With technology converting the world into a global village, the internet has become a necessity. It has revolutionized our relationships, jobs and even information in a significant way. Today, it is common to find people working away from their usual offices. Employees, board members and employers also teleconference using the power of the internet.
It is the internet that has led to the introduction and growth of online businesses. Business owners market their products and deliver them online. Such businesses rely on internet connection 100%. A minor internet disturbance would lead to great loses and inconveniences.
Since people must travel and leave offices, there is a need for a reliable internet connection. Mobile phones connection may not be reliable due to roaming data charges plus off-grid problems. Especially when you are travelling to different countries, mobile phones can be very inconveniencing as you will have to change sim cards in every country you visit. You can use one super tech gadget to address all these for you. And this is the portable Wi-Fi router.
What Is A Portable Wifi Router And How Does It Work?
A portable WiFi router work just like the standard internet box we use at home. However, instead of using ethernet connections, it uses a sim card to transform your 4 G connection into a personal WIFI connection within a range of 9-15 meters. It allows you to set up your private internet connection from anywhere in the world and connect your Wi-Fi enabled devices. Examples of devices you can connect include; laptops, tablets, mobile phones, game consoles etc.
The good thing is that it is a lightweight device you can walk within your backpack or pocket. If you are wondering what exactly these devices are, people use different names to refer to them. Some of the common jargons used include;
- Wi-Fi dongle
- Wi-Fi egg
- Mobile hotspot
- Mobile Wi-Fi
Now, if you are looking to understand this technology, this is the place to be. We are going to present vital information and suggest some of the top and reliable brands that you can purchase.
Setting Up Your Wi-fi Router
If you’ve made up your mind to get a portable Wi-Fi access point, you have two options. You can either order it online or visit the available local agents. Whether you are buying online or physical shop, the most important step is choosing your best fitting device.
Once you have received your package, you will need to activate. Some routers come with hardcopy instruction manuals on how to activate, whereas others have mobile videos. All you need to do is follow the instructions correctly, and you can be online within minutes. The general standard procedure is logging in to the admin panel just as you would do with the home routers. Locate the network username and enter the password. That’s all; you are now connected.
Top 5 Best Portable Wi-fi
Are you stuck on which brand or model of portable Wi-Fi to purchase? Are you looking to upgrade to a better device? Below are some of the top-notch products you can go for and never regret.
1. Huawei E5577Cs-321 4G LTE Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
This device is best for solo travelers who don’t have many devices to connect. It has a single button connection with centralized operations. Setting up is a piece of cake and will take you seconds to a few minutes.
E5251 allows you to enjoy 3G internet and high-speed download connection of up to 150mbps. The other advantage is that you can connect up to 10 personal devices. The versatility of this device is out of this world. It is SIM card free which means you can connect it with all networks.
Additionally, this device offers up to 6 working hours and about 300 hours on standby. If you are planning a tour abroad, this might be all you need. Coming with a one-year warranty, you won’t have to worry about immediate failures.
- It is small in size
- Very lightweight making it highly portable
- Has high speeds of up to 150mbps
- It is universal. Thus you can use it with any network.
- Doesn’t come with any extra fancy features
- The battery life isn’t so impressive.
2. TP-Link M7200 Mobile Hotspot
It’s probably the most affordable portable Wi-Fi for anyone travelling. It is 4G enabled and capable of connecting 10 devices simultaneously. Just like the first one, TP-Link M7200 is unlocked hence can be used with any SIM card.
When it comes to management, this device has a tpMiFi mobile App that allows you to manage things with ease. You get to enjoy high-speed internet going up to 150mbps for download and 50mbps uploads.
TP-Link M7200comes with a three-year warranty. So, in case your device fails within this time or doesn’t meet your expectation, you are at liberty to return. It also includes the FDD/TDD-LTE technology making it very powerful. It’s also compatible with several network configurations when traversing different regions and continents. With 2000mAh, you are assured of 8 hours of continuous usage.
