We’ve all come to expect ready access to the internet anytime from anywhere. For businesses, reliable internet is more than an expectation — it’s a requirement.

Mobile phone hotspots and dedicated hotspot devices are common solutions for on-the-go or backup internet access. Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) offer a promising alternative that serves a similar purpose but with distinct advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the difference in use cases for a SimpleWAN router vs a hotspot.

Questions to Consider When Choosing SimpleWAN or a Hotspot

  1. Are you looking for a personal or business solution?
  2. Do you need a network that can handle frequent, bandwidth-intensive usage?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. How important is the security of your network connection?

Hotspots Are Easier for Personal Use

Hotspots are incredibly easy to set up. Most modern smartphones allow you to turn them into personal hotspots at the touch of a button. If you don’t want to sacrifice your phone’s battery or data, you can also pick up a mobile hotspot router that has its own data plan on your same carrier network.

While SimpleWAN is easier than most networking solutions, it can’t compete with the ease of a smartphone hotspot.

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SimpleWAN Is Business-Grade Solution

Hotspots are designed to be a patch for short-term internet needs, whereas SimpleWAN is built to be a robust, all-in-one network management product. SimpleWAN readily integrates with your current business network instead of just opening access to your mobile carrier network. SimpleWAN even provides analytics to track network problems and cybersecurity threats in real-time.

With SimpleWAN, you get automatic failover support to keep your network connections from dropping. Hotspots, on the other hand, have to be turned on manually when you need them. That is fine for personal hotspot use, but companies can’t always afford that much downtime while switching networks.

Hotspots are Usually Cheaper

If you use your phone as a hotspot, your only cost comes from your data plan. Hotspots are a low-cost solution for travelers that need internet access without a nearby Wi-Fi network. When your needs are more frequent or more bandwidth-intensive, though, the actual cost will depend on your data plan.

The initial cost of SimpleWAN is higher, but it can take advantage of network options that are more cost-effective for heavy bandwidth users.

Security of SimpleWAN vs Hotspots

Hotspots are only as secure as the network they access. When users need extra security, they typically rely on virtual private networks (VPNs) or other add-on security solutions. The security level of a VPN is better than an unprotected network, but they only secure your data in-flight, leaving the endpoints themselves vulnerable. Hackers often target VPN vulnerabilities, especially with more and more remote workers treating VPNs like they are fully secured, in-house networks.

Most SimpleWAN providers introduce built-in security that exceeds that of a VPN. Some, like SimpleWAN, go as far as implementing a full Zero Trust model. Just like a VPN, Zero Trust uses end-to-end data encryption, but it also treats every request like it came from an open, unsecured network. This ensures that hackers can’t use typical exploits like user device vulnerabilities or fake Wi-Fi hotspots as vectors for attacking your internal network.

Is SimpleWAN or a Hotspot Right for You?

SimpleWAN and hotspots are built for different use cases. Hotspots are excellent for personal users that need a cheap, easy way to connect to the internet while traveling or during a home network outage. SimpleWAN is a business-grade solution for users that value security and reliability and can take advantage of SimpleWAN’s integrations with existing network products.

Schedule a demo of SimpleWAN @Home to learn whether our secure, convenient solution is a good fit for your networking needs.