TLDR: Portable Wifi hotspot devices can come very handy if you travel frequently. The Skyroam Solis X is the Best Portable Wifi Hotspot in 2020
One of the biggest concerns most people traveling abroad have is a steady access to the internet. The exceptionally expensive roaming charges made it very uneconomical. Most of them had to come back home to a huge roaming bill that just wasn’t worth it. There were a few solutions. The most common and easy one was to look for public WiFI. But that wasn’t convenient at all. Going around the city, looking for public Wifi isn’t that fun. And to make it worse, the Wifis are, more often than not, either very crowded which means very slow speed or not stable at all. The other solution was to buy a local sim card and use that. But then again, there’s a high chance you won’t be able to use it with your phone without unlocking it. Sure, you could buy a local phone to go with the local sim. But then again, you would have to buy a new local phone as well as a new local sim in every new country you go to. This isn’t very convenient, especially if you travel frequently. So, what does one do then? Well, actually there’s a very straightforward solution for this. And that is the Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices. These devices are very simple and convenient to use. And they solve your problem of staying connected while being abroad. In this article, we will see the best Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices that you can buy. But before that, let’s see how these Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices solve the problem of staying connected while on the move.
How do Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices Work?
There are two types of Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices. First there are the normal hotspot devices where you insert a Sim and get access to the internet. The only difference is that here you will be using a Global Sim Card provider. The other option is the all-in-one mobile Wifi hotspot devices. These devices come with a built-in Sim card so you don’t need anything else. So let’s see how both of these work.
Normal Hotspot Devices + Global SIM Card
These are the normal hotspot devices. you can buy them for a fixed price one and can use them as long as you want. But they don’t have any built-in sim card. So you need to use your own SIM card. Combining these Hotspot devices and a SIM from a GLOBAL SIM card provider, you can access the Internet anywhere. There are multiple Global SIM card providers like TSIM, MATRIX, etc that you can choose from. With these SIM cards, you will get access to the internet in multiple countries, with just a single SIM card. So, together with a Wifi hotspot device and a Global SIM card you will be able to access the internet in multiple countries. You can get even 4G and 5G in places where it is available.
All-in-One Mobile Wifi hotspot devices
The other option is to use an All-in-One Mobile Wifi hotspot device. These devices come with a built-in SIM card. These companies tie-up with local 4G carriers in different countries and make a licensing deal with them. So when you visit a particular country, these hotspot devices use a local carrier to give you wireless connection based on that carrier’s 4G network connection. However you don’t have to pay the carrier, instead, you subscribe to the Wifi Hotspot manufacturers different plans. This might be a little more costly than if you had purchased a local sim card. You pay the extra amount for the convenience that you are getting. You are no longer required to switch SIM cards and also purchase a local phone plan in every country you visit. A single Wifi hotspot will work in all those countries. This gives you Internet access as soon as you step off the plane no matter where you go. You don’t have to worry about switching between carriers and services anymore.
These devices are perfect for you if you frequently travel to different places and don’t stay at a particular place for long. All these hotspot devices have a 24-hour subscription which you can use for a few days until you buy a local sim and a local device once you are familiar with the local plans if that’s what you want. However if you are someone who plans to stay at a particular location for a slightly longer period, then buying a local sim and local device will be a better option for you.
Best Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices
1. Skyroam Solis X – Best Portable Wifi Hotspot 2020
The Skyroam Solis X Wifi Smart spot is a Wifi hotspot device that can deliver 4G LTE Mobile data no matter where you are. It also has an integrated 4700 mAh Power Bank so you can charge your devices while on the go. There’s also an 8MP Remote Camera that you can use. Solis X has a customizable Smart Assistant that you can customize according to your requirements. You can connect it to multiple devices i.e up to 10 devices at a single time. It comes with the patented vs Technology and works with all Local & International Data Plans. Additionally it also has a built-in Speaker, Microphone, and comes with Bluetooth.
