If you’re a business traveler, remote worker or just someone who likes to be connected at all times, you know the importance of having a reliable WiFi hotspot. Not only do these portable innovations allow you to stay connected when there’s no traditional WiFi network around, but they can also save you money on data and roaming charges.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at eight of the best portable WiFi hotspots on the market today. So, whether you’re looking for a small and lightweight device or one with long battery life, we’ve got you covered — and so will your new hotspot.
Things to Consider When Buying a Portable WiFi Hotspot
Before you purchase a new WiFi hotspot for your next trip — or take a deep dive into our list of top picks — there are a few things you need to consider. These features are probably the most important when it comes to selecting a WiFi hotspot that fits your needs:
- Speed: How fast do you need your download and upload speeds to be?
- Battery Life: How long does the device need to last between charges?
- Connectivity: How many devices can connect to the hotspot simultaneously?
- Size and Weight: Is the device easy to take with you on your travels?
- Network Compatibility: If you switch carriers, is it possible to use the device with another carrier’s network?
Best Portable WiFi Hotspots
Weighing in at a little over 138 grams, the Skyroam Solis is a great choice for globetrotters who need to stay connected while on the go. The Solis is a pocket-size device that offers a 4G LTE super-fast network connection. Best of all, it can be used in over 130 countries. It also boasts a long battery life — up to 16 hours on a single charge — and comes with a built-in power bank, allowing you to charge your devices while on the move. And it can meet all your needs; 10 devices can simultaneously connect to the Skyroam Solis.
Skyroam Solis comes with a built-in SIM card, so there’s no need to worry about finding a local carrier when you’re abroad. If cybersecurity is a concern of yours, the Solis hotspot device can also be connected to a VPN. The only drawback? It’s pretty pricey. Luckily, the device can be purchased outright — or, if you’re on a budget, you can rent one by the day, week, or month.
The Huawei E5577Cs is a great choice for travelers who need access to fast download speeds. Weighing 82 grams, the Huawei E5577Cs is easy to use and provides fast download speeds of up to 150 Mbps on 4G LTE and 43.2 Mbps on 3G. It also has a long battery life — up to 6 hours when working, or 300 hours standby time — and can connect with up to 10 devices simultaneously. Globetrotters will be pleased to hear that the device is unlocked, meaning you can use it with different SIM cards while abroad.
NETGEAR Unite Express
The NETGEAR Unite Express is a great choice for people who need a portable WiFi hotspot. At 289 grams, the device isn’t too cumbersome. It also boasts a long battery life of up to 10 hours when in use — or 300 hours of standby time — on a single charge. It also provides fast download speeds of up to 150 Mbps on LTE, allows up to 10 devices to connect to it simultaneously, and is unlocked for all networks. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a built-in SIM card, so you need to purchase one separately.
One of the most advanced and innovative mobile hotspots ever, the GLOCALME U3X has a download speed of up to 150 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 50Mbps. This all means it’s perfect for streaming videos, gaming and browsing the web. Plus, it works in over 140 countries, and its compact design — it weighs 124 grams — makes it easy to take with you. With a long battery life of up to 13 hours, the ability to support 10 devices simultaneously, and a built-in SIM card, this WiFi hotspot makes everything a cinch.
Looking for a great value for your money? The TP-LINK M7350 is the portable WiFi hotspot device for you. It offers fast download speeds of up to 150 Mbps on 4G LTE — and it can drop to 2G or 3G when needed. Like many of the other devices on our list, it supports up to 10 devices simultaneously. Weighing in on the slightly heavier side (that is, 195 grams), this device provides up to 8 hours of battery life and even boasts a handy app — the tpMiFi app — which allows you to manage data usage, battery charge and more.
Although it’s unlocked, this one still needs different SIM cards for other countries if it’s not already connected to an international SIM card. But, when it comes to connecting to the net in remote areas, the TP-LINK M7350 is top-notch.
The Zyxel LTE-A is perfect for travelers who need a portable WiFi hotspot that can offer fast streaming speeds. In fact, it can provide download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps, making it perfect for streaming videos and music. It also has a long battery life — up to 10 hours on a single charge — and weighs in at 130 grams. Able to support up to 32 devices simultaneously, Zyxel LTE-A boasts a built-in SIM card as well, which means you don’t have to worry about finding a local carrier while abroad.
NETGEAR Nighthawk M2
The NETGEAR Nighthawk M2 is perfect for travelers who need a portable WiFi hotspot that offers fast streaming speeds and gaming connections. While it weighs a bit more than the competition — 240 grams, to be exact — the NETGEAR Nighthawk M2 makes up for it on the specs side. For starters, it has download speeds of up to 2Gbps and upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Whether you’re gaming or streaming music, this device’s 5,400mAh battery can last day and night, all while supporting up to 20 devices simultaneously. However, it lacks a SIM card, so you’ll have to factor in time and money there.
Urozetta Cloud Standard
Operating on both 2G and 4G networks, the Urozetta Cloud Standard weighs in at 168.9 grams, offers fast download speeds of up to 150Mbps and boasts upload speeds of up to 50Mbps. This hotspot device comes with an impressive battery life — up to 15 hours on a single charge — and doubles as a power bank for your other devices. On top of that, the Urozetta Cloud Standard supports up to 10 devices simultaneously and doesn’t require a SIM card.
The D-LINK DWR-932, which weighs just 95 grams, is a great budget option when it comes to buying a portable WiFi hotspot. But just because it doesn’t break the bank, that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive. With download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50 Mbps on LTE and HSPA+ networks, the D-LINK DWR-932 will certainly be enough to help most remote workers get their jobs done. Plus, it has a long battery life of up to 12 hours, supports up to eight devices simultaneously and is unlocked for all networks. The only drawback? There’s no built-in SIM card.