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If you’re in the market for portable Wi-Fi hotspots, you can find models with fast data transfer speeds and compatibility. However, these devices can fluctuate widely depending on their quality. Picking the right hotspot can be challenging if you’re unsure of how much internet to use. With a myriad of options, how do you know which device fits your lifestyle?

We’ve taken the time to review dozens of different models plus their features bring you the best portable Wi-Fi hotspots available. Here are the top models in 2022.

Best Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots: Side-by-Side Comparison

GlocalMe G4 ProNETGEAR Nighthawk M6Inseego M2000NETGEAR Nighthawk M1Skyroam Solis
Size6.9 x 3.8 x 2.0in4.1 x 4.1 x 0.8in6.4 x 3.2 x 2.0in4.2 x 4.2 x 0.8in3.7 x 3.7 x 1.0in
Weight13.4oz8.5oz5.0oz8.5oz6.5oz
ConnectivityLTE, 4G5G, LTE, 4G5G, LTE, 4GLTE, 4G4G
Data transfer rate150.0Mb per second3.6Gb per secondN/A150Mb per second150Mb per second
Battery life12 hours12 hoursN/A13 hours16 hours
Price$169.99$799.99$128.75$359.11$150.00
GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router, 5” Touch Screen LCD Display Worldwide WiFi Portable High Speed WiFi Hotspot with US 8GB & Global 1GB Data, SIMFREE, Pocket WiFi (Black)
$169.99
  • 🌎【No contract, NO SIM required, Global coverage in 140+ countries】Our main advantages, no sim card needed, no contract,Global coverage in 140+ countries and regions, over 100+ Patent, all above...
  • 🌎【Large screen, Pocket size, 4G MIFI】 Support full frequency band, touch screen operation. Connect up to 10 smart devices. 4G network speed, traffic protection and blacklist management.
  • 🌎【Visual interface and User friendly app】Easy to check data flow, signal status and perform other operations through Visual screen. With the GlocalMe app you can choose data packages or simply...
  • 🌎【Flexible Plans and Preferential price】Data by gb, day or year, pay as you go. No contract or roaming fees. Average cost lower than main stream operator.
  • 🌎【8GB US/CA/MX Data & 1.1GB initial Global Data】GlocalMe G4 pro comes with included 1.1GB global data. As for 8GB US Data, please offer us device IMEI 2 to redeem the data. Please note that 8GB...
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01/27/2023 12:11 am GMT

If a reliable internet connection is a top priority for you, the GlocalMe G4 Pro is one of the best portable Wi-Fi hotspots available.

The device works in 140 countries and comes with 8GB of initial data. The G4 Pro works on all major networks and requires no SIM card to work. 

For additional data wherever you are, GlocalMe offers a variety of data plans. It has a 3,900 mAh lithium-ion battery with fast charging, so you have it when you need it. However, the device is only rated for 4G, which might feel slow if you’re used to 5G networks. The GlocalMe G4 Pro is priced at $169.

Check out the GlocalMe G4 Pro on Amazon.

WiFi 6E Access Points
Wireless WiFi Network Signal Technology Internet Concept

©Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock.com

NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G Mobile Hotspot with WiFi 6 (MR5200) Ultrafast 5G Wireless Hotspot Router | Works Best with AT&T and T-Mobile | Connects Up to 32 Devices | Secure Wireless Network Anywhere
$484.22
  • Connector Type : USB
  • Delivers up to 7x faster speed than 4G. Backward compatible for 4G devices
  • WIFI 6: Connect and stream up to 32 devices simultaneously at fast 1.8Gbps speed
  • Connect to your existing home router using the Gigabit Ethernet port for fast, reliable primary or backup Internet connection. Ideal for homes with poor internet service or coverage
  • Avoid the risks of public WiFi with your own secure Wireless Network anywhere
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01/27/2023 06:46 am GMT

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 offers Wi-Fi internet speeds of 3.6 Gigabytes per second, over 20 times faster than our preferred model.

If you’re still using a 4G phone, the Nighthawk M6 is backward compatible. The portable Wi-Fi hotspot comes unlocked, meaning it works with all major networks except for Sprint legacy lines. However, you’ll need to provide a working SIM card to use the service. In addition, you’ll have to pay a premium for this high-quality model.

Check out the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 on Amazon.

INSEEGO M2000 5G MIFI WiFi-6 Ultimate Hotspot T-Mobile Including a T-Mobile 5G SIM Card & SIMBROS SIMKEY New in Box Complete All OEM REG Price 349.99
$117.84
  • T-MOBILE 5G SIM INCLUDED
  • OEM CHARGER
  • ORIGINAL 5050MAH BATTERY INCLUDED
  • ENTERPRISE GRADE SECURITY
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01/27/2023 01:46 am GMT

Designed for the T-mobile network in the United States, the Inseego M2000 is the perfect model for continental travelers needing connection on the go.

For the most part, a compatible Wi-Fi hotspot either comes with ancient service or costs a small fortune. However, if you’re a T-mobile user, you won’t have to compromise with the Inseego M2000. The United States’ largest 5G provider also offers an affordable monthly rate. Users that require exceptional data can purchase 100GB of roaming data for 50/month with no contract.

