Sprint Tri-Fi Hotspot

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Sprint Tri-Fi Hotspot

Sprint sells the Tri-Fi, which can connect to 3G, LTE and WiMax, for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year service agreement. Data plans start at $35 for 3GB of 3G/4G data and climb to an $80 option. In keeping with Sprint's "green" initiatives, it comes in a box that's made of 30 percent recycled paper, is printed in soy ink and has a glue-less construction.

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Sprint Tri-Fi Hotspot

The battery, which lasts eight hours, by Sprint's count, adds a bit of heft when connected, but it is really no hassle to throw into a computer bag or suitcase.

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Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

Sprint also offers the Overdrive, another Sierra Wireless–made device, though this one connects up to eight devices to 3G or 4G WiMax. It sells for $50, with a two-year agreement and after a mail-in rebate. Data plans to go with it start at $35.

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AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G

AT&T's Elevate can connect up to five devices to AT&T's 4G LTE network, with 3G as a backup. With no commitment, it's priced at $270. With a two-year contract and an online discount, you can pick it up for $70.

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Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot 890L

The global-ready Verizon Jetpack can get you onto Verizon's 4G network—the largest LTE network around. While $250 at retail, an online discount and two-year contract can knock down the price to $20. Verizon's 4G plan pricing will apply.

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Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot 890L

Here, another view of the Jetpack, which measures 3.5 by 3.5 by 0.71 inches, weighs less than 5 ounces and offers up to five hours of battery life.

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T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot

T-Mobile's Sonic lets a user connect up to five WiFi-capable devices to its 4G and 3G networks. After an instant online discount and a mail-in rebate card, the price drops to $100. T-Mobile's overage-fee-free broadband plans start at $40 a month for 2GB of data at 4G speeds.

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Virgin Mobile Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

Virgin Mobile calls this "4G on the fly." No contract, no activation fees, just connectivity to Sprint's 4G network (WiMax for now) for $150. Virgin's contract-free monthly plans start at $35 a month for unlimited 4G data where it's available.

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Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200

The Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 is arguably the sleekest-looking of all—but there's no little window with 1998-era font telling you how much data you've used, or what state the battery is in, like there is on the Tri-Fi. It's also all 3G, all the time. Still, there's no contract, it can connect up to five devices and it sells for $100.

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