Although you can use your phone/tablet as a hotspot, you should know that the more devices you connect to the hotspot, the more the battery will drain. A 4G WiFi dongle is a good alternative to the mobile hotspot but the dongle might become warm if you share the WiFi connection with other users. If you don’t allow the dongle to cool down and keep using the heated dongle, the dongle might get damaged. Instead of using a smartphone’s hotspot, you can purchase a router with a SIM card slot. Why 4G router? Although routers with SIM slots are costlier than standard modem routers, there’s a benefit of buying them. Nowadays, broadband plans ship with unlimited data but they’re expensive compared to prepaid 4G data plans. If you don’t use 2+ GB of data every day, why waste your money on data that you won’t consume and on a broadband plan offered by an unreliable broadband service provider. As long as mobile data is cheap, you can insert the SIM in the router to use and share 4G internet. If telecom companies increase mobile data tariffs, you can buy a broadband connection. Here are the top 4G routers in India:
Best 4G routers with SIM slot in India
TP-Link Ac750 Archer MR200
The AC750 TP-Link router contains a 4G SIM slot and it supports a downlink speed of up to 150 Mbps. It features two LTE antennas of detachable type and establishes a dual-band WiFi network at your place of 2.4/5 GHz frequency. The speeds of the WiFi connection will be within 300 Mbps to 433 Mbps. AC750’s coverage is excellent. It has LED lights to indicate the 4G network signal strength, a button to turn on/off WiFi function, 3 dedicated LAN ports, a single WAN cum LAN port, etc. The MR200 4G router weighs 270 grams.
MR100 is 2000 Rs cheaper than the MR200 4G router. According to TP-Link, MR100 supports simultaneous connection with up to 32 devices and it lets users download files at speeds up to 150 Mbps over a 4G connection. MR100 ships with a single LAN port and a WAN cum LAN port. It features a 4G SIM card slot, 2 removable antennas, and boasts a button to reset the router. TP-Link MR100 lets users create a guest network and has parental settings through which you can prevent kids from opening some websites. Its weight is 150 grams only.
The DWR-920V router has a standard SIM slot and two LAN ports (1 Gbps). One of the ports can be used to connect the WAN cable. Unlike some routers we’ve covered here, DWR-920V supports 10 connections at a time. D-Link 920V shows network signal strength and WiFi status (connected or isn’t connected). It offers 50 Mbps uplink and 150 Mbps downlink speeds and weighs 520 grams. It features 2 external detachable type antennas and 2 WiFi internal antennas.
Priced around 6000 Rs, the Tenda 4G03 is a good alternative to D-Link’s DWR-920V 4G router. 4G03 is a 2.4 GHz router that supports 32 connections at a time. It features parental control settings and supports the WiFi scheduling feature. Tenda 4G03 has a LAN/WAN port, a button to power off/on the router, a button to reset the settings, and a SIM card slot. 4G03 offers 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speed and has the option to switch between the router and 4G modes. It weighs 256 grams.
The above routers must be connected with an external power source. The following routers contain a battery but they don’t have a WAN/LAN port. Once you charge the battery, you can use the router for 5 to 8 hours. Unlike the above routers, you can carry the following routers anywhere. These 4G routers are so small that you can carry them in your pocket. They are inexpensive too.
Reliance JIO has introduced various models of the JioFi portable router/hotspot. Each device is locked i.e. the router supports JIO 4G sim cards and will establish Jio 4G connection only. Currently, the following models of JioFi are available for purchase in India – M2, JMR540, JMR541. The 3 JioFis ship with a 2000 to 2300 mAh battery. M2 has 4 LED indicators – voice calling, WiFi, signal, and connectivity. The remaining two Jio routers have 3 LED indicators – WiFi signal strength, and battery status. They offer 150 Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload speed, have a microUSB port, nano-SIM card slot, microSD card slot, and can connect with 31 to 32 devices at a time.
Like Reliance Jio, Airtel has introduced various 4G hotspots/routers with SIM slots in India. E5573Cs-609 is the company’s best-selling router in India. It has been manufactured by Huawei and contains a battery that works for 6 straight hours after a full charge. This router supports 10 active connections at a time and weighs 75 grams only. It has two LED indicators – one for network and the other for battery. It also contains a USB port and a SIM slot.