Best Mobile Internet

Sean Jackson
August 21, 2020

What is Mobile Internet?

Mobile internet allows you to connect a device when you’re away from home. To do so, you could use the mobile hotspot built into your smartphone. Alternatively, you could buy a device dedicated to supplying mobile internet. To see if this is the right fit for you, here’s more information on who mobile internet is best for, the most reliable providers, and more. 

What is it Used Best For?

Mobile internet is perfect if you’re on the go regularly (sales, flight attendant) and want access to a secure internet connection. There are some pros and cons to using this approach:

Staying connected is easier than ever these days. Aside from widespread WiFi network availability, most smartphones can also function as a portable WiFi hotspot, allowing you to take a stable internet connection with you on the go. But these devices are really only designed to support occasional use; relying on your phone as a hotspot too frequently can quickly drain both your battery and your data plan. If you find yourself needing to connect on a regular basis, it might be time to purchase a designated mobile hotspot. Take your pick from these best mobile internet devices.

Pros:

  • Can take it with you anywhere
  • It’s a more secure connection than public Wi-Fi since it’s dedicated
  • Many providers offer hotspots for free across larger cities

Cons:

  • Using a mobile hotspot can drain the device you use for the internet
  • Some providers include mobile hotspots in their plans while others charge more for services

Mobile Internet Providers

If you choose to use a mobile hotspot, then you’ll want to find a reliable provider. Some providers give you unlimited access to faster speeds such as Boost, while other providers like AT&T and Verizon can cap your high-speed usage and then throttle your speeds.

ProviderMax SpeedsStates Covered
T-Mobile9 – 47 Mbps48
AT&T128 Kbps22
Verizon5–12 Mbps41
Boost2G50

Mobile Internet Speeds

Speed will be one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a provider. Here’s how each provider measures up based on speed capacity/averages and latency. Latency is the time between when you make a command (such as streaming a movie) and when the network approves the request. 

ProviderAverage/generational speedsLatency
T-Mobile4G30 – 50 ms
AT&T5G52.7 ms
Verizon5G29 ms
Boost4G LTE59.8 ms

The Best Mobile Internet Hotspots

  • Netgear Nighthawk M1
  • Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack
  • Virgin Mobile Overdrive Pro
  • GlocalMe G4 Pro
  • Huawei E5783B-230

Netgear Nighthawk M1

Did you know that you can get up to 1 Gbps download speed on a 4G LTE connection? The WiFi available through this best mobile hotspot might even top your home internet speed. Of course, this will depend on your geographic location and the provider and plan you choose. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is unlocked for use with many providers across the U.S., such as AT&T and T-Mobile, and around the world. This gives you the freedom to shop around for the best mobile internet plan.

This mobile hotspot can connect up to 20 devices at once, perfect for traveling or keeping the family entertained on a long car trip. Its built-in USB port can also be used to keep your phone charged off the hotspot’s long battery life.

Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack

For Verizon users, the MiFi 6620L Jetpack is our pick for best mobile internet. The hotspot can be used for up to 15 devices and carries an extremely long battery life of 20 hours from a single charge. It’s compatible with the 4G LTE network, delivering lightning-fast speeds wherever there’s a reliable cell signal.

The MiFi 6620L Jetpack’s touch screen makes it easy to check your battery life, signal strength and even the status of your data usage for the month. There’s no need to deal with the hassle of logging into a provider website with a username and password just to manage your settings.

Virgin Mobile Overdrive Pro

One of the best features of the Virgin Mobile Overdrive Pro is that you won’t be tied into any contracts by using this hotspot. While service is available through Virgin Mobile, you’ll get access to the nationwide Sprint 4G network for the most reliable coverage. However, keep in mind that the manufacturer only recommends connecting up to five devices; while this should be more than enough for one or two people, it might not cut it if you’re traveling as a family.

GlocalMe G4 Pro

The GlocalMe G4 Pro is the best mobile internet device if you anticipate that you’ll need a hotspot both in the U.S. and internationally. While the hotspot is limited to a download speed of 150 Mbps and only five devices, it’s a customer favorite on Amazon for worldwide reliability. The pay-as-you-go plans from GlocalMe can be customized for a single country, an entire region, or even a global package. The device also comes with an initial bonus of 8 GB of free data to be used in North America.

Huawei E5783B-230

If your sole purpose in purchasing a mobile hotspot is to stay connected while traveling internationally, take a look at the Huawei E5783B-230 mobile internet device. While it isn’t compatible with the 4G LTE network in the United States and Canada, you’ll find reliable download speeds up to 300 Mbps while abroad.

Up to 10 devices can be connected at once to this hotspot. The only major customer complaint is the relatively short battery life, which lasts around six hours while in use. However, if you’re not actively connected, the device can stay powered on in standby mode for up to 350 hours.

Mobile Hotspot Buying Tips

  • Consider download speed

  • If you’re planning to use your mobile internet device for streaming or gaming on the go, you should look for a device that supports higher speeds. However, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to the cell signal strength wherever you’re using the device.

  • Count the number of devices you want to connect

  • The best mobile internet hotspots can connect between five and 20 devices at once. While the lower end is probably more than sufficient for one or two people, larger families may need a higher capacity.

  • Look at the battery life

  • You might not always have a chance to charge your mobile hotspot when you’re on the go. The longer the battery life, the longer you can stay connected.

  • Choose a provider

  • Some mobile hotspots are locked in with a single provider, while others allow you to shop around. Look at mobile internet data plans before you purchase a device to make sure you can find a plan you’re happy with.

We supplied the data; now, the decision is yours.