Verizon's Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 has the least amount of features among the three 4G mobile routers we've reviewed. It doesn't support network storage, lacks WPS, and has no built-in GPS. It doesn't have a port for an external antenna, either.
Nonetheless it comes with a good set of networking features that can be accessed via its well-organized and responsive Web interface. Here you'll get access to the router's basic settings and other advanced features, such as port forwarding, MAC address filtering, and a traffic counter. It's a good idea to check the counter regularly; if you go over the limit, you'll have to pay another $10 per gigabyte.
For security, apart from the MAC filtering, Samsung features all variations of WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless encryption standards. The MAC filtering would come in when handheld devices, such as VoIP phones, are used, as you don't want to have to fiddle with typing in the encryption key.
In our test, Wi-Fi clients connected to the Samsung could gain access to the Internet but not to one another. This is rather disappointing for those who want to set up a local network for common tasks, such as file or printer sharing.
The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 works both as a 4G and 3G router with the latter being the backup in areas in which 4G is not available. Both of these count toward the monthly allowance, which is similar to that of the LG VL600 LTE USB Modem. Note that the router's connection to the Internet is very fast, and when connected to a 4G network you can use up the total monthly allowance within just an hour or so of heavy downloading.
As mentioned above, Verizon's Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 excelled where it mattered the most: the Internet connection. In our trials around the San Francisco Bay Area, its connection was by far the fastest. The download speeds varied between 7Mbps and 13Mps, with 9.2Mbps being the most common. Its average upload speed was also around 7.3Mbps. These speeds are comparable to those of very fast cable broadband, if not faster in many cases.
Note that these download and upload speeds could vary a great deal from one city to another, and the numbers mentioned here only reflect our experience in the Bay Area.
For the most part the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 router worked well, but we noticed that it ran hot, especially when connected to multiple Wi-Fi devices. When used heavily and continuously with a 4G network, it offered around 4 hours of battery life, which is not bad, though relatively short. When used intermittently, it lasted much longer, around 10 hours or so. The router can be set to turn off by itself after a certain amount of idle time, somewhere between 5 minutes and 60 minutes, via its Web interface. As it can power up very quickly, we recommend setting this to lower values to increase its battery life.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
We loved the incredibly fast speed of Verizon's Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 but were let down by its lack of features and especially the limited and expensive data plans it comes with. This is a router that is best suited for business users or those who don't do a lot of heavy downloading.