Types of hotspots and when to use them
As the COVID-19 pandemic drives more workers into home offices, some may find their home technology lacking. A normally fine broadband connection can suddenly seem inadequate if multiple family members and neighbors are working and doing schoolwork online at the same time.
One solution to these challenges comes from a surprisingly simple device: a mobile hotspot.
We usually think of mobile hotspots as a good way to connect securely to the internet from a coffee shop or an airport terminal. But they can play an important role in the home office.
Available on your smartphone or tablet, or through a dedicated hotspot device, mobile hotspots let you establish a secure internet connection nearly anywhere and anytime. You can set up your hotspot in minutes and instantly have a miniature wireless network that can connect from five to 15 nearby devices to the internet.
You can easily move your hotspot to different rooms, or take it outside if you need to. And you can set it up to be password protected and invisible to anyone you don’t invite to use it.
Who needs a mobile hotspot?
Here are a few examples of remote employees who could benefit from a mobile hotspot:
- Remote operations center workers who need quick, reliable and secure access to email and other corporate resources in order to manage operations and avoid downtime
- Sales or other business development employees who can no longer meet prospects face-to-face; they need high-quality, dependable connectivity to use video, audio and collaboration tools
- Customer service employees who need quick, secure access to corporate resources to access information about the customers who contact them so that they can provide high-quality service
What is the best mobile hotspot option?
You have several possible cellular connectivity options:
Your existing smartphone or tablet. Most smartphones now have hotspot capabilities built in, all current 4G smartphones do. After a few quick steps, the phone creates its own secure Wi-Fi network that up to 5-10 most mobile devices can connect to, depending on your smartphone. You should create a strong password to connect to the hotspot.
A dedicated hotspot device. Using a device that is separate from your phone gives you more capability. A dedicated device also lets you connect to your corporate resources with VPN pass-through enabled, and you can block devices and whitelist media access control (MAC) addresses for extra security.
Using a separate device for connectivity also means you can talk on the phone and use the data connection at the same time, which is not possible through the hotspot on some smartphones. And a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to preserve your smartphone or tablet battery, which can become drained when they’re used as a hotspot.
LTE Business Internet. If you need an even more robust remote cellular connectivity solution, you may want to consider LTE Business Internet. You can choose from multiple speed plans and a wide selection of business-ready Ethernet and Wi-Fi-enabled routers.
How to use your phone as a hotspot
Mobile hotspots take only a few minutes to set up and use. For instructions specific to your device, visit the Mobile Hotspot section or User Guide on the Device Support page for your device. If Mobile Hotspot isn’t included in your Verizon data plan, you can add it to your account online anytime in My Verizon.