We all want to stay connected at all times. But it can be frustrating if you can only connect one device at a time – namely, your phone – and only to get really slow internet. Well, you don’t really need to stay home to get the speed you want via Wifi adapters. And you don’t have to trust other people’s Wi-Fi connections. All you need is your own 4G LTE router which can come in the form of a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device, MiFi for short. Of course, not all MiFi devices are made equal. To find out which 4G LTE device is best for you, you’ll need to sift through a lot of options. If you’d rather go straight to the checkout counter, then we’ve got just the list for you – the best 4G LTE routers in the market today.
Top 7 4G LTE Routers Of 2020 Reviewed
1. NETGEAR LTE Modem 2120
The NETGEAR LTE Modem 2120 is the perfect 4G LTE router to use as a backup if your broadband connection goes down. This router comes with one sim card slot. Despite what the manufacturer says, you can use any service provider’s sim card with this device as long as the sim is already activated before you insert it. When connected, you can get up to 150Mbps download speed and 50Mbps upload speed.
The unit comes with 2 ethernet ports and you can even buy a 4G antenna to bump signal reception. There are two connectors available for this. You can mount this unit to a wall and you will receive texts for certain alerts such as heavy usage. However, the latch for the sim card is a bit flimsy and can easily get bent. And the bridge mode doesn’t always work.
- Can work with any sim card
- Comes with two connectors for 4G antenna
- Two ethernet ports
- Flimsy latch for sim card
- Bridge mode issues
2. Huawei E5577Cs-321
The Huawei E5577Cs-321 is a 4G LTE router but only in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In the US, the MiFi only has 3G. This means that you get 43.2Mbps download speed in the US. Nothing to sniff at but not as fast as a 4G connection. However, if you’re a traveler, you’re going to love the fast internet speed outside the US.
The battery life is really short – just 6 hours – but it works for those who do not need to be online for an entire workday. This hotspot can connect up to 10 devices to the internet at the same time. What we like about this device is that it is unlocked so you can use whatever service provider you prefer. The unit also comes with a microSD card slot, allowing you to store data in the unit.
- Can connect up to 10 devices
- International LTE connection
- Unlocked unit
- Very short battery life
- Only 3G in the US
3. GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile HotspotBest 4g lte Router With Sim Card Slot
The GlocalMe G3 hotspot enables you to have access to the internet wherever you may be, even without a local SIM card. This 4G LTE router has a max upload speed with 50Mbps and a max download speed of 150Mbps. You can connect up to 5 devices to this unit. Buying this unit comes with a 1GB initial global data package but you can also get a different kind of data plan that will best suit your needs.
To help you track your data usage, you can use the GlocalMe App. You can even purchase data using the app. If you don’t want to use the global data package, you can use your own sim card or even two. The battery life is 15 hours straight, enough to keep you connected for an entire workday including your commute to and from the office. Plus, you can even use the unit as a power bank. However, the unit is a bit too bulky and thick. It can also get quite hot. And the data plan comes with a time limit.
- Dual sim card slots
- Comes with 1GB data plan
- Easy to use
- Too bulky and thick
- Can get quite hot
- Data plan has a time limit (30 days)
4. NETGEAR Unite Pro
The Netgear Unite Pro is a 4G LTE mobile WiFi that can connect up to 15 devices simultaneously and has a battery life of 16 hours of continuous use. The device comes with a 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen that will show you how many devices are connected, how much data has been used, and how strong the signal is. You can even change your username and password using the touchscreen.
This MiFi can also function as a power bank in case you need it. This device also features support for both 2.4 and 5ghz bands. However, this is locked to AT&T. It stays on while charging which wouldn’t be bad if you needed it to stay on. But if you want to save data, this can be incredibly inconvenient.
- Large capacitive touchscreen
- Functions as a power bank
- Dual band support
- Locked to AT&T
- Stays on while charging
5. Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile HotspotBest 4g lte Router For Gaming
The Verizon Jetpack 6620L 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot also connects up to 15 devices to the internet simultaneously. But that’s possibly the only thing that this unit has in common with the Netgear Unite Pro. It comes with this large color display which provides you with all the information you need at a glance – signal strength, connected devices, unread messages, current data usage, and expiration date of data plan.
Unlike the previous pick, the display is not a touchscreen. It does have touch navigation keys which are pretty intuitive. The battery life is a good 20 hours – the longest we’ve found. However, it is locked to Verizon and pretty bulky. And it doesn’t have international LTE bands.
- 20-hour battery life
- Colorful display
- Intuitive controls
- Locked to Verizon
- No international LTE bands
6. ZTE Z915 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
The ZTE Z915 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is an inexpensive option for T-Mobile users. It even includes the carrier’s frequency band for rural coverage. Navigating through the menu is easy enough. You can find information on the connected devices, data usage, and even software updates. For the money, this is a really solidly built unit. However, it doesn’t have the scope and speed of Verizon or AT&T. The display screen doesn’t show much information. And the unit itself is a bit on the bulky side.
- Solidly built
- Good signal in a rural area
- Fairly easy to navigate the menu
- Locked to T-Mobile
- Not as good a coverage and speed as other providers
- Display screen does not show much information
7. Huawei E5770s-320 Mobile WiFiBest Huawei 4g lte Router
The Huawei E5770s-320 is a more expensive unit compared to the E5577Cs-321 but it offers a lot more features. It can run up to 20 continuous hours and can even function as a power bank. It can connect up to 10 simultaneous users and even features an RJ45 Ethernet port. And it has the flexibility to support WAN/LAN auto-redirect. The design is very stylish with its leather texture and ornamental planting. However, like the E5577Cs-321, this hot spot only has a 3G connection in the US. The 4G LTE connection is for Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. And charging the unit takes a really long time, more than 8 hours.
