Netgear Aircard 800s VS Aircard 815S

Netgear 4G Aircard provides a series of 4G Mobile WiFi Hotspots for worldwide network providers and more and more new LTE advanced Pro hotspots will be available as time goes. Netgear AC815 was introduced to the product range for US network provider AT&T and gets a new name AT&T Unite Explore. It’s available around two years earlier than the latest Netgear AC800, which was introduced to the Australian market for the network provider Optus and got a new name Optus 4G WiFi modem 800s. Somebody may ask: what’s the difference between Netgear AC815S and AC800S? Which one is better between AT&T Unite Explore and Optus AC800S? In this article, you may find the answer.

Netgear AC800S VS AC815S Appearance and Interfaces

Someone may be unfamiliar with the Netgear AC815s, but if you get it in hand, you will be attracted by its special design. As the world’s first rugged 4G mobile hotspot, the AT&T Unite Explore 815s is the best mobile router for outdoor use. Of course, it’s also good to use for indoor use. Like the predecessor Aircard 810s, the touchscreen is in the middle of the front body with the ATT logo on the left side, and home & back buttons are at the right side of the screen. The Optus AC800S also has the similar feature, on the front, the home button and back button are on the right side. The Optus logo is at the corner.


Like other Netgear LTE Hotspots, the AT&T Unite Explore(815s) and Optus 4G WiFi modem(800s) both have two connectors for external LTE antenna, which is in TS-9 type and at the same position of the body. Between the two connectors, they both have the standard USB 3.0 interface. The back cover and battery of the two Netgear hotspots could be removed and the SIM card slot is below the battery. They both use Micro SIM card size, but no slot of Micro SD card for data sharing.

AT&T Unite Explore VS Optus 4G WiFi Modem Specifications

From the appearance, we can’t see the real difference between the two routers, except the special rugged design of Aircard 815S. To know more, we have to check the AT&T Unite Explore Specs and Optus AC800S Specs. In the table below, we list the specs and features for reference:


Model Netgear Aircard 815s Netgear Aircard 800S
Product type LTE Mobile Hotspot LTE Mobile Hotspot
Category LTE Cat.9 LTE Cat.9
Chipset Qualcomm MDM9240 Qualcomm MDM9240
Data rates DL 450Mbps/UL 100Mbps DL 450Mbps/UL 50Mbps
Supported 4G LTE frequency bands B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B12, B17, B29, B30 B1, B3, B7, B28, B40
WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
Max support users 15 users 15 users
MIMO 2 x 2 MIMO 2 x 2 MIMO
Connector for external antenna Two, TS-9 jacks Two, TS-9 jacks
Buy Antenna AT&T Unite Explore Antenna Aircard 800s External Antenna
App management Netgear Aircard APP Netgear Aircard APP
SIM type Micro SIM Micro SIM
Battery 4340 mAh 2930 mAh
Dimensions 113.5 x 71 x 20 mm 110 x 68 x 16.1 mm
Ethernet Port No No
Datasheet download Netgear AC815S Datasheet Netgear AC800S Datasheet
User Manual AT&T Unite Explore Manual Optus 4G modem 800S Manual
Other features 3 band CA 3 band CA
Reviews AT&T unite explore review Netgear Aircard 800s review
Price 349.00USD 199.00USD



From the specs table, we can see the AT&T Unite Explore 815S and Optus 4G WiFi modem 800s are both LTE Cat.9 mobile hotspot which could support peak download speed to 450Mbps. With same Qualcomm chipset, they could both support maximum WiFi-enabled devices up to 15 users. The main difference is that they are presented for different network providers, so the supported LTE frequency bands are different. The unlocked Aircard 815s is mainly for American areas while the unlocked Aircard 800s is mainly for Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. And the rugged Aircard 815s has a more powerful battery, much larger than Aircard 800s. So if you would buy the Netgear AC815s or AC800S, firstly, you would check whether the device is compatible with your provider’s network; if they are OK for your SIM card, then you need check which one you prefer. For outdoor use, the Aircard 815 seems better, but if you care about the price, the Netgear AC800S would be also good to consider.

