You only need a SIM card to connect to multiple devices at home or on the go with a mobile Wi-Fi router. Mobile WLAN routers are in many ways superior to sticks, smartphones and stationary devices.
There are many different models of Wi-Fi routers on the market. We have a mobile Wi-Fi router comparison for you and give you tips to help you find the right router for your needs. Simply check yourself with our comparison table.
With a mobile Wi-Fi router, you can go online anytime, anywhere. You can log in with various devices such as tablets, laptops or cell phones.
You establish the internet connection by inserting a SIM card from a provider of your choice into your mobile Wi-Fi router prepaid or Wi-Fi router with a contract.
Whether it should be a Huawei mobile Wi-Fi router or another router depends on your needs. With our Wi-Fi hotspot test, you are guaranteed to find the right model and do not need to rely a local SIM Card wherever you go.
What are the best Pocket WiFi’s in 2021?
1. RAVPower FileHub (RP-WD009)
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The FileHub (RP-WD009) is much more than just a mobile router: it functions as a mobile Wi-Fi hard drive for smartphones or tablets, as a backup device for memory cards, with which you can copy its content to a USB stick without a computer, or simply as a router, access point or mobile hotspot.
As a photographer, you can use FileHub to save the snapped photos from your memory card on the go and transfer them directly to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and send them to your friends. Despite the wide range of applications, the small data server is easy to use – you can do all the tasks using the browser or the iOS or Android app.
Thanks to a 6,700 mAh battery, the device lasts almost the entire day without having to go to the socket. The activated WiFi hotspot, in particular, consumes most of the battery life.
2. Huawei E5885
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The E5885 is not one of the cheapest mobile LTE routers but compensates for this with a wide range of functions and current technical standards. Setup is quick and new mobile devices are connected using an app or WPS (Wi-Fi protected setup).
The generously dimensioned battery can also be used as a power bank for smartphones and more. However, the USB charging port only has a low throughput, so recharging the battery takes a lot of time. A small but legible display informs about the device status.
3. Keezel KZL-1
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The KZL-1 is hardly bigger than a computer mouse and offers you essential security if you surf a lot in public Wi-Fi networks. As a VPN relay, your IP address is routed via foreign servers and thus encrypted. This means you are anonymous and secure on the move in public networks.
If there is no public WLAN, you can use the KZL-1 with an LTE dongle as a mobile router. Unfortunately, it does not use wireless-AC. However, since there are usually no walls between the notebook and mobile router on the way, this should pose a minor problem.
4. Huawei B525
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The B525 (also sold as B525s-23a) is a classic stand-alone router, but it relies entirely on LTE as a connection method. Battery operation for use as a mobile access point is missing. It is therefore well suited, for example, to transport multiple devices to the internet in locations without a DSL connection.
Four network cable connections and fast Wireless-AC support a large number of devices. The slim device, which is available in black or white, is relatively cheap. Apart from the lack of battery mode, the device is highly recommended if you are looking for a pure LTE router.
5. NetGear Nighthawk M1 (MR1100)
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The Nighthawk M1 is one of the best equipped mobile routers on the market and also meets high demands on the mobile internet connection. It transmits with brisk LTE and, thanks to the MU-MIMO function, distributes the signal evenly to all connected clients using the current WLAN AC standard.
Besides, there are useful extras such as the strikingly large display with status information on the connection and battery life, the memory card reader for central data storage or the battery, which can also be used to charge USB mobile devices. The transmission rates decrease significantly with increasing distance to the device, which is normal for mobile routers. The only real shortcoming is the comparatively high price.
6. Skyroam Solis X
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The Skyroam Solis is an easy-to-use internet mobile hotspot with a clear billing model. The 500 MB per day is sufficient for everything apart from video streaming. SIM card providers in the target country may offer a better data plan, but require you to find the right dealer at the destination abroad.
The device is activated via a button, then it appears as a Wi-Fi network on the smartphone. Once connected to the Solis, the app comes into play:
It can be used to activate the day passes for 8 euros each. After the usage of 500 MB per day, the speed is reduced.
As a special feature, a virtual SIM is already permanently installed in the Solis, which should bring users online immediately in over 130 countries on five continents. In tests, Skyroam Solis achieved the lowest download rates with 23 MBit/s.
What is a Pocket Wi-Fi?
A Wi-Fi hotspot forms a wireless connection to the internet without the need to change SIM Cards. You can manage all logged-in devices at the same time with a mobile hotspot.
A mobile Wi-Fi router is particularly practical if you don’t want to have to reconfigure network access for your devices again and again. A single router is sufficient for large families, each with their device, to enable everyone to have online access. You can also use a Wi-Fi hotspot app for configuration.
As a mobile hotspot test shows, with a mobile hotspot, you always have an overview of the charge status and data consumption. You can buy the necessary data plan abroad without worrying to be charged extremely high roaming charges. You can also see how good the network coverage is. If necessary, you can improve them with a WiFi amplifier.
