for their reliability, value, and ease of data management with Cradlepoint's NetCloud service.
You'll probably have some questions when you're buying or using your router. Let's go over some issues you're likely to face.
What Do You Do if Your Cradlepoint Router Wi-Fi Isn't Working?
In addition to the usual steps (check for power, unplug and plug back in, etc.), you can check the status of your modem through your router's NCOS page. Under the Internet tab, click on the Connection Manager to check the state of your modem. It will tell you if it's connected, is trying to connect, or has some other issue. Your device might not be properly configured or activated, or you might be lacking a carrier or SIM. If so, this page will let you know how to handle each kind of error. Remember, Cradlepoint's support team is always there to help, so if you're unsure how to connect to your Cradlepoint router, don't hesitate to call them if you need assistance.
What Do Cradlepoint Router Lights Mean?
The color of the LED lights on your Cradlepoint router tell you the status of its functions. This includes WAN, Wi-Fi, modem, signal, and, of course, your modem's power. Typically, green or blue lights mean your router is on and working as intended, while amber or red lights indicate a problem. A flashing green light means your modem is connecting, but flashing lights of any other color are alerting you to an issue. For a comprehensive guide, visit this page.
What Network Does Cradlepoint Use?
Cradlepoint cellular routers use 5G and LTE networks. Between the two, 5G is much faster and has a greater capacity, making it the more appealing choice. However, it's still a relatively new technology, so it hasn't spread everywhere yet. For this reason, a Cradlepoint LTE router might be the better choice if your devices don't use 5G. Many of Cradlepoint's routers are compatible with both LTE and 5G, so if you're in the process of upgrading, this is the most flexible option.
What Is the Best Router for Rural Areas?
That depends on whether you need a router for your home or business. If you want a solid router that will work in the most rural residential areas, the Cradlepoint E100 is the superior choice. However, if you need a router for commercial applications, the 5G capabilities of the Cradlepoint E3000 make it the best option available. The wide range of these models makes them reliable allies, even in the most remote locations.
What Is the Best Cradlepoint Router?
Again, this depends wholly on your needs and how you plan to use your router. There are four types of routers, each with a different application:
- Fixed: This type of router stays in one place and connects local devices to the internet. This makes it ideal for home networks, schools, and some businesses. Fixed Cradlepoint routers include the E300, E3000, and CR4250.
- Mobile: Cradlepoint's mobile routers are meant for use in vehicles, keeping you connected wherever you go. They have a sturdy design to endure life on the road. Families and businesses alike will find these helpful, and emergency services often consider them essential. If this sounds like you, look for the R2100, R1900, IBR1700, and IBR900 models.
- IoT: Cradlepoint also has a lineup of routers that support IoT deployments. Large networks in particular will enjoy a consistent connection to the internet of things. Cradlepoint's IBR200, IBR600C, IBR900, and R500-PLTE routers get the job done in this regard.
- Remote: If you work from home or travel a lot, you'll get a lot of mileage out of the E100 and E102 routers. These two Cradlepoint models are designed to connect your home office to a corporate network. This lets you work alongside your company as if you were right there — and gives your boss one less reason to force you back into the office.
Ensure Secure Connectivity With Cradlepoint
If you're looking to set up a safe, secure, and effective network that operates over a wide range, then you can't go wrong with Cradlepoint. With its all-in-one NetCloud software and strategic router design, Cradlepoint's products are built to connect everyone from all walks of life.
But that doesn't mean you can grab just any kind of Cradlepoint router. Each is built with a different purpose, so you need to make sure the one you choose suits your needs. Your work environment, 5G compatibility, and budget are all things to consider.
Keeping track of all these factors can feel overwhelming, but Novotech is here to help. As one of North America's largest IoT distributors, we know a thing or two about routers. If you're ever in doubt, help yourself to our many articles meant to educate you on hardware, software, and up-and-coming trends. Once you've decided which Cradlepoint router is right for you, take a look at our selection of Cradlepoint routers, gateways, and more.
Ready to connect with Cradlepoint? Check out Novotech's selection today!