If you’re looking for an unlocked 4G home broadband router, you can choose from a range of Huawei 4G home broadband routers.

Over the past year, 4G home broadband has rapidly grown in popularity as an alternative to fixed-line broadband that’s delivered through a phone line or cable.

By allowing you to side-step the speed limitations of your BT Openreach or Virgin Media connection, you can get download speeds on 4G home broadband that often rival a fibre broadband connection. You also get the flexibility to bring your broadband connection with you to other places, and to access home broadband without the need for a phone line.

The easiest way to get 4G home broadband is as part of a package like Three’s Huawei B535 or AI Cube B900. You can also get Vodafone’s GigaCube package or EE’s 4GEE Home. As an alternative, some people prefer to build their own “do-it-yourself” package by buying an unlocked 4G broadband router and using it with an unlimited data SIM card.

In this article, we’ll review 4G home broadband routers that are available from Huawei on an unlocked basis. If you’re building your own 4G home broadband solution, you can choose from routers like the Huawei B310, B315, B525 and B618.

Overview of Huawei 4G Broadband Routers

If you’re looking for an unlocked 4G home broadband router, Huawei currently offers a choice of four devices in the UK: the B310, B315, B525 and B618.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the four routers:

Huawei B310Huawei B315Huawei B525Huawei B618
Home Broadband Plans
Price:£79.99 unlocked£99.99 unlocked£122 unlocked£249.99 unlocked
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 4 LTECategory 4 LTECategory 6 LTECategory 11 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 150 Mbit/s downloadUp to 150 Mbit/s downloadUp to 300 Mbit/s downloadUp to 600 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 50 Mbit/s uploadUp to 50 Mbit/s uploadUp to 50 Mbit/s uploadUp to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8 & 20LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 & 38LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 32 & 38LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 & 38
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectorsYes, 2x SMA connectorsYes, 2x SMA connectorsYes, 2x TS-9 connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:NoNoYesYes
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11b/g/n802.11b/g/n802.11b/g/n/ac802.11b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 32 devicesUp to 32 devicesUp to 64 devicesUp to 64 devices
Ethernet:1 Gigabit Ethernet port4 Gigabit Ethernet ports4 Gigabit Ethernet ports2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Phone:1 RJ11 phone port1 RJ11 phone port1 RJ11 phone port1 RJ11 phone port
Other
Model:Huawei B310Huawei B315Huawei B525Huawei B618
Colour:WhiteBlack/WhiteBlack/WhiteWhite

Alongside this, there are other 4G home broadband routers that are available only as part of a package. This include the Huawei B535 (available on Three’s HomeFi+ service), the Huawei B900 with Alexa (available on Three’s AI Cube service) and the Huawei B528 (available on Vodafone’s GigaCube 4G service).

Through the rest of this article, we’ll review each of the unlocked 4G broadband routers in more detail.

Huawei B310

The Huawei B310 is Huawei’s basic entry-level 4G home broadband router.

Available unlocked for around £100 at Amazon.co.uk, the B310 supports Category 4 LTE speeds (up to 150Mbit/s download and up to 50Mbit/s upload). Up to 32 devices can be connected your B310’s wi-fi network, which uses 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n technologies).

There’s a single Gigabit Ethernet socket for connecting wired devices to your network and a RJ11 port for attaching a telephone to use any minutes that are included on your plan.

Show full specifications for Huawei B310 ↓

Huawei B310
Home Broadband Plans
Price:£79.99 unlocked
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 4 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 150 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8 & 20
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:No
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11b/g/n
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 32 devices
Ethernet:1 Gigabit Ethernet port
Phone:1 RJ11 phone port
Other
Model:Huawei B310
Colour:White
More Information:See amazon.co.uk

Until September 2019, Three offered a very similar router called the Huawei B311 HomeFi.

The main difference between the Huawei B310 and the Huawei B311 is the latter only has a single SMA antenna socket. The RJ11 phone port is also disabled on the Huawei B311 and the router is available in black rather than white.

As of September 2019, Three is now offering new 4G broadband customers a Huawei B535 HomeFi+ router instead of the old Huawei B311. For more information, read our full review of the HomeFi service.

