Today, Cradlepoint released two new routers in its new series of NetBSD-based routers. The new routers are the CBR400 and CBR450 which are very similar except for the CBR400 featuring Wi-Fi while the CBR450 does not.
The CBR400 is a direct replacement for the CTR500. As such, it features the same USB port and ExpressCard slot along with a single ethernet port. Cradlepoint lists the major features as:
- Provides up to secure 16 WiFi connections at a time
- Two WiFi Networks: one private for the owner, one public for guest connections
- WiFi as WAN: gives you the ability to use an existing WiFi source for Internet connectivity and rebroadcast as a secure network
- Supports both WiFi-enabled and Ethernet-enabled devices
- 802.11 N WiFi with 2x2 MIMO antennas for enhanced performance and coverage
- Built-in VPN Terminiation allows for secure connectivity to corporate servers
- Ability to detect an Internet outage and switch to the wireless 3G/4G Internet, allowing critical business applications to run 24x7
- Modem Health Management monitors connectivity of connected modems, providing recovery methods to reset or power-cycle
The biggest change from the CTR500 is the new BSD-based firmware and web interface. Along with this change comes much improved 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi which is a major upgrade from the CTR500’s 802.11b/g. In addition, Wi-Fi as WAN and dual SSIDs are great new features.
The reason I have continued to use my CTR500 over the CTR35 is that the CTR500 features signal strength meter which is notably missing from the CTR35. In every other way I like the CTR35 better than the CTR500. Now the CBR400 fills this slot perfectly. I will be reviewing the CBR400 shortly.
The CBR450 essentially mirrors the majority of features in the CBR400 but adds some additional features. The main difference between the two at first glance is that the CBR450 lacks Wi-Fi. Those of you who have ever worked with a company to achieve PCI compliance will appreciate no Wi-Fi on the CBR450.
This extra level of security is often needed in the financial industry or in government or other high-security situations. Another nice touch for the CBR450 is that it operates in either “Bridge” or “Router” mode. Essentially, bridge mode allows the router to just send all traffic directly through to the device connected through ethernet which basically bypasses the CBR450 as a router. This bridge mode essentially removes the use case for the older CBA250. The router mode operates just like a normal router by providing a private network for your computer to connect to with ethernet while using a USB or ExpressCard modem as the Internet connection.
I am glad to see CradlePoint tapping into this potentially lucrative sector of the market with a very flexible device that can fill the role of a router or bridge.