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MiFi

A Mobile Wireless Router Card that can connect up to 5 Devices

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MiFi puts WiFi in your pocket

  • Jan 10, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
If only you could bring your home wireless router with you wherever you went. On road trips, in the airport, at hotels, at your friend’s apartment, or even on the beach it would be convenient to access the internet through your laptop just like you do at home. Previously, this mobility was only afforded to one computer at a time through wireless data cards or sticks. Time and again, I’d be staring at the person across from me typing happily away on their internet-connected computer, thinking that so much of that internet connection was going to waste.
 
The Novetel MiFi 2200 Card simply takes two previously invented gadgets (wireless data card and a wireless home router) and fuses them into one very useful, tidy package. