Today, cellphones are practically a necessity, with over 70% of the world having some kind of mobile device. Smartphones have evolved as technological devices, and are no longer used just for making calls or sending texts. Every day, millions of users in the United States access the internet with their phones, both for personal and business use. Your phone is able to connect wirelessly to the internet using WiFi. It is easy to get a reliable connection when you are at work or home, but your connection becomes less reliable when you are away from your router.
There are a few ways to maintain a connection, but most methods either lead to a weaker connection or are a hassle to setup. The best option for both ease and reliability is using a portable WiFi hotspot. A portable WiFi hotspot is a small, pocket sized router you can bring with you while traveling. While it is commonly associated with phones, other devices can access the hotspot, such as tablets or laptops.
The router uses 3G and 4G signals to create an internet hotspot your device can connect to. In 2020, WiFi hotspots have become even more important, as many schools are using remote teaching, which requires students to use tablets and other devices to connect to the internet for their classes. Some hotspots are only compatible with one network provider, while others are universal.
GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
GlocalMe has several portable WiFi hotspots available, but the G3 is considered one of the best. There are two distinct advantages GlocalMe offers other WiFi hotspots. The first is the advanced security protocols, which ensures a safe connection no matter where you are using the hotspot. The second is the number of supported devices. Normally, portable hotspots are designed with a single device in mind. With some hotspots, you can get away with adding one or two extra devices, but even then, you are likely to experience lag or other issues. GlocalMe is built with multiple devices in mind, allowing up to five devices to simultaneously connect to the hotspot. The hotspot initially comes with 1GB of available data. The battery on average lasts for 15 hours when it is fully charged.
TP-Link N300 Portable Nano Travel Router
Even among portable WiFi hotspots, the N300 has a small frame, allowing you to easily travel with it. The hotspot was designed to work a number of devices, not just phones. Users can connect to the hotspot using any 2.4 GHz device, including Chromecast and Amazon Fire. There are three models available with different data plans, granting some flexibility in terms of pricing. No matter what model you purchase, you can get a 2-year warranty and access to technical support 24/7. It also boasts an impressive 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed, making it an excellent choice for streaming or online gaming.
The Skyroam Solis has become one of the best portable WiFi hotspots for long distance travel. The Solis can connect to a number of networks, having been tested in over 130 countries to ensure a strong connection. The data plans use a pay as you go model, though there are multiple packages available to purchase data in bulk. There is also an unlimited monthly subscription plan as well. The Solis has one of the most powerful batteries out of all the hotspots, lasting for around 20 hours when it is fully charged. It is a little slower than other hotspots, but it does offer support for multiple devices.
The Jetpack utilizes the Verizon network. It is based on an older version hotspot, the Wirecutter, which at the time was considered cutting edge as a mobile hotspot. The Jetpack shares many of the same strengths, including support for multiple types of devices, reliable internal roaming and connectivity for up to 15 devices, including laptops. As of writing, you can also get the Jetpack at a reduced cost if you sign a two-year contract with Verizon.
Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot
Nighthawk is built for the AT&T network. Nighthawk has become famous for the powerful battery, lasting nearly an entire day without needing to be charged. It also has an ethernet port which allows you to connect other devices right into the hotspot. Compared to other hotspots, the Nighthawk has slower download speeds, so it is not the best choice for heavy internet usage. The hotspot itself does not use a touchscreen, but you can access the configuration menu using any device connected to the Nighthawk.
MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot
The MiFi 8000 connects through the Sprint network. The MiFi can be used to charge other phones and tablets, making it a popular choice among travelers. It has a powerful battery, able to last for around 20 hours, though this is decreased if you are charging other devices on the hotspot. Fortunately, the battery charges to full quickly. It is also compatible with a host of other 2.4GHz or 5GHz devices. It is one of the more affordable mobile hotspots, but you must open a Sprint account to sign up for a data plan.