Mobile hotspots are not as popular as they used to be, but owning one has 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 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.
There are many mobile hotspots in the market, which means choosing the right one can be a nuisance. We’ve 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. Netgear NightHawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro
The Netgear NightHawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro is an industry favorite, and considered one of the best mobile hotspots around. It’s also one of the most expensive ones, but you get serious quality for your hard-earned cash.
For starters, it supports Wi-Fi 6 and can handle up to 32 devices at once. This beats plenty of conventional home routers. It also takes advantage of 5G, a touchscreen, fast charging, and a 5,040mAh battery. It even has a LAN port, just in case you want to connect to it physically or use it as a modem for an even better router.
This one is only available from AT&T in the USA, so keep that in mind.
2. Netgear Nighthawk M1
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 successor. We might argue it actually looks cooler too! AT&T also sells it in the USA, but the unlocked version has become readily available 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 too, as 4G LTE sucks up less juice than 5G.
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 Inseego 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 many devices on the go.
Related: The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy
5. 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 biggest 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 literally throw this hotspot in your shirt pocket and forget about it.
6. 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 major improvement. The battery size is larger at 5,050mAh. 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.
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7. Alcatel LinkZone 2
Those who want to pay less for a good mobile hotspot from T-Mobile also have the Alcatel LinkZone 2. It comes with a large 4,400mAh battery, USB-C connectivity, and a whole GB of RAM. The more capable battery makes it possible to use this device as a portable charger for smartphones and other devices.
8. GlocalMe G4 Pro
The GlocalMe G4 Pro offers a complete solution for those looking for the best mobile hotspots. Though it looks like a smartphone, it’s an advanced portable Wi-Fi that offers its own 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; you can use it with any carrier of your choice.
While the service and experience are awesome, device capabilities are a bit on the lower-end side. You can only connect up to 5 devices to it, and its 4G LTE speeds cap out at 150Mbps down or 50Mbps up.