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Published On: February 18, 2019 by Blake Schwank

YouTube video
In the modern era of technology, many people have the ability to use their mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and they take advantage of that feature frequently.

When using a smartphone as a hotspot, your device treats its online connection to the data network as if it were a broadband data source, giving you the ability to connect a variety of other devices, such as laptops or tablets, to the Internet. When you are working at a coffee shop, hotel, or other public location, as is increasingly common, this provides a more secure and private option than connecting to the establishment’s public Wi-Fi.

How efficient is a mobile hotspot?

Just because you are using a single device for a hotspot when working at various locations does not mean you will experience the same speed and efficiency everywhere you go.

“All four mobile data networks in the U.S. use 4G LTE equipment with fiber-optic data backbones,” Brian Nadel writes in an article for “The actual results depend on lots of factors, including how congested the internet is, how far you are from the closest cell tower and how many other people are using that cell site.”

In Tuesday Tech Tip video, Curtis Hyde, sales and marketing director of Colorado Computer Support, breaks down three of the most common connections individuals experience when using their cellphone as a hotspot and the speeds that go along with them:

  • 1X: This is the worst connectivity and typically what you can expect in remote areas. 1X connectivity translates to a speed of about 144 kilobytes per second, Hyde says. When you are connected to a 1X network and running a hotspot off it, you can expect extremely long wait times and little efficiency when browsing the Internet.
  • 4G: It is common to have access to a 4G network. The typical speed of this connectivity is about 5 and 15 megabytes per second, which should be efficient enough for checking emails, downloading files, and other basic functions.
  • LTE: LTE is the newest technology for setting up a mobile hotspot. Different providers have different versions of LTE, and it is common to see “4G LTE.” When connected to this type of network, you can expect between 20 and 50 megabytes per second, depending on how many other devices you have connected. This is the most optimal hotspot connection and gives you the best access to the Internet when you are working by yourself or in a small group.

When you are using a mobile hotspot, you know exactly what network you are connected to, which makes it safer and more secure for the user. How efficient this connectivity is, however, depends greatly on the network, your geographical location, online traffic, and other factors.

For more information about hotspot connectivity or managed technology services in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area, contact Colorado Computer Support online or by calling 719.439.0599.

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Colorado Computer Support is a local IT company certified and verified service-disabled veteran-owned Small Business. When you use our IT services in Colorado Springs, you can be confident that you are dealing with a Colorado Springs company owned by a disabled veteran and that they will be able to provide you with the best possible IT support.
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