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best mobile hotspots

The Best Mobile Hotspots in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our large mobile hotspot test. Here we present you all of the mobile hotspots we have tested in more detail. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best mobile hotspot for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a mobile hotspot.

  • Mobile hotspots allow you to connect up to 10 devices (smartphones, tablets, notebooks, etc.) to the WiFi regardless of your location.
  • To use a mobile hotspot, you need a SIM card with a suitable data plan.
  • Depending on the intended use, the purchase decision should take the following criteria into account: maximum battery life, data transmission range, extra functions (power bank, repeater, etc.), design and number of maximum connections.

Best Mobile Hotspots

GlocalMe U2S 4G LTE High Speed Network Mobile Hotspot

GlocalMe U2S 4G LTE High Speed Network Mobile Hotspot
  • 【1.1GB initial Global Data】We understand the new home…
  • 【Double Your Data with the Same Price】As we navigate the…
  • 【Glocalme App】Connect up to 5 smart devices including…
  • 【Intelligent Network Selection】U2S connect to the best…

The total weight of the mobile hotspot is 200 g. The router measures: 14.4 x 7.6 x 3.7 cm. The capacity of the lithium battery is 1 watt hour. This mobile hotspot also works without a SIM card in over 130 countries. It has free roaming and 1 GB of initial data volume.

Buyers of this item praise the many different features of this mobile hotspot. For example, 2 local SIM cards can be managed in this hotspot and has a cloud SIM service. Battery life in particular is often highlighted. In some cases, working times of up to 20 hours should be possible.

Huawei E5573Cs-322 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hot-Spot

Huawei E5573Cs-322 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hot-Spot
  • Huawei E5573Cs-322 OEM, ORIGINAL from Huawei / WITHOUT…
  • Provides up to 150 Mbps 4G LTE and 50 Mbps 3G download…
  • Offers up to 6 hours of working time and up to 300 hours of…
  • WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n. Use the hotspot with up to 10 different…
  • LTE: B1/B3/B7/B8/B20 (2100/1800/2600/900/800Mhz) & 3G UMTS:…

This mobile hotspot is a real lightweight with a total weight of 118 g. It also has the dimensions 9.5 x 1 x 5 cm. The capacity of the lithium battery is 5.7 watt hours. This router can be selected in various designs and colors. In addition, this mobile hotspot has child protection, a guest network, a powerful battery with over 6 hours of working time and can connect up to 10 devices to the WLAN.

Buyers are thoroughly satisfied with this product. Above all, the price in relation to the overall package is praised. In addition, the minimalist and compact design as well as the long battery life are positively highlighted.

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
  • 【No contract, Sim-free, Global coverage in 140+…
  • 【Large screen, Pocket size, 4G MIFI】 Support full…
  • 【Visual interface and User friendly app】Easy to check…
  • 【Flexible Plans and Preferential price】Data by gb, day…
  • 【8GB US Data & 1.1GB initial Global Data】GlocalMe G4 pro…

NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot

 Our Pick
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot
  • STAY PRODUCTIVE: This MR1100-100NAS can share WiFi internet…
  • Unlocked devices will accept all SIM cards (excluding Sprint…
  • DATA SHARING & MEDIA STREAMING: One USB port shares storage…
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE: 5040 mAh rechargeable battery powers all…
  • INTUITIVE COLOR DISPLAY: Large 2 4 inches LCD screen…

NETGEAR 4G LTE Broadband Modem

NETGEAR 4G LTE Broadband Modem
  • Use as your primary Internet connection in areas that do not…
  • Ideal for rural homes or homes that do not have strong…
  • Connect the LTE modem to your WiFi router and share…
  • Unlocked device will accept all Micro-SIM cards. AT&T,…
  • LTE Category 4: Bands 2, 4, 5, and 12. 3G UMTS: Bands 2 and…

GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 Wireless Mini Portable Travel Router

GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 Wireless Mini Portable Travel Router
  • [OPEN SOURCE & PROGRAMMABLE] OpenWrt pre-installed, USB disk…
  • [LARGER STORAGE & EXTENDABILITY] 128MB RAM, 16MB Flash ROM,…
  • [OPENVPN CLIENT] OpenVPN client pre-installed, compatible…
  • [PACKAGE CONTENTS] GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) mini router (1-year…

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
  • Travel Sized Design : Conveniently Small and light to Pack…
  • Dual Band AC750 Wi Fi – Strong, fast connection for HD…
  • One Switch for Multiple Modes : Perfect for Wi Fi at Home,…
  • Flexible Power – Micro USB port to an adapter, Portable…
  • Industry leading 2 year Warranty and unLimited 24/7…

Frequently Asked Questions: Mobile Hotspots

Therefore, the legitimate question arises as to which useful extension to the existing use of mobile data mobile hotspots represent.

There are now a large number of types and models of mobile hotspots on the market, which makes it even more difficult to develop an adequate overview of the entire product range.

