Originally Posted by bob caldwell
If you have a hot-spot and cell phone coverage, what does a router do for you?
Originally Posted by Evereddie
The aim of this thread is to use WIFI not cell data. Having a stronger pickup of WIFI and distributing it to all your devices is the goal. The router is part of that system and not really needed if you have a Hot-Spot.
So, given your router selection, they can be related. For a mobile hotspot, it has a usable distance of about 10'-20' (depending on walls and obstructions) before speeds + lag time become apparent. You can *see* and connect to the network from much further away, but it's not the same as if you are close by.
Using the same hardware that you connect to remote wifi network (such as the WifiRanger), you can point that device at your hotspot. It publishes a much stronger network signal than the hotspot does. You can connect 50' away or more and have no degradation of performance.
Now, turn that around to Evereddie's point and that people want to consume WIFI *not* "cellular data". Given the hardware that republishes your hotspot network, it does the same thing with other wifi networks. None of your devices connect to those networks directly- they all connect to your router and your router connects to the wifi network.
Why is that important? Say you're at a campground that has decent coverage, but they charge you for it. Since everything is behind a router, it looks like a single connection. It lets you cheat the system a bit.
OR- take the case where the campground has crappy wifi. Couple that router with an external antenna and you can start to connect to more distant networks.
It's still the same router that allowed you to connect to your hotspot. They'll all conjoined.
The secondary added benefit- if you're streaming data between devices. An actual router as a network backbone is MUCH faster than a hotspot (which was never designed to be a backbone). Simple things like printing- 4x-5x faster when my computer and printer are both connected to my router vs. my hotspot. I have a hard drive of media that my TVs can access- again, load times for shows is MUCH faster over the router backbone.