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Turn your USB modem into a hotspot with the Aluratek CDM530AM - the Gadling review

Are you traveling with a USB 3G modem? Even though there are some nice Wi-Fi enabled versions of these devices, not everyone is able to change their adapter. For those users, there are USB to Wi-Fi broadband adapters on the market.

In this review, I'll introduce you to the new Aluratek CDM530AM. This compact device features 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a USB port, an Ethernet port and an integrated Lithium-Ion battery pack.

Using the device couldn't be easier - out of the box, it supports almost every 3G broadband adapter on the market. The initial setup involves plugging it into the network port of your PC, running the setup CD, and configuring things like wireless security.

Once configured, you simply plug your USB modem into the side port, and connect to the hotspot using your laptop, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.

The major advantage of turning USB into Wi-Fi is that you can now share the connection with others. You can also move the pocket router and adapter closer to a window, to increase its ability to pick up a signal from the 3G network. In addition to this, by moving the 3G modem out of your computer, it will increase your battery life.

The Aluratek CDM530AM comes with an AC adapter, user guide, CD and Ethernet cable. I tested it with a Virgin Mobile broadband adapter, which was supported without any issues - I was up and running in a matter of minutes. Once connected, speeds are the same as when you use the adapter directly on your laptop.

Perhaps the best "feature" of the CDM530AM is its price - it is available from several retailers for just $69.99, making it about $100 cheaper than most other battery powered 3G modem adapters.

Final thoughts

There is little not to love about this product - it does exactly what it advertises, at a very low price. The only minor issue I ran into was the lack of support for a dual mode 3G/4G adapter from CLEAR, but since that adapter is not listed on the supported modem list, I can't hold that against Aluratek.

The adapter is great if you want to share your connection, or if you'd rather just keep your modem and wireless router inside your bag. Installation is a breeze and speeds don't suffer.

Product page:

Filed under: Gadling Gear Review

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