How to Choose a Mobile Hotspot

We live in a glorious age where internet access is somewhat ubiquitous. Most public places, including libraries, cafes, and even airplanes, have Wi-Fi available. The flip side to this is we’ve all become excessively reliant on the internet for everything from our school and work to our personal finances, and without a reliable internet connection, we’d be lost.

So how can you prepare for being caught without Wi-Fi access? The answer is a mobile hotspot, which is a device that can connect other devices to the internet via an internet provider. You’ll typically pay for the hotspot itself, plus a monthly fee from a service provider, so you’ll need to make an educated decision to ensure your investment is worth it.

With dozens of models to choose from, it can be hard to tell which is the best to purchase. Fortunately, there are some reliable criteria you can use to make the best decision.

Consider the Provider

There are multiple different internet providers out there, and many mobile hotspots are specific to only one carrier. For example, if you choose a Verizon branded mobile hotspot, you’ll be stuck with Verizon mobile coverage. Research your potential providers proactively and see which plans make the most sense for you and your lifestyle. The straightforward option here is to choose a model offered by the service provider you think is best.

However, another option is to bypass the service provider route entirely and purchase a mobile hotspot that has been unlocked, such as this selection from Mr. Aberthon. Unlocked mobile hotspots are ones that can accept a SIM card from any provider, regardless of how that device was originally intended to be used. It may allow you to take advantage of a high-quality hotspot in combination with a more valuable service provider not originally intended to be paired with it.

Consider Your Needs

You’ll also need to consider your own needs in a mobile hotspot, including the following areas:

  • Data volume. How much data do you plan on using? Are you going to use this as an emergency reserve for work applications, or do you plan on streaming high-quality movies on this device regularly? Different service plans offer different data limits, and your mobile hotspot may be better suited for high- or low-volume applications. Make sure you choose the hotspot and service plan that best fits your personal needs.
  • Frequency of use. How often are you going to be using this device? If you plan on using it on a daily basis, you’ll need something sturdy that can hold up over time, and something of a higher quality. Using it infrequently means you can afford a lower-quality device.
  • Type of use. Also, consider how you’ll be using this. Do you know when and where you’ll be setting it up? Or will your location change frequently?

Pay Attention to Reviews

Once you’ve evaluated all your personal criteria, you should be able to narrow down your search to a handful of different models. From there, your greatest asset is going to be outside reviews. You’ll be able to see what professional tech enthusiasts and ordinary consumers alike think about each of the products in a variety of different conditions. Ultimately, you’ll probably find that one model stands out compared to the others—there’s just one more thing to keep in mind.

Weigh Your Pricing Options

Obviously, you’ll also need to consider the price of your options. Some mobile hotspots are more expensive than others, offering more advanced features or higher-quality production. If you can afford them, these more expensive products are often worth the extra investment. However, if you’re on a budget or don’t believe you’ll be using the product that often, it may be better to buy an inexpensive model.

Hopefully, these considerations should make your choice in a mobile hotspot much easier. If you’ve never used a mobile hotspot before, you may also consider trying out various models before purchasing them. Physical retail stores will be able to give you a demo, or you can talk to friends and coworkers to see if they’ve had experience with this in the past.