The Solis X is a small, hockey puck-shaped MyFi/Wifi hotspot device. It has dimensions of 3.5” x 0.9” and weighs 11 ounces. The device is small enough to fit travel purses or the outer pocket of most backpacks but big enough to not fit in the pocket of your jeans. It can also easily fit in your palm and can be held by one hand. The Solis X has an orange color exterior that looks pretty good.
On top of the Solis X there’s a large rounded power button. Along with it you will find a white stripe that shows you the remaining battery life of the device. Three different indicator lights show the data connection and transmission. On you will find an 8MP camera that has a built-in flash. On one side there is a Skyroam brand logo printed in white. On the back is a USB-C port that can be used to charge the device. You can also use this cable to charge your phone or other USB accessories. Talking about charging your devices, the Solis X has an integrated 4,700mAh power bank. So you can charge all your USB devices while on the go. The charging however is very slow and has a rating of 5V/1A.
The Solis X plans are a bit pricey but I found the pricing to be reasonable given what you were getting in exchange. They are a bit expensive but provide great value especially because of how convenient they are. With Skyroam, you have three different plans.
- UNLIMITED: This plan gives unlimited data for 30 days. This is the Unlimited Monthly Subscription plan. This plan gives you 30 days of unlimited data and is billed monthly. It is available in either Global or USA plans. The cost for this plan is $99-$49/mo based on geography and the prepayment choice. It gives you high-speed data up to 20GB, after which you get a slower speed i.e 3G or 2G speed. There is no data carryover, which means that the data gets reset after each period.
- GoData Pay-Per-GB subscription plan: This a pay as you go plan and has a base price of $9-$4 per month based on geography. The plan gives you 1 GB of high-speed data per month and is also billed monthly. The cost of any additional data depends on the region. It is available in Global, USA, Europe, or Asia plans. The price is $9-$4/mo per additional GB based on your location
- Global Day passes: Skyroam also lets you buy a global day pass which gives you unlimited high-speed data over 24 hours. With this you get access to unlimited high-speed data over 24 hours in any of the countries that are covered by Skyroam. The cost of a single day pass is $9/day.
Renting the Device
If you don’t want to buy the Skyroam Solis X then you can just rent it instead. Renting the Solis X device will cost you $8.99/day. Other than that you will also have to pay the Shipping Charges. So if you choose to rent it, you have to prepay for shipping both ways. When you want to return it, you can either drop it off at one of their 150+ worldwide dropoff points, if it’s available near you. Or you could use the shipping label that they include in the package along with the box. So you can return the device from whichever country you choose.
2. Huawei E5788 – Best Unlocked Portable Wifi Hotspot
The Huawei E5788 is the first CAT16 hotspot device in the world as per them. The Wifi hotspot device from Huawei is capable of giving speeds of up to 1Gbps speed. The Huawei E5788 has an LTE 6 antenna design which helps it achieve full band 4×4 MIMO support. The 4 x 4 MIMO technology helps in accelerating the LTE speed up to 100% of its capacity. The hotspot device also has a DL 256QAM Modulation which can help it achieve the highest speed that is 33% more than the peak speed. With up to 4CC, it is one of the best Wifi hotspot devices with a powerful CA capacity. It supports 4G and is also capable of 5G which is why it can achieve speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The Huawei E5788 is a normal Wifi hotspot device. This means that it doesn’t come with a built-in SIM card. You need to use your own SIM card. However, the device is completely unlocked. This means that you can use all kinds of SIM cards with it. Be it a local SIM card or a Global one. The possibility of using a Global SIM is what makes it an ideal Wifi hotspot device to use while traveling abroad. The E5788 has a built-in 3,000mAh battery that can also double as a power bank which makes it helpful in charging your device in case of an emergency. It has a decent battery life and can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. The device supports up to 32 connections at a time. It also comes with NFC and you can connect your devices using NFC tap.
