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Reviews

Zoom 4501 3G router review

We review the Zoom 4501 wireless router to see if this budget product offers benefits that usually live outside such price points.

Zoom 4501 3G router
Price
£39

Zoom's budget 4501 wireless router can obtain its internet connection from either a 3G modem connected to its USB port or via a standard Ethernet WAN connection.

Although the 4501 uses 802.11n technology, it isn't a true N router, as it has just a single antenna, a theoretical maximum throughput of 150Mbps and no support for channel bonding. Despite this, the router's transfer speeds were a respectable 46.6Mbps at one metre and 21Mbps at 10. However, its limitations showed in our 20 metre test, during which it was unable to maintain a connection.

The 4501 also has just two 10/100 Ethernet ports, which are by default configured as one WAN and one LAN port.Configuration is easy thanks to a step-by-step wizard built into the router's web interface.

To use the 4501 with your 3G mobile broadband connection, you'll to obtain the correct account settings from your mobile broadband provider. In the case of most UK providers, you'll need to fill APN, Dialed Number (usually *99#), account and password details (if your provider uses these), while leaving the rest blank. You're also prompted to secure your router's wireless signal - the 4501 supports the usual range of 64- and 128-bit WEP, WPA, and WPA2 authentication. The router also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), which allows you to create a secure wireless connection simply by pressing a button on both the router and the client device.

Zoom 4501 3G router

You'll have to obtain the required settings for your mobile broadband provider before you can connect.

Once you've completed the configuration process, you'll get to check and confirm your settings and, if you've opted for a 3G net connection, give the router permission to use the Ethernet WAN port as a second LAN port. This is handy if you wish to connect more than one wired Ethernet device.

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