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Apple iPhone 5 vs. MiFi 4620L Verizon Hotspot, LTE test results

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Thursday, 04 October 2012

Apple iPhone 5 vs. MiFi 4620L Verizon Hotspot, LTE test results


Apple sold over 5 million iPhone 5’s in the first weekend alone and a lot of customers have been enjoying 4G LTE connectivity for the first time. The increased speeds allow customers to surf the web and do things like video chat that are difficult and unreliable over 3G. Apple’s iPhone 5 has a built in hotspot feature just like the older iPhone 4S/4 and other popular smartphones allowing you to share Internet connectivity with multiple devices. Although this feature is a nice add-on to your existing device, you might not realize you could be getting more speed with a dedicated MiFi hotspot or USB modem.

To put this to the test we decided to pit the new Verizon iPhone 5 running LTE against the Verizon MiFi 4620L Jetpack to see which device performed better. To keep things fair we tested them at the same location using the application “Speedtest.net”. We ran multiple tests using the iPhone over LTE and the New iPad via the MiFi 4620L’s WiFi signal to see which performed better. After testing the cellular link directly, we also enabled the hotspot function on the iPhone and tested Apple’s New iPad with both the MiFi 4620L and iPhone 5 hotspot. Checkout the video below to see the results in realtime or continue reading for the results:

Apple iPhone 5 vs. MiFi 4620L LTE Speedtest results:


Test Results:

  • iPhone 5 direct via cellular: 4.667Mbps Down &  11.122Mbps Up, 95ms Ping
  • New iPad via iPhone 5 with Hotspot: 14.10Mbps Down & 1.45Mbps Up, 87ms Ping
  • New iPad via MiFi 4620L WiFi: 20.08Mbps Down & 8.50Mbps Up, 79ms Ping

Now, keep in mind that cellular results will vary from test to test, but we consistently found that the dedicated MiFi 4620L outperformed the Verizon iPhone 5. The major difference between the two devices are lower latency which is ideal for VOIP/PBX/Gaming applications and significantly higher upload performance for anyone that needs to upload content to the web. Most dedicated MiFi hotspots or USB modems also feature an antenna port to easily enhance cellular connectivity where smartphones like the iPhone 5 require a repeater like the Wilson Sleek 4G-V.

So what should I choose for connectivity?

If you’re a casual user that occasional needs Internet connectivity for a tablet or laptop computer then chances are the phones hotspot feature is going to be the perfect solution for you. In fact, the Verizon version of the iPhone 5 gives you this mobile hotspot feature for free as long as you’re on their shared data plans. However, one important thing that you must remember in this scenario is that your data service will be interrupted if someone calls you because the Verizon iPhone 5 won't do simultaneous voice and data. Please note, the AT&T version of the iPhone 5 will do simultaneous voice and data, but they charge an extra monthly fee to enable hotspot connectivity.

Now, if you’re using this as a dedicated home/office connection, categorize yourself as a mobile road warrior or want to play games over LTE a dedicated MiFi hotspot or USB modem is the solution you want. The main reasons are for uninterrupted connectivity, increased download/upload throughput, better signal enhancement options and lower latency. Dedicated solutions are a great option for backup connectivity if your primary connection goes down at the office and your business requires Internet connectivity to run. Using a dedicated MiFi or USB modem allows you to also use a 3G/4G router to provide increased WiFi coverage throughout your home/office and give Ethernet connectivity to devices that don’t have built in WiFi.  



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