Netgear Aircard 800s vs Aircard 810S

As a popular series of LTE gadgets, Netgear 4G aircards are well-known many countries in Europe and the United States. Especially the hot Netgear Aircard 810s mobile hotspot, is the best seller for LTE advanced networks. Recently, Netgear provided a new 4G LTE mobile router Aircard 800s for Australian network provider Optus and Optus named it as Optus WiFi modem 800s. If this article, we will review the difference between the two mobile hotspots and see which one is better.

Netgear AC810S VS 800S Appearance and Interfaces

The Netgear AC810 has a 2.4 inch touchscreen on the front with two buttons for option: home and back. We have Aircard 810 in the version of Telstra WI-FI 4GX Advanced III.  But it’s already unlocked for global use. The Telstra Aircard 810 has the logo on the top side of the front. On the back, the Netgear logo is on the back cover, which could be removed to insert SIM card and battery. The Aircard 800s has similar features, on the front, there is a 2.4 inch touchscreen and Optus logo. Two buttons (home and back buttons) are available at the side of the screen. The Netgear logo is on the back cover, which could also be removed for changing SIM card or battery. And they both have two connectors for an external antenna. And the connector type is TS-9. They both use Micro SIM card to get WLAN network for internet access.


The Netgear Aircard 810s is available for Telstra in black color and Optus 4G WiFi modem is in white color.

Netgear Aircard 800s vs Aircard 810s Specifications and features

From the appearance, we can see the color difference, but can’t get other difference. It seems they are made by the same model. Let’s looks at the Specifications of Aircard 810s and 800s and see what the real difference is for buyers and users.


Model Netgear Aircard 810s Netgear Aircard 800S
Product type LTE Mobile Hotspot LTE Mobile Hotspot
Category LTE Cat.11 LTE Cat.9
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 Qualcomm MDM9240
Data rates DL 600Mbps/UL 100Mbps DL 450Mbps/UL 50Mbps
Supported 4G LTE frequency bands B1, B3, B7, B8, B28 B1, B3, B7, B28, B40
WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
Max support users 15 users 15 users
MIMO 2 x 2 MIMO 2 x 2 MIMO
Connector for external antenna Two, TS-9 jacks Two, TS-9 jacks
Buy Antenna Aircard 810s External Antenna Aircard 800s External Antenna
App management Netgear Aircard APP Netgear Aircard APP
SIM type Micro SIM Micro SIM
Battery 2930 mAh 2930 mAh
Dimensions 112 x 68.6 x 15.45mm 110 x 68 x 16.1 mm
Ethernet Port No No
Datasheet download Netgear AC810S Datasheet Netgear AC800S Datasheet
User Manual Telstra 4GX Advanced III Manual Optus 4G modem 800S Manual
Other features 3 band CA 3 band CA
Reviews Netgear Aircard 810s review Netgear Aircard 800s review
Price 229.00USD 199.00USD

Aircard 800s vs 810S Conclusion

From table for the Aircard 810s specs and Aircard 800s specs, the Netgear 810s is more advanced with Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 chipset which can achieve download speed up to 600Mbps. Netgear Aircard 800s is also good to mention with Qualcomm MDM9240 chipset which could support download speed to 450mbps. They support same LTE frequency band B1, B3, B7, B28, but Aircard 810s supports band 8 while Aircard 800s supports band 40, which means the Aircard 810s can’t support TDD-LTE network. Other features of the two Netgear 4G mobile hotspots are same as described. Since the Netgear AC810S is more advanced, the price is a little bit higher than that of Aircard 800s. If you would buy a Netgear 4G Router between the two models, first, you need check whether the Aircard 810s or 800s would be compatible with your network provider’s network, and then you need to consider the price. The real performance of the two hotspots 4G has no much obvious difference.


