Huawei E5186 4G Router

This is a review of the Huawei E5186 4G Router with a view to understand it’s suitability for use as a rural 4G mobile broadband solution.


For rural broadband there are usually a few essentials when considering a 4G router.  If we take a look at the rear of the E5186 4G router we can see that it has two x antenna connectors – these are SMA connectors and are for the connection of external 4G antennas.  This means that if you don’t have a good signal indoors, but your have a good 4G signal outdoors then you can install an outdoor 4G Antenna.

But don’t just buy this router and automatically assume that you will need an external 4G antenna because Huawei have installed an upgraded 4G antenna inside the E5186 router casing which in many cases will provide a suitable 4G signal.  In our tests when compared to the Huawei B315 the 4G reception was excellent and usually 15-20% better with the built-in antennas.

In addition to the excellent antennas, the E5186 uses the latest CAT6 4G Module which provides the fastest 4G speeds, dependant upon your choice of mobile network, distance to basestation and of course how many people sharing  that mobile phone mast, but again in tests using the same EE 4G SIM card we saw a consistent 10-15% increase in download and upload speeds in the same location compared to the B315 4G router which uses a CAT4 4G Module.

The other important factor is the high speed WiFi provided with the E5186 router – is has the latest high speed 802.11ac WiFi so provides high speed and long range WiFi so your wireless devices get faster speeds between the device and the router and can also connect from further away.

So the three main things that rural 4G broadband customers desire are included with this impressive router.

  • High speed CAT6 4G Module
  • High Speed, Long Range 802.11ac WiFi
  • External Antenna Connectors for use with 4G Antenna

The E5186 also includes Gigabit speed Ethernet ports so you can create a high speed wired network and has a USB port for the connection of a USB printer.

If you want to replace your telephone line completely then the E5186 4G router also features an RJ11 socket into which you can plug a standard analogue telephone to make and receive calls via your mobile phone SIM card – these calls will use up your 4G SIM card ‘minutes’ just like a normal mobile phone call – it does not use VoIP so your will need to ensure that your SIM card is suitable for also making mobile phone calls if you want to use this feature.  We also recommend using an RJ11 to BT adaptor with a built-in capacitor if you want to connect your standard BT type analogue telephone.

We do not recommend trying to use VoIP services with your 4G router.

The only downside to the E5186 is the position of the antenna connectors on the rear of the router – if you are using external outdoor 4G antennas then the cables stick out of the rear of the router so you usually need to fix your router down so it does not fall over, but otherwise the router provides high speed 4G coupled with high speed wired and wireless connectivity for all of your devices.


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