- Easy to manage through the tpMiFi mobile app
- Has a long battery power that lasts up to 8 hours
- High download speed of up to 150mbps
- It is 4G enabled
- Compatible with most network configurations
- It has a weak antenna that leads to poor signal strength
- The LED display is also very faint
3. TP-Link M7350 Mobile Hotspot
It is an ideal pick for people who want an extra taste from the standard Wi-Fi routers at a low budget. It is an unlocked high-speed router capable of connecting up to 15 devices. Being 4G LTE enabled, you can expect nothing but high-speed download and uploads. The download speed is at 150mbps and 50mbps for uploads.
The user interface is so intuitive and spacious. You don’t strain when monitoring the device status; you can see everything at a glance. There is also an additional MicroSD port that allows high data storage up to 32GB.
- The additional MicroSD card slot allows you to store data
- It has a long-lasting battery that can support 8 hours operation
- It is affordable
- Can support up to 15 devices
- High data-consuming
- Requires a bit of technical know-how to set up
4. Huawei E5573CS-609
Huawei is one of the top brands, no wonder their products feature significantly in our best products list. This mobile Wi-Fi makes it to this list courtesy its unmatched energy sparing consumption. Also, the lightweight and miniature design that allows it to fit in tiny spaces contributes to its popularity.
Additionally, Huawei E5573CS-609 allows up to 10 device connections. Of importance is the strong 4G ability. You can virtually access the internet via this device anywhere in the world.
- Small in size and lightweight
- It is a good energy conserver
- It is capable of supporting up to 10 devices
- Offers stable internet connection
- Slow internet connection
- Doesn’t have a display
5. TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
It is one of the fastest mobile routers in the market today. At its size and weight, it is an impressive device. With a 7.2-ounce weight, TP-Link AC750 presents you a good deal to set up your Wi-Fi wherever you go. You can carry it anywhere either in your bag or pocket without straining.
With one button, you can switch it to different modes. It also presents other power options. It has a USB cable port where you can connect it to your laptop and charge it. There is also a 2-year warranty attached to this device with 24/7 customer care support.
- It is a dual-band Wi-Fi device
- Provides high-speed internet connection
- Has different connection modes
- Has guaranteed customer care support
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- It comes with a poorly written user manual
- The older models have security problems
- It has a flimsy design
Advantages Of Using A Portable Wi-fi Router
Portable Wi-Fi router allows you to set up your private internet, which is more secure than the free Wi-Fi hotspots. You may be excited to use these free hotspots but can turn out to be your biggest undoing.
Most cyber criminals target unsuspecting free Wi-Fi users to wreak havoc. They can steal your personal information which they end up using against you. It is very dangerous to carry out any financial transactions on such connections. So next time you are travelling, consider tagging along with your portable Wi-Fi. This way, you won’t have to use potentially harmful hotspots.
Data cost varies in different locations. No matter how good your data tariff appears, using it consistently can lead to outrageously high bills. Worse is when you are travelling abroad, and you are using roaming data.
Portable Wi-Fi routers charge considerably low no matter where you are. Even if you are travelling out of your country, there won’t be extra charges or change in billing. Therefore, you’ll end up saving a lot in the process. For example, Verizon portable Wi-Fi charges as low as $19 per month. In some countries, you can spend this amount on a single day.
No Battery Draining
If you have ever tried using your mobile phone hotspot you know how fast your battery lasted. With modern Smartphone batteries designed not to last long, to begin with, multitasking it will decrease the juice further.
To avoid endangering your batteries lifespan, it is better to consider using portable Wi-Fi routers. These devices come with their source of power and last longer compared to most smartphones.
This is the backbone benefit of portable Wi-Fi routers. You can virtually go anywhere with these devices. Their size and negligible weight make them easy to walk around in the pocket or a backpack. Whether in a train, bus or holidaying somewhere, you can enjoy 24/7 connection.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Portable Wi-fi
Before laying your hand on that covetous router, you have to consider a plethora of factors. This will enable you to get the best features that best satisfy your needs. Some of those factors are;
The number of connections
The number of devices a Wi-Fi device can connect is a top priority. It is what determines how many devices you’ll conveniently connect to your Wi-Fi. However, if you have five Wi-Fi devices, you should buy a device with a slightly higher capacity. You never know when you’ll buy an extra device or when your friend visits with his. Therefore, consider how many appliances you want to connect and choose a device that can support all of them and leave extra space.
