When you travel abroad, you may not have an internet connection. Sometimes there are deals where your current data bundle is valid in other countries, but most of the times it is not. Now how are you going to book your Uber or order food? Right! With a local SIM Card! But changing SIM Cards is not the most convient way, we have Portable WiFi Hotspots to solve that problem! Today, we have a look at the TP-Link M7200!
Introduction & Specifications
I’ve traveled to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia and this device made it so easy to book a tuktuk, get a Grab taxi or send a quick message to my next hotel. Just turn it on, wait a few seconds and you have perfectly working WiFi network.
The only thing you need to do, is to buy a local SIM Card with data only and get it activated via a phone (most of the time the people who sell you the SIM Card will activate it for you), place the card in the TP-Link M7200 and turn it on! Within a minute you will see your own WiFi network. This is a must if you ask me if you enjoy traveling.
|Interface:||Micro-USB, SIM Card Slot|
|Battery Life:||+-8 hours|
|LED Display:||WiFi Status, Internet Connection Status, Battery Status|
|WiFi Standard:||IEEE 802.11b/g/n|
|Network Type:||4G: FDD-LTE B1/B3/B7/B8/B20 (2100/1800/2600/900/800MHz)TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41 (2600/2300/2500MHz)3G: DC-HSPA+/HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS B1/B8 (2100/900MHz)|
|Security:||Support WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, Wireless MAC Filtering|
|Package Content:||4G LTE Mobile WiFi M7200, Micro-USB Cable, 2000mAh Battery, Quick Installation Guide|
|Dimensions:||3.7×2.2×0.8 in. (94×56.7×19.8mm)|
|Compatible With:||Windows 10/8/7/vista/XP, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone|
|Software:||tpMiFi (Android & iOS)|
Hardware & Design
Space is limited when traveling. You want a small, easy to operate and long lasting device. The TP-Link M7200 has it all. On a battery, we lasted over a month with 15 minutes of usage every two or three days. More then acceptable if you ask me!
The TP-Link M7200 is small and that is just great. If you have a small backpack that you take with you on your daily activities, this devices won’t be a problem to carry around at all! There are bigger models available, but also smaller ones. Smaller means also a less longer battery life, keep that in mind! The size of the M7200 is just right. You won’t notice it in your backpack, it fits in your hand easily and it does not weigh that much while the battery last long enough.
On the LED display of the TP-Link M7200, you can find three logos. One is for the power, one is for the internet services and one is for the battery. Pretty simple and straight forward. Please see the image below for a over of the LED signs and the meaning/behavior of the LED signs.
This is not the most complicated device out there. The usage is simple, but there are some features I want to point out.
The M7200 supports the latest generation 4G FDD/TDD-LTE networks. This gives you the ability to use the TP-Link M7200 in a lot (almost all) countries around the world.
The M7200 can easily share a 4G/3G connection with up to 10 wireless devices like tablets, laptops, and mobile phones at the same time. No problem if you want to connect with some friends to the same WiFi network, the TP-Link M7200 can handle them all!
Can you use the TP-Link M7200 securely? Do you need to have some concerns? Yes. It support WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, Wireless MAC Filtering and you have to set it up right to have a secure connection. Below you find the explanation of the supported security features.
WPA-PSK: This uses the original version of the WPA protocol (essentially WPA1). It has been superseded by WPA2 and isn’t secure.
WPA2-PSK: This is the most secure option. It uses WPA2, the latest Wi-Fi encryption standard, and the latest AES encryption protocol. You should be using this option.
Wireless MAC Filtering: MAC address filtering allows you to define a list of devices and only allow those devices on your Wi-Fi network. That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, this protection is tedious to set up and easy to breach.
How to improve security?
The standard security is not the best. The password is written in the device and so is the admin password.
First thing you can do to mask that this is a MiFi device, is to change the SSID. Via the tpMiFi app, you click on My WiFi and here you can change or hide that SSID and the password of the network. Easy to do and it improves the security a bit.
The other thing you can do, is block unwanted connections. If, for example, you shared it with friends earlier but you don’t want them on your private network anymore, you can block the users and prevent them from connection again.
This can be done via the menu in the app again. You have to click on WiFi Users. If you see a user in the list you want to block, you swipe left on thet user and this will block/unblock them (Android). Very effective and you keep full control over your network.
Set preferred network (3G/4G)
3G can be slow now, specially if we compare it to 4G. You can change the Network Mode on the TP-Link M7200. You can set it to 4G Preferred, 4G Only and 3G Only.
If you want speed and nothing else, you can set it to 4G Only. If there is not 4G connection available, the TP-Link M7200 will not connect.
Maybe you bought a 3G simcard, you can set it to 3G Only. Now it will not connect to a 4G network, even if it is available.
With the 4G Preferred option, the TP-Link M7200 will connect to the best available network. This can be a 3G or a 4G connection.
If you want a longer battery life, you can change the range of the WiFi coming from the TP-Link M7200. You can set it to Long, Medium and Short. Short gives you the best battery life. This might be a handy feature if you are using the TP-Link M7200 in a remote location where you do not have access to power. By setting the WiFi Range to short, you maximize the battery life.
The software, tpMiFi, is simple but effective. You can manager everything with the app and set it up just as you like it.
Change the name, the password, set a data limit, change how far your WiFi network is transmitted or see who is connected. It is all possible with the tpMiFi software and that is a big plus.
Here are the pictures of the software. Make sure to play around with it yourself so you find all the features and possibilities.
How to use?
Using the TP-Link M7200 is as easy as possible. You have to insert the (activated) SIM Card into the TP-Link M7200. Place the battery again, close the backside of the 4G router and turn it on. Wait for around a minute (website says 30 seconds) and you should have your own, private WiFi network!
Just make the connection with your smartphone, tablet or laptop and enjoy fast 4G internet.
SIM Card Size
You may call it old school, but the TP-Link M7200, and many others, still uses the largest size SIM Card possible. Why? I have no idea! Luckily everywhere we went, this size was available. If you want to be sure, you can bring along one of THESE to make it fit, no matter what size they give you at the point of sale.
[Add code “appstore1” for extra discount!]
There are a lot of 4G routers available like the TP-Link M7200. I happen to use this model and I couldn’t be more happier with it. The size is right, the battery last long and it is super easy to operate. The tpMiFi software gives me great abilities to control the M7200, which is super handy!
For travelers, this is a must. Even if you are going for 3 weeks, you will need this and it is so easy to turn it on and book a tuktuk or Grab to your next stop. I’m going to take it with me everywhere I go now, this device made my travel much, much easier.