How to Use & Choose a Hotspot Device

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Staying connected through the internet grows more important by the day. And a Wi-Fi hotspot device is a great way to secure a reliable internet connection. The right mobile hotspot device can help you do everything online, from jumping on to handle a last-minute business call at the cottage to an impromptu gaming session on a road trip or even binge-watching your favorite Netflix shows on the train. 

What Is a Hotspot Device & How Does it Works

A mobile hotspot device connects to the internet, usually via a cellular connection. It also casts a wireless signal, allowing devices like smartphones and laptops to connect to the internet while on the go. This is connection is more secure and private than using free Wi-Fi in public places like cafes or hotels. 

Portable hotspot devices work by converting an LTE (Long Term Evolution) or 5G cellular connection to a Wi-Fi connection to the internet. The devices are small enough to fit into your pocket and have reliable battery life. Plus, you can use them anywhere there’s a working LTE or 5G connection, including the park or traveling on a plane, bus, or train. 

You can also use your iPhone or Android phone as a mobile hotspot and access the internet. When you turn on this feature, your phone uses cellular data to get you online. 

Why a Hotspot Device Makes Sense for Business

A mobile hotspot is a valuable investment for the savvy business person and entrepreneur. It comes in handy, especially when traveling or managing an online team. It makes it easy to share documents, send emails, and more, which would otherwise be impossible in a place without an internet connection. 

Business owners can use a hotspot device to stay in touch with clients when away from their office or home. Entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time on the road can avoid expensive roaming fees by investing in a good hotspot device like the NightHawk M5 from NetGear

A hotspot device is also a great option for setting up a remote office. Whether you’re renovating your office or moving to a new location, a mobile hotspot will help keep the business going.

Choosing the Right Hotspot Device

There are many factors to consider when shopping for a hotspot device. Some of these factors include: 

  • Which mobile service provider will you use?
  • How many devices do you plan to connect? 
  • How long do you intend to use the device?
  • Do you prefer an LTE or 5G connection? 

Service Providers

Hotspot devices rely on mobile service providers like Verizon and AT&T to function. Many of these carriers offer hotspot devices such as the Verizon Jetpack Mi-Fi  8800L.

Depending on your data plan, the prepaid device works in more than 200 countries. When you research mobile carriers, ensure you choose one that meets your needs in terms of service areas, data plans, and costs. 

Hardware Capacity

Wi-Fi hotspot devices offer a variety of hardware options. For instance, the NetGear AirCard 797 is an unlocked mobile hotspot connecting up to 32 devices simultaneously. It works with any sim card and has a display for monitoring signal strength, data usage, and adjusting network settings.  

Battery Size & Life

You’ll need to pay attention to the battery size and life. The more you use your device, the faster the battery will drain. A mobile hotspot with a large battery and long battery will serve you best. 

The Inseego M2000 from T-Mobile is particularly popular for its strong performance and battery life. It supports up to 30 devices, and its battery will keep you working for up to a day. You can also use it as a battery bank to charge your portable devices. 

Streaming & Download Speeds

You’ll also need strong download and streaming speeds if you plan on using your hotspot device regularly. Ultimately, the choice will come down to 4G and 5G. The 5G wireless technology delivers stronger connections and faster speeds than 4G. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all offer 5G hotspots. 

Learn How to Use Your New Hotspot Device

You’ll need to pair most hotspot devices with a hotspot data plan. The monthly cost of that plan generally depends on:

  • Whether you have an existing plan with a service provider
  • How much data you’re looking to have
  • The speed of the connection

If you use your phone as a mobile hotspot device, you should be aware that it may cut into your phone’s battery life and increase the cost of your mobile plan. That said, it’s simple enough to set up. 

How to Use Your Smartphone as a Hotspot Device 

For Android phones:

  1. Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering
  2. Turn on the mobile hotspot slider
  3. The username and password you’ll need to connect to devices will appear on the screen 

For iPhones and iPads:

  1. Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot 
  2. Turn on Allow Others to Join
  3. The username is your device’s name, and the password will appear on the screen once you turn on the hotspot

Stay Connected to the Rest of the World

With a reliable hotspot device, you can access real-time information and data wherever you are without disconnecting from the network. Whether you need to study or simply want some entertainment, a hotspot device is a reliable and effective way to stay connected to the internet.