What if when your home internet connection went down, your router automatically connected to your neighbour's Wi-Fi or to the 4G mobile network to keep you connected? Swedish networking company Dovado has a particularly fascinating new router called the Tiny AC, developed with help from a few speed-hungry Aussies, that can do exactly that.
The Dovado Tiny AC is what the company is calling its first Universal Access router — meaning it'll connect to the 'net via 3G or 4G, through an external modem for NBN/cable/ADSL, or via Wi-Fi by piggybacking on another network through a process Dovado calls SpotBoost. This third feature is the newest and most exciting, because it lets you set your router up to connect to a different Wi-Fi network to access the 'net.
Basically, if there's some way of getting the internet around you, then Dovado can do it. SpotBoost scans every available Wi-Fi network in your area, then gives you the option to connect to it (as long as you have the correct password, of course). You'll then be connected to that network and the internet through it, but the Dovado Tiny AC distributes that connection to every device that can connect to it.
SpotBoost isn't especially useful if your neighbour's Wi-Fi goes down, though, which is why the Tiny AC can be set up to fail over to one or both of its other network connections. You can prioritise either the USB 3G/4G mobile broadband or the Ethernet WAN port, so whatever your home or office network setup might be you'll be taken care of. The Tiny AC combines 300Mbps 802.11n and 450Mbps 802.11ac, so your home network will be speeding along all the while.
Here's the scenario — you have ADSL at home, but it's on a finicky copper connection and dies all the time. You hook the Tiny AC up over Ethernet or SpotBoost to your ADSL modem, but then have a 4G dongle plugged in as a backup. If your ADSL cuts out, the Tiny AC works its magic and et voila, you're still online. This is handy if you're at home, but crucial if you're running a small business that relies on the Web being live.
And that's in addition to Dovado's standard features on the Tiny AC, which are available on every other Dovado router as well. This Swedish company made its name building routers that you could plug a 3G or 4G mobile broadband dongle into to access the 'net, making them incredibly useful for anyone not connected to ADSL or cable, living out in the sticks, or travelling around Australia in a caravan or motorhome. Dovado supports over 300 different mobile broadband dongles and hotspots, including almost every one ever sold in Australia.
The company works regularly with Aussie beta testers for its devices, since Australia and home country Sweden are surprisingly similar in their quick uptake of super-fast 4G networks. Whirlpool users are big fans of Dovado, and reps from the Swedish team post there regularly to help customers and look for feedback on potential features and updates.
Dovado actually recently added support for its first LTE-Advanced 300Mbps mobile broadband modem, not too long after it became available down under, by testing with a select group of Aussie early adopters. To put that in perspective, the most recent modem supported is 10,000 times faster than the first mobile broadband dongles — that's one hell of a speed boost.
I've used SpotBoost quite a lot in the past fortnight, testing out the Tiny AC, and combined with the router's other network features it makes for a genuinely useful and versatile setup for your home or business. I'll be writing a full review of the Dovado Tiny AC soon, so stay tuned. [Dovado]