For a couple of months now, I’ve been completely dependent on pocket WiFis (Huawei E587 & ZTE MF80) for my internet access in my new condo. Then, this Huawei B683 arrived and saved the day.
The B683 is basically a 3G router, much like the SmartBro Share-it from years ago. Prior to this, I used a similar set-up using a Sapido router hooked up to a Rocket Plug-it giving me up to HSPA+ connectivity.
The Huawei B683 removes the hassle of plugging a USB dongle and replaces it with a built-in SIM card slot. Also, when I’m at home, I switch to this device to save battery cycles on my pocket WiFi which I used all day on the road.
To share internet, you can activate WiFi 802.11 b/g/n or use any of the 4 LAN ports at the back. That means you can also plug this to any of your internet devices that does not have a built-in wireless connection.
There’s a USB 2.0 port in there as well so you can plug in an external HDD as network storage or you can also use a network printer in here (via Samba server).
By default, the router uses its built-in antenna but if you need a stronger cellular signal in your area, you can use an external antenna as well.
You will need to plug it to the wall socket for power since there’s no battery here.
The Huawei B683 supports HSPA+ networks and can support download speeds of up to 28.8Mbps.
Huawei B683 specs:
HSPA+ 28.8Mbps downlink, 5.76Mbps uplink
UMTS & HSDPA 850/900/2100MHz
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
1 x SIM card slot
4 x LAN ports
1 x USB 2.0 port
Of course, actual results on the ground will be different and dependent on your telco.
So we did a number of speedtests in the last 2 weeks and got these results as the most appealing ones (using a Smart Bro Plan 999).
The tests were done using SpeedTest.net with SmartBro GreenHills as the test server. As expected, the best results we got was during off peak hours (around 3AM) but during peak hours, we only get between 0.5 to 1.5Mbps.
While it does not have the portability of the pocket WiFi, the Huawei B683 has the advantage of built-in LAN ports (where I hook up my media players and NAS) and support for more WiFi clients (255 to be exact).
The B683 is being sold for Php7,980 by Hot Gadgets (see listing here).