Huawei B315

For most people, the Huawei B315 is a better choice if you’re looking to get an entry-level 4G broadband router on an unlocked basis.

Available for around £100 unlocked at Amazon.co.uk, the Huawei B315 is priced similarly to the B310. Like the B310, the Huawei B315 also supports Category 4 LTE speeds (up to 150Mbit/s download and up to 50Mbit/s download). You can connect up to 32 devices to the router using 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n technology). There’s also 2 SMA sockets for attaching an external antenna to your router.

Where the Huawei B315 wins out over the B310 is with the four Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your network. The router also has additional support for band 38 LTE coverage at 2600MHz. This is used by Vodafone and EE in certain areas to give additional capacity and faster download speeds. You’ll also get a choice of colour options with the Huawei B315: either black or white.

Show full specifications for Huawei B315 ↓

Huawei B315
Home Broadband Plans
Price:£99.99 unlocked
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 4 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 150 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 & 38
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:No
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11b/g/n
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 32 devices
Ethernet:4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Phone:1 RJ11 phone port
Other
Model:Huawei B315
Colour:Black/White
More Information:See amazon.co.uk

Amazon sells the B315s-22 version of the Huawei B315 router (also known as the Huawei B315SFB).

Huawei B525

The Huawei B525 is a mid-range 4G home broadband router.

Available from around £122 at Amazon, it supports faster Category 6 LTE speeds (up to 300Mbit/s download and 50Mbit/s upload). You’ll also get dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity on up to 64 devices (including 802.11ac Wi-Fi using 5GHz spectrum). Both of these upgrades should give you a significant performance improvement over more basic routers like the Huawei B310 or B315.

Alongside the dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, the Huawei B525 has four Gigabit Ethernet sockets for you to connect a wired device to your network. There are also 2 SMA sockets for attaching an external antenna and a RJ11 socket for attaching a phone to your router if you’d like to use the inclusive minutes on your plan.

The Huawei B525 is available in a choice of two colours: either black with a golden strip, or white with a silver strip.

Show full specifications for Huawei B525 ↓

Huawei B525
Home Broadband Plans
Price:£122 unlocked
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 6 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 300 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 32 & 38
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:Yes
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 64 devices
Ethernet:4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Phone:1 RJ11 phone port
Other
Model:Huawei B525
Colour:Black/White
More Information:See amazon.co.uk

At the time of writing, you can get a Huawei B525 for around £122 unlocked. This can be paired with an unlimited data SIM card costing you about £20/month.

As an alternative, it may also be worth considering the Huawei B535. This is available as part of a package from Three, starting from £20/month when you take a 24-month contract. Often, this will work out to be better value than buying the Huawei B525, especially when the cost of your unlimited data plan is taken into consideration.

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three HomeFi Plus
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£20/month
with special offer

Three HomeFi Plus
Unlimited Data12 month contract£29£27/month

Three HomeFi Plus
Unlimited Data1 month contract£79£31/month

The Huawei B535 supports Category 7 LTE speeds, versus Category 6 LTE on the Huawei B525. For more information, see our full review of the Huawei B535.

Huawei B618

Huawei’s flagship unlocked router for 4G home broadband is the Huawei B618, which is available for around £250 unlocked.

The key selling point of the Huawei B618 is its support for 4×4 MIMO technology. This means the router has four built-in antenna which can be used at the same time to access faster download speeds (the other routers listed on this page only support 2×2 MIMO). Because of this, the Huawei B618 can support up to Category 11 LTE speeds (up to 600Mbit/s download and 50Mbit/s upload).

One notable limitation is the support for 4×4 MIMO only works with the internal antenna. You can use the two TS-9 connectors for attaching an external antenna but this will drop you down to 2×2 MIMO.

Elsewhere, the Huawei B618 also supports dual-band Wi-Fi, with 802.11ac wi-fi available on up to 64 devices at one time. There are also two Gigabit Ethernet sockets for attaching a wired device to your network and one RJ11 phone socket for attaching a handset.

