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LAVA W200 3G Router

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2013
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 583
LAVA W200 3G Router
  

LAVA W200 3G Router is a portable solution for sharing internet connection. With simple plug and play feature it is easy to setup. Entering into a new series of “ROUTERs” product line, LAVA still proves in giving the best. Leaving the Smartphone’s aside, the router offers rich benefits of having a simple internet sharing option via 3G USB Dongle, or through LAN port. At a single time you can hook upto 32 different users on the same hotspot. It also works with EVDO Dongles. This is the first portable router I had seen with RJ45 port very well placed. It is hard to believe how LAVA was able to integrate the Ethernet port so efficiently on the device. And also this is the only device that is extremely small in size. There are some other models by Dlink, TPLink, Edimax and Asus. Talking in terms of feature I found them similar, but in terms of design LAVA W200 3G Router beats them all. You can see a glimpse of the router in few images posted below. LAVA W200 looks like to be the successor of W150 model with some missing features. Compare to W150, W200 does not have a Firewall in it. To some extent this can be less secured.

LAVA W200 is simply designed to give quick internet sharing features. Talking about the battery of W200, it is lower compared to W150. It has 1800 mAH battery while W150 has 2300 mAH of battery. In mobile phones 1800mAH offers 10 to 12 hrs of battery life when it is not used for multimedia and internet purpose. While in USB modems this time it’s almost reduced to 60% because of constant internet usage. I was able to use W200 for around 3 hours only with 5 different devices connected on it. W150, however, is capable of giving 1 hour additional compared to W200. In terms of battery capacity the routers are basic. They are not so great. But you can charge them using a USB cable. That makes them more portable. You can charge them through your laptop or mobile charger. W200 supports 802.11 w/g/n wifi standard and a maximum speed up to 150mbps. These are the most popular and commonly used standards by many devices. So there is nothing to worry about connectivity problems. With 32 user connectivity, you can enjoy smooth surfing. But when more devices are connected, more bandwidth is affected here. There is no load balancer kind of stuff available that can help you to organize the bandwidth usage. That point can be ignored, but still I think if 32 users connectivity is offered, this must be available. The settings panel is really simple. A mixture of simple and advance options makes it easy to configure.

Design:

I had already said above that LAVA W200 is the smallest and lightweight portable wifi device. The weight is just around 100g. It seems to be a big size usb to me. Carrying it is very easy. The design of LAVA W200 is really impressive. At the front side you can see LAVA Logo on the top with a light indicator placed just above W200. This light indicator turns to blue once a proper connection is established. Or else it will keep on blinking in red color. So this just tells you whether the wifi is enabled or not. W200 has a glossy white body with grayish bar on all the sides. All connectivity ports and buttons are placed well for accessing easily. At the top side lies the RJ45 port. It is covered with rubber closing. It is well integrated on the top side which is also responsible for the modem thickness. Ample of system on the LAN network are controlled by auto DHCP settings. This port also identifies the settings automatically. For LAN, WAN, there is no need of manual configuration. At the bottom side lies a USB port. You can use 3G dongle directly on it. It is also the charging port of the router. To use that configuration login is required through admin panel. You will have to set the “add the dongle” settings in the router. You can find a separate video on that in our Techarena.in/Video section.

On the left lies a slider button which controls three things. You can see the alphabets on the button. Here “O” is to turn the router off, “C” is to put it on Charging and “R” is to turn it ON. Just next to that lies another button that tells you how much charging is left in the router. You can press it and notice a blue led indicator. When the charge goes low, the light indicator keeps on reducing. At a time you can either use a 3G USB dongle or Ethernet port on it. Both cannot be used at a single time. Second thing, you can connect to your existing wifi network. That means it is not a extender. It is just a basic router. You can hook this router directly to your model through RJ45 cable and share the network easily. The range is good but not great. It is enough for single room. As per the specification the router is capable of giving you 30 meter range indoors and 50m outdoors, which proves to be wrong. The more you move from the router, the wifi signal gets weaker. This can be due to integrated antenna.

Another portable router by EdiMax comes with External Antenna. That offers more range but is not comfortable to carry. To maintain the portability, LAVA has embedded the antenna inside. Most of these devices come with 2 to 5dB antenna. 2dB is the most common one while in full fledge router you get around 5 to 9 dB antenna. So on that basis you can figure out why coverage area is affected. You can surf comfortably on your tablet pc, mobile phone, when you are near to the router. It is best for using 3G dongles. And a tiny reset hole at the end to put the router settings by default.

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  #2  
Old 08-06-2013
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 583
Re: LAVA W200 3G Router

Setup and Performance:

The setup is easy here. There are some limitations in using this router. To access the setup panel you will have to type http://192.168.169.1 in the web browser. This only works via wifi not through LAN. I tried connecting the router to my pc directly through LAN port. And when I type the router address in the bar, it shows me nothing. The same thing worked on my laptop when I connected it through wifi and then typed the page ip address. The interface is very simple with minimum options only. It is not overloaded with tons of features. Below I am going to highlight the important parts of its feature and settings:

Homescreen: The home screen of LAVA W200 Setup gives you a basic info on the existing connectivity. Also it shows the number of users connected at top left. You can access the advance setting menu also from this page. Below you can see a short glimpse of network created by W200. The first is Status bar that provide info on bandwidth usage. A kind of activity monitoring utility. The second one displays the SSID and you can simply encrypt the wifi directly from here. W200 supports powerful encryption standards. While below you can add a password to access the admin page. You can also find in the last section that gives info on Wired Mode. When you connect the LAN cable to the router it shows you the type of connection with Connection Mode which by default set at DHCP. If DHCP is not enabled on your network then you have to manually setup the router by adding IP and DNS.

