Are you a frequent phone hotspot user? Get this mobile hotspot router instead

Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

Regardless of whether you are using an Android smartphone or an iPhone, it probably has a built-in hotspot feature that allows you to share your internet connection with other devices.

It’s a nice feature, but if it’s something you use a lot, what you really need is a dedicated mobile hotspot router.

also: How to convert your home’s old TV cable into strong ethernet lines

I’ve been using Netgear mobile hotspot routers for many years, and they’ve become part of my gear when I’m out and about.

I just received the new one Nighthawk M6 Pro for testing, and I’ve been putting it through its paces, and it’s the best mobile hotspot router I’ve used.

Note that in file The US Nighthawk M6 Pro is currently exclusive to AT&Tbut if you want an unlocked version, you can get the lower spec version Nighthawk M6which is still a great portable hotspot router.

So why would I use a mobile hotspot router when I have a hotspot enabled smartphone with me 24/7/365?

That’s because mobile hotspot routers like the Nighthawk M6 Pro are packed with great features and are more versatile.

First, my phone is used for a lot of different things throughout the day, and I don’t necessarily want to be tied to the hardware internet all the time. It’s inconvenient, and it hits the battery hard.

also: How do you know if an AirTag is tracking you?

The portable hotspot router has one job – delivering the internet to the devices.

Nighthawk M6 and M6 Pro can use available 5G and 4G LTE networks to fill up to 2,000 square feet of space with high-speed Wi-Fi for up to 13 hours using the built-in battery, allowing up to 32 devices to access the web .

13 hours is not enough? Plug it into a USB power adapter or an available power bank.

Mobile hotspot routers also help you control your internet usage, which is very important if you don’t have an unlimited data plan on your smartphone. I’ve heard horror stories of people using their smartphone’s hotspot feature to backup all their data in a few hours and racking up huge usage bills.

Do you want to connect an Ethernet device to the Internet? Not a problem! These mobile hotspot routers have built-in ethernet ports.

also: How to set up a VPN on your router

I’m also impressed with how well the Nighthawk M6 and M6 Pro pro pick up cellular signals. In my tests, these mobile routers got a better and stronger signal than mine iPhone 14 Pro Maxmaking it a great option in areas where the signal is weak.

Cellular signal not good enough Where are you? Could you Connect an external antenna to the TS-9 ports on the mobile router.

Do you want to stay online if your home or office internet goes down? It’s simple with mobile hotspot routers like the Nighthawk M6 or M6 Pro because you can connect them to your network and have them switch to cellular if your main internet connection goes down.

Netgear mobile hotspot routers are packed with advanced features

Netgear mobile hotspot routers are packed with advanced features

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

Need to set up a wireless Internet connection at a campsite, construction site, emergency spot, or in your car or RV? It’s quick and easy with a portable hotspot router.

Sharing your Internet connection with devices is also a snap – the built-in screen provides easy access to network names and passwords. You also get a handy QR code that just needs to be scanned with your smartphone camera to get online.

also: How to easily scan a QR code in Android 13

Want to change Wi-Fi passwords or network name? It’s easy with a mobile hotspot router. Netgear routers allow you to do this on the device, using an app on your smartphone, or by connecting to a web portal.

Good mobile hotspot routers don’t come cheap – that’s it Nighthawk M6 is in itself a decent smartphone price – but nothing beats them when you need to create a bubble of internet for yourself (and your family, friends or co-workers) wherever you are.

Once you’ve used one, you’ll find it difficult — if not impossible — to go back to using your smartphone’s hotspot feature.

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