Time For a Long Trip? Become Your Own Mobile Hotspot!

About fifteen years ago, I had the good fortune to find myself with the opportunity to take a road trip around the country. I was somewhat of a free spirit then, so the idea of piling into a van with my significant other for an eight-week tour of the States was right up my alley. There is one consideration needed now that was not a factor back then: internet connection. Sure, the internet definitely existed at that point. However, its makeup and capabilities were much more primitive than what you see today, making a constant connection unnecessary.

So, if I were to take the same trip today, what choices do I have to keep myself plugged into the Information Highway? Sure, my smartphone would allow me access, but the roaming charges would probably cost more than the rest of the trip combined! Fortunately, there is now a solution that would fit all of my needs perfectly: the mobile hotspot.

 

Mobile hotspots are devices that work very similarly to the WiFi devices found in you home or office. However, instead of being stationary and capable of use only in one location, they can be taken with you to provide you with internet wherever you may be. So what makes a good mobile hotspot? Which are the best ones currently available?

The main attributes to look at when deciding which mobile hotspot to get are:

  • Price: This value extends both to the cost of the device itself, as well as the service.
  • Carrier: Which individual carrier supports the device you purchase.
  • Data: How much usage is included in the plan, as well as how much going over costs.
  • Extras: GPS functionality, added antenna, etc.

Taking all of these factors into consideration returns two top contenders in the mobile hotspot arena: the Verizon Jetpack MHS291L and the Samsung LTE Mobile HotSpot Pro.

Attractive qualities abound in both of these selections, some of which are more important to some people while others are perfect for others. For instance, the Verizon Jetpack MHS291L has the longest battery life of all tested candidates, allowing you to run an excess of 14 hours in between charges. It also provides excellent data plans, ranging from 4GB for $30 on up to 10GB for $60. The price of the unit is also reasonable, running you around $50 with a two-year contract.

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The first thing you will probably notice about the Samsung LTE Mobile HotSpot Pro is the high pricetag, currently set at around $170. However, the impact can be somewhat mitigated by paying for it monthly, which would total to around $5 per month for 24 months. However, running on T-Mobile’s network provides access in over 233 different metro areas, giving you coverage where you need it most. In addition, their fast speeds (15-20Mbps) and long battery life (10 hours, 54 minutes over LTE) make it eminently worthy of serious consideration.

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As you can see, taking a long trip does not mean you are out of luck in the internet department. Even if you trip is not extensive as mine was, you are still sure to get plenty of use out of it surfing the net while away from home.

How do you make sure you’re connected to the Internet during a long trip? Let us know in a comment below!

 

L Jordan

contributor