Cradlepoint Vs. Sierra Wireless: Selecting Right Cellular Router

For organizations that need to connect devices and infrastructure over cellular networks, Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless are two of the most well-known brands for cellular routers and gateways.

Both companies offer robust product portfolios for LTE networking, but they have some key differences that are important to weigh when selecting the right option for your needs.

This guide examines the pros, cons, use cases and key capabilities of Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless cellular routers and gateways to help inform your buying decision.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsCradlepointSierra Wireless
Best ForEnterprise IT networks, retail/branch connectivity, in-vehicle networkingMobile/vehicle networking, remote sites, embedded cellular connectivity
ProductsRouters, gateways, adapters, antennas, WiFi access points, softwareRouters, gateways, modems, modules, embedded devices, IoT platforms, managed connectivity
Key FeaturesSD-WAN, edge computing, dual modems, extensive WiFi support, cloud managementGlobal carrier certification, rugged designs, compact modules, transportation focus, LTE-M and NB-IoT
Network Types4G LTE, 5G2G, 3G, 4G LTE, 5G
ManagementNetCloud ManagerAirLink Management
SecurityIPsec VPN, firewall, content filtering, intrusion preventionVPN, firewall, cryptography coprocessors (select models)
Carrier SupportAT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, internationalGlobal certifications across 600+ carriers

Overview Of Cradlepoint

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Cradlepoint is a network infrastructure company that specializes in cloud-delivered 4G and 5G routers and software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solutions.


Cradlepoint is geared toward enterprise and business implementations rather than consumer-grade applications.

Some of the key benefits and capabilities of Cradlepoint solutions include:

  • Cloud management – Cradlepoint routers can be deployed and managed remotely using the cloud-based NetCloud platform. This enables simplified, centralized administration and control across distributed networks.
  • SD-WAN – Cradlepoint offers an advanced SD-WAN solution that includes zerotouch provisioning, application-based routing, pervasive security and analytics/visibility capabilities delivered via the cloud.
  • Dual modems – Many Cradlepoint routers contain both primary and secondary cellular modems to provide redundancy and failover in the event of an outage.
  • Edge computing – Some Cradlepoint routers support running containers for edge computing applications like data collection, preprocessing and IoT device management.
  • Security – Cradlepoint builds in security features like IPsec VPN tunneling, firewalls, intrusion prevention and content filtering to protect network traffic and connected devices.
  • Broad carrier support – Cradlepoint routers work across all major North American, European and Asia Pacific carriers to provide maximum cellular network flexibility.

Cradlepoint routers are available in fixed, vehicle-mounted and ultra-compact formats for conventional offices, mobile networks and IoT deployments.

Overview Of Sierra Wireless

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Sierra Wireless designs and manufactures cellular networking devices and components.

In addition to routers and gateways, Sierra Wireless is a leading producer of embedded modules and full IoT solutions.

 Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless

Some of the key attributes and capabilities of Sierra Wireless gear includes:

  • Broad product line – Sierra Wireless offers an extensive catalog of routers, gateways, modems, modules and full platform solutions for carrier, enterprise, industrial and vehicle applications.
  • Global carrier certification – Sierra Wireless maintains regulatory and network certifications with carriers worldwide, enabling international deployment.
  • Managed connectivity – Sierra Wireless provides cloud-based subscription services for managing connected devices across wireless networks.
  • Advanced LTE – Leading LTE technologies like CAT-M and NB-IoT allow fast speeds and long battery life for IoT use cases.
  • Embedded modules – Compact wireless modules enable cellular connectivity to be built into third-party products for vehicles, industrial systems, computers and handhelds.
  • AirLink management – Cloud-based AirLink management interfaces enable streamlined administration, control and analytics of deployed Sierra Wireless routers.
  • Vehicle networking – Sierra Wireless routers are ruggedly designed for unreliable power and harsh mobile environments like first responder vehicles, trains, buses and heavy machinery.