Netgear Aircard 800s (Optus 4G WiFi Modem AC800s) Released

You may know the Netgear Aircard 810s, which had been available since the beginning of 2017. And now the more advanced Netgear Nighthawk M1 MR1100 is also available in the market. They are hot 4G mobile routers for LTE network, especially LTE advanced network. Today, we would like to recommend a new 4G pocket WiFi – Netgear Aircard 800s.

The Netgear Aircard 800s is firstly introduced to Australian network provider Optus and named it Optus 4G Wi-Fi Modem (Cat 9) AC800S. From the name, we get to know it’s a product that’s in the lower level than Netgear 810S. Since Netgear Aircard 810s supports LTE category 11, the Optus 4G WiFi Modem AC800S supports only LTE category 9. So it can’t compare to Nighthawk M1, which supports LTE-A pro networks.



Following the classical design of the Netgear 4G Aircards, the AC800S 4G WiFi modem also has a 2.4” QVGA capacitive LCD touchscreen, where users can conveniently monitor your data usage, and manage device and network settings. For advanced features and remote management, you’ll have access to a free NETGEAR mobile app.

Two connectors for external 3G/4G LTE Antennas are at the bottom side of the Aircard 800s. They are covered by two caps, slip to see the connectors and cover. The Optus logo is located at the lower edge of the front. A home and back button on the screen for operation.


The battery of the Optus 4G WiFi modem 800s is removable and the capacity is 2930mAh, which is the same as Aircard 810s. Netgear remains the Jump Boost feature on the new Aircard 800s like Netgear AC810S, which means users can charge their smartphones or other small USB devices while the WiFi modem works. The powerful battery lasts up to 11 hours of continuous use. Simply plug it into the hotspot’s jump boost cable and start boosting from the touchscreen or the hotspot web page.

Technical Specifications

Optus 4G Wi-Fi Modem (Cat 9) AC800S features support for Category 9 LTE and 3-band Carrier Aggregation, with the ability to achieve theoretical download speeds of 450 Mbps. Since the LTE develops to Advanced or Advanced Pro, the typical product Aircard 810s supports LTE Cat11 with download speed to 600Mbps and the latest one Nighthawk M1 supports even 1Gbps for download. However, the Optus AC800S is enough for most cases in daily use. With Qualcomm MDM9240, the Optus 4G WiFi modem could support LTE FDD Band 1, 3, 7, 28, 40. It can support up to 15 wireless devices to access internet simultaneously.

Netgear AC800S also increases network performance and reduce interference with 802.11ac and Dual-Band WiFi band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz). Like its predecessors, the AC800S is small size with dimensions of 110 (L) x 68 (W) x 16.1 (H) mm. User can easily take it in pocket or handbag for outdoor activities.


From the appearance the specifications, we can conclude the Optus 4G WiFi modem is a good 4G Pocket WiFi, even though it’s not configured with the most advanced technology. But for most users, it’s enough for daily use. It keeps the typical design and practical features of the Netgear 4G Aircards. We would take further test about the performance for data rates in near future.

Netgear AirCard 785s Mobile LTE Router Test

The Netgear AirCard 785s is a small mobile LTE hotspot router, which could be used on holiday or traveling. With the Aircard 785s, smartphones and tablets as well as laptops can easily connect to the Internet. Up to 15 wireless-enabled devices can be powered via the AC785S LTE router to the Internet. We have subjected the Aircard 785s on the road to a test. The device is simultaneously dual-band and WLAN n-capable .Per LTE Cat. 4, the speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s are supported in the downstream.


