Portable Wi-Fi: How It Works

What is portable Wi-Fi

To begin with, let's try to understand exactly what portable Wi-Fi is. I was essentially dealing with a router quite small in size and designed to be used mostly on the move, inside which a data SIM used to connect to the Internet must be inserted. In short, it "behaves" in a good or bad way similar to classic "home" modems but instead of generating the Internet connection from the telephone cable (therefore an ADSL or Fiber connection) it does so by using the card that is inserted inside it ( therefore a 3G / 4G connection).

Depending on the model chosen, there are various types with different technical characteristics. There are portable Wi-Fi belonging to the category, so to speak, "Base" which are very compact and often equipped with an integrated battery that allows you to use them without having them connected to the electrical outlet. Then there are the devices multipurpose, also generally known as “file hubs”, which can be used not only as portable modems but also as an emergency battery for various devices, access points and wireless network repeaters.

For your knowledge, I would like to point out that there are also other devices with characteristics similar to those just mentioned but not properly belonging to the category in question as their use is limited to environments where an electrical outlet is available and generally do not even have very dimensions. contained: 3G / 4G routers "from home", usable only by connecting to the electricity; and Wi-Fi routers for the ADSL or fiber optic connection, which supporting the sharing of the 3G / 4G network by inserting an Internet key.

As regards the settings, it is usually quite simple and painless. Just insert the data SIM to be used into the portable Wi-Fi router, access the device and connect your computer, smartphone, tablet and other devices to the network generated by it. The configuration of the network settings usually takes place automatically but when this does not happen it is possible to intervene through a special program for your computer, app for smartphone or tablet or, again, the device configuration web page.

Technical features

Now that you finally have clearer ideas about what a portable Wi-Fi router is, I would say that it is appropriate to review, in more detail, the main technical characteristics of the devices appearing in the category in question. You will find them indicated and explained below.

  • 3G / 4G - The cheapest portable Wi-Fi routers only support 3G network, at least in most cases. Those in the medium-high range also support the 4G network. In the latter case, since there are different categories of 4G, in order to browse at maximum speed it is good to contact a router that supports LTE of Cat.6 or higher, the one that telephone operators commonly call LTE Advanced or 4G Plus .
  • Frequency bands - Not all portable Wi-Fi routers will support all frequency bands. For the 3G network, in your languagen operators use the following frequency bands: 2100 MHz, 900 MHz. For what concerns the LTE network, the frequency bands used are: 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz.
  • SIMs. - Many portable modems have a special slot for inserting the data SIM but there are also some models that only support network sharing via Internet key. The portable Wi-Fi routers can then differ from each other by type of SIM supported and by any reference managers.
  • Wi-Fi and data transfer - Portable Wi-Fi routers can support different Wi-Fi classes and therefore also various speeds for data transfer. The devices that can offer higher transfer speeds are the dual-band ones, while the most advanced are those that support the wireless ne wireless ac class.
  • Supported devices - Not all portable routers support the same number of simultaneously connected devices. Before opting for this or that other model, it is therefore always good to make sure that the portable Wi-Fi chosen is able to withstand the connection of as many devices as there are at least those owned.
  • Battery - There are practical Wi-Fi routers on the market equipped with batteries with different capacities. A higher amperage battery is, as can be easily deduced, able to last longer. Typically, good portable Wi-Fi has a battery that can last at least 6 hours when subjected to heavy use.
  • doors - Many (but not all) models of Wi-Fi routers are also equipped with ports (eg USB) and slots (eg for microSD) through which it is possible to connect network devices via cable or to share files.

How to use it

As anticipated in the step at the beginning of the guide, configuring and using this type of device is quite simple and intuitive. Portable W-Fi side, just make sure the device is sufficiently load (and if not, you must first recharge the battery and connect it to the electrical socket in the meantime), insert the SIM inside, turn on the device by pressing the appropriate button generally placed on the front of the device or on the side and… stop! Many of these devices then configure themselves in a automatic and are ready to use once they are turned on.

In other cases, the manual configuration through special programs for computers or apps for mobile devices reported directly by the reference manufacturer in the user manual of the device. Using these tools, you can adjust the device settings in order to take advantage of your operator's network. As far as the correct configurations to use for the various in your languagen operators contribute, they are available on the appropriate support pages attached to the Internet sites of TIM, Vodafone, wind e Three. Further details are also present in my articles on how to configure Internet TIM, how to configure Internet Vodafone and how to configure Internet Wind.

Once the device is in operation, it will generate the wireless network to which you can connect. If your portable Wi-Fi has a display, the display will be indicated on the display level of reception of the data network and the type of tech used as well as that of power of Wi-Fi. The battery charge and the total number of connected devices at the moment. If there is no display, this is instead signaled by means of special light indicators on the device or, again, it is possible to check everything via the management panel, programs or modem app.

On the device side to connect, the only thing to do is to select the wireless network reference, in a practically identical way to how it is generally necessary to proceed to connect to the Wi-Fi of the home modem. It is therefore necessary to select the wireless connection generated by the portable Wi-Fi through the section for the management of network connections, type any Password associated with it and wait for a few sites for an IP address to be returned and the connection to be established. For more info regarding the procedure to be initiated to establish the connection, you can refer to my article on how to connect to Wi-Fi.

When no longer useful, it is then possible to interrupt the connection between the portable Wi-Fi and the various connected devices simply turning off the latter always using the appropriate button on the body. Of course, you can too disconnect the individual devices connected but in this case the portable Wi-Fi will continue to remain on and generally the relative wireless network.

Clearly, not being aware of the exact model of portable Wi-Fi in your possession or that you intend to buy, I was unable to provide you with even more precise information on the use of the device. However, if any of the above steps are not clear to you or if you wish to receive more details about them regardless, you can refer to the User Manual attached to the sales package of the portable router, in the section dedicated toassistance of the manufacturer's website or, why not, also a YouTube, looking for keywords of the type how to configure [portable Wi-Fi name] or how to use [portable Wi-Fi name], maybe someone else has already bought the same device in question, has configured and tested it and is ready to explain to others how to do the same.

Where to buy

Have you finally managed to understand how portable Wi-Fi works and now would you like to understand where to purchase a device of this type? No sooner said than done!

Portable Wi-Fi routers are marketed in the very common electronic and computer shops, both the smallest ones and those part of the large distribution chains but also (and above all) on the Internet, on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, on which a specific category is available and there is practically spoiled for choice between brands and models.

As for the speech instead prices, it starts from a minimum of about 20 euros to a maximum of 200-300 euros. It all depends on the technical characteristics of the chosen device. Among the most popular brands are names such as Netgear, D-Link, TP-Link e Huawei but there are also many others. Furthermore, each company produces and launches on the market various models that differ from each other due to the presence of this or that other characteristic shown in the technical data sheet and which can be easily identified also through the relative sales package.

In this regard, if you want to receive some advice on which portable Wi-Fi to buy, I strongly suggest you read my purchase guide dedicated precisely to the devices in question and through which I proceeded to report a bunch of interesting products part of the category.

Then keep in mind that many telephone operators offer the possibility to purchase portable Wi-Fi routers coupled with the subscription of a data plan. Usually the payment of the router takes place in a rattized way and / or at a reduced price compared to what you would pay by buying the device individually. Everything, however, depends on what your personal needs are. For more details on this, you can consult my article on mobile Internet offers and you can take a look at the dedicated section attached to the website of Sos Rates, the well-known portal for the comparison of telephone offers (and not only).

Portable Wi-Fi: How It Works

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