Can A Mobile HotSpot Replace Home Internet?

Mohammed Emran /
shutterstock 293654465

These days, it’s rare to find a household that doesn’t have some form of Internet service. Even in the most rural places, people find a way to have an Internet connection in an effort to stay connected to others, be able able to shop online, engage in social media, and stream videos through their smart TV. 

There are plenty of packages available to choose from when it comes to Internet bundles. Some are more expensive than others, depending on what you’re looking to get out of your connection. However, with the amount of time that most consumers spend on their phones, a lot of people are starting to wonder if it’s more cost-efficient to use their mobile hotspots instead of having home Internet. 

Depending on the cellphone plan you have, it is possible to have a reliable Internet connection at home by using your mobile hotspot. The tricky part is figuring out what kind of data plan your provider offers and whether there are data caps that only allow you to use a certain amount of data per month. 

The goal is to try to reduce costs while maintaining a reliable Internet connection suitable to connect devices and, at the same time, not increase your data usage to the point of having to pay extra on your monthly bill. You want to save, not spend more. 

What Is a Mobile Hotspot and How Does It Work?

A mobile hotspot is a way for users to get a reliable, secure connection on the go through their cellphone plans. Mobile hotspots use cellular data by taking a long-term evolution (LTE) connection and converting it to a Wi-Fi signal your devices can use to connect to the Internet. 

Having just come out in 2011, the mobile hotspot technology is fairly new. It was mainly created to enhance the online experience for customers and be able to connect from places outside of the home Internet range. Hotspots can typically be private or public networks. The public networks are the ones that you normally find in coffee shops or hotels. 

Private hotspots, on the other hand, are connections available through your phone. You can only connect to it with the credentials provided to you on the phone or with a password that you set up for yourself and anyone that you want to share the details with. Private hotspots are best used when working from public space because they tend to offer the most secure connection outside of your home. 

Risks with Hotspot Connections

Without a question, using mobile hotspot connections is incredibly convenient and easy to do. Being able to carry a reliable Internet connection wherever you go is probably one of the best things that technology has given us. 

However, using a mobile hotspot 100% of the time does come with some risks. These are things you should consider if you are thinking about getting rid of your home Internet connection for good. 

  • Malware – One thing to consider with hotspots is that they are not always completely secure. Especially when connecting to public hotspots, the risk of your device getting infected with malware is high. This is something that could potentially affect your business, if you are working from your computer a lot, or endanger your personal information.
  • Data Usage – If you are someone that streams a lot of movies or has a need to upload and download large files, then using your mobile hotspot full time might not be the best idea. The risk with this is that, unless you have a cellphone plan that offers unlimited data per month, your costs can get pretty high with overcharges once you reach the data caps allotted for the mobile plan. Most cellphone providers offer various prices for unlimited plans, so it’s not completely out of the question to upgrade whatever plan you already have in place. However, keep in mind that if you are using the Internet for work, school, and entertainment, then a home Internet connection is more reliable and secure.


  • Encryption – Public hotspots are not encrypted which leaves your connection vulnerable and open to anyone that wants to hack, steal, or view your private information online. This is one of the main reasons why it is not advised to do any banking or shopping when you’re using a public hotspot network. Private hotspots are more secure because your 4G enabled device uses encryption by connecting through your cellular network. Again, you might have to pay extra for data usage, but if you’re planning on switching to using your mobile hotspot all the time, then the extra charge is worth every penny. 

How Fast Are Data Speeds with Hotspots?

Something else to consider is how fast data speeds are compared to a home Internet connection. Normally, home Internet connections have better security features and are able to handle larger amounts of data transferred. That’s because the average speed for home Internet broadband ranges from 90 to 100 Mbps. 

Speed for 4G LTE mobile hotspots, on the other hand, ranges from 30 to 60 Mbps. This type of speed is good for just one user that’s not using the hotspot to stream long movies or download large files. However, if you plan to use your hotspot at home and connect multiple devices or users, you will notice that the speed will slow down and become choppy. 

Should You Get Rid of Your Home Internet Connection?

Well, it’s up to you. While getting rid of your home Internet connection might seem like the right choice for your home and family, the data limits and security concerns that come with using a mobile hotspot connection are something to consider. Home Internet connections are always going to be safer and more able to sustain the connections and needs of more than just one device.

The other thing to think about is the fact that home Internet still works well with multiple users and connected devices, even if it’s one of the cheaper plans or bundles offered by your preferred provider. Mobile hotspot capabilities are just not built for that kind of usage and, while using a mobile hotspot is incredibly convenient, it’s not practical for an entire household to use as a replacement for a home Internet connection.