There are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding which Pepwave router is best for you (or if you need one at all).
What type of cell plan(s) do you have?
I only have a phone plan.
If you only use a cell phone as a hotspot, and this is how you want to continue to operate then the Pepwave device is not what you are looking for. The Pepwave is for those that are looking for a dedicated cellular hotspot in their RV. If you are looking to boost your cell signal on your cell phone to then use as a hotspot then you may want to consider a WeBoost Reach Cell Booster. If you are willing to add a cell plan that can be used in a router (a hotspot plan), then you would be able to utilize a Pepwave router.
I have a phone plan and a tablet and/or data plan.
Although you would not be able to use the router with your phone service, you may be able to use your tablet plan. You would need to check the plan and be sure it can be used in a router. Some tablet plans are unlimited, but if you take them out of a tablet and put them in a router, you may lose the unlimited plan and it may become a hotspot plan with data caps. You would need to check with your carrier to confirm what your plan offers. Another great resource is the Mobile Internet Resource Center where they stay up-to-date with current cell plans and their limitations.
If you have a current cell plan that is designed for a router like a Jetpack or MiFi, then you would be able to use a Pepwave router without having to add any other plan. You would simply remove the SIM card from the hotspot and place it in the Pepwave. You may need a SIM card adapter in order for it to fit since Pepwave routers take full-size SIM cards, but this is very easy to do and we carry adapters at TechnoRV. You can also add a SIM card plan to your cellular account with you carrier, or you may consider adding a different carrier so that you have options as you travel. We carry a Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile plan with us.
Do you have more than one cell plan that can be used in a router?
I only have one cell plan that can be used in a router.
If you only have one cell plan to use in a router, then you do not need a dual-modem router like the Max Transit DUO. You would need to focus on the single modem routers like the Max BR1 Mini, Max BR1 MK2, or the Max Transit Cat 18.
I have 2 or more cell plans that can be used in a router.
If you have multiple cell plans that can be used in a router, then you can choose any of the routers we offer since they all have multiple SIM slots, although the single-modem routers (Max BR1 Mini, Max BR1 MK2, and the Max Transit Cat 18) only allow you to use one at a time. You may want to choose from one of the two dual-modem routers offered. They are the Max Transit DUO Cat 6 router and the Max Transit DUO Cat 12 router. They would both allow you to use two cell plans at the same time increasing your speeds over using a single plan at a time. The Pepwave can bond together two different cell plans to give you better speeds.
Do you want to be able to access campground WiFi through your Pepwave router?
I do not use campground WiFi.
All of the Pepwave routers have the ability to connect to campground WiFi except the Max BR1 Mini. If you are looking for a single modem unit that does not offer the ability to connect to Campground WiFi then the Max BR1 Mini is a great choice at $399.00.
I do want to be able to use campground WiFi using the Pepwave router.
If you want a router that allows you to access campground WiFi (referred to as WiFi as WAN), then you may not want the Max BR1 Mini. Out of the box, it does not offer WiFi as WAN which means you cannot use it to connect to campground internet. You are however able to purchase a $100 license to add 2.4 GHz WiFi as WAN. Be aware though that even with the license, you will not have access to 5GHz WiFi.
Except for the Max BR1 Mini, all other Pepwave routers from TechnoRV offer WiFi as WAN included in the price which means they can be used to access campground WiFi using 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I think having the ability to connect to a local WiFi access point is a great option to have to reduce the data load on your cell plans.
What is the price range you are comfortable with?
I want the improvement a router gives over a mobile hotspot, but I do not want to spend a lot.
If you are wanting to see an improvement over your current hotspot without spending tons, you should consider the single-modem Pepwave Max BR1 routers that range from $399 to $599.
The Pepwave Max BR1 Mini is $399 and has a Cat 6 LTE-Advanced cellular modem, but it does not support campground WiFi out of the box. You can spend another $100 to unlock that feature making the router $499, but if you only want to use a cellular connection, it is a great option at $399. (Max theoretical speeds: 300 Mbps down / 50 Mbps up)
The Pepwave Max BR1 MK2 is $599 and has a Cat 6 LTE-Advanced cellular modem that has 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi as WAN (campground WiFi) out of the box. Even if you don’t think you will use WiFi, you still have the ability to with the BR1 MK2. (Max theoretical speeds: 300 Mbps down / 50 Mbps up)
I don’t mind spending a bit more for more bandwidth and faster speeds.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more, then you have a couple of options:
The Max Transit Cat 18 at $749 offers the fastest speeds available at an equally impressive price point. It is a single modem router so you will only be able to use one SIM card at a time, however even with the limitation of one SIM card, it is still the fastest router due to the increase in bands used and the number of antennas used. (Max theoretical speeds: 1.2 Gbps down / 150 Mbps up)
The Max Transit DUO Cat 6 at $799 offers great speeds using 2 cell plans at the same time increasing your bandwidth which is great when multiple devices are using the router. If you don’t have 2 cell plans to use, you would be better off getting the faster Max Transit Cat 18 for $50 less. (Max theoretical speeds: 300 Mbps down / 50 Mbps up). There are other benefits to using a dual modem that we discuss in other articles.
Give me the best!
If cost is not an issue when it relates to staying connected, then you have a couple of options.If you only have one cell plan or only want to use one cell plan at a time, then the Max Transit Cat 18 at $749 is still your best option. It has the fastest speeds. (Max theoretical speeds: 1.2 Gbps down / 150 Mbps up)
If you have 2 cell plans and want to be able to use them at the same time for increased speeds, then you could get a Max Transit DUO Cat 12 for $999. It also has faster speeds and better bandwidth due to being able to access 2 towers at the same time. (Max theoretical speeds: 600 Mbps down / 100 Mbps up)
All of the Pepwave routers at TechnoRV work best when you use them with a roof-mounted antenna. We highly suggest that you add our recommended antenna on the product page when you choose a router. These are antennas designed to be permanently roof-mounted. All of the Pepwave routers will work without a roof-mounted antenna, but you will receive much higher speeds and a better experience when you use one.
I am not great at technology, but I want a Pepwave router. How do I get help if I need it when setting the device up or if I run into problems?
When you buy from TechnoRV, you receive our exclusive Pepwave Learning Series through email which contains everything you need to know to get your new Pepwave router setup and running including videos and FAQs. If you need additional help after using the Learning Series, don’t worry! We offer free phone, email, and chat support on Pepwave and all of our products Monday through Friday 9:00 - 4:30 CST. We will be sure you are successful with the products you buy from us.
If you still need help deciding which Pepwave cellular router is right for you then email us at email@example.com, or you can chat with us from our website at technorv.com, Monday - Friday, or you can call us at 866-324-7915, Monday - Friday.
You can also watch our Pepwave Overview Video and Pepwave Comparison Video to help you decide what Pepwave best meets your needs. Click here to access our entire playlist of Pepwave Cellular Router videos.