ZyXEL LTE and Wi-Fi solutions review: lte7460-M608 street router and wac6553d-E access point
The modern 4G network is no longer inferior in speed to a wired connection, and in some places it even surpasses it, so if earlier you had to pay for cable laying to connect a suburban object to the Internet, now you just need to choose a good mobile operator tariff. Today we will look at two ZyXEL solutions for fully wireless connectivity: the ZyXEL LTE7460-M608 LTE router with mobile Internet speeds of up to 300 Mbit / s and the wac6553d-E Wi-Fi access point with 6 antenna sockets for 3 spatial streams. Both devices are designed for outdoor installation, including on the mast, they are not afraid of water or snow, and are positioned as a solution for suburban offices, or for outdoor events.
ZYXEL LTE7460-M608: backup or primary channel via LTE
The LTE7460-M608 model is a device designed for reserving the main Internet channel over the 4G network. ZYXEL emphasizes that the main purpose of the device is to be a second source of WAN to ensure continuous operation of applications or office jobs. It supports the most modern version of LTE-3GPP release 10 category 6, which provides speeds of 300 Mbit / s for input and 50 Mbit / s for output, which is higher than the typical 100-megabit wired WAN connection for 2018, which is not even issued by every provider. In addition, 3G/2G DC-HSPA+ networks are supported with speeds up to 42 Mbit / s for reception and 5.76 Mbit / s for transmission.
This high speed allows you to completely abandon the wired connection and use ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 as the main and only Internet gateway in hard-to-reach places, including transport, hotel complexes, mobile laboratories and various field events. As they say, there would be money for mobile Internet.
ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 key features
Support for IP networks
- Support IPv4/IPv6 dual stack (IPv6 NDP)
- DHCP Server
- ICMP support
- Support for Bridge/Router mode
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) pass through
- NAT/NAPT support
- DMZ support
- Port forwarding support
- ALG support
- DDNS support
- protection against DoS attacks
- SPI support
- Application-level firewall (from LAN to WAN, for example, FTP, HTTP, Telnet, Ping)
- Support for local / remote management via the Web interface and online microcode update via the web
- Support for remote microcode management using TR069 and TR069
- SMS management
- Management of APN/PIN
- The management of PIN/PUK
- Network selection
- Network preference
- Select the operating frequency range (only supported for Cat 4)
- Standards compliance: 3GPP Release 10 Category 6
- Supported frequencies:
- Band LTE 1/3/7/8/20/38/40
- LTE TDD 2300/2600 MHz
- LTE FDD 2600/2100/1800/900/800 MHz
- The configuration of Carrier aggregation:
- B1+B3* B1+B7*
- B1+B1, B1+B8, B1+B20
- B3+B3, B3+B7, B3+B8, B3+B20
- B7+B7, B7+B8, B7+B20
- B38+B38, B40+B40
- Peak data transfer rate FDD LTE:
- 300 Mbps DL for 40 MHz bandwidth (CA)
- 50 Mbps UL for 20 MHz bandwidth
- TDD LTE peak data rate:
- 224 Mbps DL for 40 MHz bandwidth (CA)
- 10 Mbps UL for 20 MHz bandwidth
- Compliance with standards: WCDMA Rel '99 and Rel’10 DC-HSPA+; GSM/GPRS/EGPRS Rel' 99
- Supported frequencies:
- UMTS band 1/8
- EDGE/GPRS/GSM band 2/3/5/8
- DC-HSPA+ incoming traffic speed up to 42 Mbps
- HSUPA outgoing traffic speed up to 5.76 Mbps
- UMTS data transfer speed up to 384 kbps
- EDGE data transfer speed up to 236.8 kbps
- GPRS data transfer rate up to 85.6 kbps
- 2 built in antennas with up to 8 dBi gain
- power over Ethernet (802.3 af standard)
- Power consumption at the outlet level: < 10 W
- PoE injector is included
- 1 SIM card slot
Just want to note that the ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 is a device of the "wired to wireless environment Converter" type, that is, it does not have any software functions for load balancing, switching between wired WAN to LTE, or distributing traffic between the wire and the radio: it is assumed that your main router can do all this. But there is a built-in bridge mode for connecting several offices through a network of mobile operators.
ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 Package Contents
The device comes complete with a PoE injector and a mounting kit that allows you to mount the router on a wall or on a mast or bracket, while providing a setting of the angle of the place from -50 to 50 degrees.
