Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L Review Editor's Choice

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Loads Web pages incredibly fast; Menu is easy to navigate; Good battery life; Works while tethered via USB; Easy to monitor data usage

The Cons

Password must be changed on website; Large files take longer to download than other hotspots

Verdict

The compact Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L provides a fast connection for up to 10 users simultaneously.

Road warriors need fast Web access on the go, without having to rely on Wi-Fi hotspots. The new Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L offers speedy LTE goodness for up to 10 connected devices at the same time. Add in epic battery life and a low $19.99 price, and this Jetpack is a must-have accessory.

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Design

The Jetpack 5510L is rectangular with rounded edges, giving it an almost pill-like appearance when viewed from above. There's a slight flare near the bottom, which gives the device an almost trapezoidal look. Measuring 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches, it's a little smaller than the Verizon Jetpack 890L, which measures 3.5 inches square, but not as small as the 5510L's predecessor, the MiFi 4620LE, which measured 3.7 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches.

Outlining the top of the 5510L is a red ring, which illuminates while the device is charging or when the display is active. It's a nice design touch that sets the Jetpack 5510L apart from other hotspots. A black-and-white, 1.54-inch OLED display sits in the center with three capacitive-touch buttons just below it. The forward, backward and check buttons help users navigate the interface and menu options.

The top edge of the Jetpack 5510L houses the power button and micro-USB charging port. While we appreciate the inclusion of the charging cable and plug, we wish the cable were a little longer. We had trouble getting it to reach from a coveted Starbucks power outlet to the adjacent table. Thankfully, you can also charge the device via your computer's USB port.

Features

The Jetpack 5510L can provide 4G LTE connections to 10 devices at once. This hotspot will definitely keep your data party going, though you'll want to keep an eye on your usage, which you can easily view via an option on the main screen. This MiFi can also connect up to five devices when using a 3G connection.

Have a bad memory? You can easily find that the Jetpack's password in the Menu under Wi-Fi Name/Password. Other menu options include Connected Devices, Messages, Mobile Network, Software Update, About Jetpack and Jetpack Home, which takes you back to the main screen.

If you want to change the Jetpack's password, you'll have to access the device via its website using the address and admin password found in the "About Jetpack" section. While we think it's a bit of pain to have to use another login and password to change the initial password, it would be a nightmare to try to enter a new password on the Jetpack 5510L's small display.

Users will want to check for software updates. Verizon has stated that the Jetpack 5510L will be upgraded to the 4G LTE AWS 1700MHz band in a future update.

Performance

Verizon touts that it has the largest 4G LTE network in the United States, covering close to 89 percent of the population in 476 markets. By comparison, AT&T's 4G LTE service is available in only 149 markets, and Sprint's 4G LTE is available in a paltry 67 markets.

The Jetpack 5510L was a speedy performer during most of our tests in the Chicago area.

Using Speedtest.net, the average download speed was 21.75 Mbps, with a top speed of 31.71 Mbps and a low of 14.49 Mbps. For uploads, the Jetpack 5510L averaged 10.02 Mbps, with a top speed of 11.76 Mbps and a low of 8.67 Mbps.

Unfortunately, the Jetpack 5510L was not the fastest hotspot when we downloaded OpenOffice. The device took 6 minutes and 27 seconds to download the free office suite to our notebook. While that's 45 seconds faster than average, we've seen other hotspots take half that time.

While surfing the Web with the Jetpack 5510L, we found ourselves double-checking that we were connected to the hotspot instead of our home Wi-Fi. We found that CNN.com loaded in a speedy 5.6 seconds, Laptopmag.com in 5.7 seconds and NBCNews.com in just 6.1 seconds.

Battery Life

The Jetpack 5510L is rated for 8 hours of battery life and will disconnect after 30 minutes of inactivity to preserve its charge. In our LAPTOP battery test, which involves loading webpages every 30 seconds, the Jetpack 5510L lasted a whopping 14 hours and 43 minutes. Over the course of using the hotspot intermittently over a few days, there was still approximately half a charge left.

The Jetpack 5510L also works while it's plugged into your computer via USB, making it unlikely that the device will die if you have a cable handy.

Value

The Jetpack 5510L costs $19.99 with a two-year contract. The only type of plan available for the hotspot is the company's "Share Everything" pricing scheme. If you are already a Verizon customer, the hotspot is a $20 a month add-on to your plan. Those signing up for a new plan have one of five options: 4GB for $30 per month, 6GB for $40 per month, 8GB for $50 per month, 10GB for $60 per month, or 12GB for $70 per month.

The Jetpack 5510L is $199 without a contract and month-to-month service, which costs the same monthly as contract service.

Verdict

The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L is an excellent choice. This device offers speedy performance and very long battery life in a compact design. And it can connect up to 10 devices at once. If you don't plan on using this MiFi religiously for two years, you may save money by paying the contract-free price and going with month-to-month service. Either way, this Jetpack will serve you well.

Ask a Question
VPN Support
Security Features
Data Connection CDMA
Data Connection 4G LTE
Warranty/Support
Size 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches
Weight 3.3 ounces
Company Website http://www.verizonwireless.com
Add a comment
3 comments
  • James Says:

    I purchased an Ellipse Jetpack from Verizon and immediately encountered problems with it. For one thing, the easily (for other companies anyway) up-datable web-site addresses, of which one is presented in the display with the other in the manual, are incorrect. The one in the display will get you a 404 Admin page code. The one in the manual simply doesn't exist. While navigating in Verizon's website, I discovered that any aspect of it pertaining to customer service simply did not work. In fact, I received a trojan horse virus. While writing an obviously irate note to the customer service department, I did so knowing they didn't care, as Verizon specifically states they do not respond to the feedback they claim they desire. Strange how a communications company refuses to communicate.
    Working with their sales staff in person proved no more satisfactory. After all, they informed me when they sold me the hotspot that even if I exceeded the bandwith on my pre-paid plan it would still work, it would just slow down. This proved to be false. It shuts off immediately. They also acted as if I were an idiot for mentioning their company's website could be less than perfect. In short, their help was not helpful, but ignorant and arrogant.
    Not long afterwards, it simply stopped working completely. This is in less than two weeks of working time. I decided that I would no longer have anything to do with Verizon, but I went to the store to have a twenty-five dollar credit refunded to me. I was informed that they could not physically hand me money. My response was appropriately vulgar. I will not ever use any product or service which Verizon offers after this experience. After all, I do not think it preposterous to expect a communications company to be able to communicate, but Verizon failed in this regard in every single aspect.
    I live on a fixed income and the two hundred dollars I lost in this transaction had an impact on my budget, but I think it was well worth the price to discover just how incompetent this company is. You have been warned. This company does not care about it's customers and it shows. After all, does it really matter how fast its network is if they do not sell, or properly service, the products they sell. It rapidly became obvious to me that the only thing Verizon is interested in is taking your money and providing nothing of substance for it.

  • William Says:

    How long does it take to fully charge the Verizon 4G LTE?

  • charlie Says:

    Need to change the password on my jetpack. I put it on prepaid

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