Check out the Inseego M2000 on Amazon.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Hotspot (MR1100-100NAS) – Up to 1Gbps Speed, Works Best with AT&T and T-Mobile, Connects Up to 20 Devices, Secure Wireless Network Anywhere
$280.70
  • Share WiFi internet access with up to 20 devices
  • Unlocked to accept all SIM cards (excluding Sprint legacy network); works best on AT&T and T-Mobile. Please check with preferred carrier on data plan details and limitations
  • Requires Nano SIM card from carrier and activation of compatible BYOD (Bring Your own Device) data plan that meets your data needs
  • Download speeds up to 1Gbps. Speeds may vary by service and proximity to nearest cell tower
  • One USB port shares storage for data or personal media streaming with connected wireless devices
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01/27/2023 06:46 am GMT

AT&T users looking for a more affordable portable Wi-Fi hotspot will benefit from Nighthawk M1 4G model from NETGEAR.

Nighthawk 1 offers multiple ports can connect up to 20 devices. It also offers 150 megabytes per second, enough to browse the internet and send messages to your team. Is it a most desirable feature? It has a massive lithium-ion battery that can last all day. Though larger than other device, it offers value for money.

Check out the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 on Amazon.

For those that often find themselves in an airport, you’ll want a device that provides reliable internet were finding it otherwise would prove difficult.

Skyroam Solis brings all the connectivity of the best portable Wi-Fi hotspots in a tiny package.

Under 4 inches square, Solis is the smallest device on our list. Its tiny frame still packs a lot of power. Users with a monthly data plan can use Solis in 130 countries worldwide. It’s also rated for up to 16 hours of battery life, meaning you can expect it to work for all your extended layovers.

Check out the Skyroam Solis on Amazon.

How to Pick the Best Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot

When choosing the right portable Wi-Fi hotspot for your needs, there are three main considerations.

  • Compatibility
  • Data transfer rate
  • Price

Let’s review each one in more detail.

Compatibility

Before buying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, check whether the model you want works with your mobile device. Some hotspots are exclusive to certain networks and require a compatible SIM card to communicate properly. You can save money purchasing a Wi-Fi hotspot that connects exclusively to your service provider, or you can invest in an unlocked model for less hassle.

Smartphone Wi-Fi wifi network
WiFi graphic

©A_stockphoto/Shutterstock.com

Data Transfer Rate

Having access to data where you would otherwise not have it is a considerable investment. It can run you quite a bit if you’re not careful. Before buying one of the best portable Wi-Fi hotspots available, think of how you will use internet outside of your home and office. 4G connectivity provides enough data for internet surfing but can lag with photos and videos. But if you need 5G service, expect to pay a large sum upfront and monthly.

Price

When looking at Wi-Fi hotspots, you’ll notice the price fluctuates substantially. Unlocked devices with 5G capability can cost as much as $1,000 or more. With this in mind, consider your budget and use that to decide how much data you need. Some hotspots for certain service providers may cost more than others. Finally, most hotspots require a monthly plan. If you know how much data you typically use, you can potentially save money on a smaller plan.

What to Know Before Buying a Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot

Before you buy a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s critical to know that most devices on Amazon come refurbished. That’s because most hotspots are exclusive to their service provider. Especially if you use Verizon, it’s important to check the hotspot’s compatibility. Verizon users will have to talk directly to the service provider because unless the hotspot is unlocked, it is difficult to find one that works properly.

That being said, refurbished models on Amazon typically run hundreds of dollars less than typical retail value. As a product with a price range that breaks $1,000 for strong internet, this is an acceptable option for purchasing a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Using a Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot: What It’s Like

Comparing these best portable Wi-Fi hotspots is difficult because they work differently with each provider. Typically common variables such as battery life and data transfer speed have wider variations depending on location.

That being said, we appreciated the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 for its 5G capability and functionality with each major provider. It was not much different than the internet browsing we would typically do. However, it’s easy to spend a substantial amount of money with that much accessibility, especially in areas where phone service is unavailable.

When all is said and done, we tried to use these devices sparingly. With most smartphones having hotspot capability, it’s easy enough to turn that on when needing to use a laptop for work. Alternatively, Starlink provides reliable internet regardless of the service provider for a comparable price.

Best Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots: Further Reading

The best portable Wi-Fi hotspots can provide you reliable internet when you need it. With plenty of data and a wide range of locations, these devices are handy for those working on the road. For more gadgets to level up your travel experience, check out the articles below.

Best Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long does 100GB of hotspot last?

For those using their hotspot to browse the internet or communicate via email, 100GB should last the entire month. However, those that stream videos and movies regularly might find their data running low in about 15-20 days.

Do portable Wi-Fi hotspots work anywhere?

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots will work just about anywhere there is a mobile data network. This means you can use your hotspot nearly everywhere in the US and in most developed countries around the world.

How many GB is 2 hour movie?

A 2-hour movie ranges from 2 to 14 GB depending on the video quality. This is an important consideration if you’re using your hotspot to stream movies.

What’s the difference between Wi-Fi and hotspot?

Wi-Fi is the technology that connects devices to a local area network. A hotspot is a provider of wireless data to mobile devices using Wi-Fi technology.

Can I get hotspot without a plan?

Theoretically, you can simply purchase the hotspot without signing up for a data plan. In some cases, hotspots come with an initial amount of data to buffer the time it takes to set up a plan. Therefore, you could use the hotspot’s initial data and set up a plan when it works for you.

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