The Huawei E5788 has a very minimal and sleek design. It has a rectangular shaped body with rounded corners. The majority of the front side is covered by the screen. It is a 2.4-inch touch screen with large bezels. This is the most important aspect of the device. This is how one can operate the device. The screen along with the bezel covers the 2/3rd part of the body. On the right side is branding with the Huawei Logo. The backside of the device has a black plastic finish. There is just a tiny Huawei logo on the center and a few signs of the bottom-left corner. On the bottom side are a SIM card slot and a USB port. The SIM card supports micro SIM cards and this is where you insert the SIM card. The USB slot is a micro-USB which can be used for charging the device and connecting it.
The Huawei E5788 is just a simple Hotspot device. This means that it doesn’t come with any built-in SIM cards. So, the data plan will depend on the SIM card You are using.
There is no option of renting the Huawei E5788. It is just like any other normal gadget. You pay a fixed price to buy the device. And that’s it. There are no other hidden charges after that.
3. Teppy Wireless
The Teppy Wifi hotspot. There are over 400+ data plans available in their app that you can choose from. It lets you connect up to five devices including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles. Teppy will last up to 12 hours on a single charge. It is a safe and secure device and is password-protected. With this there are no contracts and you have the flexibility of accessing great coverage on many networks without any commitment commitments. Teppy is a bit behind in terms of its battery life. It has less than half the battery capacity of the Solis X. It can last up to 6 hours on a single charge. However this doesn’t mean it has bad battery life. Also it doesn’t have any integrated power bank. Teppy allows up to 5 simultaneous connections at a time.
Teppy is a small and slim rectangular shaped device. It feels just like a small smartphone. It has dimensions of 3.93″ (length) x 2.75″ (width) x 0.59″ (thickness) and weighs 4.5 ounces. Compared to the Solis X, Teppy is lightweight and small and can easily fit in any of the pockets, be it your backpack or your jeans. One the front, there is an LCD screen in the center and a round button on the right side. The LCD screen shows you some basic details, like the battery percentage, the quality of the network, the time, the amount of data you have used, etc. It also displays the Wifi Id and the password that you can use to connect to the Wifi. Pressing the button on the right once will bring you more detailed info on your current plan. Pressing on it again will display the contact us screen, which has the customer support details. It has details of both the phone and SMS options. On the bottom of the device is a USB port that you can use to charge it.
There are three different plans that you can choose from.
- Unlimited: This is the same plan like the one of Skyroam. The plan gives you access to 30 days of unlimited data and is billed monthly. The cost of this plan is $99 per month. But there is one great thing about this plan and that is that you get a Teppy device for free if you subscribe to their $99 per month unlimited plans.
- Pay-As-You-Go Plans: Teppy has a lot of plans. This is because the device is powered by their sister company Sapphire which gives you access to 900+ data plans that are suitable for every type of internet user for over 130+ countries that it covers.
- Day Passes: This is their daily plan with a period of 24 hours and gives you access to unlimited internet. The cost of this plan or a daily pass is $8 per day. You get a free 3 day pass on buying a new device.
Renting the Device
Instead of buying the Teppy Wireless you can also rent the device instead of buying it. The cost of renting the Teppy starts from $7.95 per day. You can choose from three different plans that offer different amounts of mobile data. At $7.95 you get 1GB of 4G per day. The second option costs $8.95 and gives you 3GB of 4G data per day. The third plan is the most expensive one and gives you 8gb of 4G data per day at $11.95 per day. The two more expensive plans also include a travel adapter. The actual prices vary by country with the more expensive countries adding about $1-3/day more. The good thing is that shipping the device to you is free if you are in one of the few countries. You just have to pay for the return shipping charges and ship it back to one of their warehouse locations or you can return it to one of their drop off points for free.
4. TP-Link M7350 V4 – Cheap Compact Wifi Hotspot Device
The TP-Link M7350 is a compact Wifi hotspot device with a modern and elegant design which makes it suitable to carry along when you are on the move. The M7350 can support 4G LTE networks which help it achieve download speeds of up to 150mbps and up to 50mbps upload speeds. So, you can easily surf the web and enjoy buffer-free streaming at High definition given you have the required data. The M7350 is just a basic hotspot device, which means that there is no built-in SIM card. You will have to use your own SIM card, be it a local or a Global Sim card. The M7350 lets you simultaneously connect up to 10 devices at a time. It comes with Selectable 2.4GHz or 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi which means you can choose from any of them.