Can I use a mobile router abroad?
Since a mobile router works independently of a home connection, such devices are ideal for travel, in the apartment or even on the train. Please note that most available mobile tariffs are also suitable for usage abroad. However, some countries differ in the frequency bands used.
Almost all mobile routers sold in Europe, as well as smartphones, are incompatible with the frequencies used in Canada. Conversely, devices from the USA do not run in Europe. We, therefore, recommend that you check the compatibility of the mobile router with the foreign mobile network before you travel.
How fast is a 4G LTE Pocket Wi-Fi?
LTE is not equal LTE. Depending on the standard used, speeds between around 50 and almost 300 Mbit per second (LTE Advanced) are possible. However, the practical data plans for a mobile phone connection are changing faster than for conventional internet connections.
Depending on the signal strength, the actual throughput can be much lower. If your internet provider already provides a fast 4G LTE variant in the area of use of your mobile router, it is also worth digging deeper into your pocket when buying the device and choosing the most current model possible.
Advantages of Pocket Wi-Fi’s compared to WiFi dongles
Internet sticks also enable access to the Internet on the go. However, logging in here is limited to a single device. A mobile UMTS router is, therefore, an advantage. Only a Pocket Wi-Fi can support the extensive network, which can be used by other users and devices.
So with a Wi-Fi dongle, you are significantly less flexible. You also no longer have a great advantage in terms of price. You can now get mobile Wi-Fi routers for as little as ten dollars. However, the particularly cheap models are not as high quality as expensive routers.
If you want to be able to fall back on the particularly fast 4G LTE speed for mobile surfing, you need the right tariff and a Pocket WiFi that supports this standard. The same applies to all other speeds. The basic value is 300 MBit/s, with the latest generation of Wi-Fi hotspot you get up to 600 MBit/s download speed.
What you should consider when purchasing Pocket Wi-Fi’s
The best mobile Wi-Fi router for you does not have to be the test winner in our comparison. A compact design, low weight, and a favorable purchase price are purchase criteria. Your mobile Wi-Fi router is secure or with a contract with the WPA2 protocol, which encrypts your wireless network.
We have put together some important purchase criteria in the following so that you know whether you can find the right mobile hotspot for your needs:
- Connections: USB connection, micro SD card slot and LAN connection available?
- Accessories: Can an external antenna be connected?
- Battery capacity (in mAh)
- Maximum battery life (in h)
- Shielding against interferences: frequency band with 5 GHz?
- Maximum WiFi speed in MBits/s
- Number of maximum connected devices
Battery life and capacity
In current mobile hotspot tests, you can see that there are also mobile hotspots without a built-in battery. Here you need a power connection or a power bank. Most devices come with an integrated battery. Pay attention to the mAh value. The higher the mAh value, the more current your router can store and the bigger the battery life. The peak value is 15 hours, with less than eight hours you have to charge your device quite often.
Local SIM cards for the Pocket Wi-Fi
Whether you choose a mobile Wi-Fi router without a contract or with a contract: When buying your mobile Wi-Fi router, make sure that it is compatible with the tariff of your chosen provider.
It is possible that a Vodafone mobile Wi-Fi router can only work with a Vodafone card. Some models work with different mobile phone providers or even come unlocked.
This is particularly useful if you want to buy a local SIM card abroad. Mobile Wi-Fi routers from TP-Link or Netgear can often also be used with an LTE router SIM card from different providers.
Pay attention to the connections
Your mobile WLAN router can have different connections. These include micro USB, USB, and micro SD slot. A LAN connection or Ethernet port enables a direct connection from a PC, tablet or game console to the router via a cable. This increases the transmission speed. Your Pocket Wi-Fi should have a LAN connection. It is possible to buy devices with up to four LAN ports.
What is a mobile Wi-Fi router suitable for?
As can be seen in every mobile Wi-Fi router comparison, there are good reasons to choose an 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi router, Netgear mobile hotspot or another router. If your network coverage is weak at home, place the mobile hotspot where you have the best reception. The device spreads the fast connection. A mobile Wi-Fi router LTE 4G comes with an innovative 4th generation mobile phone network. This gives you a particularly fast mobile internet.
You can also close dead spots in the countryside with a mobile Wi-Fi router. A prepaid Pocket Wi-Fi fits in every handbag and is easy to carry.
A mobile hotspot with a strong battery life and USB connection can serve as a mobile charging station for your smartphone.
Can a Pocket Wi-Fi replace a normal router?
4G LTE routers in particular now offer such high speeds that they can easily replace a conventional cable router. It must be noted that the tariff booked is suitable for 4G LTE operation. In contrast to cable routers, the speed that end devices connected via LAN or WLAN achieve depends on the 4G LTE reception of the router. Therefore, it is generally recommended to place the router near a window.
Our Picks: The Best Pocket WiFi
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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate