Huawei E5770 Review - The pro standard - Independent review

I needed to get internet access to a client where their main ADSL line went down for more than 48hours. I have always had this urge to purchase one of these MiFi devices, even if it was for travel - But the situation forced a more technical an advanced requirement onto me.

**Genuine, unpaid or subsidised review

Overview

After lots of searching online and comparing between TPLink, Belkin and other makes, Huawei kept steady on the top of my list.

Technical specification was my priority but the overall design is very fashionable and the build quality is very solid.

It is marketed as a mobile 4G/LTE MiFi device, which can also charge your device, doubling as a power bank.

My top priority was Ethernet. I needed to plug something into the the LAN and provide DHCP services and a reliable internet connection (as reliable as the signal is in the area that is)



Requirements

My main concern was Ethernet. And with a budget of £115 this device was the cheapest option offering Ethernet from the range (and the only Huawei device that has Ethernet)

My second requirement was to be able to use it as a genuine MiFi device while travelling.

A nice to have was having 4G/LTE capabilities.

The common denominator between all these devices was WiFi and a battery pack of some sort.

Results


I got a EE sim card, inserted the sim card into the space provided and powered on the device.

With Zero-Configuration I had 4G access via WiFi instantly, running on 37% battery and full signal.

The downside is that the WiFi is 20mbps - Maybe not so terrible if all you need is to get emails, use Google Maps and download some podcasts while on the go. To be honest, the business I needed to get this installed into only had 8mbs ADSL.. so a whopping 220% speed increase any way.

So out of the box - Zero Configuration - Brilliant!

Logging into the control panel provided by a web GUI, a pretty decent, slick and fast GUI too I got to the "Advanced" section of configurations. This provided me with the options to change the SSID, set 4G/3G/2G speeds, change passwords, configure APN profiles and a SMS send and receive page.

But I was after Ethernet, so I could use this as a drop in router. To my surprise I found that this device could be used as a complete router replacement, if you use DSL. The Ethernet page allows you to set up PPPoA, PPPoE and all that jazz you would expect, and provide WiFi access without a sim card. Very cool, but I wanted LAN only. Low and behold, that option was there. I changed it to LAN only, unplugged my PC from my network and direct into the Huawei and within 20 seconds I had 4G internet access on my PC. The Ethernet is 100mb so I did a speed test and got 50 Mbps download speeds. Brilliant, if I where in a larger city or better coverage I can easily get 100 Mbps with EE.

Yea.. pretty much in 5 minutes I got this running the way I needed, as a drop in replacement router.

Some other features allow for this device to work as a WiFi extender. Not sure how that works as I dont need it, but I would expect it to work without a simcard to extend an existing WiFi connection for better coverage. Cannot comment on that.

Quirky things

You can't disable WiFi - But who cares, its a core feature and doesn't matter. It supports WPS too if that is what you are into.

It has a SD card slot. Apparently plugin this device into a PC should show up a storage device. Well, I could not get it to work on my Windows machine. I did see a small 5MB virtual cd-rom show up with some install files. I installed it and the virtual cd-rom disappeared. All that happens now, when I plug it in to my PC - It opens the browsers the dashboard of the device. You can store files using the Web GUI and I tested that and it works. Not a critical requirement but its nice to have if you want to store something, like a backup of some sorts, maybe some zip file with photos while travelling?

As mentioned before, this MiFi doubles up as a power bank. But the router has to be powered on for it to charge your other device. But you can easily turn off mobile data to conserve battery if you are desperete to listen to those last few minutes of your podcast or take some photos at a friends wedding.

Other goodies

The fashionable side of it, incorporates this belt strap, that is actually a USB cable. You can use it to charge the device from any USB port, or flip it around and charge your Phone.

Apparently you can plug a flash drive into the USB port for extra storage, another LAN or WiFI device. But I think only specific ones work for that.

The OLED screen display all the information you need. You can set your data limit, and it shows it on the screen. You can cycle the options pressing the power button, between statistics, IP address, WiFi password and battery.

2nd candidate

The TP-Link TL-MR3020 is a cost efficient alternative to the E5770 offering Ethernet port. But it lacks a battery so needs to be powered via a micro USB cable to be usable.

If you not interested in the portability then at the price of £35 it blows the E5770 away compared on price.

The other down side is that you must use a TP-LINK USB SIM Modem which you plug into the USB side. Overall, the price is still better than the E5770 with the same functionality but not as stylish as the E5770 (other SIM Dongles may be supported though)




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