Netgear Aircard 785s front screen and logo

Netgear Aircard 785s comes with the dimensions 109.9 x 68.9 x 14.6 millimeters and weighing 127 grams, and is therefore compact and lightweight. The processing of the mobile hotspot is impeccable, we found no sharp edges. In addition, the design is appealing: Because on the front is a triangular design element installed, behind which the rectangular display hides. While Netgear sets the front and back of the AirCard 785s in the color of black, the plastic frame is kept in metal optics. The back cover is removable, so as the battery of 2000 mAh capacity, which covers the SIM card slot. Inserting the SIM card was smooth, but the removal is not easy due to the design. We also spend more power than expected when removing the battery. On the lower side a respective antenna connectors are left and right integrated. In the middle of antenna connectors, the Micro-USB port is located.

netgear aircard 785s back logo

Installation and Setup


After the SIM card plugged into Aircard 785s, we first had to connect the device to a power source, so that we could start the mobile hotspot, because the AC785S came with an empty battery. Then the user has to select the language via the display. The menu navigation is not via touch screen, but with two buttons that are located on the upper side of the frame (facing the display). While the left button works for the confirmation of entry, as the on and off button is the right button to navigate to the next item. Note: If you inserted a different micro-SIM card into the device, the mobile hotspot from Netgear must be restarted.

 Netgear Aircard 785s power button

So runs the Aircard 785s: First of all, WiFi in the smartphone or laptop must be enabled and are searching for the Netgear hotspot on the device. This shows then NTGRFAC6. The network generated is then selected and Security Key must be entered, which is displayed on the display of the Netgear 785s, also named password of the LTE router. The device worked without problems in our test and is likely to be implemented quickly for everyone. Further settings and configuration of the router can be done via the website http://netgear.aircard. Here, the user must first enter the password, and then change it by dashboard (under the “Private”), where user can overview a complete of the connected devices, the monthly usage, the wireless information and the current wireless session.

Netgear Aircard 785s antenna ports

Overall user interface for the various settings in the 785 Aircard router is designed very clear and easy to understand. The design is simple and not too cluttered. In the menu, “WLAN” can be edited under “Connect” the main and secondary wireless network. The master and guest WLAN can be configured under “Options”. Here the encryption, the 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz frequency band and the number of allowable WLAN devices are adjustable. Users will have the ability to assign a certain number of devices the master and guest Wi-Fi. The final point is the Mac filter mode: Here appliances a blacklist or whitelist or no list can be assigned.

netgear aircard 785s external antenna connector


Under the general “settings”, the user can define, for example, the screen brightness, the screen circuit hotspot LED, hibernation and the language for the 785S LTE router. In addition to the instrument settings to place the item “software and resetting”: Here you can restore the settings and retrieve software updates. The menu item “Network” provides additional settings for network mode, APN, the SIM card security and more status details. The last point is “router”, where the user is able, UPnP on or off, set up a port forwarding or port filtering.

Netgear Aircard 785s with battery

If you want to configure the Aircard 785 by phone or tablet, you need install a suitable app from the respective iOS or Android Store, alternatively via the website The Aircard app offers a quick way to change the settings and has a good menu structure.


Display and status indicator


Over the 4.5-centimeter screen of Netgear AC785S, the user can see the status information for 4G/3G network, the wireless connection, the battery life and can set up basic wireless configurations and set an alarm and notification function. However, user may not expect too much from the screen resolution. On the LCD screen, at the top of the display, it indicates signal strength, 4G, data transfer and the wireless network. Among the current battery status, it also indicates the number of users connected to the mobile hotspot AC785S and the status of the consumed data volume.

Netgear Aircard 785s with smartphone

Right above the display, the LED status is visible. Through a slow flash of blue light, that is signaled. When data is being transferred, then the blue light will flash twice. A slow, yellow light signals, it means the user that the internet is still not connected to any network.


First experiences in operation


In operation, the Netgear AirCard 785s looks good and comes on a single charge for about 6 hours and 30 minutes in our test. And the Aircard 785 can keep continuous operation of a battery life of up to 8 hours. The posting the individual devices via the LTE router worked fine and fast. The assignment of the number of connected devices has been well implemented by the netgear 785s in our test. According to the Netgear official specs, it could support up to 15 wireelss devices, we tested only 10 users. Nevertheless, it is still a useful companion in the mobile LTE router. Especially on holiday or at a meeting in the park with a few friends, the Aircard 785 has proven to be extremely helpful in our testing.

