T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot ZTE MF61 review: T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot ZTE MF61

Like other mobile routers, the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot has a Web interface that you can access by pointing a Web browser of a connected computer to its default IP address, which is Here you can further customize its settings, including changing the network's name, the encryption key, the number of allowed wireless clients, and so on. This Web interface also supports text messaging, which could come in handy if you need to reach somebody and the Internet connection is just too slow for e-mails.

Though we love this Web interface for its responsiveness and ease of use, we noticed that the router took a long time--up to 5 minutes--to apply certain changes. For security, the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot features all existing variations of WPA encryption. It also gives the option to filter wireless clients via their MAC addresses.

In our tests, the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot lived up to T-Mobile's claims, offering 4G speeds of between 2.8Mbps and 4.5Mbps for downloading and around 1.8Mbps for uploading.

Note that these download and upload speeds could vary a great deal from one city to another, and the numbers mentioned here only represent the experience of those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a Wi-Fi router, the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot did fairly well for one that doesn't support Wireless-N, at just 10.8Mbps. The device excelled, however, in its battery life, which was about 6 hours in our testing, compared with the Sprint MiFi 4082's 4 hours.

Internet speeds (in Kbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Verizon VL600 UB Modem (4G)
Clear 4G+ USB Modem (4G)
T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot (4G)
Verizon Five Spot (3G)
Sprint MiFi 2200 (3G)
Verizon MiFi 2200 (3G)

CNET Labs 2.4GHz Wireless-N performance score (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

The T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot makes a great companion for those who travel and need a fast solution for e-mailing and surfing the Web. The included T-Mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot service, which is available at most airports, is an added bonus that many travelers will appreciate. Its reduced Internet speed restriction, however, will be frustrating for those who rely on heavy Web surfing and downloading.

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