Mobile hotspots are not as popular as they used to, but owning one does have its advantages over simply turning your smartphone’s hotspot feature on.
Portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices can usually connect to more devices at a time. Battery life is another issue, as a smartphone’s hotspot can drain your battery quickly. A hotspot is designed to do just one task — provide web access. It’s better suited for this and generally provides better battery performance.
There are a lot of mobile hotspots on the market, which means choosing the one to get can be a nuisance. This is why we have taken on the task of finding the best ones for you. Let’s dive right in.
The best mobile hotspots:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best mobile hotspots regularly as new devices launch.
1. AT&T Wireless Internet
Simply called the AT&T Wireless Internet, this hotspot comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem and has 512MB of RAM. It offers what AT&T calls plug and play connectivity, which means you don’t need to be a tech wiz to set up it.
The device supports both 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands and packs a removable 3,000mAh battery. It can handle up to 40 devices at the same time.
2. Netgear NightHawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro
The Netgear NightHawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro is probably the very best in this list of mobile hotspots. And it should be, as it’s also the most expensive, surpassing the $500 mark.
You get a lot of of hotspot for your money, though. For starters, it supports Wi-Fi 6 and can handle up to 32 devices at once. It also comes with support for 5G. Impressive, right?
If you want an equally awesome mobile hotspot for a much lower price, consider the Nighthawk M1. It’s still a very powerful option, but lacks Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support. It’s also limited to 20 device connections.
3. 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 could even get yourself multiple batteries to keep a connection for days. And it does have quick charge technology for when it’s time to juice up.
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.
4. Verizon MiFi M2100 5G UW
The Verizon MiFi M2100 5G UW is the latest and greatest from Inseego. Just like Netgear’s offering, it features Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support. It’s also cheaper at around $400, but you make some sacrifices. This device has no Ethernet port, for example. You can still connect up to 30 devices to this device, which is a huge benefit to people who need to use a lot of devices on-the-go.
Related: The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy
5. Huawei E5573Cs-509
Want something unlocked? Take a look at the Huawei E5573Cs-509. It comes factory unlocked and you can pop any GSM SIM card in it. The unit supports 4G LTE speeds of up to 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up. It can connect with up to 10 devices, and its 1,500mAh battery should last six hours.
This is not the best hotspot around, but it offers great value at around $80 and the freedom to go with whichever carrier you prefer.
6. Franklin T9 Mobile Hotspot
T-Mobile’s Franklin T9 hotspot supports up to 15 devices at the same time. It features a small OLED display that shows the battery level, connected devices, and more. There’s 256MB of RAM available, which is less than what you get with some of the other products on this list, but you have to keep in mind that the device is very affordable.
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The Franklin T9 packs a 2,450mAh battery and supports 4G LTE speeds. It’s not the most beautiful hotspot out there, but it gets the job done.
7. Alcatel LinkZone 2
If you don’t mind paying a little extra, the Alcatel LinkZone 2 is a better option than the one from T-Mobile. It comes with a larger 4,400mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and a whole GB of RAM. The more capable battery makes it possible to also use this device as a portable charger for smartphones and other devices.
It’s easily one of the best mobile hotspots if you want to go with T-Mobile, and it only costs $6 more than the Franklin T9.
8. Skyroam Solis X
The last option on this list is the Skyroam Solis X. Skyroam sells its data packages, along with its portable hotspot, and it works like a charm. Global plans start at just $9 per day for unlimited data. You can also take advantage of an offer that grants you a whole month of unlimited data for $99.
Here: Skyroam Solix X review
The Solis X comes with a 4,700mAh battery that should last over 16 hours. It can also be used as a portable battery pack to charge your devices. It works in over 130 countries and features a built-in camera you can control with your smartphone. You have to pay around $180 for the unit, but it is worth the price if you like what Skyroam has to offer.