Tuesday, 6 January 2015

TP-Link 3G Mobile Wi-fi M5250

Well its now 2015 and this blog has some plans for new reviews from Restaurants, Nightclubs possibly and there is another few products on the way. To start this year off, its a geeky product that will be useful for a camping trick, no so much as to keep devices alive, like the solar charger, but the way you can still communicate with the world using a selfie or even checking the weather and news if you don't fancy using up data.

May i present to you. The TP-Link M5250 Mifi. This is an advantage for possible plans later on in life. Keeping devices connected when there is no wifi and people don't know how to tether. Enjoy a video unboxing and review below. The details of the thing itself is below:

This cost me £35 from work. The RRP is £40. You can buy this from Amazon if you wish.

The packaging 

Now the outside was quite detailed but it had a modern look to it. With the while, black and silver colours and the modern design, It made it look like a professional product. The modern diagrams on the back of the box were sleek too. The top was sliver to show quality i think and show that TP link is a premium brand.

There was alot of small text which might be a bit annoying for the impulse buyer but its better than safe than "channel 13 news" sorry (this was written at the time of the facebook status hoax about photo copyright, so i put a joke about it. Also there was a fair amount of barcodes from S/N to EAN and UPN codes.  Also the clear 3 Year warranty is a nice bonus, its limited of course but thats like anything. Also the icon of the insides are pretty neat. Enjoy the pics of the packaging below:

The front of the Box. Which has the actual router and the 3 main symbols at the bottom

The right side of the box. Featuring the upload speeds (5.76mbps) and download speeds (21 mbps) and how the inside of the router looks 

The back of the box, with the main infogram of how it can be used as well as some small print.

The top of the box, with the TP-Link logo

The bottom of the box, with the S/N (Hidden for safety) and MAC address. 
The detail would put some people off but in another sense its clear to say what this does and the next part was what was inside this box. Which of course is more than people think. From what it mentioned on the box we are supposed to get:

  • The TP-Link Mifi router (i'm calling it pebble)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Nano Sim to standard sim adapter
  • Micro Sim to standard sim adapter
  • Battery
  • QIG - Quick installation Guide
Which i'll be honest and say it has those things and it has then packaged neatly too..

Whats in the box. 

Well it turns out the box opens from the bottom, more so a box slides out from the bottom. which is a nice neat surprise with these things the first thing you see is the actual pebble itself. in a part bag and with a cardboard mould to keep it in the right place, then the documentation, a mini sealed bag with the sim adapters and a pack of 4 stickers, a micro usb cable styled like an official apple cable and a batter wedged into another cardboard shape. 

The front of the pebble

The back of the pebble

The top of the pebble with the micro usb port shown vaguely

A clear-ish bit of the front of the pebble

The front of the quick installation guide

The back of the quick installation guide

The micro usb cable

the sealed bag with the stickers on instructions on how to fit simcards to the adaptors

The sealed bag with both sim adaptors showing

The declaration of conformity

Inside the pebble and the front of the batter

the inside back cover of the pebble and the back of the battery

Then it was the fun bit of getting it set up

Now, this was an easy process, fit the simcard in and put the battery in and good to go right. Actually, yes that was as simple as that in theory, but with my luck, it wasn't that simple, especially since i found the really old sim i had since 2009 had expired or wasn't connecting which made about 5 minutes of footage and 10 minutes of research pointless. But I'll give it credit for picking up the T-Mobile details which were correct first time from the old sim.

There is also a test i've done which allows FreedomPop to work when used. So aka you can get FREE (there are risks so be careful) internet (200mb max without paying or spamming friends with a link). Which you can get HERE. If your unsure about giving your card details out, the Virgin Prepaid Mastercard DOES WORK (if you don't do any monthly billings since they cancel them without telling you) 

Even still, the interface was clean and very much like the WD-8968 i bought last year and i can't fault it. There might be a bit more than i can explain here, but enjoy the screenshots of the interface below: 

The logon screen after the IP of

The status screen

The start of the Setup wizard

The apn settings with one simcard

The apn settings for T-Mobile sims

Setting up the wireless

Confirming all of the settings

Yes, there is an SMS function too. 

Settings for connecting, (auto or manual connection etc), Note: manual needs to be turned on to be able to switch G settings (auto, 2G only or 3G only)

The apn Settings, again

Switching between Auto, 2G and 3G goes here or is on this page

For use if some sims are locked with a PIN

Setting up the Wifi, it was set to US when i originally booted it up, just be aware if you don't switch the wireless settings to your country, you could face an imprisonment longer than killing people with an axe outside a pub (Spanish laws can be quite strict)

Any configurations you done will be saved like this

If you wanted to filter by a MAC address

Show if the wifi for the pebble is on or not or even what devices are connected in less detail

DHCP settings for the Pebble

See whats currently connected to the pebble

Backing up the settings 

Resetting the settings if you need to

Changing mifi passwords to get to the settings on the pebble

Turning the pebble on and off

About the pebble
The settings page was clearly built for mobile devices (from the small screen size, since the screenshots were taken from chrome in fullscreen mode on my P7C.) which is a good advantage and clever thinking due to the main use. There is alot of settings to customise which is nice and it was easier to understand compared to some ADSL routers i have to tamper with on home visits .

After i used the newer sim from a T-mobile USB stick 615, i was connected to the T-Zone at least which although was quite slow but then i managed to change it to 2G only before i changed the sim. Aftet that, the speed was pretty ok, not instant but not dial up either. If i used this on a bus then i would of had much better signal. 

The conclusion

So, the pebble is a neat little router and makes a possible camping trip easier or better with mates. Sadly with any dongle or mifi, the signal has to be there, which might be an issue for some, but i supposed that it loaded a page in 2 minutes on 3g indoors is ok :). The value is reasonable, sure i would rate it higher if it was a RRP of £20 but products that are good can't be cheap. The setup is simple from TP link and the interface like i said above is nicely done. 

omracer's Rating: 5/10

The pros:

  • Looks tiny and is light and perfect to travel
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Battery usage is good and no needing AAs or AAAs.
  • standard sim slot
  • No shitty CD to run the utilty from

The cons: 

  • Relies on 3G more so. Weak signal for the phone means weak signal for this
  • Even with 2 bars of 3G indoors, speed is weak and even partly loads page
  • Micro USB cable might share the same fate as the iPhone cables (Turtle necks) 
  • No mention of being used as a standard modem (aka internet from pebble to laptop via usb as well as wifi to other devices).
  • Cost could be better
So, that is it for this quick review. Enjoy it and expect a review of a new plan i have with a recent fad that tesco and even Linx have been doing but i go one step further than them.