The Huawei B618 is only available in white and has a tall cuboid form factor. This differs from the more traditional rectangular form factor used by the Huawei B310, B315 and B525.

Show full specifications for Huawei B618 ↓

Huawei B618
Home Broadband Plans
Price:£249.99 unlocked
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 11 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 600 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 & 38
External Antenna:Yes, 2x TS-9 connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:Yes
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 64 devices
Ethernet:2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Phone:1 RJ11 phone port
Other
Model:Huawei B618
Colour:White
More Information:See amazon.co.uk

Other Huawei 4G & 5G Broadband Routers

Aside from the Huawei B310, B315, B525 and B618, there are several other 4G home broadband routers also available to buy in the UK:

  • The Huawei B535 is available from £20/month on Three’s HomeFi Plus service. It’s a slightly upgraded version of the Huawei B525 with support for Category 7 LTE speeds rather than Category 6 LTE speeds.
  • The Huawei AI Cube B900 is available from £25/month on Three. Uniquely, it doubles up as an Amazon Alexa smart speaker so you can use it for listening to music or controlling your other smart home devices. Read our full review of the AI Cube for more information.
  • The Huawei B528 is available as part of Vodafone’s GigaCube 4G service. It supports Category 6 LTE speeds and 802.11ac wi-fi on up to 20 devices at the same time.
  • The Huawei 5G CPE Pro (H112-370) is Huawei’s first 5G home broadband router. You can get it on Three’s 5G Home service or on Vodafone’s GigaCube 5G service.

SIM Cards for Huawei 4G Broadband Router

If you purchase an unlocked 4G home broadband router, you’ll need to get a SIM card for it before you can go online.

We’d normally always recommend getting an unlimited data SIM card for your home broadband router. This will allow you to get the most from your home broadband connection without the worry of running out of data mid-month.

The following table shows a list of unlimited data SIM cards that are currently available in the UK:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£21.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
18 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£25.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£28.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
12 months
To show you the most relevant plans, 14 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

Before choosing an unlimited data plan, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions on each network. For instance, both EE and O2 will only allow you to have 12 devices connected to your router. Separately, Vodafone has some download speed restrictions when you choose their Unlimited Lite or Unlimited plans.

Typically, we’d recommend choosing an unlimited data SIM card from Three. This is because you can get unlimited data from just £20/month with no limits on how many devices you can connect and with no download speed limits imposed by the network. You’ll also get 5G coverage at no extra cost when it arrives in your area.

More Information

For more information, please see the Amazon.co.uk product pages for the Huawei B310, the Huawei B315, the Huawei B525 and the Huawei B618.

Alternatively, you may also want to read our guide on 4G broadband in the UK and buying an external antenna for your router.

Your Comments 15 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 15 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Thanks for a great informative blog on 4G routers and deals.

    I was on Relish which was working great on their bespoke LTE solution (£28pm) UNTIL Three (3) took them over and now I’ve gone from an avg 25mbs to 500kbs (yes kilo bits per sec) and they will not fix it and willing to cancel my contract.
    They have installed a square dish on the roof of the house that has an ethernet cable that comes down not the house to connect to a Gemlink router (very basic).
    These directional dishes point towards their bespoke towers around the town.
    But now Three have taken over, they have screwed up the network by tacking it onto theirs.

    Having read some of the solutions here and need to decide on the replacement.

    Three customer service is 0 out 10 so don’t care about their speed in my area.
    EE speed is great (tested on an iPhone) but they don’t have unlimited data plan (apparently we are consuming around 500GB pm !).
    So I went to Vodafone and signed up to their Giga cube £50pm Huawei 528 on a 14 day trial (cooling off period).
    I get ~ 20mbs though latency is slower (~ 40ms vs 19ms).
    My gigabit ethernet switch plugs into the one single LAN port on the 528 and all works great within my study (which has my NAS, wired iMac, etc. So siting the LTE router in the Study is essential. It is sitting on the window sill (and gets the best signal).
    BUT £50pm is steep (even for unlimited data).
    So I just bought a Huawei 525s with a view to sending the 528 back and buying the Vodafone unlimited max SIM for £30pm (plus £40 cash back) working out to ~£35pm over 18 months (inc 525s router).
    I unplugged the SIM from the 528 and inserted it into the 525 and sited it in the same place where the 528 was (on the window sill).
    It was plug and play….BUT the speeds was nowhere as fast as 528.
    With 525s I get ~ 6mbs down and 19mbs upload.
    I tried moving it around but no joy. SINR value was typically 0dB to -5dB for the 525s where as the 528 in the same position was around +3dB to +6dB (and RSRQ ~ -9dB).
    What was also interesting was that the Cell ID’s that the routers connected were different for each router. The 525s never connected to the same Cell ID as the 528 and may be that was the reason that I was I was getting slower speeds.

