What's the best mobile broadband device?

What's the best mobile broadband device? 4G router, MiFi hotspot or 4G dongle?

4G routers, MiFi hotspots and 4G dongles. These are all different types of mobile broadband device allowing you to access the internet over the 4G networks, but which is best?

The answer is… it all depends on how (and where) you want to use your 4G connection, because each mobile broadband device type has its own advantages. Here’s an explanation on what each is best at.

4G Routers

What are these?

Simply put, a 4G router provides the exact same functionality as routers supplied by BT, Sky etc.

It acts as the primary incoming internet connection point for a single property and distributes that connectivity via both WiFi and ethernet for use by multiple devices within the premises. It’s just that a 4G router receives its incoming broadband feed over the 4G network, rather than down a phone line.

Compared to mobile phones, 4G routers are far better at connecting to the 4G network, because their antennas are much more effective. And in locations where 4G coverage is weak, an external antenna can be fitted to any property and then connected up to a 4G router indoors to provide fast and reliable broadband.

A good quality 4G router shares incoming broadband via both WiFi and ethernet. In larger properties, it also allows its WiFi coverage to be extended via mesh extenders, if this proves necessary.

Extending WiFi Range

What are these best for?

A 4G router is ideal for any properties that just can’t get a good landline connection. This has been described as the only realistic alternative solution to poor broadband.

So if you're in a rural property, or based in an urban location but can't get a line upgrade, this is very definitely the best option for you.

Who provides these?

There are several providers out there, but we are the best-rated provider on Trustpilot.

Our Trustpilot Reviews

MiFi HotSpots

What are these?

A MiFi hotspot is a smaller wireless device that also uses the 4G network to provide broadband. Once online, a limited number of devices can connect to it over WiFi and share the broadband it provides.

MiFi hotspots are battery-powered, so can be charged up for use on the go. However, because they are both smaller and lower power, they’re not nearly as good at picking up 4G signals and the WiFi they put out will have a much smaller range.

What are these best for?

MiFi hotspots are best for those on the move who want to make sure they’ve got access to a broadband connection that they can share with one or two others wherever they find themselves.

But they’re just not powerful enough to provide the primary broadband connection for a home or business. For that sort of permanent broadband solution, you’d definitely want a full-blown 4G router.

Who provides these?

MiFi hotspots are widely available from the main mobile network operators themselves and major online etailers.

4G Dongles

What are these?

A 4G dongle is a small memory stick sized USB device that can be plugged into a laptop, PC or other compatible device. It will then give you access to the internet on the go over the 4G network.

What are these best for?

A 4G dongle is the smallest of the options mentioned here, so is extremely portable. It’s ideal if you're on the go and need to access the internet through one single device wherever you are.

But because a 4G dongle is such a low power item, it will only work effectively in areas that have especially strong 4G coverage – and bear in mind that it can only provide a broadband connection for one single device.

Who provides these?

Much like MiFi hotspots, all the main mobile network operators offer 4G dongles and again they are easily obtainable from online etailers.

Would you like to know more? Give us a call on 03333 447700 or email us
at enquiries@national-broadband.co.uk