The M7350 is also equipped with a screen that displays a few useful information like battery percentage, time, etc. It comes with a 2550mAh battery and it can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. There’s also a micro SD card slot that has up to 32GB capacity. This gives you the option of having some extra storage. You can easily manage the M7350 using the tpMiFi App. The app lets you access and manages the M7350 from your connected devices. You can establish data limits and control which devices have access to Wi-Fi. You can also send messages, share media files to/from a removable Micro SD card, and much more using the tpMiFi App.
The TP-Link M7350 has a very compact and sleek design. It has a rectangular shape with rounded corners. On the front side of the device, you will find a screen at the center, a power button on the bottom. There is a TP-LINK branding on the right edge and a 4G LTE symbol on the bottom-left corner. There are huge bezels all around the screen. However, the screen is very useful and displays a lot of insightful data. It shows you the amount of data that you have used and how much is left. This keeps you from going over your monthly data cap and helps you stay within your data limit.
The screen also displays a few other information like the time, battery percentage, network signal, Wi-Fi status, number of users connected, and much more insightful data. On the top is a menu button. The menu button lets you change the “network type, data roaming and frequency band” It also lets you view the password and the network name so that you can connect to the network. On the bottom side, there is a USB port that you can use to charge the device. The back panel is removable. Underneath it is the removable battery. Once you remove the battery, you get access to the SIM card slot and the SD card slot.
The TP-Link M7350 also doesn’t come with any built-in SIM cards. So, the data plan will depend on the SIM card you are using.
The TP-Link M7350 can be bought at a fixed price and there’s no option of renting it.
5. Netgear NIGHTHAWK M1 Mobile Router (MR1100)
The Netgear NIGHTHAWK M1 is a powerful and future-proof Wifi modem or router. It comes with 4G LTE support and also supports LTE CAT 16. It also comes with 4X4 MIMO and 4-band Carrier Aggregation support. It lets you connect up to 20 devices at a time. The M1 has increased network performance and can also reduce interference with 802.11ac and Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5GHz dual concurrent Wifi. It is capable of up to 1 Gbps download speeds and 150 Mbps upload speeds. It is an unlocked device and will support all SIM cards. It also has Ethernet offloading capabilities. The Nighthawk M1 also lets you easily stream media to all connected devices from a microSD, USB Type-C, or an external hard drive. The JumpBoost feature also lets you use the device as a power bank to charge your smartphones or other USB devices as well.
The Netgear NIGHTHAWK M1 has a very simple yet elegant design. It has a square-shaped body with rounded corners. On the front is a circular 2.4-inch LCD panel. This screen displays simple information like the time, battery percentage, network signal, Wi-Fi status, etc. It also displays the amount of data you have used. On the bottom side you will find multiple ports. There are two TS-9 connectors, one each on both edges. There is an Ethernet port as well. There’s also a USB Type-C port for charging the device and a USB Type-A port. You can use the Type-A port to charge other devices. The back panel is removable which reveals the battery. Underneath the battery, you will find a SIM card slot and a MicroSD card slot.
The Netgear NIGHTHAWK M1 also doesn’t come with any built-in SIM cards. So, the data plan will depend on the SIM card you are using.
The Netgear NIGHTHAWK M1 can be bought at a fixed price and there’s no option of renting it.
Best Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices in 2020 Bottomline
Portable Wifi devices let you travel without having to worry about having to stay connected while on the move. There are two types of hotspot devices that you can choose from. The normal hotspot devices that don’t have any built-in SIM cards and the ALL-IN-ONE hotspot devices that have built-in SIM cards. No matter which one you choose, there will be one less thing to worry about on your next trip abroad.
Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API