    Out of the box, like-for-like 528 has significantly better sensitive receivers/aerials builtin compared with 525s.

    So need to make a decision…stick with the better speed on 528 and pay the extra or invest more money on an external Omni Arial (~ £65) in the hope it will improve the 525s speed to match or better the 528 ????

    • Hi Mac,
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. Unfortunately, I can’t think of an obvious reason why the Huawei B525 isn’t connecting to the same Cell ID as the Huawei B528 you previously had. It’s possibly worth testing an antenna like you say, or perhaps someone else reading this article might have additional ideas?
      Ken

      • Further updates.

        The Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 aerial arrived this morning. Plugged it into the back of the 525s. Initially, stuck the aerial on to Windows and the signal level dropped 🙁 and now was getting 3mbs. Moved it around in different directions (waiting few minutes in between the moves) inside and outside but to no avail. Yes, I had set the Antenna Settings to External.

        Took the aerial to upstairs bathroom above my study and dropped the cables out of the window and down into the study. Connected it up to the 525s and received better signal (SINR ~ 2dB) but the speedtest was showing ~ 7mbs downloads.
        Basically, the Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 aerial did not help at all and if anything, made it worst. Will be returning this unfortunately.

        So I reset the 525s to Factory Reset. Removed the aerial. Placed 525s on the window sill and it finds the same Cell as the 528 had done previously and locked onto it. SINR was 4dB and getting ~ 27mbs. After a few minutes it got to +6dB and download speeds of ~ 32mbs consistently. I moved the 525s FURTHER into the study and away from the window and on top of a filing cabinet and now I am getting downloads ~ 30 to 43mbs (RSRQ: -5dB, RSRP: -82dBm and SINR: 10dB). Pings are in the 30ms range. It seems to be stay on the same Cell ID.

        This is the ideal position for the router and now happy with the speeds (more by luck than by science).

        Only issue is if I switch off the router, and power it up and finds a different Cell and loose my speed advantage completely. The only way to get back the “working” Cell ID is to do a factory Reset and re-site the router by the Window.

        Shame there is no way to LOCK the Cell ID on this router.
        May be I need a directional aerial but have no idea where the “working” Cell ID is physically located to be able to point at.

        It’s incredible that in the 5th largest economy in the world in the 21st century we are still trying to get broadband in the home 🙁

        • Hi Mac,
          Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, there can often be lots of trial and error when setting up a 4G home broadband service – it reminds me of trying to tune an old TV with one of those small indoor analogue aerials which you need to move, rotate, twist, etc to get the best signal. The reason it’s a tricky process is because the radio waves travelling to everyone’s home will be coming from a different direction. They’ll also reflect differently based on different materials and nearby objects (e.g. buildings and trees) and then you’ve got things like the polarisation of the signal to consider.
          In my opinion, where an antenna really comes into its own is: (1) it changes the place your signal is received e.g. with an outdoor antenna, you can receive the signal outdoors (where it’s generally stronger and more reliable than receiving it indoors), (2) you have more flexibility e.g. orientating the antenna differently as required and (3) you can optionally change the way it receives a signal e.g. by using a directional antenna rather than an omni-directional antenna.
          In your case, it sounds really strange to me that you’re only able to get good speeds from one Cell ID (especially one that appears to have a weaker signal than the others). II’d have thought Vodafone would upgrade their masts at the same time in one area, so all masts would give you similar speeds. Do you know whether there’s currently any work ongoing in your area to upgrade the other nearby masts?
          Ken

          • Thanks Ken for your reply.
            I spent 2-3 hours with the Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 aerial – mostly outside. I even temporarily mounted it on a 2m wooden broomstick and holding it up in different directions and checking the signal strength seen by the router on the mobile phone. I think I have now discovered muscles I did not know I had in my arms 🙂 Not only that, my neighbours think I have gone totally mad.