The data plan
The cost of data is one of the reasons why many people go for portable Wi-Fi routers. You should ensure that the device you purchase has friendly tariffs. One of the best decisions you can make is buying a universal router: one that can connect to multiple or all service providers. This will give you an option to change your service provider whenever you want.
Purchasing unlocked routers is also advantageous if you are a frequent traveller to overseas. When you are there, you won’t have to buy a new sim card for your device.
How fast your device is plays a crucial role in offering convenient services. Ideally, you don’t need a router that will take ages to connect to the internet with low surfing speed. It can be very inconveniencing when you are doing something important, and your internet keeps on hanging. Currently, there are 3G, 4G and 4G+ speeds. The higher the speed, the better the efficiency. In some countries, 5G is also in the offing and will offer advanced speeds compared to all its predecessors. Even though higher speed portable sticks may be more expensive, they are worth the cost. After all, you cannot substitute efficiency and quality to anything else.
There are two major categories of portable Wi-Fi routers you should choose between—the locked and unlocked. Locked devices can only use their manufacturer lines. On the other hand, unlocked can use other lines for different service providers.
The unlocked devices are a better option because you can use different data plans to cut cost. In case you plan to travel to another country, you also won’t have to purchase a new one. However, you shouldn’t be stuck at this factor. You may find some locked devices with better service.
Different categories of these devices will offer different functionalities. Besides giving you internet access; some routers will provide you with additional services such as sending and receiving text messages. Others act like power banks to boost the devices charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there other options for portable Wi-Fi?
Yes. If you are on transit and need an alternative internet connection, there are many. The first one is the free Wi-Fi zones. These are popular in famous cities and coffee shops where you can sit and connect your device to the open hotspot.
The other option is the use of prepaid sim cards. These lines offer services regardless of where you are in the world. All you need is plug the sim card in your phone, and you are free to go online. Even though you may be required to change a few APN settings but doesn’t take long, some of the companies that offer such services include the Cricket, Verizon and AT & T.
The other alternative is requesting an international data package from your local service provider. This may be a bit expensive, but it is a good choice for people who don’t want what to change their norm.
What is the disadvantage of using mobile Wi-Fi?
Contrary to what many think, mobile Wi-Fi devices are not signal amplifiers. They can neither be used to steal other Wi-Fi signals. Some people hold this perception that they can connect to different Wi-Fi hotspots and amplify the signal to serve their purpose. Lie. You must top up your sim card with your desired data plan.
How can mobile Wi-Fi simplify and improve my travel?
If you have a mobile Wi-Fi, you won’t need to subscribe to roaming data even if you are in a different country. Additionally, you can allow your family members or friends to connect to your device. This helps greatly in terms of cutting cost. You also have unlimited internet access.
How many devices can I connect to a single pocket Wi-Fi?
Different pocket Wi-Fi has a different maximum number of devices you can connect. In most cases, most of them have a maximum capacity of 10 devices. This is something you should always check on the product description section as there is no default number. It all depends on your device strength.
Portable Wi-Fi connection will keep you connected to the internet, even when on the move. With it, you will be able to keep in touch with your friends and office buddies answering their messages and emails. It is an excellent way to locate local sceneries where you can visit and have more fun.
These gadgets will help you avoid the hacker’s bait in free hotspots. You’ll be safe to transact your businesses normally away from office or home network. If you need to enjoy the convenience of these devices, you can pick any from the above list. These are tested products that you can be sure to serve you to satisfaction. Don’t put yourself incommunicado due to lack of data or expensive charges. You’ve got mobile Wi-Fi to keep you informed at an affordable cost.