Best Mobile Hotspot iMore 2020
Having a mobile hotspot is terrific if you're a world traveler, a college student on a budget, or enjoy being online wherever you are. Hotspots come at various price points and styles. Our favorite hotspot is the Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L 4G LTE Advanced, although there are others worth considering.
- Best Overall: Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L 4G LTE Advanced Mobile Hotspot
- Best Alternative: Alcatel Linkzone 2
- Best Pocket Sized: TP-Link N300
- Best International: GlocalMe G3 4G LTE
- Best Budget: GL.iNet GL-AR150
- Best Design: Skyroam Solis
Best Overall: Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L 4G LTE Advanced Mobile Hotspot
Offering super-fast LTE connection speeds, the Verizon Jetpack Mi-Fi 8800L offers an easy setup and works in up to 200 countries, depending on your plan. The device comes unlocked, which means you can use it with carriers other than Verizon with additional configuration.
Unique for mobile hotspots, the Mi-Fi 8800L includes a USB-C port, which you can use to charge the internal battery or a separate device. Indeed, the device is also a juice pack! The MiFi 8800L works in over 200 countries, depending on your data plan. Better still, up to 15 clients can connect to the device at the same time, offering battery life up to 24 hours between charges.
On the negative side, the Mi-Fi 8800L will cost you much more than other hotspots on our list. Nonetheless, we feel it's worth the price.
- Also works as a juice pack
- Support for up to 15 clients
- Impressive battery life
- Can be expensive
Small, wireless, and powerful, this will give you the best experience.
Best Alternative: Alcatel Linkzone 2
For something a little bit less expensive than our No. 1 choice, consider the Linkzone 2 from Alcatel. Allowing up to 16 connections at the same time, the tiny device has been designed to work with download speeds of up to 150Mbps and upload speeds up to 50Mbps.
Offering all-day connectivity, the device includes a 4400mAh battery and is equipped with a USB-C charging port, just like the Jetpack 8800L above.
On the negative, this hotspot is limited to T-Mobile and has no external antenna port. Before buying, check with the carrier to see what speeds you should expect in your area.
- USB-C port
- Support for up to 16 clients
- Great battery life
- Good price
- No external antenna port
- Limited to T-Mobile
16 concurrent users!
If you're already a T-Mobile customer, this is perhaps the hotspot worth considering.
Best Pocket Sized: TP-Link N300
This teeny-tiny mobile hotspot will travel anywhere with you for 24/7 internet. Despite its size, the device can still stream your favorite movies and keep you online.
The perfect use for this router is in a hotel room. It packs just the right amount of strength to turn that subpar hotel internet into something worth using. Pack it in your bag, pocket, or purse, and you're ready to go!
On the negative, some have complained that the setup process for this model is a little bit overwhelming. Also, be aware it has a limited range, which is why using it in a smaller space like a hotel room is best.
- Very small
- Small range
- Slow setup
Best Pocket Sized
So small it can fit in your pocket. Bring it along to hotels and stream your favorite movies.
Best International: GlocalMe G3 4G LTE
If you travel around the world, for work or fun, GlocalMe is the best router to keep you online. You won't have to worry about roaming charges or a local SIM card. You start with a data plan of 1GB, and you can buy additional data if needed.
Along with its ability to travel the world, there are a few other great features. Charge your phone about three times in one charge off your GlocalMe to keep yourself on the move. You also have the option of creating an unlocked hotspot with two SIM card slots. Using your GlocalMe is very customizable to how you want to use your internet.
The biggest drawbacks? Some users have complained that the device is somewhat bulky, plus the cost can get prohibitive, depending on how many gigabits you need. Still, when it comes to an international solution, higher prices should be expected.
- No roaming fees
- Works in over 100 countries
- Charges your phone
- Can customize your internet experience
- Data can become expensive
- Bulky design
Bring Wi-Fi anywhere
Don't get stuck overpaying for the internet, or going without it while traveling to another country.
Best Budget: GL.iNet GL-AR150
If you're looking for a personal hotspot device you can bring along to get work done at a coffee shop or similar location, consider the GL.iNet. You won't need to log in or share public Wi-Fi anymore. With enough power for one device, this is perfect for the college student with the long commute and a longer research paper.
If you're looking to play a MOBA with great ping, this may not be the router for you. The range is also limited, but enough to convert your hotel room's internet into your own. Ignore passwords that may prevent your other devices, such as video game consoles, from getting online.
- Great for a budget
- Small and portable
- Slow connection
- Limited area range
Just the basics
GL.iNet will let you get work done on a budget.
Best Design: Skyroam Solis
You can stay connected in over 130 countries with Skyroam's virtual SIM for a pittance a day. This device is designed less for streaming videos and more for getting work done. The internet may struggle to work at a quick pace, but you'll have no problem checking through emails or searching for something online.
The design of this router is unique, featuring a small round shape and a bright orange color. It stands out for anyone bored of the typical black or white color scheme of most block-shaped devices. Slip it into your bag and be on your way!
- Unique, cool design
- Works worldwide
- Pay per day data plan
- Slower connection
Only pay for the days you're online!
There's a lot of mobile hotspots out there, some more powerful and affordable than others. If you're looking for the most power and available concurrent connection, we recommend the Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L 4G LTE Advanced Mobile Hotspot. This wireless router will travel with you anywhere and provide you with speed you and your family needs.
This pocket-sized router can connect up to 15 devices at a time and offers a terrific battery life. Ideally suited for hotel rooms, outdoor spaces, and anything in between, you can use it to stream movies, listen to music, or browse the web with ease.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) graduate here, also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe
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