            One place I did get a better signal was when the aerial was ~ 1m in front of the study window/ wall. Clearly impracticle.

            I don’t know if there are ongoing mast upgrades in our area. I went to the https://www.mastdata.com site but it’s way too geeky (and I thought I was technical) to be able to fathom what it is telling me.

            I was hoping it would tell which mast my cell ID is but pretty unintuitive. It may be there but not obvious. May be there are other tools out there.

  • If I want to test Three and Vodafone before signing up do I just buy a PAYG Data Sim for a tablet with 10 or 15 gb on it from each befoe signing up to one of them.

  • I live in a rural area. Mobiles work pretty well with patches out here and there. Inspired by your article here I spent the afternoon trying to find the Vodafone masts and cells around using the various apps like cellmapper and others. Some swore there was a cell unit on the hillside above my house but despite trying to triangulate it I couldn’t locate it. Others appeared then disappeared. Obviously for a home router for date I would use the best 4g mast whatever the provider but how do i find it? have you done a survey of these apps. If os where and if not is it worth doing? I dont really want spend money on a top end router if it is no better than land line about 7mbs

    • Hi Nigel,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, I haven’t done a survey or review of these applications! Sadly, the mobile networks don’t really publish official information regarding the location of their masts so it’s really a bit of trial and error (usually informed by some of these specialist apps and unofficial websites that collate mast locations).
      It’s really difficult to say what speeds you’ll be able to get, though you can get a “worst case” baseline scenario by testing with a SIM card in your phone (coverage and speeds will only ever get better when you use the SIM card in a router). Alternatively, just have a careful read of the product returns policy, as I think most of them will give you about 14 days to return the product if you aren’t happy with it.
      Ken

      • Nigel Smith replied:

        I was less concerned about speed in that I will get what is available but I do want locate the router on the best side of the house with internal (or external) aerials pointing in the right direction. I can’t understand why it is a such a mystery.

        Anyway thanks for your comments. I will persevere with trial and error.

        I always find your surveys helpful.

    • Ricardodecruz replied:

      Try looking on https://www.cellmapper.net and looking up the cell I’d and then viewing on the map

      I’m also using a 525 router and and finding that it annoyingly switches so a weaker cell

      Am also using an external directional antenna . Not sure if I can maybe add some shielding on the rear to block the weak signal

  • What about speed restrictions after a number of GB? 4G looked like a good way to go (if, like me, you have poor FTTC due to distance to the cabinet) but people are reporting those headline speeds don’t hold up. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your excellent, informative and interesting site.
    John

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. As far as I know, it’s only giffgaff that has a speed reduction (to 384kbit/s after the first 40GB per month). Other unlimited data SIM cards do not have this limit as far as I know. It’s true, however, like you say, that the headline “up to” router speeds are never actually obtained in practice (something like 15-30Mbit/s is a more typical range for 4G broadband, but it could be higher or lower due to the coverage you get).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Marcus Bennett said:

    First thanks for an excellent summary article. My question is this. For the 3 network what is the maximum LTE Category signal that they broadcast here in mainland UK in September 2019? It’s all very well having a CAT6 and above device, but if it can’t receive a faster signal, it’s merely the Ferrari in London syndrome … looking great, but going nowhere fast.

    • Hi Marcus,
      Thanks for your comment. Three definitely offer a Category 6 LTE signal in the UK. Going beyond that, I don’t have much definitive information about what Three is offering in each area. I know there are currently some major upgrades going on, with upgrades to 4G planned alongside the launch of 5G, so this may well have enabled higher speeds (e.g. with a 4×4 MIMO device).
      Ken

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