Whether traveling solo or in groups, road warriors know that a stable Internet connection is vital to business. Verizon's Jetpack MiFi 6620L offers just that. This small hotspot can deliver a steady and strong broadband connection to up to 15 devices, and it lasts nearly 17 hours on a charge. That's epic. You can even recharge a smartphone that's running low on juice. Is it worth $50 ($199 off-contract)? You bet.
The MiFi 6620L is covered in a soft-touch finish that's comfortable and provides a secure grip. Along one side is a microUSB port used to charge the hotspot. Next to it, and protected by a sliding plastic door, is a full-size USB port, which can be used to charge other devices.
The top of the hotspot has a small color LCD that lets you view connected devices, signal strength, battery life and data usage. From there, you can also block devices from connecting to the hotspot, as well as set the 6620L's SSID and password. Below the screen are three indented touch-sensitive buttons used to navigate the menus; the buttons were all very responsive in our tests.
The MiFi 6620L measures 3.7 x 2.6 x 0.76 inches — about the same size, but a little thicker than, a pack of playing cards. It's roughly the same size as the MiFi 5510L (3.9 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches), but weighs more, at 4.7 ounces compared to the 5510L's 3.3 ounces.
You can connect up to 15 devices to the 6620L. As a bonus, you can also connect the hotspot via USB to a notebook, and use it as a tethered Internet connection. The hotspot is "Global Ready," so you can use it in more than 200 countries, and it also supports GPS over Wi-Fi, so that, for example, a delivery truck using a tablet connected to the hotspot can relay its location to its dispatch office.
The 6620L hotspot can also lend its juice to other devices using its USB port. I was able to recharge an iPhone 6 fully, which required about 60 percent of the hotspot's power.
The only thing missing is a microSD card slot for connected users to share files, but that's a minor quibble.
With five bars of service, the 6620L averaged 19.8 Mbps down and 16.2 Mbps up in our Manhattan office, as recorded by Speedtest.net on an iPhone 6. Upload speeds were as high as 22.2 Mbps, and download speeds topped out at 24.1 Mbps. Downloading the installation package for OpenOffice (163MB) took just 1 minute and 16 seconds.
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However, when streaming a 1080p file from YouTube to a notebook, its performance suffered. The average download speed dropped to 16 Mbps, and ranged from 7.3 Mbps to 25.75 Mbps. Uploads fared even worse, with the average dropping to just 4.4 Mbps and topping out at 11.56 Mbps.
Verizon claims that the 4,000-mAh battery in the MiFi 6620L will last up to 20 hours. While my review unit didn't meet that lofty ideal, it came close. When connected to a single laptop running the Laptop Mag Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi), the hotspot lasted 16 hours and 49 minutes. That's about 2 hours longer than the MiFi 5510L, which hung on for 14 hours and 43 minutes.
Verizon offers 15 data plans for the MiFi 6620L. The least expensive provides 4GB of data, and costs $30 per month. The most expensive costs $710 per month but gets you a whopping 100GB of data. Unless you plan to stream movies, the 6GB plan ($40/month) or the 8GB plan ($50/month) will more than suffice.
Regardless of whether you purchase the MiFi 6620L as a new customer or add it to an existing More Everything plan, you'll have to fork over an additional $20 per month.
The MiFi 6620L lasts an extremely long time on a charge, can provide power to other gadgets and delivers excellent throughput for up to 15 users. What more do you want from a hotspot? At $49 with a two-year contract, the Verizon Jetpack MiFi 6620L is a steal for any business traveler or team that needs a reliable Internet connection on the road.
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