Network Radio: Spaceman's Picks

NOTE: This is just a collection of information - we are not selling these radios. If you would like to purchase one of these radios, you can look for the make and model on ebay, aliexpress, amazon, etc.

There are so many Network Radios out there... Which ones are good? Which ones are relevant?

This is a guide that we will try to keep updated going forward. We will list the best radios that are currently out there, and we'll also give you our 2 cents on each of them. We'll also list several money savers.

But what is a Network Radio anyway?

Network radio is a device, usually with an Android operating system (although, we're starting to see Linux here and there), which relies on the internet. Whether it be through WiFi, Cellular, or tethered via Bluetooth, it needs the internet to survive. Then you are also relying on the services you communicate through, such as TeamSpeak, Zello, EchoLink, etc.

Is it really a "radio"?

Some "old school" Hams and CBers say no. But what is at the very core of radio? RF. Guess what. Network Radios are using RF to connect to the internet.

Is it a form of Ham radio?

No, you do not need a ham licence to use a network radio UNLESS you are using something like Echolink to connect to ham repeaters around the world. But if you're using something like Zello or TeamSpeak, there is no license required. However, you will find many hams out there on all the mentioned services!

What if the Internet Goes Bye Bye in a catastrophe of some sort?

Well keep in mind most big cities will bring in mobile cell towers in such an event. If you are in the middle of a catastrophic event, and you don't have a cell signal at first, keep checking. Also, Starlink is about to go live. Yet another way to connect to the internet on a global scale.

What type of radio are you interested in?

More Info:

  • None of the BIG DOGS are making network radios yet. These radios are coming from companies like ANYSECU, BOXCHIP, RADIOTONE, TELO, etc -- and they are all made in China. 9 times out of 10 your radio will be shipped straight from China.
  • These are nice radios, but you need to realize that most of these radios are just a small step behind current tech - such as some are behind a few versions of Android, 4G models have RECENTLY come to light, etc.
  • Also keep in mind that all of these radios are GSM - meaning if you're planning on activating a radio with a cellular carrier, you will need to go with a company like AT&T. If you live in an area where Verizon works better, you can simply share out a hotspot on your verizon phone, and connect your network radio over WiFi.
  • Beware of PRICE GOUGERS! Some sites have the newer radios listed at 3 times what the price should be. Sometimes sites have an older 3G model for the same price (if not more) as the newer 4G model.
  • Lastly, be aware that these radios are in fact coming from china so WHO KNOWS what kind of spyware is on them.
      • If you are buying one of these to talk on Zello, then only use it for talking on Zello.
      • Don't log into your bank account, don't use it to trade stocks, don't use it to apply for a loan, etc.
      • Also because you will need to log into your google account to download things from the Play Store, I would advise you set up your google account for 2-step verification. Basically that means if someone tries to log into your google account from a new devices, it will text your phone to verify it's OK before that new device can log in.