Review of TP-Link M7200 mobile router: pocket Internet


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A laptop in a bag, a router in a pocket. In a small pocket. Yes, it’s possible if the router is mobile. And if not

forget to charge it, of course. Today we get acquainted with the baby TP-Link M7200 and understand what he can do. And why is it better than a smartphone that also knows how to distribute the Internet.

What is it?

TP-Link M7200 is a standalone 4G mobile router. Can distribute the Internet from a mobile network via Wi-Fi simultaneously to ten other devices.

What is interesting?

The fact that he is mobile. You can take it with you anywhere (where there is a mobile network, of course), and there will be Wi-Fi. At the same time, it is compact, lightweight and practical.

What is in the box?

Rather, in a box. The packaging is small, like the router itself inside it. In addition to it, there is a removable battery (as in all phones before), a charging cable (microUSB), adapters from microSIM and nanoSIM to a SIM card and small booklets with documentation. There is no charger in the kit, you can use any charge from your smartphone or recharge the router from the computer’s USB port.


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What does it look like?

Solid and practical. Non-marking textured black plastic and a bit of gloss. In front is the manufacturer’s logo and a single button.


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On all other sides - nothing but a microUSB connector for connecting to charging. The gloss behind is still a bit much, it is easily covered with scratches.


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Looking at modern smartphones, we are unaccustomed tosuch, but here you can look under the cover. A removable 2000 mAh battery and a SIM card are installed here. Moreover, the tray is designed specifically for the full-size classic SIM card, if you have something more compact, use one of the supplied adapters.


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The sticker shows the starting namewireless network and password to control the device (these values ​​can then be changed, but if the settings are reset, they will be restored again). The router is equipped with three green LED indicators: battery, Internet and local area network. The battery indicator blinks in charging mode and lights continuously when it is complete.


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TP-Link M7200 is compact and lightweight. The battery in the photo is shown for size comparison, it is not used in any way in the device.


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How to connect and configure?

Install boxes immediately after unpacking.proprietary tpMiFi mobile application and launch the setup wizard. He will take all steps, from the very beginning. Good practice for unprepared users. No registration is required to work with the application, it works without any cloud accounts.


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If opportunities (or desires) are establishedno application, just insert the SIM card and battery, turn on the device with a single button and connect to the access point with the name and password indicated on the sticker. Not very difficult, right?

So, it worked, now let's look at the regularapplication features. The main screen displays the main data: traffic consumption, current speed, battery power, number of active users, SMS notifications. Yes, if an SMS arrives on the SIM card installed in the router, it can be read. You can also send SMS from here. The SD card sharing feature is also visible, but it only works with the older model of the M7350 router, which has a slot for a memory card. The settings menu looks extensive, but in each of the sections there are not so many items. Here you can set the traffic limit, change the password for accessing the wireless network and change its name. There are settings for Internet connection, energy saving, a service section with functions for rebooting and updating the firmware of the device. Russian-language localization of the application in places looks damp, there are several funny moments in the texts. There is no Ukrainian language yet.


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Alternative - control panelrouter in the web interface at http://tplinkmifi.net/. Of course, you can enter here only from a device connected to the wireless network of the router, it will not work from somewhere on the Internet. Interestingly, the interface is switched from mobile to desktop and vice versa, and you can choose the appropriate option already at the password entry stage. Modern adaptive interfaces allow you to get rid of such manual switching, but still this is a huge progress compared to the traditional router’s end-to-end admins, which are very difficult to use from the phone. The mobile version of the control panel is similar to what we have already seen in the application.


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But if in the same web panel switch frommobile in full mode (this is one that is not so convenient to use from the phone), then there are more opportunities. There are, in particular, settings for NAT, DMZ, virtual server, port management and DHCP. Like adult routers in general. From interesting - the function of sending USSD-requests (all these * 111 #). That is, you can check the balance or switch to another package right here, without rearranging the SIM card into the phone and vice versa.

How does it work?

So, as expected, it is quite stable. I tested the TP-Link M7200 with a lifecell SIM card, the Internet speed on client devices ranged from 3 to 15 Mbit / s. Of course, this value depends on the coverage of a particular operator at a specific point on the planet, so it should be compared with other devices that work nearby. If in a simple way, then to view youtube on a couple of connected devices is enough.

But we dig a little deeper and try to evaluateperformance of the wireless network created by the router itself. For this, I used the exchange of TCP traffic between two smartphones connected to a router. Smartphones alternately act as a client and server, transfer 50 megabytes of data between them, repeat the experience, average the results. For experiments, the program WiFi Speed ​​Test Pro is used. So, the average data transfer rate was just over 23 Mbit / s. Do not be alarmed by small numbers, with such testing this is a typical result for household, non-mobile, 2.4 GHz routers. That is, the TP-Link M7200 works on a par with full-bodied home brethren. It’s a pity, he doesn’t have a 5 GHz mode, everything could be even more fun there.

Something concrete to say about the coverage rangehard. On the one hand, there is no forest of antennas sticking out of the case, on the other, the router will most likely be lying near the devices being serviced: in a pocket / bag, car glove box or country house / cottage, where the number of devices requiring an Internet connection is limited . Therefore, there are no claims to coverage.

What about autonomy?

According to the manufacturer, the battery capacity2000 mAh is enough for 8 hours of work. In reality, with a continuous intense load, after six hours of operation of the router, 10% of the charge remains, which melts before our eyes over the next 30 minutes. With default settings. With a more relaxed use profile and with reduced power, you can count on the declared performance. I would say that this is one of the important arguments in favor of acquiring such a device. Judge for yourself: in case of emergency you can use a smartphone as a mobile access point, it will share the Internet with a laptop or tablet without any problems. But when it comes to regular and prolonged use, the problem of autonomy rises to the fullest. Not every smartphone will last 8 hours, distributing the Internet to other devices, and you also need to use it. The battery charges from zero to 50% in 50 minutes, and to fully charge it needs two and a half hours.

In the dry residue

TP-Link M7200 - a good solution for distributionMobile Internet over Wi-Fi. Compact, easy to use, quite flexible to set up, with decent autonomy. He has a number of more budget competitors, from which he at the recommended price of 1499 UAH in Ukrainian retail compares favorably, among other things, with official service support. At the same time, not everyone needs such a specific device, because any modern smartphone is suitable for episodic or emergency work as a router.

M7200 can be recommended to users whoOften you need to distribute mobile Internet to other devices (laptops, tablets, and maybe TVs). And basically - outside the house, on the go, in the car, in the country. And often and for a long time, when using a smartphone for such purposes is already inconvenient. For example, to share the Internet on trips with a company of frugal friends, or finally implement full-fledged mobile Wi-Fi in the car.

4 reasons to buy TP-Link M7200:

  • compact body and light weight;
  • good autonomy;
  • performance at the level of stationary routers;
  • convenient mobile application.

2 reasons not to buy TP-Link M7200:

  • lack of support for the 5 GHz band;
  • specific scope.

TP-Link M7200

Compact and lightweight mobile router. Distributes the Internet (including 4G) from the built-in SIM card via Wi-Fi. Autonomously works up to 8 hours and can serve up to 10 client devices. It shows good speed, but only works in the 2.4 GHz band.

Internet in your pocket