Which portable WiFi hotspot is right for you?
For those of you that don’t know a portable WiFi hotspot is basically a palm-sized gadget that gives you internet access anywhere in the world. There are many different WiFi hotspots available so making a selection could be a little confusing. Below are some questions that you need to ask yourself so you can decide which is the best portable WiFi hotspot for you…
Locked or unlocked?
Whatever hotspot you plan to get, its best to get one that is unlocked. This means that you can use any SIM card inside. If it is locked to one network you are restricted to using one company for your data rates which means you can’t select the best deal for the destination you are travelling to.
You might be able to charge your hotspot easily in which case the average 6 hour battery life should be fine, however, if you plan on being online a lot and don’t have easy access to charging facilities then there are a few WiFi hotspots with huge battery capacity like the Huawei E5786s 4G+ Mobile WiFi that has almost double the battery of other devices.
4G+ hotspots are the fastest that you can get, these babies will give you download speeds of up to 300mbps! The Huawei E5786s 4G+ Mobile WiFi is the fastest on the market. There are also 4G WiFi hotspots which will be a little cheaper and are much faster than 3G hotspots, although 4G and 4G+ isn’t available everywhere. Can you get 4G where you are travelling to? Is the SIM you plan on using in the device 4G or is it 3G? Just so you know; if you have a 4G portable hotspot you can use a 3G SIM inside.
How many devices do you want to connect?
The average portable WiFi hotspot connects up to 10 devices but the Alcatel Y858V can connect up to 15 devices. If you are travelling as a family or on a business trip with colleagues, you might want to connect more than 10 devices; however, if you just want to get online from your laptop a USB dongle is sufficient.
There are a few portable WiFi devices that double up as other gadgets saving you having to carry unnecessary items when you travel, for example the Huawei E5770 4G WiFi Hotspot is a 4G hotspot that doubles up as a powerbank so you can change all your devices from it. Many portable hotspots also have the ability to send and receive SMS messages and have a Micro SD card slot so you can save your files on it.
Depending on where you travel, sometimes internet is only available via an Ethernet cable meaning you can only get online from a laptop. A hotspot like the Tri-Fi is therefore pretty useful as its one of the few that has an Ethernet port. This is particularly useful if you stay in a lot of hotels.
The price of portable hotspots varies by quite a lot from budget 3G hotspots at the low end of the scale and multifunctional hotspots at the higher end of the scale. Make sure you look over this list to ensure the hotspot you decide to purchase meets your needs.
What comes with it?
Some hotspots are sold without the USB cable or without a data SIM card, if you have to purchase these items separately it can bump up the cost of your purchase so do check what comes with it.
More questions? Read this blog What is a portable WiFi hotspot and why do you need one?