Cellular backup

Has anyone come up with a decent cellular backup plan? I see talk about USB sticks and what not but no real reviews on how they have worked out.

Most Asus routers will accept a usb connectable hotspot/dongle to work as a backup if your hardline fails. I had this before smartthings so it just kinda worked for me right away. But i can confirm that it does work. The nice thing is, it doesn’t use the 3g/4g unless the hardline goes out… Then hookup a battery pack to it and you’re good to go.

Asus Router


Peplink and Cradle Point also offer routers with cellular failover option. You can buy those on Amazon.

As for your data plan, you’d probably want something with a pay-per-use policy, rather than paying for a monthly data contingent. As long as your primary data connection is operational, you wouldn’t be using any of that monthly cellular data. Make sure to also check the fine print on your plan. A lot of pay-per-use accounts expire after a certain period of no usage. You’d want that period to be as long as possible, or have no such limitation on your plan, at all.

Maybe someone can chime in with specifics as to what would be an appropriate data plan for cellular failover.

I have this TP-Link router. It kicks butt with the Verizon USB modem installed.

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For what its worth, the former Astaro now Sophos has a super awesome UTM software package for the home that is free. Download the software, put it on a PC and you’ve got everything you need, including support for USB 3g/UMTS sticks for backup internet access.

I just ordered a freedompop mifi device with $3.99/mo 500mb 3g/4g. Instead of a backup I will use it with my hub exclusively. It has a battery built in.

How are you going to connect the mifi to the ST hub? The mifi doesn’t have an Ethernet jack on it? Are you going to get a wifi to Ethernet adapter for the hub?

Good question. I have an available wireless bridge I’m going to have to use.

500 mb / month could go quickly. Have you monitored the traffic going two and from the hub?

Why not just use this for a fallback device in case it fails. A simple firewall should be able to support dual wan’s

I plan on hooking up just my ST hub and wemo light switches to my mifi so 500mb should be more than enough. My regular network will still be connected to my cable modem. The reason why I can’t use it as a backup to my network is because 500mb will go very quickly if I fail over.

@redlikemethodz, a lot of firewalls / routers let you configure your WANs in a way that the failover WAN only forwards traffic for a specific set of services. Disabling, for example, YouTube on a WWAN is a fairly common problem that a lot of SoHo and professional products can deal with.

FWIW, I have been thinking about getting a Peplink Balance 20.

tslagle13; it appears from the Asus instructions (RT-AC5300) only switches to USB modem manually. You have experience otherwise? Thnx!

I have an Asus RT-AC66R, it’s similar to the AC5300 it has the ability to switch over to the USB modem automatically, it also lets you set the detection interval and failover execution time. FYI you can have it dedicate a LAN port as a secondary WAN, I am using this method as the freedompop USB modems don’t work with Asus…

I would recommend getting a freedompop wifi hotspot from a freedompop authorized reseller on eBay, this will double the amount of free data per month to 1GB plus you don’t have to have a credit card on file with freedompop. Connect the FP hotspot to a wifi extender that has a LAN port, you see where I’m going with this…


Thank you. I discovered that information w/n the router UI after posting the question. Funny the manual doesn’t explain that a little better… Thnx!

Thanks for the insight. Your WiFi Hotspot is wirelessly connected to the wifi extender with LAN port, in essence making it as a modem, which connects to a hybrid WAN/LAN port on your Asus Router? Any advice on quality WiFi Extenders with LAN port?


I am using a TPlink AC extender and I haven’t had any issues but, I would imagine that any wifi extender with an ethernet port will suffice. I think the ST hub is only 10/100 so you could save some money by forgoing a gigabit port.

This is what I am using: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016K07YT8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Thank you.

It seems the feature needed is WDS, http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/id-3118032/wifi-router-range-extender-smartphone-hotspot.html

Going to try it with this one,

@karlman I have an Asus RT-AC68W and I am interested to add cellular backup capability. Did your setup worked? Are you using the freedompop wifi hotspot and the GL-AR150?