What’s a portable WiFi Hotspot?

What’s a portable WiFi Hotspot? And how can it help my business stay connected?

It’s more important than ever to stay connected. Business tools like email, document storage, customer relationship management, video conferencing—even payroll and human resources—are moving to cloud-based solutions. Work demands requires a fast, reliable internet connection wherever business takes you.

But how do you know what networking technology is right for your business? What is an affordable, reliable solution for small business? A robust network for a medium to large company? Business owners don’t have time to take a deep dive into what’s the latest technology.

AT&T is here to help. This product page offers valuable information on our AT&T Wireless Broadband and why it may make sense for your business.

In this guide, you will learn:

  1. What is a portable WiFi hotspot?
  2. Where can portable WiFi hotspot devices be used?
  3. How is a portable WiFi hotspot different from phone tethering?
  4. What devices are available from AT&T?
Business woman working on her laptop connecting to the wireless network deviceBusiness woman working on her laptop connecting to the wireless network device

What is a portable WiFi hotspot?

Woman working on her laptop and holding her coffee cupWoman working on her laptop and holding her coffee cup
A portable hotspot router enables a business to connect multiple laptops and mobile devices to the Internet —whether a solution is needed to log on from a small business store, remotely from a home office, customer site or on-the-go. We make it simple – whatever enabled device your business demands —with our solution your employees are automatically connected to the AT&T mobile broadband network. The hotspot device acts as a portable Internet access point that connects your team to web-based business tools and valuable company information. Plus, security features offer the opportunity to monitoring web traffic and secure business devices from cyber threats, with better reliability than public connections at an affordable price.

Where can portable WiFi hotspot devices be used?

Portable WiFi hotspot devices can be used within the vast AT&T high-speed wireless coverage area. The devices are especially useful to teams traveling as a group to a conference, a customer site or other work event because your workforce is essentially taking a secure connection with them —including access to your company’s networking and security policies. Business WiFi hotspots also make great primary connections for fully-mobile businesses like food trucks, pop-up shops, events and trade booths, construction sites, disaster recovery teams, insurance adjusters, and so many more.

How is a portable WiFi hotspot different than phone tethering?

Phone tethering (sharing your mobile device’s internet connection with another device via cord, BlueTooth, or a localized WiFi connection) is a good option when connecting a single device to the Internet, while our business WiFi hotspots allow you to connect up to 20 devices at a time. Portable WiFi hotspot devices are single purpose devices that are designed specifically to connect a group of people to the Internet when and where it is convenient. They take up minimal space for portability, and compared to cellphones include larger internal antennae for optimal reception and a large battery for long life. AT&T mobile broadband routers can connect laptops, smartphones, tablets, point of sales systems, or even function as remote backup failovers for critical systems in the event of power outages. Read more about how portable wireless broadband devices are different than phone tethering or learn about our Cradlepoint LTE failover solution.

What devices are available from AT&T?

There are several options that fit various connectivity needs, including LTE, and LTE Advanced enabled devices. AT&T offers several WiFi hotspot devices.

The Newest Wireless Hotspot Routers

Netgear Nighthawk® Mobile Hotspot Router

Netgear’s Nighthawk Mobile Hotspot Router is the world’s first commercial Gigabit Class LTE Mobile Hotspot Router to achieve maximum download speeds of 1 Gbps on the AT&T 5G millimeter network*, bringing the fastest possible internet connection to businesses on the go. Combining ultrafast download speeds, and support for the latest networks into one device, this premium mobile hotspot router provides the best internet connection experience possible whether it is used on-the-go, at home, or during your travels. With a very large 5,040mAh battery, the Nighthawk boasts all-day battery life, so businesses are always connected, even when away from the office.

*5G+ millimeter mobile network where available with compatible plan, powered by AT&T.

Food truck small business workforce connected to wireless network using Netgear device enabling to receive paymentsFood truck small business workforce connected to wireless network using Netgear device enabling to receive payments
NETGEAR device front end displays the devices connected representing the resources productivity at workplaceNETGEAR device front end displays the devices connected representing the resources productivity at workplace

Compact 4G LTE Wireless Hotspots

AT&T United Express 2

The affordable, pocketable business WiFi hotspot from AT&T features 11 hours of battery life to get you through the work day while connecting up to 15 devices on the AT&T high speed LTE network. A sleek design and color display make it a breeze to use virtually wherever your business takes you.

The bottom line

  • Portable WiFi hotspot devices from AT&T allow a business to connect teams and mobile workforce to the Internet in a safe, reliable network.
  • They are great for conferences, customer sites, worksites or an impromptu meeting at the local coffee shop with a prospective client.
  • AT&T portable WiFi hotspot devices provide the speed, reliability and security you need to collaborate, engage with customers and operate at the speed for any size of business.
NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 Pro
Franklin A50
After the applicable plan usage threshold (100GB for the AT&T Wireless Broadband Core plan, 125GB for the AT&T Wireless Broadband Pro plan and 175GB for the AT&T Wireless Broadband Ultra plan), AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.
Taxes and fees extra.

Advertised monthly pricing is only for new plans currently offered to customers as of February 15, 2023, and does not reflect retired plans available prior to that date. What you will see on your bill: Advertised monthly pricing includes (a) a monthly plan charge for data service ($70, $80 or $100, depending on the plan) and (b) a $5 monthly discount when enrolled in both AutoPay & paperless billing, which starts within 2 bills after enrollment.

Data throughput speeds are capped at a maximum available data speed, which may not provide you with the highest speed available in a location at a specific point in time. Each plan’s “up to” data speed is not guaranteed to be your actual speed. Actual speeds vary and may be affected by a number of factors, including your proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the number of other users connected to the same cell site, the surrounding terrain, AT&T network management practices, the applications you use, and your in-building coverage.