5G router | The best of 2022

5G router | The best of 2022

The so-called portable WiFi routers (in this specific case 5G routers), usually known as "bars of soap", have seen their popularity grow exponentially in recent years due to various concomitant factors. The increasingly widespread need to be able to be connected and productive even on vacation or in places difficult to reach by classic fixed connection services, the advent of the pandemic that has made smart working a very widespread habit from which many companies will never return further back, together with the ever more widespread diffusion of online and streaming services have meant that these devices in a few years have become more and more sought after and useful.

So to make it easier for you to find what is most is for you without spending hours browsing between one online shop and another, we have decided to prepare this guide which will then be periodically updated both in terms of products and, possibly, with the emergence of new solutions and technologies. In fact, there are different types of portable WiFi routers, from simple 3G or 4G hot spots to complex 5G routers with advanced functions, broad support for many devices connected at the same time and the ability to manage even "heavy" streams as in the case of high-performance films. resolution.

But why buy a device of this type when lately all smartphones are able to offer a connection via the hotspot function via bluetooth connection? Because things are not that simple. First of all, as always, it depends on your needs: if you are out for a few days alone and you just need to check your mail or carry out some small minor tasks, the smartphone is also sufficient.

Conversely, if there are many at home or you have several devices to connect, maybe at the same time and maybe you also want to access the many audio and video streaming services at the same time, not to mention home banking and other online functions, well then you need a more professional device, not to mention that the smartphone is more exposed as regards security and that the hotspot function quickly consumes the battery, thus drastically decreasing the autonomy of your device, while these devices are equipped with special batteries , definitely more suitable for this type of use.

The best 5G routers

NETGEAR MR5200 Nighthawk Huawei E6878 Zyxel Nr 7101 D-Link DWR-2101 AVM FRITZ! Box 6850 5G

NETGEAR MR5200 Nighthawk

Generic photos Let's start with the NetGear MR5200 Nighthawk, perhaps one of the best portable 5G routers available on the market. It is a small and light device (105 x 105 x 21.5 mm, 240 g), elegant in its simple lines and in its black color, but equipped with a concentrate of latest generation technology. The Nighthawk in fact first of all has a 6.1 cm color touch display to be able to interact with functions and settings. From a technological point of view, on the other hand, we obviously find a latest generation 5G model, combined with a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz AX1800 WiFi 6 Dual-band module, with support for up to 32 devices and a maximum speed of 1.8 Gbps. The router, which also supports operation under load, is equipped with a Gbps Ethernet port and two RF TS9, and offers a 5040 mAh rechargeable battery that guarantees up to 13 hours of autonomy and can also be used via the practical mobile app. br>
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Huawei E6878

Generic photos Still compact, but bigger, is the Huawei E6878. The device, which measures 171 x 95 x 72 cm with a weight of 648 grams, has a rectangular shape and a white color. Huawei has aimed with this product to contain prices without at the same time giving up what is indispensable. Therefore, the router has no additional ports and has a small monochrome display, useful only for receiving the main information on the operation of the device. The router is however equipped with a 5G chip capable of supporting a maximum download speed of 1.65 Gbps and is equipped with WiFi Pro dual band technology, while the 4000 mAh battery allows excellent autonomy.

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Zyxel Nr 7101

Generic photos If you are looking for a “rugged” 5G router, capable of operating in any place and in any weather condition then the Zyxel Nr 7101 is the one for you. Compact (256 x 255 x 58 mm) but not particularly light (1.14 Kg), the Zyxel is in fact able to guarantee high resistance thanks to a sturdy structure. The device is in fact guaranteed against dust, dirt, sand and water thanks to the IP68 certification, and is able to withstand hurricane-level winds (level 16, 200 km per hour) and the most extreme temperatures (from -40 ° C to +60 ° C), while the advanced K.21 certification also ensures protection from lightning. But it does not end there. The Zyxel in fact also has a 5G NR chip which, in combination with a 4 × 4 MIMO antenna, can guarantee a theoretical download speed of up to 5 Gbps. Finally, the router supports the standalone (SA) / non standalone (NSA) mode and the network s licing function and is also controllable via app, both from Android and Apple devices.

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D-Link DWR-2101

Generic photos Those who need a complete and versatile 5G router instead, can turn to the D-Link DWR-2101, a device that measures just 235 x 119 x 72 mm with a weight of 235 grams. Featuring a large 2.4-inch color touch display, the DWR-2101 also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and can offer up to 14 hours of battery life thanks to a fast-charging 5260mAh removable battery. The D-Link comes with refined shapes and a dark gray color and can also be used with a comfortable horizontal table support. Finally, the 5G module equipped allows theoretical speeds of 1.6 Gbps, while the support for the WiFi 6 standard up to 1.8 Gbps, allows the simultaneous connection of up to 32 devices.

