REVIEW: BuzzConnect Hubba 3G WIFI Router
The Hubba 3g Wireless Router is, according to the manufacturers blurb “ideal for applications such as temporary offices, business continuity or as an alternative to slow ADSL connections.
Clever algorithms test surrounding transmitters to see which can offer the fastest connection and lock on, as opposed to a traditional dongle that will connect to just the nearest.”
We had a chance to test the unit and our thoughts are as follows:
First Impressions – We meet at last:
The unit appears well made with good quality plastic and connectors. It came with both the mains connector and a cigarette lighter socket but I don’t think the latter comes as standard.
Once plugged in, the Hubba was easy to set-up using the login details provided. I quickly had a good speed broadband up and running, parallel to my land connection.
Initial Speed Comparisons:
Network Download Speed Upload Speed
Plusnet (via WiFi) 4.6MB/s 497Kb/s
Hubba (via WiFi) 4.54MB/s 445Kb/s
This shows that the Hubba unit pretty much matches my landline after initial testing.
It’s second test was uploading clients golf videos to Youtube, a task I normally do overnight to avoid having slowdown on internet access during the day. It proved quick, efficient and with no hangs or restarts.
Even though we were in the middle of a heatwave, the unit stayed cool and didn’t struggle with the heat.
First Week – The Honeymoon Period:
The You Tube uploading was going well and I had less issues than I normally do using our main internet connection.
We stuck the Hubba in our Bongo (Mazda Bongo Friendee for the uninitiated) to see how the unit faired inside the metal cage of a camper van. First reports were great with 7.075MBps download speed and 485Kbps upload.
We’re off shortly to Portland, Dorset so we’ll see how Hubba copes with a moving signal and island life.
So far though, romance is in the air…
Road Trip 1 – Portland Perambulations:
I wanted to try Hubba out to see how it faired in a moving vehicle, at speed, on the motorway. An impromptu weekend away in Portland was going to be the perfect test.
The Bongo has various 12v ‘cigarette lighter’ outlets and I utilised one of the rear sockets so that I could keep the bubba in our cupboard by the tailgate. I didn’t think that the plywood cupboard would cause much interference to range and was hoping that the unit would be able to get a good enough signal through the adjacent window,
The Hubba fitted nicely between my bike helmet, gloves and spare gas canister to ensure it wasn’t flung about during the journey for while the unit is pretty rugged, the plug and cable do stick out and I didn’t want them to catch on anything or strain the connection.
Once on the road, Ali, my wife, opened up the iPad to check the traffic heading down to Dorset. The WiFi was fast and only dropped signal once as we passed through a valley to the south of Dorchester. It quickly returned once we were back in signal range though and proved pretty flawless on the 3 hour journey.
Whilst we had driven down to Portland in the Bongo, we were in fact staying in a hotel with friends which is where the Hubba proved useful yet again.
The hotel boasts of free WiFi throughout the hotel but, as in many cases, we found we couldn’t get WiFi in our rooms. I whipped the Hubba out of the van, plugged it in next to the kettle and Bingo, we’ve got WiFi again. Our friends in the next room could also pick it up.
This was one use I hadn’t thought of and one that would be very useful to those who need to travel and stay in hotels or B&B’s frequently.
Hubba beat the hotel WiFi for speed with 4.8MBps versus the Hotels 4.2MBps.
First date went well and now the love affair is alive and well…
Road Trip 2 – Haywire (Welsh Rare Bit):
After the success of the Portland trip, we thought we’d try something a little more testing for the Hubba.
We’d been promising to visit friends in Hay on Wye for ages (actually the little known valley of Cusop Dingle) where the mobile signal is notoriously bad and ranges from nothing as standard to one bar on a good day.
We arrived, said our hellos and I dashed off to check if we had WiFi for the first time in ten years at the farm. We did.
We could stream videos, download holiday pics and browse local properties for sale faster then the farmhouse broadband, which is slow and intermittent. As we were camping in the field behind the farm, we could also check our emails (and add to this review) which was a treat.
On our journey home, my navigator browsed the web and choose a good pub for a pit stop as well as keeping an eye on the traffic and guiding us round any sticky spots.
Second date and Hubba’s moving in.
Road Trip 3 – Beacon Hill:
With summer deciding to take a break for the August Bank Holiday we thought we’d head over to the Devils Punchbowl and Beacon Hill. Hubba didn’t flicker as we drove over and used the unit to find a Bongo friendly car park.
Beacon Hill was shrouded in mist but the WiFi was clear as a bell and running at just over 5MBps.
Even thought the unit is unceremoniously squashed into our rear cupboard to keep it out of the way, it doesn’t get hot and doesn’t appear to suffer from the position. The only thing to watch or is that the power lead doesn’t get bent or pulled.
For camper van use, one thing that would be useful is a couple of tie-down loops/moldings and maybe a loop to hang the unit somewhere out of the way.
WiFi wedding bells are in the air…
Part two to follow….
Outstanding signal range
Easy to use
Consistent and reliable
Quite a large unit
ConclusionWe weren't sure how much use we'd get in day-to-day use with the Hubba but it keeps coming up trumps, once again allowing us to choose a lunch spot on the fly and check menus, parking, etc. Something that normally took the mobile phones ages with on 3G.