Externally, ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 is a large box made of radio-transparent polymer on an aluminum panel. In the lower part of the case there are sockets for connecting a LAN/PoE network cable, console RJ45 (only for controlling the device), as well as a SIM card slot that is hermetically sealed with a plug.
The device supports only one SIM card, and this is kind of strange: it doesn't cost anything to parallelize the second SIM card slot and switch them programmatically, giving you the opportunity to reserve a mobile operator and change the SIM card when generating all the "unlimited" traffic. These features are also available in less expensive LTE routers, and dual-SIM capability is no less in demand there than in Chinese smartphones. And the SIM card slot itself is inconvenient: the slot is too deep, and it can be difficult to push the card with your thumbs.
The manufacturer claims that the ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 has an antenna with a gain of up to 8 dB, and verification shows that two PIFA printed on textolite are used here. In General, 8 dB is not so much for an outdoor antenna in a 3G/4G device, home models for USB modems have a similar gain, and for cellular communications there are now flat "panels" with a gain of 12-15 dB, but only ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 does not work with external antennas.
There is no built-in Wi-Fi access point, and for use in small installations, such as Internet access for a store or a house in a hotel complex, this is a significant disadvantage. But if you are building a large network with distributed hotspots, this does not matter much, because access points so make up a large part of the budget and are located closer to the user, and not closer to the point where the best signal from the base station.
The d19qd-SKU2 LTE module of the Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron Neweb Corp with the PCI Express interface is responsible for 4G operation. Detailed information about this device could not be found.
Configuring the LTE7460-M608 is similar to working with a very simple router: there are only basic parameters, such as a DHCP server, static routing, basic protection against DoS attacks, and switching the operating mode (bridge or base station).
As for the radio module, you can select the LTE channel, switch the modem mode (Yota/4G/3G/2G), configure the traffic limit and bandwidth of the wireless channel.
The device has a simple phone book and the ability to send SMS messages and service codes.
A huge advantage of the LTE7460-M608 is the support for bridging, in which you can transfer the IP address assigned by the LTE provider to a device connected via cable, which is most likely a full-fledged router or a stand-alone access point. You should also note the built-in VPN support-a prerequisite for a corporate network.
In the advanced connection information, you can see parameters such as "signal/noise" and signal strength coefficients for accurate positioning of the device to the base station. If this is too difficult for you, in the upper-left corner of the Web interface, there is a connection indicator, like in modern mobile phones. By the way, testing has shown that it is useless.
I'll start with the power consumption: in a typical operating mode, it is only 1 W, so the cost of electricity when calculating TCO in this case can be ignored.
In terms of communication quality-in our test conditions, the MTS provider provided no more than 60 Megabits per second over 4G, and being in the same place, the Chinese oppo a83 and Oppo F5 smartphones showed the maximum signal, and the ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 showed the minimum signal with the 4G icon. I didn't notice any advantages from the router's large antenna: the connection quality, speed, and network retention stability were the same as for smartphones. In this case, the only advantage of using the ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 will be the ability to strengthen it high on the mast and direct it towards the base station. This won't work with a smartphone.
Given that the router in the conditions of Russian LTE worked at 1/6 of its possible speed, it is impossible to make any results on the performance of the equipment. Well, except for the fact that it gives 50-60 Megabits over a wireless channel today, and will give even more tomorrow. It is possible that there, at higher speeds, a large antenna will reveal its capabilities and show a noticeable difference in front of a smartphone, but given that all 4G/LTE technologies are created for mobile phones, I do not think that the difference will be significant. Much more important here is an Ethernet connection and the ability to install an LTE router as far away as you need to catch the signal of a mobile operator in conditions when mobile phones lying on the table are useless.
The next device that we will talk about is the external access point ZYXEL WAC6553D-E, which is currently one of the top models of the manufacturer available on the Russian market. This is an IEEE 802.11 ac hotspot with a 3x3 antenna group with three spatial streams, giving a total speed of 900 Mbit/s. It is designed for outdoor installation, has a built-in heater and PoE power supply with a budget of 25 watts.
The access point does not have built-in antennas, and moreover, it is delivered without them at all, but this gives you the opportunity to save on internal installation in large concrete buildings.
If you install Wi-Fi in large buildings with thick concrete walls, you will have a choice: buy a lot of hotspots and place them literally in every room, or put several access points, and the signal distribution on the floors is already carried out by remote antennas. This solution can save from 30% to 50% of the budget for wireless equipment. Of course, this will not give you the maximum speed that you expect from 802.11 ac, but it will give you flexibility and budget savings, especially where Wi-Fi is required "for show": in hospitals, and other public institutions.
