4G/LTE Modem Recommendations?

And since I can’t afford just for testing, a reliable one for 4g?

market of LTE devices is shrinking fast, LTE back then had a few USB sticks for around 30-50€ to offer:

Huawei e3372x-xxx (x = placeholder) was once common in the forum, but there are many subrevisions, and several of them require fiddling, before it works, e.g.

(and some subversions don‘t seem to work, better search the forum, before you buy a specific subversion)

Alcatel ik40(v) was once easy to use with OpenWRT, as there was only a single variant to buy, so you knew ahead that it would work. But even in 2nd hand market, it is getting rare now. I got one around 3 years ago, and even back then, market choice was already low.

Consumer market seems to have been

  • usb sticks during the early LTE era, which manufacturers were said to stop producing (claiming less and less demand for USB sticks)
  • laptops with m2 mobile slots (with the above mentioned still really expensive m2 cards)
  • mobile clunky plastic wifi routers with integrated lte/5g modem (all of which have proprietary firmware). If you are willing to connect via Wifi to a clunky ugly plastic device with proprietary firmware, Amazon is for sure happily waiting for you.

Was going to suggest Huawei too, or a ZTE MF286D (or 286R, but the D is better), they're quite cheap within EC, if bough used.

I forgot, a few of the proprietary LTE devices actually are supported (but come with attached all in one routers):

Quectels EC25-E is in widespread use, and well proven.

Thanks this looks good I just found one version for now, is EC25EUGA , maybe the E stands for m2 and since here is described as minipcie could be the reason? Or is a different version?

You could get used ZTE MF287 (also called Drei Neo), which has removable LTE minipcie Qualcomm modem, for about 18-20 Euro.

There are several models of this router:

  • The original model with modelID "3neo" has a Cat6 LTE modem.
  • Newer models with modelID "DreiNeo" have Cat12 LTE modem.
  • there's also a Drei Neo Pro with NFC (i don't know the model ID)

Screenshot 2023-09-14 at 00.12.39

DreiNeo Pro. Internally, they are all MF287 series:
3Neo = MF287
DreiNeo = MF287+
DreiNeo Pro = MF287Pro

However, they are probably hard to find outside of Austria.

I’m using the ZTE rn maybe that’s the fastest way to set directly an m2 capable modem.

But i prefer wait in anyways also to get a newer modem , even if after i will put this inside an openwrt router should be been pretty solid.

Thanks for remembering me I could just detach this modem!

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detachable modems rock! :smiley:

Your tag label pictures from the bottom of the device have a loo tow resolution, to leak any default Wifi passphrase to the Internet. So they are fine

But your QR code picture is in fact scanable and seems to contain a vendor Wifi access code. Better remove that QR picture!

Thanxs for pointing that out. It is actually a picture, that i've found freely accessible on internet.
Not "my router". So i suppose, that if the original poster made his QR code public, he is OK with that.

In any case, let me redact the QR code above.

Which model is that exactly please?
I couldn't find anything relevant.
Thank you

I have both 286 R and D , trough your post can’t get if there are difference in modem, by models. But for what remember I read that they should have same modem when I was buying it, if my memory doesn’t go wrong. Thank you anyway

Nah, the D have a faster modem, Cat 12 vs Cat7/6.


@fR4Nk @frollic
Is the carrier aggregation working on MF286D in OWRT, please?
Thank you

Depends on modem firmware.
And if you enable upload CA, the maximum download speed seems to be negatively affected.
All info in this long thread (in polish):

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But the 286d didn’t get the 22.03.5 update so better to stick to mb and m2 idea I think

Wut ?


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Sometimes i don’t exactly what is happening, I was remembering there was updated, but when I searched it yesterday to buy another one, I found only the r model updated … thank you anyway for letting me know..