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Here are the best Wi-Fi hotspots you can get right now

Don't be caught stranded with no internet connection.
By
May 8, 2022
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Are you looking for a way to stay connected on the go? You might want to look into the best Wi-Fi hotspots available right now. There are many options, so finding the right one can be a daunting task. We’ve curated a list of our favorites. First, let’s talk about why mobile hotspots are convenient.

Why buy a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Wi-Fi hotspots connect to cellular services and share an internet connection with your devices. These units create a Wi-Fi network, and you can connect to them as you would with any other Wi-Fi router. The main difference, of course, is that these are mobile. You can take them anywhere your carrier offers service.

Why not just use your smartphone’s hotspot feature? Using smartphones as hotspots has made dedicated mobile hotspots much less prevalent. Owning a Wi-Fi hotspot has advantages over simply turning your smartphone’s hotspot feature on.

Also read: How to set up a mobile hotspot on Android

Portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices can usually connect to more devices at a time. Battery life is another issue, as a smartphone’s hotspot feature can drain your battery quickly. A dedicated hotspot is designed to do just one task — provide web access. It’s better suited for this and generally provides improved battery performance.

The best mobile hotspots

Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best mobile hotspots as new devices launch.


Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro

Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro 1

Netgear Nighthawk hotspots have become industry favorites, and for good reason. These are competent devices under the brand’s performance gaming branding. And Netgear really hit the ball out of the park with the Nighthawk M6 Pro.

Also: The best mobile hotspot plans available right now

For starters, it supports Wi-Fi 6E and can handle up to 32 devices at once. This even beats plenty of conventional home routers. It also takes advantage of 5G data, a touchscreen, fast charging, and a 5,040mAh battery. It even has a LAN port with 2.5GB Ethernet support, just in case you want to connect to it physically or use it as a modem for an even better router.

The only bad news is that it’s currently only available for AT&T subscribers in the USA. If you want an unlocked alternative, you can look into the Netgear Nighthawk M5.


Netgear Nighthawk M1

Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 hotspot router

If you don’t care much for 5G and want to save some cash, Netgear also has the Nighthawk M1, which is nearly as impressive as its successors. We might argue it looks cooler too!

While it has no 5G support, it takes advantage of 4G LTE for pretty fast speeds. The Wi-Fi network can support speeds of up to 1Gbps, and you can connect up to 20 devices at a time. If that’s not enough, you can also use it as a modem for another router, as it comes with a physical LAN port. The 5,040mAh battery will probably last longer, as 4G LTE sucks up less juice than 5G.


Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L

Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L

The battery life of this mobile hotspot can last up to 24 hours. This is thanks to its 4,400mAh battery unit, which is quite large considering all this device does is share data via Wi-Fi. What’s even better is that the battery is removable, so you can get yourself multiple batteries to keep a connection for days. It also has quick charge technology for when it’s time to juice up.

Related: Tips to speed up your phone

The Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L works in over 200 countries and supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Other features include a screen with plan info, the ability to connect with up to 15 devices, and even file-sharing capabilities.


Verizon Inseego MiFi M2100 5G UW

Verizon MiFi M2100 5G UW

The Verizon MiFi M2100 5G UW is the latest and greatest from Inseego. Like Netgear’s top offering, it features Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support. It’s also cheaper at around $400, but you make some sacrifices.

Related: The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy

This device has no Ethernet port, for example. You can still connect up to 30 devices to this device, which is a massive benefit to people who need to use many devices on the go. You’ll also get an intuitive touchscreen and management via a smartphone app.


Netgear AirCard 797

Netgear AirCard 797

Want something unlocked and simpler? Take a look at the Netgear AirCard 797. It comes factory unlocked, and you can pop any GSM SIM card in it. The unit supports 4G LTE speeds of up to 400Mbps down. It can connect with up to 15 devices, and its 2,930mAh battery should last 11 hours.

The most significant advantage is its design. This hotspot is much slimmer and smaller than most hotspots in this list. Especially once you start looking at the more advanced ones. You can throw this hotspot in your shirt pocket and forget about it.


T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000

T Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000

Is the T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 looking familiar? That’s because it’s pretty much the same as Verizon’s 2100 version, but this one comes with one significant improvement. The battery size is larger at 5,050mAh.

Next: The best VPN routers

Otherwise, you get pretty much the same specs. These include 5G, Wi-Fi 6, support for up to 30 device connections, quick charging capabilities, and all-day battery life.


Franklin T10

Franklin T10

Those who want to pay less for an excellent mobile hotspot from T-Mobile also have the Franklin T10. It comes with a 3,000mAh battery, USB-C connectivity, and 4G LTE connectivity. It’s a no-hassle, simple hotspot, and its price is very accessible.


GlocalMe DuoTurbo

GlocalMe DuoTurbo hotspot

The GlocalMe DuoTurbo offers a complete solution for those looking for the best mobile hotspots. The advanced portable Wi-Fi hotspot provides its internet service packages for worldwide use. As it stands, it needs no SIM card and is directly connected to GlocalMe. It comes with a SIM card slot, though, just in case you want to use it with another carrier.

Also read: The best unlimited data plans in the USA

The device itself is no slouch, either. The unit features 4G LTE support, a connection with up to 10 devices, and 12 hours of battery life (3,500mAh). Its more unique feature is the addition of a dual modem. The main modem will be used for your connectivity, while the second one is on standby if the primary network fails. The secondary modem will kick into action and keep you connected if needed. This makes for non-interrupted connectivity, just in case one network fails.


FAQs

Do I need 5G, or is 4G enough?

For most people, 4G LTE speeds are more than good enough. Of course, results will vary depending on your carrier, location, and other factors. Verizon claims its 4G LTE network can handle speeds of around 5Mbps to 12Mbps, with peak speeds reaching up to 50Mbps. The company also states its 5G Ultra Wideband network can handle nearly 1Gbps. This is arguably overkill, but some heavy users might require such speeds.

Can I use my hotspot as a portable battery?

Some of these hotspots also work as portable batteries that can juice your devices up. This might be convenient in a pinch, but we don’t recommend extensively using hotspots as battery packs. These devices tend to have small batteries, and you might be wasting energy you could use for going online for longer. Getting a dedicated portable battery pack may be a better idea, and you can also use that to charge your hotspot.

Do I need Wi-Fi 6?

Some of the more expensive devices on this list feature Wi-Fi 6. This newer standard can handle faster speeds, more device connections, and better performers overall. The new standard is also better optimized for IoT smart devices. Going for Wi-Fi 6 is only necessary if you plan to replace your traditional router with a hotspot, or if you genuinely need powerful mobile performance. That said, having it is suitable for future-proofing yourself. Just don’t pick a hotspot only for its Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. Learn more about Wi-Fi 6 here.

Why would I want a hotspot with an Ethernet port?

This is an excellent feature for those who want proper mobile data performance. A wired data connection provides optimal speeds and a much faster ping. This is why you’ll usually see an Ethernet port only on the higher-end hotspots, which can also take advantage of faster 5G speeds.

Additionally, the Ethernet port will benefit those who want to use mobile hotspots as modems and completely replace their traditional internet services. You can use it to provide internet to a more robust home router and spread the internet connection to the rest of your home.


Is a Wi-Fi hotspot not enough? We have guides for finding the best internet providers in the USA and the best mesh routers available. These should ensure a solid internet connection, even if it’s only at home.