Peplink MAX HD1 Dome

The MAX series of LTE products from Peplink has a number of different forms, including the MAX Transit, HD switch-style, outdoor, and the HD1 and HD2 domes.  I finally was able to get a MAX HD1 Dome with Category 18 modems, and am very excited to be testing it over the next few weeks.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Any idea when a 5G version of the HD1/2 dome may come out? Many new data plans require a 5G device even though a boat mounted device may never be in range of real 5G service.

Good question! I don’t know of many data plans that require 5G and won’t work if the device doesn’t support that - they just offer 5G as part of what you get in the plan, and fall back to 4G LTE.

I don’t know of any specific plans for the HD1/HD2 domes to support 5G. However, Peplink is pretty good about keeping up with things, although slightly behind the consumer market (phones, tablets, etc.)


Are you still having good success with the HD1 dome?



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It is one of my favorite ways to stay connected! I have two HD1 CAT18 domes and they are on 24x7 and provide most of my connectivity. In rare cases out in the middle of nowhere, a big antenna might do slightly better, but the domes are very close in that situation. In all other situations, the domes are superior.

Has any HD1 user found the SIM switch to be anything but tortuously slow? While it can detect poor performance in a matter of seconds on one sim, I find the switchover to the next sim to be many minutes. Is that expected behavior?

I can confirm it is very, very slow sometimes, and moderately slow almost all the time. I also have to reboot the HD1 domes I have more often than anything else when switching SIMs when they get stuck in 3G and reconnecting.

Yeah, I may have to go your route with the two HD1 domes and join them. Then I can boot one then the other if necessary too. I just have the AP one rugged tho. So expensive but it is the lifeline to the outside working world

The challenge that I have with two HD1s is that you need a downstream router that has two WAN ports. And it probably has to be Peplink so if you’re using the SIM injector, that can be passed through. Starts getting really expensive.

Fortunately I am a little simpler than your setup. I don’t need the injector (very expensive) and I have zero interest in also being able to leverage land based wifi as an additional source. Basically I think I need to figure out if any of the peplink routers can support the two wans while also sending PoE for power and using my AP One rugged as my wifi access point (with PoE).

What router are u using for your two domes?

I am using a Peplink MAX HD4 MBX which has 3x WAN ports, 8 PoE LAN ports, and 4x CAT-18 modems :grinning: Not a cost effective solution - it’s in the $15k or more range.

You could use the Peplink Balance 20X at about $400 and it has a backup CAT-4 LTE modem. It has one WAN port, but you can also use a USB ethernet adapter and a second WAN port. It will not do PoE.

In fact, none of the routers that are under $5k from Peplink do PoE on the WAN ports without burning LAN ports, complicated VLANs and lots of money for features that you likely won’t use.

Sadly it is like you and others pointed out on the peplink website forum that there is a missing “in between”. So annoying!

Yup! They need a router product with no LTE, two to three WAN ports that support PoE to power domes, 2-3 LAN ports for APs and downstream devices/switches, and that has 4-8 slots for SIMs that can be served out to the domes. It would be awesome too if it had 4x WiFi connection points - 2x for indoor, if you didn’t need APs, and 2x for outdoor WiFi as WAN.

Yes! Sign me up for that right now :wink:

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Is it reasonable to mount the dome on top of the mast of a sailboat? Is there a concern with isolating the dome from the mast? Lightning protection? Has anyone tried this and have some details regarding the results?

Hi @Colin

I’ve been part of 2 installs where the customer wanted the dome at the top of the sailboat mast. Most of the rest of the installs were much lower - on a rail or bimini or somewhere easier to maintain, etc.

The challenges with the top of the mast installs included things like ensuring there was enough space around it, not conflicting with other sensitive things like VHF antennas, and generally figuring out how to mount it as it required a decent sized base. The other concern I had was from the maintenance perspective. If the thing ever got into a state where you needed to factory reset it or otherwise, you’d need to climb the mast.

However, on the benefits side, you have the fact that you’re away from lots of other noise and radiation/interference, that you’re higher up so more likely to get signal if you are going offshore a decent amount, but not fully away from land.

Hope this helps!

I have recently purchased one of these and am finding the performance absolutely woeful. I have compared to a cat 12 modem alongside the HD1 with antennas directly attached and the HD1 gets about a 20-30Mbps download and the cat 12 gets a 140mbps down.
Same carrier And within 5 mins of testing both.
At this stage it’s really not worth it and am going to return it. The hype of Peplink I don’t think is worth it.

I wonder if you ended up with a bad unit, or if there was some sort of interference or other issue. I’ve used the HD1 Domes aboard my own boat, and have installed many on other boats, and they work very well. I’ve done a lot of testing with CAT12/CAT18 standalone routers (non dome) versus the CAT18 dome, and there are definitely benefits in external antennas for very low signal level areas, but in general, the CAT18 ones perform very similar.

I hope you’re able to find a good solution!