For several years, 3G and 4G keys have offered many benefits to consumers. Everyone can thus benefit from an Internet connection to use their computer, even when travelling. Faced with an ever-increasing need for connection, especially for professional purposes, devices have gradually evolved. Gradually, 3G or 4G keys were set aside in favour of new devices called alternately:
  • mobile hotspots ;
  • nomadic router ;
  • Pocket box.
The notion of mobility, specific to its new generation 3G/4G keys While the name of these elements is not really fixed, it is above all the notion of mobility that is translated with the terms "nomadic", "mobile" or even "pocket". Here is a look back at the main characteristics of these modules and their advantages.

3G/4G mobile hotspots to connect via Wi-Fi: how does it work?

If, in the idea, the operating principle is the same as for 3G/4G key, mobile hotspots, nomadic routers or pocket boxes still have some particularities. Take a look back at the aspects specific to these Internet connection solutions. You can visit and learn more about portable Wi-Fi routers.

Getting started and activating the router

Like the 3G and 4G keys before them, mobile hotspots have a simple objective: to provide an Internet connection for mobile devices. And the least we can say is that there are many devices that can benefit from this Internet connection. Mobile hotspots are indeed compatible with a multitude of devices. Terminals that can benefit from connection sharing include devices such as:
  • computer ;
  • tablet ;
Thanks to mobile routers, whether it's a business trip, a vacation, or just a weekend, the Internet remains within reach. It is thus possible to check your emails, work, but also communicate with your family while you are on the move. Based on the same principle as 3G and 4G keys, these mobile hotspots offer the advantage of being simple and fast to use. The ease of handling of nomadic routers is indeed their main characteristic. As with 3G keys, to use these hotspots, it is necessary to integrate a SIM card. Here is the procedure to follow in order to insert the chip into the hotspot, or pocket box:
  • open the device to insert the SIM card;
  • if necessary, remove the battery (as for smartphones) in order to access the dedicated slot;
  • After inserting the SIM, all that remains is to close the case.
Note that if the purchase of the equipment is made in an operator's physical store, it is possible that the seller activates the SIM directly. Otherwise, activation can be done online. Depending on the model of the device and the formula subscribed with the operator, it is even possible that no activation is required. This is particularly the case with Orange's "ready to surf" packages. With them, it is indeed enough to insert the SIM card to use the hotspot.

Connect your smartphone, tablet or computer to a pocket box

Depending on the operators, hotspot models may vary. However, the principle of use is generally the same from one product to another. While not all manipulations are identical, most of these devices offer the same functionalities. As mentioned above, for mobile devices to be able to connect to it, there are usually a few procedures to follow.

Identify the network proposed by the nomadic router

Once the device is turned on and the SIM card is activated, all you have to do is use it. But to connect your smartphone, computer or tablet to the mobile router, you must first identify the name of the network generated by the module. Usually, the network name appears on the router itself. If this is not the case, this ID is then written on the hotspot box.

Connect your computer, tablet or smartphone to the router's network

Once the network name is identified, you must connect your mobile devices to it. For this, the procedure is similar to that for connecting to a standard Internet box. It is therefore necessary:
  • enable Wi-Fi on the device to be connected;
  • search the network of the nomadic router in the list of available access points;
  • Select the network in question.
The connection between the two devices is established and a code is then requested to validate the access.

Finalize access to the hotspot network

When the code is requested, all that remains is to enter it to benefit from the Internet access offered by the modem. Usually, the identifiers are basic, like code 0000 for the PIN code of SIM cards. Programmed by default, the code can then be customized. It is also advisable to modify the initial code to enhance network access security. The identifiers that can be customized are:
  • the network name displayed on the devices;
  • The password for accessing the network in question.
Changing the password is also to be encouraged for better memorization and therefore greater ease of use. Once the device is in use, the operating principle is identical to standard routers. In addition, it is generally possible to monitor the evolution of its consumption. Some hotspots do offer a home page that indicates the amount of data available and the amount already consumed.

Operation similar to that of the 4G box

3G/4G hotspots or mobile modems work in the same way as operators' 4G boxes. However, 4G Internet boxes have been created to solve the problem of ADSL or Fibre Internet access in some regions. With these 4G boxes, some French people can therefore benefit from a more efficient Internet connection than ADSL or even Fibre, thanks to 4G.

The advantages of nomadic routers over 3G keys

While the similarities with 3G and 4G keys are real, pocket boxes are not only distinguished from them by their name. It is at the level of performance that the differences are real. Between 3G/4G keys and mobile hotspots, the main differences are:
  • the number of devices that can benefit from the connection simultaneously;
  • the debit from which it is possible to benefit;
  • The possibility for devices without a USB port to access the Internet.

Mobile hotspots: Internet access for a multitude of devices

While 3G and 4G keys were used for a long time, it is now the nomadic hotspots that are on the rise. And if the latter have gradually replaced the famous 3G keys, it is no coincidence. One reason why their success is so important is that they offer more opportunities. It will have escaped no one's notice; connected objects are legion, to such an extent that they are omnipresent in everyday life. But these generally require an Internet connection to be fully functional. It is at this level that nomadic routers stand out from 3G and 4G keys. Unlike their predecessors, mobile hotspots effectively offer the advantage of supporting the connection of multiple devices. And it is a real asset. Depending on the models, nomadic routers can actually allow the simultaneous connection of about ten devices. This advantage is therefore a real advantage over 3G keys in that:
  • more and more smartphones, tablets, computers and connected objects are being used;
  • Far from being a luxury, the multiple support of this connection appears to be a necessity.
As a result of these advantages, pocket boxes are now much more attractive and relevant than 3G keys in many cases. And this is all the more the case because the data rates offered by these nomadic routers are truly efficient.

Throughput: up to 150 Mb/s for mobile routers

Compared to 3G keys, there is another decisive advantage offered by pocket boxes. It is at the speed level that the difference between the two Internet access solutions is considerable. To measure the difference in performance between a 3G key and a router, simply compare a few numbers. In terms of flow rate, the difference in performance is very clear:
  • for 3G keys, the configuration and network used allow a throughput of at best 20 Mb/s;
  • For 4G mobile hotspots, the speeds offered are much higher, with the latter reaching up to 150 Mb/s.
While the difference is considerable, one reason is that pocket boxes are compatible with the 4G network. The mere difference in the mobile network used is enough to justify the huge performance gap between the two means of Internet access. While 4G keys potentially offer the same throughput as 4G pocket boxes, 4G keys do not allow as many devices to be connected simultaneously as mobile hotspots.