LAVA W200 3G Router Home Screen

After clicking on Advance Setting the following page opens. On the left side you can see the list of advance settings that you can use to manage the router. There are only three sections here and all settings are properly categorized. We will check each of them one by one. The first thing appear on the screen is the Access Point status where you can look at the ?up time? and driver status.

LAVA W200 3G Router Settings Screen

WAN: The first settings are WAN settings. This is applied when you are connecting the router directly to a modem or Cable internet. The settings here are reasonably simple. The first one is Ethernet Mode. When kept on Auto the router automatically finds the type of connection. The second is WAN connection type.

LAVA W200 3G Router WAN Screen

This section is used when you have to manually configure the router settings. You can see in the second image, the type of connection. They are:
  • Static: Manual IP and DNS settings.
  • DHCP: Auto IP and DNS settings.
  • PPPOE: Modem Settings. If you are using MTNL/WAN/3G USB Modem type in internet connection then whatever user id or password added in the modem/3g dongle, etc; you have to fill up here.
  • L2TP : Used for configuring VPN
  • PPTP: Used as secured VPN Network.

LAVA W200 3G Router Configuration Screen

LAVA W200  WAN Screen
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2013
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 583
Re: LAVA W200 3G Router

Above you can see the connectivity options offered by W200. This shows how flexible the portable router is for small and large network. But this type of feature just acts as icing on the cake. For using advance connectivity it is recommended to use a better router. We will move to the next section now.

LAN: Under this you can configure the router settings manually but adding a static LAN ip. This is advance users and it operates well under small network. At many office DHCP is not applied. So if you are having all the details about your LAN network then you can fill up the same manually and hook up the router on the network. I did not find this settings really worth here unless you are on DHCP.

DHCP: The DHCP section gives you a glimpse of all connected devices. It is a bit useful here. Sometime when your network is not on protected mode, you don?t know which device is connected to your router. At that point you can visit the DHCP section and find out the list of connected device. Though there is no direct option available to block an host, but you can use password protection to make your network more secure.

DHCP Screen

Advance Routing: Now this is an advance option for networking geeks. From here, you can simply control the traffic usage and route your bandwidth to limited systems only. This option is basically provided in bigger routers. But here if you do not want everyone to share your bandwidth then you can use this section. There is no usage procedure provided in the router manual.

Wireless Settings:Under this section you can manage basic to advance router settings. I am not going to test everything here. I will just give out short points which are only required. This section is further divided into 3 categories, which is Basic, Advance and Security. The basic settings allow you to create Multiple SSID. At a time you can create 5 SSID here. And you can choose from different network mode also. And in the same way the Advance section offers you more settings. The settings are not complicated to be understood. You can keep everything on default which is more essential. But as settings are added for different network the configuration becomes easier.

Wireless Settings Screen

Wireless Settings Screen 2

For every wifi it is necessary that you have enough security options. It is not recommended that you work on unsecured network. There are culprits who can manipulate your network. So better use a strong password and keep it protected. In the above image you can see the protection mode. Under security mode LAVA W200 offers you a series of different protection standard. The most commonly used is WPA & WEP. Compared to WPA, WEP is much better which we are missing here. You can choose the right security mode from here and apply a good password. Standards like WEPAuto allow you to add 4 WEP Key at a single time in set of 4 keys. So in terms of protection W200 looks like having ample of great options.

Administration: From this section you can control the router settings. You can update the firmware and save router settings also. You can change the router password and do a set of different things. Through settings management you can export or import the settings. Or just apply the default settings back to normal. So this is just the maintenance part where you can reconfigure router when needed. There are basic settings only available here.

Conclusion:
LAVA W200 3G Router offers simple options to share internet through LAN and 3G. For 3G USB Dongle, W200 is really effective. While for LAN stuff there are better options available. This can act as tool of emergency when you instantly want to use internet and you are not having a router. The cost of LAVA W200 3G Router is Rs.1699, which looks costly to me. But as it is a portable device, then the price can be counted as reasonable. There are more full fledge router available in the market which is cheaper than this. Being a plug and play device it is very easy to use router for everyone. The battery capacity is bit lower. If you are sharing the internet with different pc it is recommended that you keep it on charging.

Pros:
  • Plug and Play
  • Instant Portable Wifi Hotspot
  • Impressive Design
  • Upto 32 User Connectivity
Cons:
  • Over Priced
  • Poor transfer rate on file sharing.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2014
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1
Re: LAVA W200 3G Router

Dear OP,

Thanks for writing a detailed review.

My problem is that I can't find a way to connect it with HUAWEI E173 (Unlocked) using a Voda Sim.

I called Lava customer care a couple of times but they are telling me contact Voda customer care.

Plug and play is not working and I am clue less about manual settings.

Can you please provide Manual settings and where to put them?

Cheers


Raj
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