6 N-type antenna sockets are installed on the access point, and the company offers a full range of 2T2R antennas for different installation cases: office ceiling, ANT1310, sector ANT3315, directional ANT3316, simple pin Omni-directional ANT2105 (2 pieces are supplied in the kit) and others. It is with pin antennas that this access point came to us for testing.
Characteristics of the ANT2105 antenna:
- Polarization-linear vertical
- HPBW / horizontal-360 degrees
- HPBW / vertical - 15 degrees
- 2.4 GHz gain: 4.5 dB
- 5 GHz gain: 7 dB
- Maximum permissible wind speed-216 km / h
- Fairing material: ABS plastic
ZYXEL WAC6553D-E can be mounted on a wall without the ability to adjust the position of the device, or on a mast with an adjustable angle from -15 to 15 degrees. If you use ANT2105 pin antennas that do not have a tilt, then consider installing the hotspot on the bracket.
Externally, ZYXEL WAC6553D-E is a box made of ABS plastic (UV resistance is not stated), a pair of antenna connectors is placed on each side of the case: 2.4 and 5 GHz. There are only two network ports: one Gigabit Uplink with PoE support and one console port for out-of-band hotspot management. The kit does not include a PoE injector, so please note that the presence of a built-in heater already requires support for the IEEE-802 power standard.3at of the fourth class (25 W), although modern PoE switches already support such voracious devices.
For testing, we used a 5-port switch GS1200-5HP, which allows you to monitor the current power consumption on each PoE port, and I must say that in typical mode, the power consumption of a hotspot is 4-5 W, just like for ordinary "civilian" access points. But if the access point is frozen, the case heating will automatically turn on, and the power consumption will be 19 watts.
All connectors are hermetically sealed to protect against rain and snow (IP66 class), even the n-type antenna connector has a rubber gasket that prevents moisture from entering the contacts.
From the software point of view, the WAC6553D-E model repeats the NWA1123-AC Pro we discussed earlier, and settings are also supported by the ZAC and ZYXEL One Network programs, which simplifies the installation of a fleet of devices from the same manufacturer.
Well, it's time to start testing.
For testing, we installed ZYXEL WAC6553D-E with 6 ANT2105 antennas at an altitude of 50 meters in an urban area. By setting the maximum power level of radio transmitters in the access point settings, the distance at which a regular Oppo a83 smartphone catches a Wi-FI signal was measured. In the immediate vicinity of the access point, the phone showed a connection speed of 135 Mbit / s, which is its hardware "ceiling", but we know that for a mobile phone, the distance of stable signal reception is more important than some theoretical speed under good coverage.
The results for Omni-antennas were impressive:
- At a distance of 100 meters, the connection speed over the 5 GHz channel was 40 Mbit/s.
- The maximum range of Wi-Fi was 440 meters. At this distance, the connection speed was 6 Mbit / s and periodically dropped to 1 Mbit /s.
Thus, we can say that when installed on a mast, even with pin-mounted Omni-directional antennas, the ZYXEL WAC6553D-E covers the territory of a school with a stadium, two or three kindergartens, or any sports facility.
The cost of ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 is$ 400 . From our point of view, the main component of the price is support for a 300 - megabit Internet connection, which will appear sooner or later. The price of the ZYXEL WAC6553D-E is $ 850, the cost of a pair of ANT2105 antennas is$ 60, and the total cost of the access point in the tested configuration is $ 1200.
Today, most projects are built on monobrand solutions, and the vendor is required not only to provide all the necessary nomenclature, but also to provide its management with common software, facilitate configuration and maintenance through its own services, as well as build a model range so that one device complements the others. ZYXEL already has all this, and the lte7460-M608 wireless router is just one of these bricks in the overall wall of network equipment. At the moment, ZYXEL LTE7460-M608 looks significantly overrated: there are much more affordable external LTE routers on sale, and even with support for two SIM cards and built-in Wi-Fi, but not all of them support speeds up to 300 Mbit/s, which is almost nowhere.
But the WAC6553D-E access point is the locomotive on which the wireless infrastructure is built - PoE power with a built-in heater, very good quality coverage even on the simplest Omni-antennas, support for SNMP, load balancing and roaming.
It is an ideal solution for outdoor sports facilities and country hotels.