Best Practices for Maximizing Cellular WAN With Cradlepoint Routers

Wireless Router

Active Ping, Aggressive Reset & Line of Sight Support Constant Network Connectivity

When your enterprise network depends on cellular broadband for primary or backup connectivity, stability is vital. Downtime is so expensive, both in hard and soft costs, that it’s really not an option.

Understanding the best practices for using 4G LTE through a Cradlepoint router is a key step toward the level of network consistency your organization needs. Best practices include active ping, aggressive reset, and line of sight.

Active Ping / Keep-Alive

Active ping, or “keep-alive,” is a vital feature in Cradlepoint routers for keeping a modem/router up and running on a cellular network. This is important because if a router goes awhile without using data, sometimes the network downgrades the device to a lower priority. When the wireless carrier’s midnight billing cycle rolls through, resetting the network and deeming your lower-priority modem idle.

This loss of connectivity can be disastrous, especially when your company relies on consistent access to Point-of-Sale (POS) services.

Active ping is a simple configuration that keeps data passing through the network every so often — perhaps every 30 seconds. This minimal activity keeps the unit “alive” and atop the carrier’s priority list.

This best practice — which can be done through NetCloud Manager, a service of Cradlepoint's NetCloud platform — requires very minimal data usage, which most organizations view as an acceptable cost compared to the many drawbacks of network downtime.

Aggressive Reset

If the “keep-alive” feature sends out five pings and still can’t reach the network, something is wrong. In this scenario, Cradlepoint’s aggressive reset feature is the next logical step.

Aggressive reset is a software-defined way to mimic physically unplugging and replugging the modem. It also allows you to reboot the modem without having to power cycle the router itself.

Active ping and aggressive reset work together to maximize the stability of your router while it’s connected to a cellular network, and to limit your truck rolls.

Line of Sight

Ensuring excellent line of sight from a router to a cell tower is another best practice for ensuring excellent stability on a cellular network. There’s more than one way to accomplish this.

The Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) feature of Cradlepoint devices such as the ARC CBA850 failover bridge allows you to situate the device in a spot where there is excellent line of sight to a cell tower, even if there’s no power outlet available in that spot. Connecting the CBA850 to primary router in the server room — often located in the middle of a building — provides both power and data transmission.

If you need your router or bridge locked up in a server room, you may choose to run coax cable from your device to an antenna on the roof of your building. There are many variations of antennas, but a directional antenna is a sensible option at a fixed location.

Active ping, aggressive reset, and line of sight are just a few of the best practices for maximizing 4G LTE through a Cradlepoint router. Perhaps the most all-encompassing best practice is to pair your routers with Cradlepoint NetCloud, which allows organizations to deploy private cloud networks over wired and wireless Internet services. 

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