Best Mobile Hotspots in 2023
The best mobile hotspots are devices ideal for traveling and remote work. Mobile hotspots use SIM cards to receive mobile data signal which is then transmitted as wifi to your device. When looking for the best mobile hotspot, you can expect to come across a wide range of prices, as well as both 4G and 5G options.
Most smartphones nowadays provide hot-spotting options, so you may be wondering if investing in a travel router is even worth the money. For users looking to gain higher WiFi speeds, preserve battery and connect multiple devices at once, mobile hotspots might be a better option. Here’s our selection of the best travel routers currently on the market.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best mobile hotspots
When selecting the best mobile hotspots, we paid close attention to service reception, battery life, and how many devices can be connected to the mobile hotspots at one time. Decent battery life is essential for providing users with day-long on-the-go service, whilst strong service reception ensures optimum speed for connected devices. After taking these factors into consideration, here is our pick of the best mobile routers.
Best Mobile Hotspots in 2023
The Netgear Nighthawk M5 is by far the most impressive mobile router currently on the market. Firstly, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is an unlocked mobile router. This means users have complete freedom when choosing their contracts and service providers. The Netgear Nighthawk M5 is also the first C-Band mobile hotspot to exist – meaning it is 5G compatible, bringing unrivaled speed to a mobile hotspot.
With up to 13 hours of battery life, and the option to connect up to 32 devices, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is an incredibly high-performing Wifi 6 network. The Netgear Nighthawk M5 is incredibly straightforward to set up through the Netgear app, and further settings can be optimized through the LCD touchscreen. The LCD touchscreen can display settings you’ll normally use, including controlling which devices are connected and the initial setup process. All in all the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is an incredibly impressive router and tops our list of the best mobile routers currently available on the market.
- Micro SD reader
The TP-Link M7350 is a great mobile hotspot that comes completely unlocked. This means users are not tied to contracts and are able to choose whatever data deal they prefer from network providers. The TP-Link M7350 is capable of providing up to 50Mbps upload speeds, and download speeds of 150Mbps. With the possibility of creating a network for up to 10 simultaneous devices, the TP-Link M7350 is more than capable of providing groups of people with Wifi at the same time.
The TP-Link M7350 features the handy tpMiFi app which comes with a great user interface. The tpMifi app allows users to establish data limits, and control what devices have access to the mobile hotspot. The TP-Link M7350 also comes with an inbuilt Micro SD card reader from which media files can be accessed/distributed via the app. This hotspot is packed with useful features and a great interface, making it one of the best mobile routers available.
- Great for travel
- Expensive data plan
The Skyroam Solis Lite is a great option if you intend to travel overseas, and require a trusty incredible portable mobile hotspot. This hotspot promises connectivity options in over 135 countries for users who have chosen to subscribe to one of Solis’s plans. Data prices for the Skyroam Solis Lite start at $9 per gigabyte, which is fairly pricey. However, if the Skyroam Solis Lite is your only option for staying connected globally, it may be a price worth considering.
The Skyroam Solis Lite is capable of connecting up to 10 devices at one time and has a 16-hour battery capacity due to its built-in 4700 mAh power bank – providing users with virtually whole day-long connectivity. What stands out about the Skyroam Solis Lite, which we rarely see in other hotspots, is that the Skyroam Solis Lite does not require an external SIM card. Instead, it provides users with access to multiple carriers, in multiple different countries with its patented Virtual SIM technology. The Skyroam Solis Lite is a stand-out mobile hotspot, unlike many others on the market. It, therefore, sits comfortably on our list of best mobile hotspots.
- Great battery life
- External antenna capabilities
- Verizon specific
The Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L is a Verizon-specific hotspot that provides users with excellent 4G reception. With a 15-hour battery life, and the possibility to support up to 15 separate devices, the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L is incredibly high performing, and definitely one of the best mobile hotspots for 4G use. Whilst the 8800L uses incredibly high-speed LTE 4G networks, it does not have 5G capabilities. This may be unfavorable for some users. Regardless, the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L has 4×4 MIMO antennas, with added external antenna ports – giving great coverage to a hotspot with already impressive 4G reception.
The option for 3rd party antennas is a great feature and makes the distinction between phone hotspots and stand-alone mobile hotspots even clearer. With external antenna ports, the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L can gather far better reception than your phones. It also leavesusers with the option of customizing the extent of the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L’s reception. Although it does not have 5G possibilities and is exclusive to Verizon, the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L provides the highest possible 4G reception. 5G may not be a necessary feature for many, and decent 4G on the Verizon Jetpack Mifi 8800L is far less expensive than many of the 5G alternatives.
Things to consider when buying mobile hotspots
The battery life of a mobile hotspot is an important factor to consider when looking to buy the best mobile hotspots. A good hotspot should be able to provide users with a days worth of wifi usage in locations far away from charging ports.
Connecting multiple devices
Powerful mobile hotspots are able to connect multiple devices at once without compromising internet speed. This can be particularly useful if you intend on hotspots in larger, group settings.
Certain mobile routers come attached with contracts from service providers, whilst others are unlocked and require you to use your own SIM card.
Are mobile routers better than phone hotspots?
Yes. Mobile router hotspots typically have better antennas, and can therefore gather better signals. The above-listed hotspots can also handle more devices being connected to them than an average phone hotspot.
Can you use any SIM card in a mobile hotspot?
It depends on whether your hotspot router is locked or unlocked. Certain mobile routers come attached with contracts from service providers. Others are unlocked and require you to use your own SIM card.
Is a hotspot stronger than WiFi?
No, most probably not due to the varying reception a mobile hotspot can receive. However a strong 5G signal may be better than some older WiFi router signals.