Mobile 4G hotspot devices (5G soon available) are a really useful way of keeping your laptop connected to the Internet in areas with no public Wi-Fi available—they’re particularly handy for people who have to go out into the field with their equipment.
Even when public Wi-Fi is available, having your own hotspot is more secure and will frequently give you a faster and more secure connection. There are a number of things you can do to make your hotspot as efficient as possible and cut down on your data charges.
Firstly, find a good spot for your router. The general limit for a wireless signal is 100 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors, so put it where can access the most devices. Wireless signals aren’t blocked by building infrastructure, but it can slow them down.
When battery life is an issue, see if your hotspot has an option to reduce its range. You’ll have to move closer to the device, but it will use less power, giving you longer battery life.
If you have options about where you’re going to use your hotspot, it’s worth doing a little research and finding out where cellular 4G is supported. The hotspot will still work in other areas, but not as fast as if you can make it to a 4G area.
Internet bandwidth is shared by all the apps on your laptop or mobile device, so shut down any that might be running in the background that you don’t need, soaking up bandwidth and adding to your data charges. Examples might be social media apps, email, and anything that uses your location such as Google maps. If you don’t need them, turn them off.
Finally, think about what you are downloading. Emails, webpages or documents will hardly use any data, but if you fancy streaming music or videos to entertain you while you work, you’ll find not only does your data usage rocket, you will also burn up your battery life much more quickly.
Sticking with the smaller data usage applications will minimize your data charges and maximize battery life.