This guide should make it easier for you to choose the right mobile hotspot. As part of the guide you will find a large amount of information, recommendations and tips on the subject of mobile hotspots. In addition, basic questions are clarified:

  • What exactly is a mobile hotspot?
  • How much do mobile hotspots cost?
  • What are the advantages of mobile hotspots?
  • What types of mobile hotspots are there and which one is suitable for me?

How do mobile hotspots differ from stationary routers?

As the name suggests, the primary difference between mobile and stationary routers is mobility. While a stationary WiFi router is mainly used for home use and requires a place with good radio reception and / or a socket in addition to a DSL or LTE line, you are much more flexible with a mobile hotspot.

All you need is a prepaid SIM card, a suitable tariff and you can connect to up to 10 devices on the go. This is even possible abroad.

When using it abroad, you should always pay attention to possible roaming charges in order to prevent unpleasant surprises in advance.

How does a mobile hotspot work?

A mobile hotspot can be operated using batteries or a power supply unit and provides a freely configurable WiFi hotspot. A SIM card from any provider must be inserted so that a mobile hotspot can connect to the cellular network.

Compared to SIM cards tied to a mobile phone number, cheaper contract and / or prepaid tariff options can be selected and simply exchanged if necessary.

If the mobile hotspot is prepared, any number of devices can be integrated and managed – just like the home WLAN network. This is particularly suitable for larger groups or families who are planning a vacation in another country.

With the help of a prepaid data card purchased, you can surf the Internet inexpensively, flexibly and practically abroad without having to worry about hidden roaming charges.

What features should a mobile hotspot have?

The exact properties will be discussed in detail in the course of the guide. At this point, the basic properties that should primarily be taken into account when buying a mobile hotspot are briefly outlined.

In general, a mobile hotspot should have a compact and robust design with low weight and an affordable purchase price. In addition, it should always be noted that a monthly tariff price may have to be paid.

In addition, the following features can be included in the purchase decision:

Battery life
Does the mobile hotspot have a built-in battery or is a power bank required? Otherwise, a guideline of 10 hours applies. Top of the line devices can have a battery life of up to 15 hours.

Connections
Does the device have a USB connection, a micro SD card slot and a LAN connection?

Maximum WiFi speed
Is the device 4G capable or only LTE or 3G?

Number of possible connections
Usually 10 devices can be connected to a mobile hotspot.

Should I choose a contract or a prepaid sim card?

When making this decision, you should primarily consider how often and how intensively the mobile hotspot should be used.

If a low-frequency usage is targeted, a prepaid card should be used. You always have an overview of the costs and consumption.

If, however, frequent use of the mobile hotspot is targeted, then a contract should definitely be considered, as this represents a cheaper alternative when calculated down to the data volume.

Why should I choose a mobile hotspot?

A large number of technical devices can be connected to the Internet using a mobile hotspot. A mobile hotspot is therefore of interest to everyone who connects to the Internet with a large number of devices, but does not want to conclude a contract for each individual product.

Depending on the data tariff, an average of 10 devices can be supplied simultaneously. You must also select how much data volume is available in the respective tariffs.

A mobile hotspot makes sense for the following (work) areas:

  • Study groups in academic, professional and school contexts
  • Small events
  • traveler
  • Taxi drivers and Uberdrivers who want to give their guests WiFi access
  • Excursions with family and / or friends

What alternatives are there to a mobile hotspot?

A tried and tested alternative to the mobile hotspot is the use of a smartphone as a hotspot. However, there are a number of disadvantages here:

  • Heavy battery consumption
  • Uncontrolled data consumption
  • Questionable under data protection law
  • Has a negative impact on processor and driver performance

From this it can be concluded that the hotspot on the smartphone should only be used for short periods of time or in emergencies.

Types of Mobile Hotspots

Mobile Hotspot: Advantages & Disadvantages

The structure and functionality of a mobile hotspot have already been discussed in detail.

Surfing the Internet or using social networks with a normal mobile phone contract can quickly skyrocket abroad and cause negative surprises, depending on roaming charges.

It would be cheaper to equip a mobile hotspot with a prepaid card purchased abroad. If the foreign prepaid card is inserted directly into the smartphone, further accessibility problems can arise. In addition, some smartphones are still locked with a SIM lock.

A mobile hotspot can help and you can still be reached on your normal telephone number. The flexibility of a mobile hotspot results not only from this, but also from the practical and handy design, which also allows hikers to easily stow these small, light devices in hand luggage or in their trouser pockets.

Which is the biggest advantage for large groups, families or groups of friends, up to 10 people can usually connect to the hotspot at the same time. The range should also be taken into account here, which is usually 10 to 20 meters.

Another advantage results from the file sharing model of the mobile hotspots. Shared images can be shared and redistributed among the connected devices at no additional cost.

Advantages

  • Allows up to 10 devices to connect to the Internet
  • Very fast surfing is possible thanks to the centralized 4G connection
  • Saves costs and data volume

Disadvantages

  • Limited range
  • Only makes sense from multiple use
  • Older computers and devices without WiFi connection cannot be connected to the Internet

WiFi Dongle: Advantages & Disadvantages

A WiFi dongle works in the same way as a smartphone. The dongle contains a wireless modem which can be connected to the cellular network using a SIM card with a data tariff.

