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The best hotspots you can buy

Hotspots help you access the internet no matter where you are. These are the best hotspots you can buy today based on performance, price, and durability.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Netgear Nighthawk M6 | Best hotspot overall
A Netgear NightHawk M6 hotspot
Netgear Nighthawk M6
Best hotspot overall
View now View at Amazon
Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L hotspot | Best hotspot for Verizon customers
An Inseego hotspot with a touchscreen display
Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L hotspot
Best hotspot for Verizon customers
View now View at Best Buy
Simo Solis Lite | Best budget hotspot
An orange personal hotspot device
Simo Solis Lite
Best budget hotspot
View now View at Amazon
Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW | Best hotspot for T-Mobile customers
Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW
Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW
Best hotspot for T-Mobile customers
View now View at T-Mobile
GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE mobile hotspot
GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE mobile hotspot
View now View at Amazon

Staying connected is critical, whether it is keeping in touch with family or logging in for the work day. You are not always at home or at your desk, so you may need something that is portable that you can take on the go. That is where a hotspot comes in.

A hotspot is a physical device that allows you to obtain a wireless internet point and connection without fussy wires or cables. You have complete freedom of movement with the ability to access an internet connection when there is service nearby. Hotspots may be connected to a carrier or they may be available on plans suitable for international use. 

Also: Best travel VPNs

What is the best hotspot right now?

Our pick for the best hotspot overall is the Netgear Nighthawk M6, a hotspot suitable for T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T customers while also being unlocked for use abroad in up to 125 countries. It's fast, reliable, and easy to set up.

ZDNET has covered the mobile space for years, and while considering our choices, we leaned upon personal experience and customer feedback. Before you hit the road to your next adventure, consider our recommendations for the best hotspot devices on the market in 2024. 

Best hotspots of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Antenna ports
  • Decent battery
  • Unlocked
  • Poor Wi-Fi range
  • Expensive
More Details

The Netgear Nighthawk M6 is our pick for the best hotspot overall, and is unlocked for Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T customers. This dual-band hotspot provides 2.4GHz support and a USB connector. This makes it capable of supporting up to 32 devices simultaneously at high speeds. For your convenience, a USB-C adapter is included in the box and the hotspot is unlocked -- meaning you can use it in around 125 countries just by swapping your SIM card and data plan.

While expensive at $700 (though often on sale), customers say this hotspot provides solid connectivity and is easy to set up.

Netgear Nighthawk M6 tech specs: Frequency: 2.4GHz | Dimensions: 4.14 x 4.14 x 0.85 inches | Weight: 1.3 pounds | Simultaneous connections: 32 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 5G

Pros & Cons
  • Ultra-fast
  • Reliable performance
  • Touchscreen
  • Pricey
  • Made for Verizon
More Details

The Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L hotspot is our pick for the best hotspot for Verizon customers, offering dual-band frequencies with a 5Ghz or 2.4GHz frequency. There is a 2.4-inch color touchscreen display for easy management, making it a simple matter to make adjustments. 

This hotspot is compatible with both your laptop and smartphone (USB-C included!), and it has the ability to connect to up to 15 different devices for greater versatility. This hotspot will last approximately 24 hours before needing a charge, giving you plenty of time for use. Customers say that this is a great option for travel and is reasonably priced. 

Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L hotspot tech specs: Frequency: 5GHz | Dimensions: 5.35 x 3.62 x 2.24 inches | Weight: 9.4 ounces | Simultaneous connections: 15

Pros & Cons
  • Available in 135+ countries
  • Daily plans available
  • Excellent battery
  • Limited device support
  • Limited charging options
More Details

If you need a handy budget hotspot at home or plan on traveling internationally, the Simo Solis Lite is the best hotspot for you. 

With a dual-band 5GHz frequency and 4G LTE bandwidth, connections are strong, even when traveling overseas to any one of 135-plus countries. This works with a variety of devices, far more than the average hotspot with compatibility for your smart home and security system. No SIM card is needed to connect to up to 10 devices simultaneously. It doesn't hurt that it's very affordable at $160, either. 

Customers say they enjoy the fact no contract is required but differ in opinion when it comes to available speeds. 

You can also opt for a 5G-ready model for $400.

Simo Solis Lite tech specs: Frequency: 5GHz | Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.8 x 1.73 inches | Weight: 10.2 ounces | Simultaneous connections: 10

Pros & Cons
  • Reasonably priced
  • 4G & 5G connectivity
  • Decent battery life
  • Reported power problems
More Details

The Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW is a great hotspot option for T-Mobile customers. This hotspot offers 5G and 4G LTE connectivity, alongside Wi-Fi 6, and you can connect up to 32 devices including laptops and smartphones at the same time. There is a touchscreen for quickly accessing settings and you can expect up to 13 hours of battery life.

You can pick up the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW for $264, or $11/month at T-Mobile.

Customers like the speeds on offer but some report power issues. 

This hotspot is also available for Verizon subscribers. 

Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW tech specsFrequency: 2.4/5GHz | Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.91 inches x 0.74 inches | Weight: 8.6 ounces | Simultaneous connections: 32 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon X62

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Reasonable speeds
  • Compact
  • Poor customer support
  • Some international travel data plans are expensive
More Details

The GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE mobile hotspot is the best option for travel. Coverage is available for around 150 countries, with data plans provided across different regions (individual, region, or multi-country options are available). The compact touchscreen device doesn't require a SIM or contract and speeds can reach 150Mbps. It can also be used as a power bank and if you wish you can use your own SIM card.

