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 WiFi 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.
Options are also not as abundant anymore, but choosing can still be a nuisance. This is why we have taken on the task of finding the best ones for you. Let’s dive right in.
Best mobile hotspots:
1. Sprint HTC 5G Hub
Sprint is currently selling one of the first mobile hotspots to support 5G networks. The HTC 5G Hub is only available in markets where Sprint’s 5G network is live. However, it will still work on Sprint’s 4G network as well. It has a huge 5-inch display that will not only show how fast your connection is, but can also do other things like show videos and play games. That’s because it’s a full Android 9 Pie-based device, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
The Sprint HTC 5G Hub can support up to 20 Wi-Fi devices at once, and it has dual speakers and a 7,660mAh battery that should last up to a full day on a single charge. The Sprint HTC 5G Hub mobile hotspot is available for $600 without a contract, or you can get it for half its total cost if you sign up for a Sprint Flex plan, which will cost $12.50 per month for 24 months.
2. Sprint MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot
If you are looking for something cheaper from Sprint, and you don’t have 5G coverage from the carrier, check out the new MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot. It support’s Sprint’s LTE Advanced-Pro network, along with 5x carrier aggregation, which should result in faster than normal download speeds. It supports both 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands and can handle up to 15 Wi-Fi devices at once.
This mobile hotspot has a 2.4-inch color display, which shows lots of info, such as how long you have left in your monthly data cycle, which connected devices are being used by your hotspot guests, and more. The mobile hotspot’s 4,400mAh battery is supposed to last up to 24 hours on a single charge and can be charged to full capacity in three hours. The MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot is available from Sprint for $240 without a contract, or for just $2.50 a month for 24 months under Sprint’s payment plan.
3. Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L
This is just one of the dedicated mobile hotspot devices Verizon offers as a new product. Battery life 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 does support 2.4GHz and 5GHz speeds. Other features include a screen with plan info, the ability to connect with up to 15 devices, and even file sharing capabilities. The unit won’t come cheap at $199.99 without a contract, though.
4. Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack MHS900L
This is the cheaper mobile hotspot you can get from Verizon. However, it will only last up to 10 hours on a single battery charge with its smaller, and nonremovable, 2100 mAh battery. It can handle up to eight Wi-Fi connected devices at once, and its LED screen shows how much signal the mobile hotspot has, along with its current battery life. If you need a cheaper mobile hotspot, and can live with a much shorter battery life, this may be for you. It’s available for $149.99 without a contract, or for just $29.99 if you sign up for a two-year contract.
5. AT&T Netgear Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot
AT&T sells a number of mobile hotspots to the general public, and the Netgear Nighthawk LTE model is the best that’s currently available for regular consumers. It allows up to 20 devices at once to connect to the hotspot, and also has a display that shows just how many devices are connected. It also shows how much data is left in the hotspot’s plan, along with how many days are left over before the next monthly billing cycle begins. Finally, it has a 5,040mAh battery that is supposed to last up to 24 hours on a single charge. It’s available for $249.99 without a contract or for $12 a month for a 20 month payment plan.
AT&T also has a 5G version of the Netgear hotspot, but it’s not available to consumers yet; it’s only available for business and enterprise customers.
6. Verizon Inseego 5G MiFi M1000 Hotspot
Verizon has recently launched its first 5G standalone hotspot. The Inseego 5G MiFi M1000 allows up to 15 devices to connect to the hotspot at the same time, and it supports 4G networks and speeds where the 5G networks are not available. Inside there is a 4,400mAh battery that allows the hotspot to run up to 24 hours on a single charge. It has a 2.4-inch color touchscreen that allows owners to check their data usage, along with access to the device’s settings so they can manage passwords and create custom security profiles for individuals who wish to access the service. Finally, the hotspot has both a USB-C port and an Ethernet port for users who want to physically connect devices, including VR headsets, to the hotspot.
The Verizon Inseego 5G MiFi M1000 is available now for consumers and businesses for $27.08 a month for 24 months on a device payment plan, which makes the price of the hotspot $649.99 without a payment plan. There is also the option to purchase the hotspot for $499.99 with a two-year contract. Verizon customers who already own a smartphone with an unlimited smartphone plan can add a 5G MiFi M1000 to their account and get 50GB of 5G data per month, along with 15GB of 4G LTE data for $30 a month. If they just want the 5G hotspot, 5G data plans start at $85 a month. Business customers can get the hotspot, with a $45 per month unlimited plan, for an additional $15 per month with 35GB of combined 4G/5G data.
7. T-Mobile Coolpad SURF
The Coolpad SURF is not as advanced as others, but it is only $72 from T-Mobile and is a pretty handy mobile hotspot. Battery life is estimated at 5.3 hours of usage time, and it has a 2,150mAh battery.
Don’t expect much else from this little mobile hotspot. It can connect with up to 15 devices, and you can manage it with a web interface. It is also connected to the 600MHz band for extended range LTE, which is nice.
8. GlocalMe G3
GlocalMe is popular among international travels, as it offers global plans at simple prices. Buying 1 GB of global data costs $29, for example. Other prices are listed at their website. The GlocalMe G3 is the best out of their modems, and it offers quite a bit for its $164.99 price.
Battery life is estimated at about 15 hours and the unit comes with a 5,350mAh unit. It has so much juice it can even be used as a portable battery pack! Other features include a 4-inch display for managing your data, dual-SIM support, and fast speeds (up to 150mbps down, 50mbps up).
9. Skyroam Solis
A great alternative to the GlocalMe G3 is the Skyroam Solis. 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. Currently you can take advantage of an offer that grants you a whole month of unlimited data for $99.
The unit comes with a 6,000mAh 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 does support LTE speeds. You have to pay $149.99 for the unit, but it is worth the price if you like what Skyroam has to offer.
10. Huawei E5573Cs-509
Want something unlocked? Here is 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 only $85 and the freedom to go with whichever carrier you prefer.
The 10 devices listed above are our picks for the best mobile hotspots you can currently find. Whether you are looking for a device to use as your main internet connection, or just something for use in emergencies or rare circumstances, any of these should get the job done without a hitch.