Hotspot from the phone or a dedicated router – the main advantages and disadvantages – Computerworld

Stationary work is back. With her, we go on business trips, go to press conferences and visit clients. Today’s worker mobility is high, but internet access is necessary to function. Personal hotspot from the phone, modem built into a laptop or dedicated Wi-Fi router? We present the pros and cons of ways to access the mobile network anywhere.

For many workers, the end of the pandemic means a return to hybrid work Where fixed line. More and more we are going on a business tripwe participate in various press conferences and business meetings. It also happens that we have to work from different places that are not suitable to offer us optimal conditions.. Talk about public utility spaces such as airports, railway stations or alone means of transportthe trains, coaches, planes if cars.

Working outside the office requires a fast and secure internet connection Source: Etienne Boulanger / Unsplash

Working outside the office requires a fast and secure internet connection

Source: Etienne Boulanger / Unsplash

Abroad, you do not need to be physically at the headquarters of the company or its branch to perform your professional duties. All you need is a work computer, tablet or mobile phone with internet access. This is where the problem arises. At the office, we have wired or high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access. It is important to note that the office network is generally very fast and properly secured, which cannot be said about public access points. Employers often provide employees with VPN security tunnels, but public hotspot still this is not a suitable bond for the job. This is often a heavy network which results in low efficiency.

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It's not a good idea to use public hotspots.  Source: KOBU Agency / Unsplash

It’s not a very good idea to use public hotspots

Source: KOBU Agency / Unsplash

Working with the route, we have several options to connect to the network – using the personal hotspot on the work phone, using a dedicated modem on the computer (popular optional equipment in many commercial models) or find an external mobile router operating in 4G LTE or 5G technology. What is the best solution ? Below, we present the advantages and disadvantages of each of them and advise you which one to choose.

Personal Hotspot – The most popular way to access the Internet outside of the office

The overwhelming majority of employees outside the office access the Internet from a mobile phone. Apparently, this solution has only advantages. Virtually every employee has business phone with SIM card giving access to the network. In addition the smartphone more and more often has 5G, thus ensuring fast access to the network. There is also no need to remember an additional device, a the employer does not have to provide us with additional equipment and an additional SIM cardwhich will allow you to take advantage of the network.

Outside of the home and office, we most often make the internet accessible from a mobile phone Source: Arnel Hasanovic / Unsplash

Outside of home and office, we most often make internet available from a mobile phone

Source: Arnel Hasanovic / Unsplash

On closer inspection, however, we will see many disadvantages to this solution.. A smartphone operating in Wi-Fi hotspot mode in the 4G LTE network will last a maximum of several hours. Switching to 5G will shorten this time by an additional 10-30%. It is also worth paying attention mobile phone heats up drastically when internet is available and degraded GPS performance, but that’s not all.

The biggest problem occurs when there is an incoming call or when we want to make a call ourselves. The overwhelming majority of smartphones will then disconnect the Wi-Fi hotspot, or at best will significantly reduce his performance. It means that the personal hotspot will not succeed among employees who largely base their work duties on voice calls. We are talking, for example, about traders.

Built-in modem – luxury without unnecessary restrictions

Most business computers from ranges such as Lenovo ThinkPad, HP EliteBook or Dell Latitude can be equipped with an optional cellular modem. Simply insert a SIM card to enjoy network access from almost anywhere. This solution has many advantages. First of all does not limit the functionality of the mobile phone. We don’t have to worry about battery life either – working with a built-in modem will be unnoticeable in connection with battery drain. In addition the laptop has a larger case, which results in stronger antennas placed near the matrix. Thanks to them, we will have better network connection outside the city.

Instructions for inserting the SIM card into the laptop Source:

Instructions for inserting the SIM card into the notebook


The laptop’s built-in modem has practically no drawbacks. You can count among them limited availability – not all manufacturers offer the possibility of buying a laptop with a built-in modem. A good example is Apple, which has never offered a MacBook with 3G/4G LTE/5G connectivity. Another disadvantage is the price such a solution. To use the modem, you need an expensive laptop, and the modem itself is optional equipment that costs at least several hundred zlotys. Must also additional SIM card.

Portable router with built-in modem – the best choice for collaboration outside the office

Network device manufacturers have been offering them for many years mobile Wi-Fi routers with built-in cellular modem. There are many cheap constructions working as standard on the market 4G LTE and the z significantly more expensive 5G. Selected devices are also sold by mobile network operators with tariff plans for mobile Internet.

Portable 5G Mobile Modem Router Source:

Portable router with a 5G cellular modem


From the worker’s point of view, the portable model has only disadvantages. Is it additional devicewhich you need to remember. It also requires separate loading and additional SIM card. On the other hand portable modem offers high performance, strong antennae and the ability to efficiently operate more than one device at the same time. Thanks to these characteristics A portable router with a built-in cellular modem is the right choice for employees using multiple devices at the same time computer, phone, tablet and smart watch. The portable router will also work well on business trips with more than one person.. The vast majority of models can support at least 16 terminals. With such a solution even more than 10 employees can work comfortably with the use of a single SIM card. A portable router with a built-in modem does too. a good device for use in a company car. When connected to the power supply, it will provide 24/7/365 network access.

The best choice depends on individual preferences

From a practical point of view, there is no clear winner. Surely a mobile phone will work the least well as a personal hotspot. This a good solution for a while or occasionally. During intensive use, for example for several hours, it will quickly become apparent that this is not an optimal solution. On the other hand, to use it, we don’t need any additional equipment or a SIM card, so the popularity of mobile phone-based personal hotspots will increase.

For a single employee, the best choice will be a laptop with a dedicated modem 4G LTE or 5G, one for employee groups work outside the office a portable router with a modem built into the cellular network will work best.

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