You can pick up this no-contract device for $170 ($30 off) at Amazon. Customers say they like the device's speed, ease of use, and coverage, but also report that customer support is lacking. 

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE tech specsFrequency: 2.4GHz | Dimensions: 5.35 x 2.84 x 0.47 inches | Weight: 6.3 ounces | Simultaneous connections: 10 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon X62

What is the best hotspot?

Our top pick is the Netgear Nighthawk M6, a hotspot suitable for T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T customers while also being unlocked for use abroad in up to 125 countries. It's fast, reliable, and easy to set up.

Best hotspot



Simultaneous connections

Netgear Nighthawk M6




Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L Hotspot




Simo Solis Lite




Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW




GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE mobile hotspot




Which is the best hotspot for you?

Choosing the best hotspot does not have to be difficult with these expert recommendations.

Choose this best hotspot...

If you want...

Netgear Nighthawk M6

The best hotspot overall. This hotspot is capable of delivering speeds up to seven times faster than the average hotspot while supporting up to a total of 32 devices simultaneously.

Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L Hotspot

The best overall option for Verizon customers. This hotspot offers dual-band frequencies with a 5GHz or 2.4GHz frequency.

Simo Solis Lite

An affordable hotspot to use locally or internationally. It covers more than 135 countries and has an excellent battery life. 

Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW

A hotspot for T-Mobile. You can connect up to 32 devices and you can expect up to 13 hours of battery life on a single charge.

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE mobile hotspot

A hotspot for travel. You'll get download speeds reaching 150Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps, and you don't have to sign up for a contract.

Factors to consider when choosing a hotspot

When you are looking for a hotspot that appeals to you, consider the below:

  • Cost: The cost of your device is a factor that should be weighed with how often you intend to use it, or whether or not it's crucial to run your own personal hotspot. 
  • Carriers: Some products may be locked to a specific carrier, such as T-Mobile or Verizon. Ensure that the model you choose is compatible with any existing cellular plans. 
  • Use abroad: If you plan to mainly use your hotspot abroad, such as when you are traveling or on the road for work, you might want to opt for a hotspot specifically designed for use worldwide. 
  • Additional features: If you want high-end features, such as an included power bank or support for a large number of devices, make sure your choice is right for you and provides more than basic connectivity. 

How did we choose these best hotspots?

There are important factors to consider when choosing the best hotspot. Many hotspots can be investment items, we considered the following:

  • Size: Because hotspots are portable devices, we considered the dimensions of each hotspot to ensure that each option is easy to carry on the go.
  • Battery life: We look for hotspots that have an extended battery life for longer use between charges.
  • Display: Most hotspots offer a color or touchscreen option for its display. Look for the signal and battery life indicators to ensure they are available for easy reference.
  • Network: The best hotspots are able to work across a number of cellular networks, whether it is Verizon or AT&T. Be sure to check that your preferred provider is available with the best hotspot for you.
  • Cost: The cost of the best hotspot can vary, depending on the option you choose. We look for affordable models that suit a variety of budgets but still will not break the bank.

What is a hotspot and how does it work?

A hotspot is a portable device that allows you to create a personal Wi-Fi network, so you can connect your phone, laptop, and other devices to the internet while you're on the go. Think of it like a mini Wi-Fi router that you can carry around in your pocket.

First, you need to purchase a hotspot device (also called a mobile hotspot or portable hotspot). Once you have a hotspot, you'll need to activate the mobile hotspot feature on your phone, laptop, or other device, and then connect your device to the hotspot just like you would with any other Wi-Fi network.

Keep in mind that using a mobile hotspot can consume a lot of power and data, so it's important to keep an eye on your usage and turn off the hotspot when you're not using it. Also, if you're using a mobile hotspot on your phone, make sure you have enough battery life to support it.

Do you need a cellular plan with a hotspot?

Now, the big question is: Do you need a cellular plan to use a mobile hotspot? Yes, you do need a cellular plan. Mobile hotspots use the cellular network to connect to the internet, so you'll need to have a data plan that includes hotspot usage. Without a plan, you won't be able to connect to the internet.

Do the best hotspots work in other countries?

The best hotspots work across the US and even in other countries, depending on the model you choose. For example, the Simo Solis Lite allows access to more than 135 countries when traveling internationally. 

How much do the best hotspots cost?

The best hotspots range in cost from $50 all the way to $1,000, depending on the model and features that you choose.

Is a 5G hotspot worth it?

The 5GHz band can support faster speeds than 4G bands can accommodate, but this doesn't mean you need to rush out and buy a 5G-compatible hotspot. Speeds will still depend on available connectivity and coverage, and 5G-enabled hotspots can be expensive, too. However, if you want the best speeds available, it still may be worth your while. 

Can you use a hotspot for home internet?

You can, but you may be trading speed and reliability by doing so. If you consider a hotspot as a portable router, compared to a traditional router (or mesh system), the functionality and features you are used to at home might be limited. However, I've found hotspots extremely useful for traveling and when I've been in between rentals, so I can stay connected and work while I'm waiting for home broadband to activate.

Are there any alternative best hotspots worth considering?

While we've compiled a list of what we consider the best hotspots on the market today, not every worthwhile product can be showcased. In our search, we also found these alternative best hotspots that may be worth a second look. 

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