- Long battery life (20 hours)
- Functions as a power bank
- Ethernet port
- Only 3G in the US
- Takes a long time to charge
How to Choose the Best 4G LTE Router: The Ultimate Buying guide
Staying connected wherever you go is essential to most, if not all, of us. With so many public Wi-Fi networks just about everywhere, it’s easy enough to do. Your data plan with your service provider is another way to stay connected. Of course, that’s just good for your smartphone. What about your laptop or tablet? And can you really trust other people’s connection with your personal data? If you want to make sure that all your devices stay connected wherever you go, then you need a mobile WiFi hotspot device or a MiFi. And if you want top speed, then you need a 4G LTE router.
Naturally, there are a lot of these available in the market so choosing the right one for you isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Not all 4G LTE routers are mobile devices; some run on electricity which means they can be used in homes and offices. Depending on your service provider and location, a 4G LTE connection may even be better than a broadband connection. If you want to make sure that a device suits all your internet needs, then you need to know what features to look for. To help you out, we’ve got the low down all things 4G LTE.
What Is a 4G LTE Router?
This is a type of router that features a slot to a sim card and allows you to connect directly to the 4G network of your service provider. Once connected, the router broadcasts the connection as WiFi, allowing more than one device to connect to it. Take note that not all 4G LTE routers are mobile hotspot devices. Some are not all that portable but they can be installed in residential buildings or offices.
Types of 4G LTE Routers
There are three kinds of 4G LTE routers. The first kind looks much like the regular one you may already have at home. This kind of LTE router functions much the same as well. Aside from the sim slot, this type of router (which is typically called an enterprise router) also features ethernet ports to provide stable, wired connections. One example of a 4G LTE enterprise router is the NETGEAR LTE Modem 2120.
Another type of 4G LTE router is the USB modem, also known as a USB dongle. This type of router allows you to plug in the USB device into your computer or tablet and connect you to the internet. This type of LTE device is small, lightweight, and very portable, easily fitting in your pocket. It is also quite easy to use though you will need to install software to use it.
The last type of 4G LTE router is the mobile WiFi or MiFi like the NETGEAR Unite Pro. This type of router works similar to an enterprise router without the ethernet ports. It is ideal for individuals on-the-go who have more than one device to connect. Or for a group of people like a family or small team who all wish to stay connected. While this is larger/bulkier than a dongle, it is still small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket or bag.
How Many Devices Do You Want To Connect To Your Router?
Most MiFis and enterprise routers will be capable of connecting multiple devices at the same time. USB dongles don’t have the same capability. The Huawei E5577Cs-321, for example, can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.
Where Do I Buy?
You can get a 4G LTE router direct from your service provider which will already include a data plan. While this typically won’t cost you any upfront fees (payment for the actual router), the unit will most likely be locked to that specific network. What that means is that you won’t be able to use the router for other networks so you can’t go around shopping for the best data plan in your area. In addition, most service providers will require you to tie yourself to a two-year contract.
You can also buy a network-unlocked router from stores like Amazon or Best Buy. While you will have to pay for the device, you won’t be tied down to a network and can then shop around for the best deal that will suit your needs. You can choose to go with a prepaid plan, topping off only when you need it and only as much as you need. Or, you can opt to go with a rolling monthly contract that you can cancel any time as long as you provide 30 days’ notice.
How Many Sim Slots Do You Need?
Your internet speed will depend on the quality of your 4G LTE router. But your service provider will affect it. Some service providers are better in urban areas while others have better coverage in rural areas. Some service providers will have little to no coverage (e.g. a weak signal) in certain areas which might possibly be where you live or where you’re going. What this means is that no service provider can be considered the best one. It all depends on the area.
If you plan on traveling from one place to another or would rather have the option of using two service providers, you’ll need a 4G LTE router that has more than one sim slot like the GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. Even better, you may want one that switches between the providers, choosing the one that has the best signal at the time.
Screen size: MiFis usually have screens that display the status of the device. It can also display the current name of the network and password in case you forgot. You’ll want to get a screen that’s easy to read
Usability: your MiFi should be easy to use, especially when you’re changing settings. You don’t want to have to dig around for the manual everytime you want to change something.
USB tethering: this is important if you plan on using your device in crowded areas where there are other WiFi signals to compete with. With this feature, you can connect your laptop directly to the hotspot using a USB cable.
Battery Life: you want your hotspot device to last an entire day so you don’t have to worry about losing your internet sometimes during work hours. 10 hours is the minimum battery life you should consider if you plan to use the device for work. Some devices can last more than 20 hours straight on a single charge.
Universal charging: some MiFis will have the capability of charging your phone or tablet using the device’s charging cable.
Why Do I Need To Buy A Separate 4G LTE Router When I Can Use My Phone As A Hotspot Device?
Good question. Your smartphone can tether multiple devices but there is a limit and you will encounter performance problems. Also, using your phone as a hotspot will drain your battery really fast. More importantly, phones that are used as hotspots tend to drop their signal more frequently compared to a dedicated device. A 4G LTE device also has better WiFi range than your phone. As an added bonus, you can use more than one service provider with a MiFi.
That being said, your needs may not be enough to justify buying a dedicated device. If you don’t need to stay connected at all times or only need your phone to stay connected, then you really don’t need a 4G LTE router. It really all comes down to your usage.