 Netgear Aircard 785 package contents




The small mobile LTE router Netgear AirCard 785s has a nice design and is easy to configure via a web browser or via app for iOS, Android and Amazon devices. However, the display cannot be operated by finger touch. In addition, a battery with more capacity would be desirable, especially for users who travel a lot, are on vacation at the beach or professionally have multiple wireless devices in his luggage. Anyhow, it’s good pocket WiFi router for 4G networks.


Actually, here now there are newer models available with touch screen such as Netgear Aircard 790s and Aircard 810s with larger battery. They have better specifications and performance. If you want the latest models, welcome to check here:

Netgear Mobile 4G LTE Hotspots

Netgear has now attained a permanent place among the manufacturers of mobile LTE hotspots after purchasing the terminal division of Sierra Wireless. Currently there are three MiFi routers from American manufacturers: the models AirCard 785s, 790S and 810S. The three devices have different good performance and are available now different network providers worldwide. At the MWC 2016 in Barcelona, there was the possibility of all three units together to compare.

The mobile LTE hotspots of Netgear all have an integrated multimode cellular modem, so they allow the use of all current mobile technologies. In 3G UMTS, the DC-HSPA+ technology is available for up to 42.2 Mbit/s in the downlink and up to 5.76 Mbit/s in the uplink. There are differences between the three devices at the maximum speed for LTE.



The Netgear AirCard 785s Hotspot supports LTE category 4 with up to 150 Mbit/s in the downlink and use up to 50 Mbit/s in the uplink, making it the slowest of the three routers. With LTE Cat6 up to 300 MBit/s in downlink, the supported download speed of Netgear AC790S is twice as fast on the go , but it must be with the appropriate tariff and a suitably equipped network. In the uplink, the AirCard 790S also provides up to 50 Mbit/s. The fastest in the three devices is the Netgear AC810S. It can support LTE-Advanced Cat11 up to 600 Mbit/s in the downlink and up to 150 Mbit/s is available in the uplink.

Netgear AirCard AC790 LTE Cat6 Hotspot

The Netgear AC785S is optionally operated via a web interface or an app. There is also on the front a color screen, displaying all important information such as reception, battery status and data usage clearly. In the newer models AirCard 790S and AirCard 810S, even a large touch screen was installed, which allows operation without any computer or smartphone app. All functions and settings can be carried out directly on the device, the operation is very easy.


All three MiFi routers have two connections for an external LTE antenna. The external antenna connectors provide possibility to improve the network signal for stable and better surfing experience with areas of weak signal. If you would like to buy the antenna for the three device, you could refer below the indoor and outdoor antenna for the Netgear 4G mobile hotspots:


Netgear Aircard 4G Indoor External Antenna:

4G LTE Indoor Antenna (2 x TS-9 Connectors) for Huawei/ZTE 4G LTE Modems/dongles/mobile hotspots


Netgear Aircard 4G Outdoor External Antenna:

4G LTE Outdoor Antenna (2 x TS-9 Connectors) for Huawei/ZTE 4G LTE Dongles/aircards/modems/mobile hotspots


All three devices feature a removable battery. The Netgear AC810S and the Netgear AC790S even allow you to charge other devices such as smartphones via the microUSB connector of hotspots ( “Jump Boost”).

Differences are in the WLAN: The Netgear AC785S supports WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, the two expensive equipment AC790S and AC810S support even significantly faster WLAN 802.11ac. In each of the three routers, maximum of 15 devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones can be connected simultaneously via WLAN. Also, a device can use the Internet connection via USB.


The three NETGEAR mobile LTE hotspots can be expanded with the Netgear DC112A docking station to a stationary LTE router. The router is connected to the dock and the wireless signal is significantly improved. The DC112A also features four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port and connectors for external antennas.