Huawei 528/Vodafone Gigacube as wired router replacement

15 Jan 2021
Firstly, I'm close to being a networking illiterate so some of my questions will strike some as naive...

I'm moving house to a location where the best fixed line broadband is 1-3Mbps. I've check speeds of three mobile providers in the area and Vodafone has decent 4G speeds. I'm never likely to have 5G in this location so my search has resolved itself down to the Huawei 528, either branded as the Vodafone 4G Gigacube on a contract or as an eBay purchase into which I'll put a Vodafone SIM card. However, I'm concerned about the device's networking capabilities. It will be replacing a BT Smart Hub to which I currently connect two NAS drives on which I have stored all kind of media. Just looking at the back of the two devices (Gigacube vs Smart Hub 6) one looks like a proper router and the other looks like a 'lifestyle' product.

Does the 528/Gigacube do all (or most) of the router-y things that the Smart Hub does?

1. Can I simply connect two NAS drives and a PC to the Gigacube via a gigabit switch and the Gigacube will give me an instant home network the way the Smart Hub does?
2. Would I be better taking a step backwards in time in the Huawei range and buy a used 525 which looks like a more capable router or some other device like a TP-Link Archer MR600? There's precious little information available online about what router capabilities the 528/Gigacube has. I found one German comparison site which makes it look very basic. In comparing the 528 networking capabilities to the 525 it says the 528 has 'IPv4 /IPv6 dual stack' alone whereas the 525 has 'NAT, DHCP, VPN, SMS, VoIP, CS Voice, Firewall, DMZ, UPnP, ALG, IPv4 /IPv6 dual stack'. This makes it sound like the 528/Gigacube is little more than a more powerful dongle.
3. Would I be better off just using the 528/Gigacube as an internet source and connect it to a proper router to handle networking?
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