The company provides an end-to-end cellular solution, from modems to gateways up to private managed networks and cloud services.

Also watch the video of Cradlepoint!

Key Differences

While both companies offer robust cellular networking equipment, there are some important distinctions between Sierra Wireless and Cradlepoint:

  • Focus – Sierra Wireless provides a wider range of cellular solutions including modules, gateways, full IoT platforms and managed connectivity services. Cradlepoint is more specialized in wireless routers, SD-WAN software and WiFi integration.
  • Industries – Sierra Wireless is strongly positioned in vehicle, transportation, industrial and embedded OEM environments. Cradlepoint is more tailored to conventional IT, enterprise and business networks.
  • Networking – Cradlepoint routers place a heavier emphasis on advanced network functionality like SD-WAN, edge computing and integrated WiFi access points. Sierra Wireless routers provide more stripped down LTE networking and management.
  • Deployment – Sierra Wireless gear is often designed for highly mobile and challenging deployments on vehicles, transit systems and remote industrial sites. Cradlepoint targets simpler IT environments like offices, retail stores and branch networks.
  • Supported Carriers – While both support all major carriers, Sierra Wireless tends to have more experience optimizing for global and niche LTE networks needed by their transportation and embedded customers.

Cradlepoint And Sierra Wireless – Which Is Right For You?

So which option is the best choice for your cellular networking needs? Here are some guidelines:

  • For conventional enterprise IT, retail and small business networks where advanced SD-WAN, WiFi and edge computing capabilities are required, Cradlepoint solutions tend to be ideal. Their routers are full-featured for typical usage scenarios in offices, stores and branch locations.
  • For deployments in highly mobile, transportation and remote industrial environments where reliability, global carrier support and compact form factors are critical, Sierra Wireless hardware excels. Their modules allow cellular connectivity to be readily added to vehicles, machinery and custom devices.
  • If you need managed end-to-end cellular connectivity for IoT sensors and assets across different locations, the subscription-based Sierra Wireless managed network services merit strong consideration.
  • For integrators or OEMs building cellular connectivity into specialized vertical market products, Sierra Wireless modules and embedded solutions simplify integration.
  • When robust SD-WAN capabilities are essential for advanced application routing, analytics and unified edge security policies, Cradlepoint routers excel.

Also Read: Choose Between Eero And Gryphon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who makes Sierra Wireless?

Sierra Wireless is a multinational wireless equipment designer and manufacturer founded in 1993 and headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia.
They design and manufacture a variety of cellular networking devices including routers, gateways, modems and embedded modules for integration in third party products and solutions.

What network does cradlepoint use?

Cradlepoint routers and adapters use 4G LTE and 5G cellular networks to deliver wireless connectivity. They support all of the major North American carriers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Many Cradlepoint devices contain dual modems to provide network redundancy and automatic failover between carriers.

What is the use of Sierra Wireless?

Sierra Wireless provides cellular connectivity solutions for a variety of specialized uses cases across transportation, industrial, enterprise and IoT markets.
Their products enable LTE/5G connectivity for mobile assets and infrastructure, remote sites, and integration into custom hardware and vehicles that require embedded wireless.

What is the purpose of a cradlepoint?

Cradlepoint wireless routers and gateways are designed to provide a seamless 4G LTE or 5G network connection where traditional wired connectivity is unavailable, inconvenient or unreliable.
Common applications include in-vehicle networks, temporary sites, rapid deployment and branch connectivity. Their advanced SD-WAN platform also enables robust management, security policies and application-aware routing.

Also Read: Is Ooma Telo Air Better Than Ooma Telo Air 2?


In summary, both Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless produce high-quality cellular networking hardware but are optimized for different applications.

By weighing your specific use case requirements, this guide can help identify which option best aligns with your business needs and deployment environment.

Advanced LTE capabilities along with cloud-managed centralized control allow their solutions to keep distributed assets connected using the latest generation of wireless technology.

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