Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Carry your internet on the move

When travelling for work, you need an internet connection more dependable than a hotspot from your phone

Most modern-day smartphones have built-in “hotspot" capabilities, allowing users to set up a Wi-Fi network to connect a secondary smartphone, camera or TV to the internet, using your phone’s own 3G or 4G connection. However, when the feature is switched on, the smartphone’s battery will drain much faster, reducing its utility.

A compact Wi-Fi hotspot device is an alternative. They connect with the same 3G or 4G network, but you don’t need to strain your phone’s battery.

These devices are ideal for those with heavy data requirements while travelling. “I use it if the internet is down in office or when I am travelling," says Ravi Roshan, data analyst at Zylotech, a US-based software company.

Here are some of the best portable wireless hotspot devices you can consider.

Airtel 4G Hotspot
Rs999

Airtel’s 4G Hotpsot can connect to up to 10 devices at a time.
Airtel’s 4G Hotpsot can connect to up to 10 devices at a time.

Airtel’s 4G Hotpsot has a light form factor (it weighs just 75g) and plastic exterior. It can connect to up to 10 devices at a time. There is a 1,800 mAh battery, which can last up to 6 hours on one charge. The basic 4G plan for the Airtel 4G Hotspot starts at Rs399 per month for 2 GB data per day. The advance rental plan, valid for six months, starts at Rs2,400 (2 GB data per day).

Reliance JioFi JMR815
Rs999

Reliance’s new JioFi has a pebble-like design and looks compact.
Reliance’s new JioFi has a pebble-like design and looks compact.

Reliance’s new JioFi has a pebble-like design and looks compact. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. It has a 3,000 mAh battery, good for up to 8 hours of backup. It can also be used to make high-quality VOLTE calls from smartphones which do not support the technology. We would recommend signing up for the Jio Prime subscription (Rs99 per year) to take advantage of the lower JioFi tariff plans with minimum validity of 28 days. The options include Rs98 (2 GB data), the Rs149 plan (1.5 GB data per day), the Rs198 plan (2 GB data per day), and so on.

Vodafone R217 4G MiFi
Rs1,950

Vodafone’s 4G MiFi hotspot device is similar in design to Airtel’s, and weighs almost the same (78g).
Vodafone’s 4G MiFi hotspot device is similar in design to Airtel’s, and weighs almost the same (78g).

Vodafone’s 4G MiFi hotspot device is similar in design to Airtel’s, and weighs almost the same (78g). The light indicators for power and Wi-Fi strength are placed on the top and the power button is on the side panel. Users can connect up to 15 devices at a time.

It has an 1,800 mAh battery. Interestingly, there are no monthly data packs for this device, but you can add one-time internet packs every month depending on how much you intend to use it. For instance, a 2 GB 4G data one-time pack costs Rs450 and is valid till the user exhausts the data.

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