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5G hotspot on the go: Test of fast mobile 5g routers

Now the expansion of the 5g networks has started in earnest. In several Swedish cities, you can start surfing faster already, and within a few years the 5g coverage should be pretty much as good as 4g is today, the operators promise. With the right new mobile phone, you already have 5g in your pocket today, but it is not always the most practical way to use mobile broadband.

Tested mobile 5g routersWith a so-called hotspot, a portable and battery-powered pocket-sized router with a built-in mobile modem, you can secure the connection even to your laptop and tablet. It can be very interesting now in the spring and summer, when the sun is shining and you want to take your homework out to the city park or to a street cafe.

5 things to consider when switching to 5g

There are also many people who sublet their home and may not have reliable access to their landlord’s fixed broadband. Then mobile broadband is a good solution, and with a good pocket router it goes with you wherever you go.

Few competitors at first

In the right place, you can already get a 5g connection today, and during the year the coverage will get better and better. If you want to be early on, it may therefore be time to invest in the right hardware for that now.

Four manufacturers have released mobile 5g routers so far, and more of the major vendors are on the way. These are still relatively large, heavy and expensive devices, compared to the 3g and 4g boxes that you can buy, or sometimes get from a carrier if you get a subscription. We are talking about prices of between five and nine thousand for a router. That is a lot of money; there are whole 5g mobiles that are cheaper than that.

Therefore, it is necessary that they really deliver something extra. And they do. This is not at all the kind of minimal mobile router we are used to. Three of them have WiFi 6 support, which makes the connection to individual computers extra fast and the range longer. It also means that they have support for the more secure login method wpa3, which is of course a plus.

Larger batteries for long operation

All four have solid batteries that allow you to surf and stream a whole working day without having to look for a wall outlet. A couple of the routers have more typical home router features, like the ability to open up guest networks, actively control the firewall, and select alternative WAN sources. In addition to that, the various routers also offer occasional other bonus functions.

Testing performance on the routers is not entirely reliable. The big uncertainty factor is always the mobile connection itself, where speeds can vary greatly depending on location and time, or just randomly, depending on the exact frequency assigned to you by the nearest mobile mast.

Therefore, you should take measurement results above 5g with a certain pinch of salt. We can see if a router generally has higher or lower performance ceilings on upload and download speed as well as if response times and speeds are even. But it only gives an indication of the surfing speed you get at any given time.

So we did the selection and the test

We contacted all major manufacturers of mobile routers in Sweden to see if they had launched or were about to launch 5g routers in Sweden. We then brought in all available routers for testing. Huawei had two models, so we chose to test the best of the two. Other major suppliers only release 5g routers later in the year, so we will come back later in the year with additional tests of them.

The routers were simultaneously tested at three locations in Stockholm’s inner city with a good 5g signal with a test subscription from Tele2. A weekday afternoon, an early morning and a Sunday at lunchtime, to eliminate differences in different highly competitive mobile traffic.

Speed ​​measurement was done with Bredbandskollen.se and Speedtest.net as well as with downloading and sending files to Microsoft Onedrive from a laptop and a mobile phone with wifi 6 support. Battery life was measured during continuous movie streaming to a laptop.

D-Link DWR-2101: Compact and trouble-free 5g router for the pocket

D-Link DWR-2101

Rating 4 out of 5


It delivers most of what you want in a mobile router – portability, good connectivity for things like surfing and streaming, and easy handling. The battery life is acceptable even if there are better ones. You also have to make do with more moderate performance for uploading.


  • Stable 5g downstream performance.
  • Fast wifi with good range.
  • Handy touch screen.
  • Compact format.


  • No extra functionality.
  • No charger included.

Tested: April 2021
Modem type: 4g (cat 20/13), 5g (sub 6)
Wifi capability: Wifi 6,574 + 1,200 Mbit/s
Battery: 5,260 mAh, approx. 13h surfing time
Award: SEK 4,529 at Proshop.

Read the full review of the D-Link DWR-2101

Huawei 5G Mobile Wifi Pro: Smart features, but uneven 5g router

With a large battery and smart charging pad, Huawei’s 5g router stands out from the crowd.

Huawei 5G Mobile Wifi Pro

Rating 3 out of 5


Huawei’s router differs from the crowd in that it lacks a fixed network port and Wi-Fi 6, a small disadvantage for some, and a major one for others. On the plus side, it has an extra large battery and the ability to share the power. However, we had hoped for a larger screen and more direct controls.


  • Good mobile downstream performance.
  • Extra large battery.
  • Clever with power bank and wireless charger.
  • Wan via wifi.


  • Wi-Fi only 5.
  • Moderate range on wifi.
  • Somewhat cumbersome to administer.
  • Somewhat heavy.

Tested: April 2021
Modem type: 4g (cat 6), 5g (sub 6)
Wifi capability: Wifi 5, 300 + 867 Mbit/s
Battery: 8,000 mAh, approx. 22h surfing time
Award: SEK 5,755 at ComputerSalg.

Read the full Huawei 5G Mobile Wifi Pro test

Netgear Nighthawk M5: Lightning fast and portable 5g router

If you want the best, it costs money.

Netgear Nighthawk M5

Rating 4 out of 5


The Nighthawk M5 is not a router for everyone. It impresses technically, but is somewhat too big to carry around and creates a big hole in the budget. However, if you want uncompromising quality of connection, it will deliver. Both with 4g and 5g.


  • High performance both at 4g and 5g.
  • Many connection and connection methods.
  • Handy touch screen.
  • Approved battery life.


  • Slightly large and heavy for practical portability.
  • Limited with extra features
  • Stingingly expensive.

Tested: February 2021, updated April 2021
Modem type: 4g (cat 22), 5g (sub 6), micro-sim
Wifi capability: Wifi 6,600 + 1,200 Mbit/s
Battery: 5040 mAh, approx. 13h surfing time
Rec. Award: SEK 8,690.
Award: SEK 8,688 at Proshop.

Read the full review of the Netgear Nighthawk M5

Zyxel 5G NR Portable Router: Simple mobile 5g router with good range

Zyxel’s new mobile 5g router is a bit behind the competition, but the Wi-Fi performance is impressive.

Zyxel 5G NR Portable Router

Rating 3 out of 5


Zyxel’s router is a handy little box that doesn’t make any obvious mistakes, but doesn’t convince as much as a couple of the competition. It delivers Wi-Fi above expectations, but lags behind in mobile performance and battery life.


  • Stable short response times.
  • Fast wifi with good range.
  • Handy touch screen.
  • Compact format.


  • Somewhat short battery life.
  • The next step in mobile speed.
  • No bonus features.

Tested: April 2021
Modem type: 4g (cat 20/13), 5g (sub 6)
Wifi capability: Wifi 6,574 + 1200 Mbit/s
Battery: 5300 mAh, approx. 10h surfing time
Rec. Award: SEK 5,490
Award: SEK 5,127 at ComputerSalg.

Read the full review of Zyxel 5G NO

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