Alcatel LINKZONE Mobile Hotspot
The Alcatel LINKZONE is a portable Wi-Fi hotspot exclusive to T-Mobile. It’s also the only hotspot T-Mobile offers. The device weighs a tad more than 3 ounces, and it’s smaller than a deck of cards, so you can easily slide it in a pocket. It can deliver Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n connectivity to up to 15 devices by utilizing T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network.
Unfortunately, it only works on a 2.4 GHz band. Other hotspots can output a 5GHz band, which comes in handy in congested areas like airports. The hotspot’s 1,800 mAh battery is slightly smaller than other hotspots, too, and it provides about 8 hours of use. This hotspot doesn’t have a display, so there’s no way of telling how strong the signal is. Despite these shortcomings, the Alcatel LINK ZONE is a good value for the price. T-Mobile charges less than $100 for the hotspot, while others are twice as expensive.
If you don’t want to fuss with contracts or add a line to your current data plan, consider this Wi-Fi hotspot from Skyroam. It’s an attractive-looking portable hotspot, and it’s available in bright orange so you’ll never lose it. It works in more 100 different countries, and data costs as little as $9 per day.
Each day-pass gives you secure 4G LTE global internet access for 24 hours from the time of activation. It’s worth mentioning that this option will throttle your download speeds after you use 500 megabytes of data, unless you enroll in Skyroam’s “GO DATA” plan which is $9 per month, with the option to purchase even more data at $9 per gigabyte.
The hotspot can be used by a total of five separate devices, it offers 16 hours of battery life, and it has a built-in USB-C port for fast charging your gadgets. Rob Marvin, an editor at PCMag used a Solis on a trip to Spain. He registered speeds as fast as 41.2 Mbps, but at times download speeds were as slow as 0.25 Mbps. Regardless, this is an affordable two-in-one mobile hotspot portable device charger that could come in handy on your next trip.
Huawei E5770s Mobile Hotspot
The Huawei E5770s is an affordable and good-looking Wi-Fi hotspot that comes unlocked, allowing buyers to choose their own service provider. It’s available in black or white with a leather-style texture, and it has a large battery that can deliver mobile Internet for up to 20 hours on a single charge.
It supports up to 10 connected devices, and it’s an excellent portable option for users who travel abroad often because it supports global 4G LTE bands. It’s important to note that it doesn’t support all of T-Mobile’s LTE bands in the U.S. Like other hotspots, this one works as a portable power supply because it has a full-sized USB port. This comes in handy when your tablet or smartphone is short on power and needs a quick boost.
Franklin R910 Mobile Hotspot
In case you really need a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that works on Sprint wireless, the Franklin R910 is the one to go for. Sprint’s network is notably slower and smaller than other top carriers, so it occasionally experiences hiccups when streaming HD video.
Like the Alcatel LINKZONE, this one lacks a touch screen, but fortunately, it still has a display that shows the cell signal and battery life. You can expect 12 hours of battery life for the R910. The LTE hotspot can connect to up to 10 devices, and it’s capable on both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies.
Netgear Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot
If you want to use a Wi-Fi hotspot on AT&T’s network, we recommend going with this one from Netgear. It’s the first gigabit LTE hotspot, and it’s capable of hosting up to 20 devices via 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, up to the 802.11ac specification. It’s equipped with a 5,040 maH battery that lasts for a day. When the hotspot dies, it recharges quickly because it’s compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.
It’s one of the few hotspots that have a built-in Ethernet port. You can use it for offloading your traffic to limit your cellular usage. It has a USB port for charging other devices, but this one has a full-sized port. Its USB port can also be used to connect an external hard drive or thumb drive to share files to connected devices. Netgear has a complementary app that lets you manage the Wi-Fi connections for all of your devices, adjust settings, check usage, and view media files.