Review: AT&T Unite Explore AC815S by Netgear (Mobile WiFi Hotspot)

netgear-unite-explore-modem-review-bannerAT&T's 2016 flagship mobile hotspot.

The Unite Explore's signature feature is that it is designed to "brave the outdoors and the bumps of everyday life" by being the first rugged mobile hotspot from both Netgear and AT&T.

The Unite's specs are now eclipsed by AT&T's flagship Nighthawk Hotspot, but in terms of ruggedness the Unite reigns supreme. In addition, until AT&T cellular grid tech catches up with the Knighthawk's tech, the Unite Explore is functionally competitive.

Specifications

  • Battery Life: 22hrs (removable battery)
  • # of Connected Devices: 15 Wi-Fi / Supports USB Tethering
    WiFiRanger Tethering: Tested & works
    Pepwave Tethering: Tested & works (not officially supported)
    MoFi Tethering: Tested & works
    Control Panel: http://192.168.1.1 or http://attwifimanager/
    Default Password: "attadmin"
  • Cellular Networks Supported:
    LTE Bands: 2, 4, 5, 12, 17, 29, 30
    4G/3G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz - Global roaming supported.
    2G: GSM EDGE Quad Band - Global Roaming
  • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes (2x 20MHz Channels - eventually 3x 20MHz Channels)
  • LTE Performance Category: Category 9
    (Max Theoretical Speed: 450Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
  • Cellular Antenna Ports: 2x MIMO / TS9 Connectors (Left is Primary)
  • Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 802.11 b/g/n/ac - Simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Dimensions: 4.5" x 2.8" x 0.8" /  6.3 oz
  • SIM Card Type: 3FF / Micro SIM
  • Retail Price: $199 ($49.99 with two year contract)

Comparison chart of AT&T's current most popular hotspot devices:


Testing Status: Netgear supplied us an evaluation unit in May 2016, and after a couple months of using the device we now have our full in-depth review available in the member section below. It includes these sections:

  • Video Overview & Tutorial
  • Hardware Notes
  • Software & UI Notes
  • Performance Testing
  • Concluding Thoughts
  • Recommended Settings
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The Rest of this Review is:
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Purchasing Options

Amazon (Locked to AT&T)  |  Amazon (Unlocked)

Netgear Unite Explore Ratings
  • Overall Rating

Quick Take

AT&T's newest flagship hotspot is the first to feature an LTE Category 9 cellular modem.

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