About Hotspot For Streaming, Wired internet is ideal for streaming because it gives fast and stable internet speeds. But what happens if there is an outage for long periods? If you were streaming content, it sucks having to pause watching to resume later due to no internet access. However, you can use a hotspot for streaming to keep you connected during these downtimes. We will show you the best hotspots for streaming and the benefits these devices have over other internet connections. Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
- What Is a Hotspot?
- Advantages of Hotspots
- 5 Best Hotspots for Streaming
- Factors To Consider When Buying a Hotspot for Streaming
- Wrap Up
What Is a Hotspot?
A mobile hotspot is a device that attempts to bridge the gap between fixed internet plans and regular carrier internet on your smartphone. It connects to cellular networks like cell phones and creates a wireless hotspot to share the cell carrier data with nearby devices.
A mobile hotspot Wi-Fi device
Most people are conversant with wireless connections like Wi-Fi from dedicated routers or Wi-Fi hotspot tethering on mobile devices. Mobile phone tethering will work if you want to access the internet occasionally for light internet use. However, long tethering periods will drain the battery quickly, and streaming will worsen the experience due to the constant data caps that make the subscription costly.
Two people sharing the internet between their smartphones using Wi-Fi hotspot tethering
Advantages of Hotspots
If you are still wondering why you should buy and use a dedicated hotspot device, these benefits should convince you to get one.
Mobile hotspot devices have a long battery life because they consume power more efficiently than smartphones. So you will have more time to be online and have less battery anxiety, especially if streaming on your laptop while away from home.
Two mobile 4G hotspots
More Secure Connection
You will need a wireless connection if you like to explore the world, eat at different joints, or work away from home, such as in restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Some places offer free public Wi-Fi, but such networks have little or no security. So connecting to these networks places your devices at risk of hacking to steal your data. But a personal hotspot will give you a safe internet connection for your phone and laptop.
Supports Multiple Connected Devices
If you are traveling as a family, group of friends, or colleagues, a mobile hotspot makes it easy to share the internet with everyone along the way. Most devices can support at least 10-15 connected devices concurrently, with some going up to 30.
Quality Internet Connection
Most pocket Wi-Fi hotspots run on 4G LTE networks that can achieve speeds of up to 25-30 Mbps. So you can stream 4K content without buffering. 5G standalone hotspots can hit faster speeds, enabling you to stream from multiple devices. Also, you can use the devices when traveling internationally and still get the best quality internet access.
A pocket 4G mobile hotspot is being charged
Cheaper Data Plans
Hotspots cannot replace fixed home internet primarily due to cost and speed. But these devices usually have more affordable data plans than cell phone plans. So you will get better value for money when using a hotspot data plan than sharing the internet using your phone via Wi-Fi tethering.
5 Best Hotspots for Streaming
The M2000 is 5G-enabled and can connect to millimeter wave or sub6 (low and C-band 5G) networks, giving you more flexibility. Plus, it features Cat 22 LTE fallback to provide fast 4G speeds if there is no 5G network. On its wireless hotspot side, the device supports Wi-Fi 5 & 6 and the regular 2.4 GHz, delivering data speeds up to 2.7 Gbps.
A mobile hotspot modem
On power matters, this hotspot features quick-charge technology and comes with a 3500mAh or 5050mAh battery that can last an entire day, depending on the number of connected devices. It can handle up to 30 devices, and the more linked devices, the shorter the battery life.
Also, you get universal charging for tablets, phones, etc., using the hotspot’s USB-C port.
This Jetpack 8800L features a 2.4-inch color touchscreen that gives an intuitive interface for easier control. And it lets you remain productive throughout the day by having a large 4400mAh battery. The device can run for up to 24 hours and recharges quickly due to its QuickCharge technology.
It is possible to charge compatible devices or share files on the hotspot network by connecting the Jetpack to a storage device using the USB-C port.
Although it has a Verizon label, the 8800L is not locked. The device can operate on any 4G LTE GSM carrier worldwide, making it ideal for traveling.
A 4G mobile Wi-Fi router
Like the Inseego M2000, this Nighthawk M6 Pro maximizes your hotspot Wi-Fi experience by combining Wi-Fi 6 with millimeter wave 5G speeds. The device can connect to sub 6 5G bands and creates a tri-band hotspot Wi-Fi network that can accommodate up to 32 devices concurrently.
Streaming works best with cabled connections, and the M6 Pro features a 2.5 Gigabit ethernet port to provide the fastest speeds.
Other features include a powerful 5040mAh removable battery for easy swapping to extend the run time and up to 5X carrier aggregation for increased cell coverage.
Orbic Speed 5G is also Wi-Fi 6 enabled and creates a tri-band network that can accommodate up to 30 devices concurrently. The device features a 4400mAh battery that can last up to nine hours with all 30 devices connected.
And it secures your internet using several security protocols to keep the data and communications safe.
T-mobile customers have something they can call their own. The T9 is an affordable hotspot model that costs only about $20 but is inferior to its competitors.
For instance, it is a dual-band unit that can only accommodate 15 devices. And it is not 5G-enabled. So the fastest connection you can get is 4G LTE.
A pocket Wi-Fi
However, you can use the hotspot for streaming movies because 4G speeds are sufficient for 4K content.
But the device has a tiny OLED display that only shows icons and text to inform you of the device’s status.
Factors To Consider When Buying a Hotspot for Streaming
Service Provider Coverage
Standalone hotspots usually operate on a specific cellular carrier’s network and require data plans from those providers. The most typical ones are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, so make sure the hotspot can run on a carrier with a strong network in your area. You can download coverage maps to check which cell carrier will give you the best signal.
Although 4G LTE offers fast internet speeds that are enough for 4K streaming, 5G hotspots are better. However, 5G cellular providers use either low-band, millimeter wave, or mid-band (C-band) 5G. Millimeter-wave and C-band frequencies are the most typical for 5G coverage.
Some carriers hype the millimeter wave spectrum 5G (24-57 GHz) because it can deliver Gigabit internet speeds. However, it has a short range and usually provides coverage with line-of-sight.
C-band 5G offers the most reliable network. C-band frequencies range from 3.7-4.2 GHz, which deliver 100-500 Mbps with a coverage of 0.5-6 square miles around the tower.
Low-band 5G delivers speeds slightly faster or equal to 4G LTE, so leave it out. You might encounter the term sub6 5G. Usually, it refers to all 5G frequencies below 6 GHz (C and low band).
This feature allows you to connect the hotspot to your computer via USB instead of Wi-Fi. The cabled connection comes in handy if you happen to be in a crowded area with wireless network congestion.
A smartphone providing internet access to a computer via USB tethering
Long battery life is a critical feature for mobile hotspots. But some last longer before requiring a battery charge. Additionally, some models feature USB-C ports for recharging using regular phone chargers, while others can act as power banks, charging your devices using their built-in batteries. We recommend such features.
Lastly, some hotspots support Wi-Fi 5 and 2.4 GHz (dual band), which offer fast speeds and are compatible with most devices. However, more recent units offer Wi-Fi 6, creating a tri-band Wi-Fi that increases the hotspot bandwidth to deliver the fastest speeds.
In conclusion, hotspots for streaming should at least have 4G LTE connectivity, with the best ones packing 5G (millimeter wave and sub6). And the five units in the hotspot review above match this description.
As for the Wi-Fi frequency bands and the number of connected devices, it depends on your requirements. A tri-band unit is better for a large group, but a dual-band would be ideal and reasonably priced for personal or small family use. That’s it for this article. Contact us today if you have any questions.