Which modem to buy for a laptop to always have a good Internet connection?

Tell us, what is the difference between similar models, and at the same time how to check, does your laptop have a built-in modem?

What is good about remote work? You are not tied to a place and can perfectly perform your duties, for example, sitting in a chaise longue at the dacha. There would be a good Internet! That’s about it, how to get it, we will tell you. Of course, most users in the private sector have to settle for mobile Internet. You can distribute it from your phone, but it is better to use a separate modem. Which one is better to choose in 2020? However, it is not excluded, that you already have it. 

Checking, is there a modem in the laptop

Yes, all right. Some laptop models already have a built-in modem. It is enough just to install a SIM card in it, and you can use it. Check, is there one in your laptop, simple enough.

  1. Go to ‘Explorer’‘Computer’
  2. Right-click on the empty space in the window and look for the line‘System’ in the drop-down menu
  3. Click on the line‘Device Manager’
  4. Looking for a modem. If they didn ‘t find it, it means, he’s gone.

Choosing a network for the Internet

Which modem is better for the Internet? Today, the most advanced standard in terms of connection speed and stability is 4G, he’s LTE. But in many cities, 4G network coverage still leaves much to be desired. If you live in a small town and are sure, that cellular communication will not develop rapidly in your area, you can buy a 3G modem. For example, like this:

But a more rational choice would be to buy a 4G device. It will be able to work with 3G without any problems, but with the advent of a more modern network, you will easily switch to it.

Modems from mobile operators: is it worth taking them?

, . . , , . .

Certainly, the companies themselves do not produce them - they order them ‘on the side’. As a rule, these are simple models, the reception quality of which is not always perfect. If you are going to use a modem in a secure reception area, you can save money and buy such a ‘whistle’ from the operator.

Choosing the interface

By and large, all LTE modems are divided into two classes according to the connection method.

Type 1: Inserted into the USB connector

This is the most popular category, there are most of them in the assortment.

What’s good:

What’s wrong:

Type 2: self-contained ‘boxes’

Such devices are more expensive, but they are more versatile: for example, you can connect this to the vehicle’s on-board network and always have your own Wi-Fi access point in the car.

What’s good:

What’s wrong:

What should I pay attention to when choosing a 4G modem?

If you choose a modem with a USB interface, in fact, you should only care about compatibility with your OS and speed. But keep in mind, that the characteristics of the device indicate only the ‘maximum’: the actual data transfer rate will depend primarily on network congestion and signal stability. For 4G devices, they promise about 150 Mbit/s, but not a fact, that you will ever see this value. By the way, the connection speed can always be checked using our service: you can do it right now. From simple options , you can take, for example, such:

Spoiler: later in the article there will be a lot of Huawei and ZTE products - not because, that we love these brands very much, it’s just that they have actually captured the Russian market of affordable 4G modems.

There are special solutions for those, who has an unstable signal and often disappears. For such cases,manufacturers suggest connecting an external antenna

Another feature, which you will have to face.Some USB modems have a memory card slot.

And again about high technologies. Although all modems look about the same, do not be lazy to go to the descriptions and see, what special can this or that device offer? And there can be a lot of interesting things there. For example, MIMO technology: multiple antennas and, accordingly, channels for receiving and transmitting data. This is relevant, if you plan to connect more than one device, and two or three at once, and actively use them. After the name of the technology, the number of antennas for reception and transmission is usually indicated. For example, MIMO 2*2 means, that you will have two channels in both directions.

Modem as a separate device: is it worth buying?

As we have already mentioned, in addition to devices with a USB interface, there are also independent devices, do not require a physical connection to the computer. Recently we conducted a test of one of them, the new ZTE MF927U model - read, to learn more. Despite the presence of a battery, such devices are not much more expensive than ‘whistles’. For example, the same ZTE MF927U can be bought for about 3,500 rubles.

Such separate devices are good because, that they can be carried with you and turned on as needed. For example, put the modem in the backpack and turn it on: no additional elements on the laptop, with which you strive to cling to something.

Car owners really like mobile 4G modems. A small box can be hidden anywhere in the cabin, if desired, bring power to it (or just ‘throw’ a wire from a USB outlet), and enjoy your own Wi-Fi. This network can be connected to, for example, a car radio with a navigator or a DVR. Certainly, you need to install a SIM card of any operator inside the modem.

Software: this is also important

Creating a WiFi network, first of all, you need to protect it with a password. This allows you to make almost any software, which comes with the device or is downloaded additionally. But the software’s capabilities are not limited to setting a password. Eg, some models allow you to create your own local network, provide access only to devices from the entered list and limit the amount of traffic for each device. This is useful, if you are not the only one using the network, and all family members: you can allocate 100 MB per day to a child, and don’t think about overspending traffic.

To configure the software, you can use not only a laptop, but also a smartphone - it’s enough to download a proprietary application (usually there is also for Android, and for iOS).

Which modem should I choose for home Internet?

If you want to use the internet at home, you can not be petty and buy a full-fledged Wi-Fi router. He will have more opportunities to protect and create a local network, in addition, sooner or later you will be wired Internet, and there will be no need to look for a new device for distribution. Choosing such a router is simple: as usual, search the internet and pay attention to the models, which have ‘3G/4G network support’ specified. One of the popular ones is Huawei again:

Such routers do not have batteries, they require constant availability of power. But they differ in high signal power: for example, mobile models may not ‘punch through’ several concrete walls, and the stationary ones will not have any problems with this.

As a last resort: distribution from a smartphone

Often 4G modems are bought ‘just in case’, that is , in order to, to use them when the wired Internet is turned off or during rare trips to places, where it’s hard to find Wi-Fi. But modems do not work by themselves: they need a SIM card with a connected tariff. As a rule, tariffs for modems imply a subscription fee, therefore, in fact, you will have to pay for ‘reinsurance’ every month.

Is it worth buying a modem at all in such a situation? The smartphone’s capabilities are enough: almost every one of them can create their own Wi-Fi network. Truth, the speed will be lower, than when using modems, at the same time, the gadget will discharge very quickly. But ‘just in case’ will do.

Summing up the results. Internet modem for laptop: which one is better?

usb modem:

Separate device

Router with 3G/4G network support

Read also:

  • Overview of the ZTE MF927U 4G Router: mobile internet squared
  • How to choose a Wi-Fi router for an apartment: practical tips and rating