Netgear offers easy 4G broadband backup

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Netgear offers easy 4G broadband backup

The LB2120 is a simple, affordable LTE modem that provides internet access if your fixed-line connection goes down.

Combining fixed-line and mobile broadband is nothing new.

Back in 2015 we reported the launch of the D-Link DWR-925 4G/LTE VPN router that could be connected to an ADSL, cable or NBN modem – or even a dial-up modem – with automatic failover. Earlier this year we mentioned the DrayTek Vigor 2860Ln router with built-in 4G modem, and last month Vodafone announced that its standard NBN router will include 4G backup.

But what's different about the Netgear LB2120 LTE modem is that it is designed to be connected between an existing fixed-line modem and router. If – or when – the fixed-line service fails, the wireless broadband service is activated.

Sockets are provided for external antennas for better reception, and 4G speeds up to 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up are supported. Direct IP pass-through allows the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).

At $199 from JB Hi-Fi, it's very affordable for small businesses that need to ensure constant connectivity. It's an unlocked device, so you can use any suitable SIM.

You'd hope the backup connection would be rarely needed, so it might be worth considering a long-expiry prepaid mobile broadband plan.

Examples include $150 for 25GB for 365 days from Telstra, and $199 for 18GB over 365 days from Virgin Mobile. We couldn't find long-expiry prepaid mobile broadband plans from Optus, and Vodafone's best is $50 for 10GB over 180 days – that could be a better deal depending on the frequency and length of outages you experience. The cheaper resellers tend to impose “personal use only” restrictions on their plans.

Alternatively, a post-paid plan would be very affordable, considering you’re not likely to need much data most months.

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