What’s the difference between an EvDO router and a mobile hotspot?

Evolution Data Optimized routers

Whether you’re using a dedicated mobile hotspot or simply using your phone as a mobile hotspot, a mobile hotspot will convert mobile broadband signals (for example, 4G LTE signals) into Wi-Fi. You can connect multiple devices, including those incompatible with 4G LTE, to this hotspot without having to purchase multiple mobile data subscriptions.

Evolution Data Optimized (Ev-DO) routers also convert mobile broadband signals into Wi-Fi. Like hotspots, Ev-DO routers accomplish with a built-in wireless modem. Ev-DO modems, however, are often more powerful than the “aircards” in phones or mobile hotspots. Also, while hotspots use batteries, Ev-DO routers must be plugged into a power source.

Both EvDO routers and mobile hotspots connect to internet-connected devices using the IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, or IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards. These Wi-Fi standards operate on the high-frequency 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio frequency bands. Most devices, from desktop computers to smart security systems, are compatible with any of these Wi-Fi standards.

While there are many similarities between Ev-DO routers and mobile hotspots, an installed wireless router typically offers a stronger and more flexible internet connection due to its superior modem. With Ev-DO, you can access faster mobile internet, use your internet-connected devices at longer ranges, and connect to any cellular carrier’s network.

Ev-DO routers are faster than hotspots

Because the hardware is typically more powerful, Ev-DO routers are usually faster than mobile hotspots. A typical wireless router from EvdoDepotUSA has a download speed of up to 40 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 8.5 Mbps. Most hotspots have speeds that hover closer to what you’d experience on a phone, a download speed of 15 Mbps and an upload speed of 5 Mbps.

Also, unlike hotspots, most Ev-DO routers are compatible with booster antennas. A booster antennas on the interior and/or exterior of your building will improve the strength and speed of your internet connection. Will you need a booster antenna? To find out, check out this blog post.

Ev-DO routers have a longer range than hotspots

Again, because the hardware is typically more powerful, Ev-DO routers have a longer range than mobile hotspots. A typical wireless router from EvdoDepotUSA has a range of about 100 feet. The average hotspot has a maximum range of about 65 feet when you use it indoors.

Ev-DO routers are typically unlocked, hotspots are typically locked to one carrier

Most Ev-DO routers are compatible with data plans from multiple carriers, which makes them a more flexible solution than hotspots, which are typically locked to a single carrier’s network. Some Ev-DO routers also have multiple slots for SIM cards from different carriers. With these routers, you can switch between data plans based on which carrier’s signal is strongest at any given time and you can bond connections from different carriers to build your internet speeds exponentially.

Photo by Dave and Margie Hill

Ev-DO plans are unlimited, hotspot plans are limited

If you purchase a mobile hotspot from a carrier, the carrier will offer you a data plan with a data cap or a throttled “unlimited” data plan with a soft data cap of around 40 GB per month. If you choose installed mobile broadband through EvdoDepotUSA, however, you’ll receive a truly unlimited mobile broadband connection. To find out more about Ev-DO, give us a call at 866-439-6630.