Showdown: What's the Best 4G Hotspot?
Do you feel the need for speed? Then you'll want to take a good look at the latest 4G hotspots, compact devices that let you share a high-speed Internet connection on the go with multiple gadgets at once. We tested 4G mobile hotspots from the four major carriers to see which one offered the best performance for your money.
How We Tested
Website load times were measured by averaging the time it took for CNN.com, ESPN.com, Laptopmag.com, and NYTimes.com took to load in Chrome browser on the Dell Inspiron 15 (M5030).
We used Speedtest.net for our synthetic upload and download tests. We averaged 10 test results for each hotspot in our three testing locations around Chicago. To get real-world benchmarks, we downloaded a 151MB file (OpenOffice.org) from our FTP server. We also uploaded a 6.5MB Handbrake file to the same FTP.
AT&T Elevate 4G Mobile Hotspot
The AT&T Elevate delivers solid 4G LTE performance (where it's available) and includes a handy usage meter on the display.
Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot (Sprint)
The Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro hotspot offers decent data speeds for a reasonable price, but it's slower than the 4G competition.
T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile HotSpot
T-Mobile's latest hotspot has a slick design, but its data speeds are inconsistent.
Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L
The MiFi 4510L mobile hotspot offers blazing-fast speeds for up to five devices.
Speedtest.net Download/Upload Results
For this test, we ran the download/upload test on Speedtest.net ten times for each device and determined the average speed in Mbps. Higher numbers indicates faster speed.