Netgear's wireless router goes mobile

Netgear unveils its mobile wireless router at CES 2009.

Netgear's mobile router at CES 2009. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

D-Link did this a while ago by making its DIR-825 router support USB 3G mobile modems, and today at CES, Netgear introduced its 3G-only mobile router, the MBR624GU.

The router has a compact form factor and can be used only with USB 3G modems. It is compatible with most 3G modems on the market. It will not, however, work with other DSL or cable modems like most regular wireless routers do.

The MBR624GU mobile router doesn't have a WAN network port to support regular broadband modems. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

It's rather disappointing that the MBR624GU doesn't support Draft N but instead stays with the 802.11g standard speed, which caps at 54Mbps. While this speed is already faster than the cell data speed that most cell carriers can offer, data exchanging between computers within a wireless network would benefit from the much faster wireless-N speed.

Other than that, the MBR624GU shares a long list of networking features with other Netgear routers such as Wi-Fi Protected Setup, double firewall, VPN pass-through and the option to turn the Wi-Fi on/off with a button. The router supports the highest level of Wi-Fi and WPA security encryption. It will also work with most universal car-power adapters.

This seems like a great router for those who are on the go and need to share their mobile cellular data plans with others. If you are looking for a router that can handle both mobile USB modems and regular broadband modems, however, I would recommend the D-Link DIR-825.

The 3G Mobile Broadband Wireless Router MBR624GU will be available in the first quarter of 2009 with the estimated price of $129.

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