However, the WiFi dongle can only be connected to a single device that requires a USB port. As a result, smartphones cannot be connected to the Internet via a WiFi dongle.

In general, WiFi dongles  are primarily suitable for laptops, notebooks and selected tablets. They enable mobile surfing and with prepaid data tariffs you don’t have to expect any cost traps.

Advantages

  • Ideal for individuals & people who do office tasks on the go
  • Sometimes fast surfing is possible thanks to the 4G connection
  • Mobility is given

Disadvantages

  • Requires a USB port (or adapter)
  • Provides only one device with Internet
  • Impractical for larger groups

Mobile Hotspots: Purchase Criteria

SIM Card

The “default setting” for mobile hotspots is set to use a SIM card. The SIM card provides the Internet here. The data volume and the maximum speed depend on the tariff and region.

There is a high probability that you are using a smartphone that has a SIM card inserted. It is advisable to contact the provider’s customer service department directly and inquire about data tariffs.

Here tariff options are often offered that only provide mobile data and no free minutes or SMS.

Internet Speed

In order to take up the question already asked about the advantages of a mobile hotspot compared to the traditional use of mobile networks via device, it can be said that direct access to the Internet via the mobile network, for example with a smartphone, is often associated with defined contract-related restrictions. This is reflected in overpriced costs or low data volumes and, in the worst case, the mobile network can only be accessed in a few selected countries.

Furthermore, older smartphones or tablets only have limited cellular standards with slower internet connections. The maximum achievable transferable data depending on the device type is shown in the following table:

UMTS (3G)

  • 42 Mbit per second
  • 20 Mbit per second

LTE (4G)

  • 375 Mbit per second
  • 150 Mbit per second

5G

  • 10000 Mbit per second
  • 5000 Mbit per second

Battery Capacity

Here, too, the battery life is largely dependent on the intended use and individual habits. If the mobile hotspot is used frequently, it should last at least 10 hours without having to be recharged.

High-class devices have an active battery life of up to 15 hours.

In standby mode, the mobile hotspot should have several days of runtime. Here, too, it should be taken into account whether the mobile hotspot should only be used sporadically for occasional information searches or frequently / continuously.

Connections

Classic connections are the USB connection, micro SD card slot and a LAN connection. If the mobile hotspot has a USB connection and a long battery life, it can also be used to charge smartphones or other devices.

Range

The maximum range should also be included in the purchase decision. If the mobile hotspot is used in the caravan, the range should not be a problem. However, if the mobile hotspot is to be used in the house or on the go, it should be ensured that the range is at least 15 meters.

Size

The majority of mobile hotspots are now based on very space-saving designs. Most routers now even fit in your pocket. Nevertheless, the final purpose should also be considered here.

If the mobile hotspot is used for hiking or sightseeing, it should be as small as possible so that it takes up minimal space in the backpack or bag.

Number of possible connections

The main advantage that a mobile hotspot offers is that it enables several devices to access the cellular network at the same time. As a reminder: with USB surf sticks, only a single notebook can be connected to the Internet.

Here, too, the minimum requirement should be 10 devices. Since, on average, the individual owns and uses several electronic devices in today’s highly technical environments, the 10 slots are filled faster than one would think.

Scope of delivery

The scope of delivery is similar for most of the products on offer. These are mostly:

  • Mobile hotspot
  • Adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Quick installation guide

Extra functions

High-quality devices in particular have several additional functions. Mobile hotspots can also be used as repeaters.

Other mobile hotspots have an integrated power bank with which the smartphone can be charged without any problems.

In addition, certain mobile hotspots have several modes that can be activated for use at home or when on the move.

Facts about Mobile Hotspots

How do I set up my mobile hotspot?

Setting up a mobile hotspot is usually very straightforward. Only a SIM card is required for operation. The device now only has to be switched on.

The router will immediately provide you with the WiFi. How to change the preset standard settings is explained in more detail in the following point.

How do I change the name and password of the mobile hotspot?

The name and password of the mobile hotspot function in the same way as regular routers. The settings can be called up and changed with the software of the device using a WLAN connection. You will likely need the router’s IP address to do this.

The IP address can usually be found on a sticker on the back of the router or in the manual supplied.

Most routers also require a first connection to the device and entry of the SIM card PIN. You can then easily connect to the Internet.

A detailed examination of the installation instructions supplied generally clears up most of the questions that arise.

In which countries can a mobile hotspot be used?

Mobile hotspots can be inconveniently and flexibly connected to prepaid cards from abroad. Therefore, in most countries it should be absolutely no problem to connect your mobile hotspot.

In addition, you should inquire with locals and in advance on the Internet whether you can already find experiences or helpful tips. In addition, the volume limit of prepaid cards should always be taken into account.

Last product update on 2021-04-10 | Source: Amazon Affiliate