Can You Put a SIM Card In a WiFi Router?

While every model is different, as long as a router has an available SIM card slot it has the ability to work with the devices. 

I’ve spent most of my life using all types of different routers, including both basic and more advanced models. My personal usage, combined with external research, allowed me to break down the topics in this guide.

To give more insight into routers, this guide covers how they work with SIM cards. Analyzing the devices will show, not just how the two products work together, but the benefits that come with utilizing more portable machines.

Key Takeaways

  • Not every router takes SIM cards, but there are plenty of strong options that do.
  • Mobile routers come with tons of benefits, including portability, convenience, and high functionality.
  • Connecting a SIM card based router is a relatively easy process for anyone with a bit of experience with technology.

Putting a SIM Card Into a Router

As with any technological device, all WiFi routers are created differently. Each model comes with specific aspects that don’t necessarily translate across the board. That means some routers are able to hold SIM cards, while others are not.

A portable WiFi router is similar to the ones installed in your home except they aren’t tied to an outlet. Rather, they use a SIM card to work. That enables them to move around and gives them an extra amount of versatility more traditional models lack. 

In that way,  you can certainly put a SIM card into a WiFi router. Not every router can do that, but there are plenty that are able to hold the devices. They don’t necessarily need a SIM card, but the ones that utilize them come with plenty of extra benefits.

The Benefits of a Mobile Router

A mobile router is not a common device, but there are several reasons to use one over similar options. They have a lot of upsides, especially for people who want something that they can use in unique ways.

The biggest reason to get a more portable router is convenience. Portability provides an extra layer to your WiFi setup, giving you the ability to take it just about anywhere. The routers have the same functionality as a smartphone, making them perfect for anyone on the go.

Another bonus is the battery life. Where traditional WiFi routers have to be plugged in at all times, most portable routers can last six to eight hours on a charge. They can also be quickly recharged and don’t take a ton of extra power to get going.

Many users might assume portable routers don’t have as much functionality as plugged-in ones, but that’s not true either. They can connect a multitude of devices, and are able to run many at the same time without any noticeable problems.

On top of that, they are also secure and much more affordable than bigger options. The high-end models will still cost a good bit of change, but that’s often more than fair for what you end up getting.

How to Set Up a SIM Card with a Router

Knowing that you want a SIM router is important, but it’s only the first step of the process. You also need to actually get the device connected.

First, find the SIM card and router that you want. Make sure they are compatible and will provide you with the traits (budget, speed, power) that you want from the setup. 

You can choose a SIM contract, which gives you a lower price for more data, or a SIM-only deal if you’re not someone who wants to fully commit. What you go with entirely depends on how much you plan on using your SIM router and what you need from it.

There are plenty of routers on the market that work with SIM-only deals, there are plenty that don’t have SIM card compatibility, and there are plenty that do both. Always double-check if the one you want has that functionality before making the final purchase.

Once set up, your router will connect to the SIM in the same way as a smartphone. That will then allow it to send data to any devices that need to be connected. 

Best Routers with a SIM Card Slot

Not all routers have SIM card functionality. That, combined with the fact that there are hundreds upon hundreds of different models on the market, makes picking just one option a tricky choice. Luckily, there are a few great options that rise above the rest of the pack.

The TP-Link N150 is an incredibly portable and reliable model that you can take just about anywhere. It doesn’t come with the fastest speeds, but it’s the perfect SIM card option for anyone who values a small shell and an elegant design.

The 4G Link Hub from Alcatel is another great choice. This option works with 4G SIM anywhere in the world, regardless of your carrier. That creates a strong amount of versatility. If you don’t mind paying a bit of extra money, the Nighthawk 4-Stream is worth a look too.


This section answers a series of the biggest questions about SIM card routers.

Do You Have to Pay Monthly for Portable WiFi?

It depends entirely on your provider. Some will charge a flat fee to give you access to portable WiFi, while others will have a monthly fee like you would pay for an at-home network.

Can You Get WiFi Without a Plan?

Yes. There are ways to utilize WiFi without a traditional plan, including methods like using a public network or borrowing a neighbor’s. However, it’s much easier to go through a provider. 

Does a WiFi Router Need a SIM Card?

No. While many routers take SIM cards, there are plenty that don’t as well. It entirely depends on the make and model.

Final Words

SIM card functionality is a big plus for any router, and adds an extra layer of versatility to the device. While they aren’t for everyone, if you want more portability with your internet, it’s hard to do any better. 

Have you ever used a SIM card router? What situation did you use it in? Let us know in the comments below!

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