Because I am moving into rental accommodation whilst our new home is being built, I needed a solution that would enable me to connect my ‘home’ network (which is mainly wired) to the mobile broadband network for the period we will renting, and until the NBN is connected to our new home. I am hoping our home will be complete by mid year, but from talking to the NBN people, it appears that the NBN will not be available until the end of the year, as we are building in a ‘greenfield’ estate. I didn’t want to go to the effort of connecting to ADSL while renting, so mobile broadband is the answer. I have been looking round for a while and was not able to find anything suitable to my needs until I came across the 4G capable Comset CM685T-W (Comset’s Website). It is quite a compact unit 110 x 55 x 20 mm but very capable. It runs Linux as the base software, with specific software on top to make it a very good specs. I would have preferred to buy the non wifi version, but that model was not available when I wanted to get going, so for $ 20.00 more I bought the wifi version. It comes with two antennas for the mobile broadband, and one antenna for wifi, plus a CAT5 LAN cable, an RS232 cable (more on that later), and a 12 Volt plug pack. Getting the basic setup done is very simple, there is even a good video on youtube showing how to do it as well as an excellent 117 page manual for reference. I missed one step my first time through, and had to think a little until I got it right (Don’t blame me just coz I was in a rush). Once I had the mobile broadband going, I connected the CM685 to my current ADSL router, and configured that port up also. As part of the configuration the router has settings that enable automatic failover should your chosen WAN port fail. I have set my CM685T have the wired WAN port as my primary port, and the mobile broadband as the backup. Once setup and working via the wired WAN, I pulled out the plug WAN cable and waited. After waiting 7 or 8 minutes and changeover hadn’t occurred, I looked at how I had set up the changeover, and realised that the changeover would take 30 minutes, as I had set the times somewhat longer than necessary. Once I had updated the settings, the mobile broadband channel came up and all was working. I plugged the WAN cable back in, and as expected, the active channel swapped back to the wired WAN after a short delay. There are lots of other functions available, more than I can go over here, however a couple of available options are:- VPN you are able to setup a VPN session using PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP and everyone on your network, which can be very handy at times. The other option allows you to connect an RS232 device to the CM685T. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this yet, but I am sure it will be pressed into service once our new home is ready. The RS232 cable does not plug directly into the CM685T directly, you need to wire up a DB9 connector with Tx, Rx and ground which you screw into the terminals at the back. Overall I think it is a great unit, it has plenty of built in options, and is easy to set up. It is a bit exey when compared to the normal domestic routers, but it is aimed at the industrial market. On the other side, it is a lot lower cost than a Cisco router with 4G capability. I would give it 5/5.

David, @ Maccas-Place, Ballarat, VIC

Hi Chris, I understand now and I cannot recommend anything more highly than the Comset routers we use on our vessels. Warning: They aren’t cheap ($650-700) but they are unbelievably reliable (set and forget every single one we have) and the speeds are nothing I’ve seen outside of a hotel in Japan – 40+Mbps down and that much up given you have a 4G enabled card. When it can’t find 4G it will use the 3G network which is fantastic in Sydney as in QLD. It also has only one LAN port but with an inbuilt DHCP server can accommodate a switch with as many PCs as needed. I suggest you get one, trial it and if you have any problems call me or call Comset and we will be able to help over the phone but seriously these things are bulletproof with a huge range of functions, you will not be disappointed. Hope that helps, Steven.

Steven, Sydney, NSW

My new router CM820V-W arrived today. I must say this unit is more innovative than I thought it would be. Whatever you guys are doing it is right. This is the most End-User-friendly component I think I have ever set up! I have a few finer points I will attempt to set up like specific naming for the network device and router but that will be in good time. I will definitely recommend your products to colleagues unreservedly. Thanks again for your time and assistance on Monday.

Peter, Blackwater, QLD

I have been doing contract work with a Large scale construction company for the last two years who utilise your products exclusively. I have never before seen such a robust reliable unit. Hence my wanting to purchase one for my own business. Some of the conditions and locations we have had these things working in were the worst you could ever imagine for electronic components. I have not seen one fail. Well done!

Peter, Tannum Sands, QLD

Having upgraded our vessels from the Comset CM820-W (3G/4G) to the newer CM210 (dual sim card 3G/4G/4GX) variant coupled to dual 3G/4G/4GX outdoor marine grade antennas, the cellular data throughput of the CM210 is stable, reliable and very FAST! The dual sim option has given the vessels options when sailing into International waters also. I’ve tested the CM210 modems off Fremantle, Dampier, Singapore, Batam, Dubai and can say they simply work. Well done Comset for an outstanding upgrade to an already solid product.

Josh, Karratha, WA

And thanks again to Comset for being very helpful through this process, I’ll be recommending you guys to all my clients.

Tayfun, Melbourne, VIC