The major carriers frequently come out with what we consider basic, entry-level mobile hotspots that are typically priced at around $100 or less.
We categorize these as being LTE-only mobile hotspot devices with a low-end modems (Cat-6 and below) and no antenna ports. These are simple, inexpensive devices that are really only suitable for basic needs.
These basic mobile hotspot devices typically support cellular bands optimized for a single carrier, and sometimes only the major bands used by that carrier. Multi-carrier support is usually minimal.
Since we typically don't review these low-end devices and they tend to frequently come and go in the market, we have consolidated them in this single Gear Center entry.
Basic Hotspot Listing by Carrier
This is a list of basic mobile hotspot devices available for each of the major cellular carriers.
News, Video & Status
As our focus is on hotspots suited for our members who want robust and more capable gear, we don't typically test entry level ones.
However, there are a few that have crossed our desks. Check out these videos on the Franklin T10, Linkzone 2, Orbic Speed, and the ZTE Max.
- T-Mobile Releases Franklin T10 Entry Level LTE Hotspot Posted on: March 4, 2022
- Recalled: Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack Mobile Hotspot Due to Fire and Burn Hazards Posted on: April 9, 2021
- Product Release: ZMax Connect - A T-Mobile Compatible Hotspot With Antenna Ports by ZTE Posted on: August 26, 2020
- Orbic Speed Mobile Hotspot, New Entry Device Available for Verizon and Verizon Prepaid Posted on: August 14, 2020
- New Moxee Mobile Hotspot Released - Available for AT&T Business and Cricket Wireless Posted on: June 19, 2020
Alternatives to Consider
For other popular mobile hotspots on the market - here are our featured options:
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Current mobile hotspot devices are usually purchased directly from the cellular provider. Obsolete devices may be found at other retailers, prepaid brands, data plan resellers or second-hand sources like Amazon or eBay.
Mobile hotspot devices are small, self-contained units that receive a cellular data signal and transform it into an internet connection. They are a cellular modem and router combined. Most can create their own personal Wi-Fi network.
They are typically designed with a specific cellular carrier in mind and require a suitable cellular data plan of their own to operate. You might see them called Jetpacks (Verizon's term for them) or MiFi (Inseego's name for them).
Here's a quick video going over the features of a hotspot, and what makes one better than another:
The guides below have been hand-picked to help further your education about selecting mobile hotspots and best utilizing them in your mobile internet setup.