# Sunday, 18 April 2010

This is it! This here is the final release model of Marauderz Portable Wireless Router.

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Instead of using the unpredictable cinch straps, I'm just using a LOT of velcro strips to secure the battery and provide wiring conduits throughout the cage. Looks a bit more cleaner now.

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But of course it's still weighs a damn ton. But of course the comments I get is that this is such a huge and heavy piece to lug around if only there was something smaller, more elegant and looks less dangerous. If only there was something like...

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The D-Link DIR-457 3G Wireless Router. How small is this? Here's a size comparison.

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Well, so a crudely hacked system loses out to a commercial product, what were you expecting? Anyway I did know about the existence of such devices, they're actually the reason I embarked on my project. I just never thought I'd see one here so soon. :P The DIR-457 is about the size of an iPod Touch so no problems carrying it around.

If you're unfamiliar with what I've been trying to do, and what does the DIR-457 actually do. Imagine a internet router but instead of connecting to a fixed line, it connects using any one of the wireless broadband providers ie. Maxis, DiGi, etc. etc. Then imagine that it's powered by a battery and small enough for you to carry around.

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The DIR-457 basically allows you to carry around your own personal mobile broadband wireless hotspot to connect multiple devices to the internet using one one wireless broadband connection. It contains a 3.7V 1330mAh battery.While it can stay ALIVE for around 3 hours, expect it to only last 2 hours if you're actively using the connection. One question that I can't wrap my head around is why did D-Link make this battery removable? Are they gonna be selling extra batteries? I don't think it's easy for that to happen.

Should you run out of power you can just connect the DIR-457 to your PC using a typical USB cable to charge it. Another interesting feature of the DIR-457 is this.

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If you slide the switch to modem and connect it to your PC, the DIR-457 will then act like your typical wireless broadband modem. Interesting and nice to have feature I must say.

How well does it work? As well as expected I guess. It works and connects my UH900 and the iPod touch to the internet... what else were you expecting? Two things that I have an issue with the firmware though.

  1. You can't switch the device to HSDPA or EDGE ONLY mode, it's always stuck in autoswap which might not be something you want in certain situations as autoswap can kill connections and also drains power.
  2. The DIR-457's EASY AUTOMATIC setup automatically assigns your Telco's Access Point name based on the telco's name detected from the network it's connected to. This would be a nice feature for novice users, but the problem is... some telcos have DIFFERENT settings for their wireless broadband. ie. DiGi has both dgnet and 3gdgnet as their APNs, and the latter is the one that wireless broadband accounts should use. UNFORTUNATELY the DIR-457's auto configuration sets and LOCKS the APN to dgnet. This might stump users who are unfamiliar with APNs.

This is not quite a review of the DIR-457, more like just a rant on why the heck didn't it get here sooner and save me my time, effort and money on my own project. But of course it was cool to make my own portable wireless broadband router, even if it looks too Macgyver'ish for it's own good.


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