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Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4620L (by Novatel Wireless) review: Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4620L (by Novatel Wireless)

Apart from Verizon's own 3G/4G networks, the MiFi 4620L also works with any GSM (850/900/1,800/1,900MHz) or UMTS/HSPA+ (850/900/1,900/2,100MHz) networks in the world. This means that when traveling internationally, you can either roam (and pay a lot) or possibly just swap out the SIM card and use a more affordable local service.

The router supports up to 10 Wi-Fi clients when it's connected to a 4G network; when connected to a 3G network, only 5 clients can access the Internet at the same time, with the rest being part of the Wi-Fi local network only. Speaking of the local network, the router supports Wireless-N, offering a top speed of up to 150Mbps, which is fast enough for light data sharing between connected devices.

Obviously the more devices connected to the router, the slower the performance gets, especially when all of those devices are involved in network activities. To avoid this, you can use the Web interface to limit the maximum connected number of devices to any number less than 10.

The MiFi 4620L offers a lot of other features for a tiny device. For example, it supports NMEA-compliant GPS over Wi-Fi, enabling compatible Wi-Fi devices to use its GPS signal for positioning services. On top of that it supports many other features found in regular-size routers, such as port forwarding and MAC address filtering.

For security, apart from the MAC filtering, the MiFi doesn't support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a feature that quickly connects WPS-enabled clients to a Wi-Fi network, but it supports all variations of WEP, WPA, and WPA2 wireless encryption standards.

Data plans and performance
I tried the MiFi 4620L around the San Francisco Bay Area and was able to get 4G coverage virtually everywhere with very fast connection speeds. As with all cellular connections, the router's download and upload speeds vary rather dramatically from one place to another, but overall were comparatively very fast. The slowest I experienced during my testing were around 5Mbps down and 3Mbps up. On average, the router managed 10Mbps and 9.8Mbp for download and upload, respectively, making it the fastest of any mobile routers I've tested.

Note, however, that you won't be able to enjoy that speed continuously for very long, since the router's two data plans are capped at 5GB and 10GB for $50 and $80 per month, respectively (additional data will cost another $10 per gigabyte). At full speed, you can burn through those numbers in a couple of hours.

And you have many hours with the MiFi 4620L. With its small battery, I was about to get about 5 hours of continuous usage. Appropriately, the double-capacity battery offers about twice that. Since the router basically turns itself off after 30 minutes of idling, if you just use the connection casually, the two batteries can last you from a few days to a week.

I noticed that the Jetpack takes a very short time to turn on or wake up, making the fact that you have to turn it back on from sleeping less of a hassle. Generally, from being off, the router could get up and running in just about 10 seconds in my testing. Unlike the Samsung's SCH-LC11, which became hot very fast, Novatel's MiFi 4620L remains very cool even during extended operation.

Cellular Internet speed (in Kbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Our take
With long battery life, fast connections, and lots of useful features, the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE MiFi 4620L by Novatel Wireless makes an excellent mobile Internet source for business users. It would be a great device for everyone if it came with unlimited or more-affordable data plans.

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