Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Sharing Dock

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Sharing Dock R101I noticed the Vodafone Mobile Broadband Sharing Dock R101 in a Vodafone store in Sydney. This is a router which allows one USB wireless broadband device to be shared by several computers using WiFi and Ethernet. It appears to be similar to the Huawei D100 3G Router (which I have) and most likely is also made by Huawei.

The R101 gets as a good review on Whirlpool and reported to be only $59. I could find little information about the R101 on Vodafone's Austrlaian web site, but there is a
Quick Start Guide and Advanced Configuration Guide on the UK Vodafone site.

Like the D100, the unit has a socket for a Huawei USB wireless modem. The router holds the password and configuration for the wireless account, so the computers connected by WiFi or Ethernet do not require any special configuration. You can share broadband access without worrying about someone having your mobile broadband password. Also you can simply plug in an Ethernet device, such as a Tivo, or plug a low cost Ethernet switch in and share the connection between several devices.

One disadvantage of the R101 compared to the D100 is the vulnerability of the USB modem. The D100 has a rotating socket for the USB modem, allowing it to be held securely in the body of the router and making it effectively one unit. The R101 has the USB modem sticking up, where it could be damaged or removed by a curious passer-by.

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