Searching for a sim-card router

Guess AX isn't cheap in this specific case, those modems can be bough used for < 20€ in EU.

The USB LTE modem is plugged into a USB hub which is plugged into the USB port of my Linksys E8450 router. The USB hub is needed only because the router has only one USB port, but I have two USB devices: the modem and there is also a USB-SATA adapter, through which a SATA SSD is connected to the router.

I'd love to have a link. I myself live in he EU.

not < 20€, but comes with two antennas, which might be useful, it will however require flashing, since it's the h model.

If you were in PL, the s modems would be < 30€.

Definitely cheaper, at 40€. And sent from the NL so probably faster shipping. Thanks.

Read up on the conversion procedure, so it doesn't scare you away ....:slight_smile:

I found two methods, there should be at least one more, I'm pretty sure I did mine in Linux using modeswitch. Does both work ? no idea ...

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So, to sum up the different choices:

1/ ZBT WE1626 router + Huawei E3372h (morphed into a E3372s) USB 4G modem


  • Natively OpenWRT
  • Cheap (~25 + 40 €)
  • Upgradable thanks to the USB port


  • Risk of USB stick theft
  • Remote access might be problematic
  • Bit hackish
  • Hopefully the router works fine. Too cheap to be true :slight_smile:
  • Won't the small antennas of the USB stick make for a weak reception?

2/ Cirrus GL-AP1300LTE


  • Integrated OpenWRT
  • Probably more robust
  • integrated Wireguard
  • Some nice remote management solution (GoodCloud service)


  • More expensive
  • Not sure if the GoodCloud service allows for a remote access to LAN (need to explore more)

Mmmmh... Hard to choose :thinking: :blush:

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as frollic say take a look at zte 286D, it's nice device, ipq4019, nice wireless radios, plus 4g+ cat 12 modem, one usb port, i paid for that 40 euro, on the italian market, take a look.i do not have openwrt on it because i have zero knowledge of 4g, lte, but as i see expert guys on this forum say that is a good device under openwrt.

One quite possibly vital point missed in the discussion about suitable hardware is the fact that all mobile providers I have come across in Europe require a special "router" version of sim card to run in a router. This is purely a hack in the firmware in the sim card. They do not want the data allowance of a phone to be used in a router as it will generate much more traffic than a phone would even with tethering which would usually be used only for an hour or two at a time. A router would likely be in use 24/7, so the provider will be concerned about their "data pipeline sizing".

It would be sad if you chose a sim router, ordered a second sim on your phone account then found it would not work in your shiny new router. Worth checking with your provider. My guess is a router sim will be more expensive per month than a phone sim.... I could be wrong in this case but worth checking anyway :wink:


Yes and no. In Russia, this was never a problem. In the Philippines, it costed me 178 PHP (approx. 3 EUR) to get a pair of suitable external antennas with 5 dBi gain. Or, you can buy a roof-top 2x2 MIMO antenna with as high gain as you need, and connect it using two coaxial cables (with CRC9 connectors).

LeFrenchMobile is an expensive counter-example.

In theory that should be precluded by the EU net neutrality provisions, no? See e.g.:


Notwithstanding Brexit in the UK the regulator Ofcom supposedly enforces net neutrality, albeit in reality they seem a little weak and lazy - see here:

In the UK I think no mobile operator tries to prevent use of phone data sim in router, albeit O2 included a clause to this effect in their 'fair use' charter.

But still I imagine a consumer could purchase O2 phone data sim, then try it in router and if it does not work then return it within the 14 day cooling off period. If it did work but then O2 complained, then one could cite the net neutrality provisions, refer to regulator, and request that the complaint is dropped, or request cancellation of contract and then switch to one of the other suppliers.

Good point. I had contacted my ISP, they said the "multi-SIM" option would work. :crossed_fingers:t2:
And my eating up my data plan would profit them, since the excess would be invoiced to me.

Hum, they're not that cheap any more. First price 2nd hand is at 66 €:

My WE1626 is much cheaper. :slight_smile:

Have you tried? I have and not one of the mainstream providers allow a phone sim to be used in a router.
It is not a rule, but something in the firmware of the phone sim that detects the router modem and errors without a connection being made.
This is nothing to do with "net neutrality". It is purely "operational", in that they do not want the marketing givaways of a phone sim data to be used on a router, when they also sell router data cards.
The monthly data quota usually included with a phone sim does not roll over to the next month, most people do not use all their data but are attracted by their 100GB quota.
If phone sims were allowed to work in routers, you could choose use up your quota by putting the phone sim in a router when you get home at night thus allowing the user the full benefit of the quota, for example. It is much more profitable to sell you a dedicated router sim.

To fact check myself, I just pulled the Vodafone sim out of my phone (it was a new sim in November), and put it into a Gl-X750. In the system log I get - invalid sim type, connection refused.

If I put the data only sim out of the Gl-X750 into my phone, on power up it pops up a warning - "Data sim detected, emergency calls only".

Anyway, it is worth pointing out to the OP that it might be an issue.

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Take care with this. Multi-sim usually means putting two sims into one phone (many Chinese manufactured Android phones come with two sim slots).

Can always try the TTL=65 trick, to get unlimited mobile data.

HaHa - do tell us more :rofl:
No, on second thoughts, best not :smiley:

I disagree. It has a lot to do with net neutrality because it is potentially in violation of those provisions (illegal). And yes I've tried - Vodafone 4G/5G phone sim works fine in any router I've tried. Else could just tether phone to router anyway.

Ofcom may be a little weak in enforcement, but the provisions are clear. And keep in mind that this came about owing to EU regulation. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of the EU? Better than measuring bananas anyway.

Then we will have to agree to disagree (again).
I have tried phone sims from the big 4 in numerous sim router models and all give the same error. On contacting all the vendors they all say phone sims are not compatible with routers. All of them can supply data only sims to work in end user supplied routers. It is not "fair usage" policy, but a sim incompatibility (that can only be a firmware difference as the on sim chip is identical).

I get it, but no, really, it's 2 SIMs on 1 subscription:
This commercial page is not crystal clear about using the SIM in a router (they rather quote personal devices, and an "Airbox", that looks like a modem actually). On the FAI's forums, I could read by a seasoned forum user that the 2nd sim can be used in a 4G modem.
And last but not least, the support chat told me that yes, this 2nd SIM can be used in the router of my choice.