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.
Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L
This is currently the only dedicated mobile hotspot device Verizon offers new (others are refurbished), but it is actually quite a nice product. Battery life can last up to 24 hours, for starters. This is thanks to its large 4,400mAh batttery unit, which is quite large considering all this device does is share data via WiFi. 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.
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.
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 cvan 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).
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.
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 1500mAh battery should last 6 hours.
This is not the best hotspot around, but it offers great value at only $66.27 and the freedom to go with whichever carrier you prefer.
Best mobile hotspots — summing it up
The five 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.
If you think we have missed any, do let us know in the comment section below. Also feel free to share which one you’d consider getting.