What is a mobile hotspot connection?Mobile hotspot, also known as mobile tethering, is the function available on your mobile device that allows it to transmit its existing cellular data to other devices in its vicinity. Basically, it transforms your mobile into a wifi receptor that other devices can connect to, giving them access to the internet through your mobile carrier’s package. There are specific hotspot devices that can be used as well, but most phones these days have the hotspot feature built-in. Also, the speed provided by the mobile hotspot will depend on both the carrier and the mobile device, so you cannot expect 4G speeds or higher every time.
Comparing home broadband vs mobile hotspotWhile both these methods allow you to connect to the internet, there are key differences that you need to take into account. Their relevance will depend on your requirements for using the internet, but you should keep them in mind when choosing between the two.
Speed caps/Data limitsMost home broadband packages have either unlimited or high-bandwidth packages (typically around 1TB/month). As such, you don’t have to worry about how much internet you consume each month. However, mobile packages tend to have much lower monthly allowances (around 30GB/month), after which the speed will slow to a crawl unless data extensions are added. If there are multiple users at home and also taking into account how much video is played online (which takes up large amounts of data), this limit will be reached quickly.
Average internet speedThe internet speed will depend on your location and Internet Service Provider (ISP). In an urban area, speeds are usually around the 100Mbps mark and these users will experience seamless and high-speed internet. But, the further away you live from urban areas, the slower the internet speeds become. With the technology of current mobile devices, 4G only allows internet speeds to reach up to 60Mbps. This speed is good enough for most internet purposes but if there are too many users, the speed will tend to slow down considerably.
Pros and Cons – Hotspot InternetWhether you need a home broadband service or mobile hotspot will depend on how you use the internet. By highlighting the pros and cons below, you will be able to decide whether a hotspot is a good fit for you.
- No installation or extra equipment is necessary to get started
- Can be accessed from any mobile device
- Can be taken on the go when required
- Can save you money in the long run (explained below)
- Not all hotspot packages are unlimited
- Speeds tend to be slower than home broadband
- You may need to switch your cellphone carrier to get hotspot access in your area
- Not recommended for high-speed or high-download internet users