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Advantages of Rugged In-Vehicle Routers

Here we focus on the differences between rugged in-vehicle routers, like the LX40, GX450 and IBR900, and cheap consumer-grade products.

Why not use a "similar" device that is significantly cheaper?

There are a number of low-cost 4G Wi-Fi routers on the market, in some cases even available free of charge from a mobile network as part of a contract.  These devices are aimed at consumers who need occasional 4G internet access while out and about, but they are not designed for professional in-vehicle use.  The LX40, GX450 and IBR900, on the other hand, are rugged and high-performance routers designed to provide persistent and reliable internet connectivity for business-critical in-vehicle applications.  

Here is why you should choose the LX40 , GX450 or IBR900 routers

  • The LX40, GX450 & IBR900 are purpose-built for vehicles, and include the following features that cheaper models do not:
    • Rugged and dust-proof design (IP64 or IP54 ingress protection rating, MIL-STD-810G)
    • E-mark certification, making it fully approved for in-vehicle use
    • Automatic power on/off with vehicle ignition (if required)
    • Low battery detection switches router off if battery level decreases (GX450 only)
    • A configurable shut down delay allows the router to continue operating for up to 4 hours after the ignition has been turned off
    • Wide input voltage range of 9-36V or 9-33V, so no external power adapter is required 
    • Wide operating temperature range of -30 to +70 degrees.
  • The LX40, GX450 and IBR900 in-vehicle Wi-Fi routers support two external 4G antennas for the best possible performance.  Cheaper routers rely on small antennas located inside the router itself, which in turn is located inside the vehicle.  Vehicles are mostly made of metal, which blocks 4G electromagnetic waves, and non-standard glass can make the situation even worse.  A system relying on an antenna located inside the vehicle will never provide as good performance as one that uses good quality external antennas. 
  • The LX40, GX450 and IBR900 4G routers include keep-alive pinging functionality and a network watchdog in order to maintain a reliable 4G internet connection, allowing you to forget about the router and enjoy seamless internet connectivity.
  • The GX450 4G router supports up to 8 Wi-Fi devices, LX40 supports 10 devices while the IBR900 supports up to 128.  Many cheaper models only support 5 Wi-Fi devices.
  • In addition to Wi-Fi, the GX450 router includes an Ethernet port (two for the IBR900) and a USB port, allowing it to be used with non Wi-Fi equipped devices.
  • The GX450 and IBR900 4G routers include integrated mounting holes for easy installation.  Cheaper devices do not, although this is hardly surprising, as they are not designed for permanent in-vehicle installation.

Why is the LX40, GX450 or IBR900 4G Wi-Fi router better than using a 4G dongle, or a phone or tablet with built-in 4G?

The LX40, GX450 and IBR900 Wi-Fi routers are better for in-vehicle internet than a 4G USB dongle or 4G-equipped phones and tablets because:

  • 4G dongles, phones and tablets do not usually support external antennas, resulting in the same limited performance as detailed above with cheap 4G routers.  The importance of the antennas in any wireless communications system cannot be underestimated.
  • Only one device can use a 4G USB dongle at any one time, whereas up to 10 devices can connect wirelessly to the LX40 and 8 devices on GX450 router simultaneously and use its 4G internet connection, and more devices can connect via the LAN port.  With the IBR900 router up to 128 Wi-Fi clients can connect simultaneously, and the device supports 2 LAN ports.