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Hotspot Internet Speed Test

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Frequently Asked Questions
How do my speeds compare to others?
How much speed do you normally get on a mobile hotspot?
What is the best data plan for hotspots?
How do my speeds compare to others?
Why is my internet so slow?
How can I improve my internet speed?

What is a good internet speed for Wi-Fi hotspots?

A good internet speed for a hotspot is 40Mbps on a 4G LTE network or 100Mbps on a 5G network. Those download speeds fall just under the averages for 4G LTE and 5G wireless speeds, and they’re fast enough to support three or four of your Wi-Fi devices at the same time as you download files, post to social media, make video calls, and stream videos.

While you can usually order a specific internet speed for your home internet setup, hotspot speeds tend to be less predictable. Hotspots use cellular networks, and the wireless connection means you’re more likely to experience drops in speed due to network congestion and other issues.

The advantage of a hotspot, though, is that it gives you a Wi-Fi connection on the go. You can connect laptops, phones, and other Wi-Fi devices anywhere you get cellular service. Cellular carriers have worked to boost speeds considerably for hotspot customers, and you can make sure you’re getting the fastest connection possible by investing in a quality hotspot device and hotspot data plan to go with it.

Looking for a home internet connection to use while you’re not on a hotspot? Type in your zip code below to see what’s available in your area.

Best hotspots to get fast speeds

Best forHotspotPriceConnectivityMax devicesOrder online
Best overallInseego 5G MiFi M2000$336.005G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)30View on Amazon
Best Verizon hotspotVerizon Inseego$199.994G LTE, 802.11ac15View on Verizon
Best AT&T hotspotNETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE Mobile Router$289.284G LTE, 802.11ac20View on Amazon
Best 5G hotspotNETGEAR Nighthawk M6 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router$699.995G (mm-wave, C-band), Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)32View on Amazon
Best budget hotspotAlcatel LINKZONE$59.994G LTE, 802.11n16View on Amazon
Best for international travelHuawei E5577-320 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hotspot$75.054G LTE, 802.11n10View on Amazon

How fast are hotspots?

Cell carrierAvg. 4G LTE download speedsAvg. 5G download speeds

The Wi-Fi on hotspots range in download speed from 31Mbps to nearly 190Mbps, depending on the type of hotspot and your data carrier.

T-Mobile delivers the fastest cellular and Wi-Fi hotspot speeds on average. And 5G hotspots can get much faster speeds than 4G ones because 5G wireless networks are newer and use more efficient technology.

You don’t need a 5G hotspot to get respectable Wi-Fi speeds. Many 4G LTE hotspots work just fine and give you speeds in the range of a low-tier home internet plan. But it’s worth investing in a 5G hotspot if you need the fastest speeds possible to support multiple users and heavy-duty tasks like regular video calls or downloading large files.

Here’s what you can do with fast hotspot Wi-Fi:

  • Support multiple Wi-Fi users at the same time
  • Make video calls
  • Upload video content to social media
  • Download or upload a 1GB file in 3 minutes or less

Hotspot upload speeds are slower than download speeds

Cell carrierAvg. 4G LTE upload speedsAvg. 5G upload speeds

As is the case with most internet connections, you get much slower upload speeds on a hotspot compared to download speeds. This means you may experience a higher chance of slowdowns and buffering during video calls and when posting to social media. But you don’t need to worry too much unless you’re in an area with a lot of network congestion.

Best hotspot data plans

Best forPlanPriceData allowanceOrder online
Best overallT-Mobile 2GB$10.00/mo.*2GB/mo. (can order more GB w/ data pass)View Plan
Best for 5GVerizon Pro$60.00/mo. (w/ existing Unlimited phone plan), $90.00/mo. (w/out phone plan)100GB of 4G LTE/5G, then reduced to 600KbpsView Plan
Best for cell phone hotspotsT-Mobile Magenta Max$85.00/mo.40GB/mo. (followed by unlimited 3G speeds)View Plan
Best for AT&TAT&T PREPAID 50GB$55/mo. (w/ autopay)50GB/mo.View Plan
Best prepaid planVisible phone plan$30.00/mo. (plus price of hotspot)†Unlimited (max 5Mbps speeds, connects only one device at a time)View Plan
Best for international travelVerizon TravelPass$5.00–$10.00/day0.5GB/dayView Plan

Phone hotspots also give you fast internet

While standalone mobile hotspots get you the most efficient connection for a range of Wi-Fi devices, you can just as easily use your phone’s hotspot.

In fact, a 5G phone is a better option than a 4G LTE hotspot for many people because it costs less money and delivers even better Wi-Fi speeds, letting you access 5G networks as well as 4G ones. Depending on your cellular carrier, average 5G wireless download speeds range anywhere from 70Mbps to 180Mbps.

The only requirement is that you have a phone plan that gives you monthly hotspot data. See the best phone plans for hotspotting below.

Best phone plans for hotspotting

Best forPlanPriceData allowanceGet it
Best overallT-Mobile Magenta Max$85.00/mo. (for 1 line)40GB/mo. (followed by unlimited 3G speeds)View Plan
Best for discounts on devicesVerizon 5G Do More$66.00/mo. (for 1 line)25GB/mo. (followed by unlimited 3Mbps 5G speeds and 600Kbps 4G speeds)
Best hotspot data packageAT&T Unlimited Premium$85.00/mo. (for 1 line)50GB/mo. (followed by unlimited 128Kbps speeds)
Best bargainVisible phone plan$30.00/mo. (for 1 line)Unlimited (max 5Mbps speeds, connects only one device at a time)View Plan

Pro tip:

Want to make your phone a hotspot? Take a look at our guide to setting up a phone’s hotspot for step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

What to do if your internet speed is slower than expected

  • Restart your Wi-Fi hotspot—or if you’re using a phone hotspot, switch off the hotspot function and switch it back on.
  • If you’re indoors, try moving to a different room or going outside where you can get better cell service.
  • Upgrade your hotspot or phone. Aim to get a hotspot with 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standards for the best performance.
  • Top up your monthly data plan. Hotspot plans come with a limited amount of data per month, and your speeds slow to a crawl when you’ve used up your data.

If you see inconsistent results, there might be a bottleneck on your end. You can troubleshoot poor internet speeds with our guide on how to fix slow internet. But your internet connection may just be slow either from your plan or your internet type.

If nothing helps, call your cellular carrier or switch to a new one.

Can you use a hotspot for home internet?

You can technically use a Wi-Fi hotspot for home internet, but it’s not the best option. When it comes to the GBs you get per dollar, hotspot data costs a lot more than residential internet data. You also get slower hotspot speeds than what you can get from many home internet plans.

Get 5G home internet if you want cellular Wi-Fi at home

But while a hotspot might not do the trick for your home Wi-Fi, both Verizon and T-Mobile offer 5G home internet, a cellular-based service that works excellently as residential internet. Like hotspots, 5G home internet uses wireless networks to get you internet, but it’s a fixed wireless setup that doesn’t have the portability of a hotspot.

5G home internet is a great alternative to fixed broadband plans like cable and fiber because it’s cheaper, comes with a lot more deals, and delivers solid Wi-Fi speeds for many small- and mid-sized homes. Also, the rise of wireless internet services like this may eventually pave the way for home-friendly hotspot uses too.

Best 5G home internet plans

PackagePriceSpeedView on provider site
T-Mobile Home Internet$50.00/mo.*33–182MbpsView Plan
5G Home Internet $50.00/mo.†; $25.00/mo.‡ with 5G Get More, 5G Play More, or 5G Do MoreUp to 300 Mbps


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