Introducing Internet-in-a-Box Mini!

February 18, 2020

No, I’ve not decided to get rid of the full Internet-in-a-Box in favor of something smaller. What I have done, however, is fill the gap between aircard alone and the full case for single day or less setups.

What does this mean, and why am I doing this instead of using an actual hotspot device?

To answer the why, let’s go back to late 2009 when I picked up an aircard on T-Mobile. At that point, portable hotspot devices really didn’t exist except for the MiFi 2200 that was on Verizon and Sprint and much more expensive per month. We had one at my old company for trade shows, and because we needed Ethernet for server and workstations we plugged it into a higher end Cradlepoint router. Previous to this I was using my old boss’ Sprint aircard with a CTR350 for similar for the old WB4HRO repeater system, so I was well acquainted with Cradlepoint and their products’ limitations.

What I didn’t do at this point was pick up a Cradlepoint for my aircard choosing instead to repurpose an old netbook as a wireless router. It worked well enough.

Fast forward to early 2012 and I had the CTR35 and the UMG181 as my daily carry combo and it stayed that way for a couple of years until being supplanted by a mobile hotspot device. Not exactly the best move in my opinion, but it worked and gave me LTE speeds.

Anyway, enough of the past: here’s the what! I will be using the GL.iNet GL-AR750S (Slate) travel router for this. It will connect back to the datacenter using WireGuard for DHCP from the domain controller up there as well as adblocking via its DNS server. Should work perfectly!

Again, the scope of Internet-in-a-Box Mini is single day or less setups needing access for n+1 devices. The full Fortinet-based setup will continue to be used for longer duration, semi-permanent setups.

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