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10 Best Mobile Hotspots You Need To Know

10 Best Mobile Hotspots You Need To Know

There’s always a way to stay connected and online these days. The technology is always changing and improving, and mobile hotspots are as commonplace as Wi-Fi was a few years ago (not so long ago, come to think of it). There’s a trade off to technology that’s constantly being upgraded, though: consumer electronics are practically obsolete in a matter of months, so you have to choose well.

To be sure, smartphones may be used as hotspots for other devices, but the portability and efficiency of a separate device is often more appealing. Besides, you need your smartphone for essential functions like making calls and receiving text messages and emails. Afterall, a smartphone’s battery can only last so long.

Carriers offer mobile hotspot devices optimized for their service, which is why your carrier will factor into your choices. You have to find the best value in your choices, especially if they involve subscriptions with regular dues. That being said, mobile hotspot routers and services are conveniences with costs and upkeep to consider. It pays to find the device that best suits your needs and comforts. Here are my top 10 recommendations for mobile hotspots:

1. MiFi Liberate

MiFi Liberate

    If you’re with AT&T, you should consider the MiFi Liberate your first choice. The battery delivers you up to 10 hours of service for starters, enough for a road trip or a day at the beach (as long as your carrier covers the area, that is). You can take advantage of 4G LTE technology without skipping a beat, and the touchscreen interface offers convenient navigation.

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    2. Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot

    Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot

      With its limited Wi-Fi range considered, Sprint’s Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot compensates with plenty of features. The display allows for easy navigation, with a 2500mAh battery to back up the display. It’s a race to come up with the best LTE service nowadays, and although the carrier’s yet to take the lead, Netgear’s antenna ports and tri-band support makes up for the shortcoming.

      3. Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot

      Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot

        T-Mobile’s Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot is a bit lopsided when it comes to features versus performance, but it still merits a spot as the carrier’s best offering. Apart from HSPA 42+ capability, it also allows users to share data stored in Micro SD over the Wi-Fi network. A serviceable OLED screen displays basic information on usage. The downside to these features is in the battery life, which is a deal-breaker in many ways. The signal also deteriorates beyond a limited range, so it’s best used in close quarters.

        4. Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MHS291L

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        Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MHS291L

          Battery life is a priority for many users, given that the device performs well in speed tests and reliability. This is where Verizon’s Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MHS291L shines, though a bit lackluster other than that. The battery lasts for almost 15 hours of use, and the data displayed on the OLED screen gives you a good grip of the status of your usage. LTE works well within a 50-foot range, but you’ll have to moderate your consumption with the carrier’s data rates. The Jetpack falls short of expectations in terms of portability, but is still the carrier’s best bet in mobile routers.

          5. Freedom Spot Photon

          Freedom Spot Photon

            The Freedom Spot Photon from FreedomPop is serviceable at the very least, and it’s offered almost free with your carrier’s subscription (an $89, refundable deposit). The free plan is also a sweet deal, with up to 500MB of monthly free data. You’ll have to pay $0.02 for every megabyte consumed afterwards, which is a fair deal if you only use mobile Wi-Fi on occasion. You’ll have upgrade to an LTE-compatible device once the service is available for the carrier, though.

            6. Global International MiFi Hotspot

            Global International MiFi Hotspot

              XCom’s Global International MiFi Hotspot is the best choice for international travel, offering an affordable alternative to the roaming charges that come with a mobile phone. You can use it in 44 countries, so there’s no need to switch carriers if you plan to stay indefinitely wherever you’re traveling. The connection isn’t as reliable, though, and it feels like you’re on dial up at times. Your usage is also limited with an eight-hour battery life, tops.

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              7. Tep Wireless Pocket Wifi

              Tep Wireless Pocket Wifi

                Tep’s Wireless Pocket Wifi is useful in selected countries (covered by the carrier), and it offers affordable access at $5 a day in the US. The rates will vary widely in different countries, and it gets confusing when you have to cover for charges you weren’t prepared for. It’s still an option if you’re traveling to countries with pricey mobile carrier rates, and you can use Skype or other VOIP service (with the hotspot) as alternative to calls and text messaging.

                8. Samsung LTE Mobile HotSpot Pro

                Samsung LTE Mobile HotSpot Pro

                  You can’t beat a hotspot that packs a nice battery pack, with enough juice to serve as a power bank for other devices. Samsung’s LTE Mobile HotSpot Pro offers exceptional 4G LTE connection with reliable battery life to boot. The device comes with a $169 price tag, but it is well worth the investment if you don’t want to compromise on performance.

                  9. Clear Spot 4G – Apollo

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                  clear Spot 4G – Apollo

                    With several trade offs considered, Clear’s Spot 4G – Apollo compensates with unlimited data plans that are affordable and reliable. The device can service up to eight clients simultaneously, and you can’t complain about the battery life. The Apollo isn’t 3G or Wireless-N capable, and it’s without text messaging features. Still worth the investment if you’re subscribed to the carrier’s service.

                    10. Clear Spot Voyager

                    clear Spot Voyager

                      Clear’s Spot Voyager offers similar features to the Apollo, but it’s relatively compact and affordable. It has the same limitations, and there’s no sleep mode feature to conserve battery life. It’s still a serviceable hotspot for areas covered by the carrier.

                      This short list isn’t exhaustive and may not cover your carrier, but the variety should give you a good idea on the features that are both available and affordable. Consumer electronics are upgraded every few months, so it’s worth your trouble to consider the best devices you’re willing to pay for.

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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