Using an LTE Connection on a Windows based device other than with a USB dongle

There are a wide variety of devices used in IoT, and among them is a strong need to utilize devices equipped with a Windows operating system. Some of these devices, such as a tablet style device, will allow for a SIM to be inserted directly, however not all devices allow this. So how can you create an LTE connection on a Windows device when the hardware does not have the ability to accept a SIM card?

Connect using an LTE Router

The easiest way to use a cellular connection with a Windows device is to connect using an LTE Router. An LTE router is a device that allows you to connect to a network via cellular connection by inserting a SIM card into the router. You can then use either a wired connection from your Windows based device to the router, or a Wifi connection to the router. The router will establish a data connection using the cellular.

Benefits of utilizing an LTE Router

  • The configuration and setup of an LTE router is not unlike a hardwired router that you would normally use in your home or office. Most Windows devices can use Wifi or an wired connection, so you can immediately use the cellular line without making any special settings or installing additional software. These settings are easily configured within the Windows User Interface without needing specialized knowledge.
  • Variety of models to choose from

  • Models of LTE routers are available from a variety of manufacturers with many models to choose from depending on your requirements. These include models such as the Teltonika RUT240 which can accept a SIM card such as the SORACOM Air SIM Card

Common Configurations

A common configuration when using Windows based devices with SORACOM is to allow remote access to control the Windows based device. The device will connect to the LTE router via Wifi or a wired connection, and using SORACOM Napter to remotely and securely access the Windows based device. By setting the LTE router to forward access from the Internet to a connected device, you can easily control the PC.

Cases when an LTE router cannot be used

Although there are many benefits of using an LTE router, there are times when you cannot use one, for example,

  • There is no power supply in the location for the router
  • The device is in an environment where Wifi or a wired connection cannot be used
  • There is a space restriction that would not allow for an LTE router

In this instance, a USB dongle-type LTE module is often utilized. A USB LTE dongle will allow a cellular connection as the Windows device will access the modem through the USB port.

What other use cases or challenges could arise when trying to make use of an LTE router on a Windows based device?