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AVM FRITZ! Box 6850 5G

Generic photos Finally, we close with the AVM Fritz! Box 6850 G, the latest generation version of the popular white and red router, characterized by its peculiar shape designed for table use. This device, although compact (208 x 150 x 37 mm) is not exactly portable, because it is equipped with cable power. Moreover, its large number of ports and the integrated switch function make it more suitable for use in static locations. Four RJ-45 LAN ports, one for telephone line and one USB 3 .0 complete the equipment. The integrated PBX with DECT base supports up to six cordless phones and one analog phone. Convenience functions, such as contact synchronization and HD telephony, for crystal clear voice transmission ensure maximum pleasure in calling. Finally, the Fritz! Box integrates a latest generation 5G chip with support for a theoretical maximum speed of 1.3 Gbps, while the WiFi module is of the dual band type (2.4 / 5 GHz).

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How to choose the 5G router

Choosing a portable 5G router is not as immediate as it might seem, because to select the best product for us we have to evaluate several aspects, such as the type network and supported WiFi connection, autonomy and size, as well as the price of course. So let's see one by one all the characteristics to keep in mind in the evaluation.


The network used is a first, important discriminant in the choice. In fact, like smartphones, these portable 5G routers also rely on mobile phone networks to allow us to connect wherever we are, using a simple SIM card. Therefore, evaluating the type of network supported is fundamental, because this criterion will directly affect the performance that can be obtained, but also the purchase price, which for the most recent and performing 5G models is decidedly high.

The networks of mobile telephony today exploit different technologies, which differ from each other in coverage and navigation speed. The main supported networks are 3G, 4G, 4G + and 5G. Without going into excessive technicalities, the differences between them can be summarized in the speed of transmission and reception of data and in the coverage of the territory. The oldest is obviously the 3G network, now not very widespread and in the process of being dismantled, which also offers lower speeds, which usually do not reach double digits in terms of Mbps. 4G, 4G / LTE and 4G + are currently the most popular networks. widespread and active and those that offer the best compromise between performance and price of tariffs. In particular, the latter can reach theoretical speeds between 150 Mbps and 2 Gbps, but obviously the actual speed is much lower. Finally, as mentioned, 5G is the most recent technology. Coverage in Italy is still in progress, so it is good to check that you are in an area already covered, while performance has made a dramatic leap forward, with theoretical maximum speeds of around 10 Gbps, which in real life translate into in about 200 Mbps actual.

In short, a compromise between performance, costs and coverage will be inevitable and for this reason it is important to carefully check which solution is more suitable overall, bearing in mind, for example, that in the countryside or at the sea we will hardly have ability to access a 5G network, which 3G is now being shut down and 4G / 4G + has low costs and widespread use but performance within the norm.

Supported WiFi standards

L he other technical feature to take into account when choosing the portable modem is the type of WiFi standard supported. In fact, as happens with domestic analogues, these devices also use different frequency bands to connect to the various devices. The two most common solutions are those with single band support, usually at 2.4 GHz, which is slower, or dual band, in which the faster 5 GHz one is also used. However, the more advanced models, for example those with support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard (802.11ax), also support a third band.

But be careful here too, because the usefulness of these solutions is very relative: if you just need to connect from time to time to check some emails or browse a bit, even a single band is fine, while the more advanced dual and tri band solutions are only useful for those who eventually have to transfer very heavy files or make extensive use of services streaming. Furthermore, these last two solutions usually allow the connection of a large number of devices at the same time, also offering greater signal stability.

SIM support

Once the type of portable modem has been decided in our case, another important choice to make is between the purchase of a "locked" device, ie sold by a specific operator and therefore usable only with the SIM purchased at the same time, or an unlocked one, which can therefore be used with the operator who we prefer.

The choice is completely subjective and depends on habits, preferences, any offers that have been accessed and so on. Obviously, if you have a fairly stable routine, buying a blocked modem you like is not a particular problem, while those traveling abroad may need to change SIMs often.


As in all mobile devices, autonomy is also essential in portable modems. So be careful because, depending on the battery capacity, usually indicated in mAh or milliAmpere / hour, the modem can boast an autonomy ranging from a few hours to more than a day. The price between a modem with a 2000 or 6000 mAh battery will obviously be different, so, as always, carefully consider what you need: if you have to connect for a few minutes or a few hours a day, a basic model will be more than enough. , otherwise you will have to turn to more performing modems. Finally, the possibility, not obvious, of the modem being able to function even while it is being recharged, should also be taken into consideration.

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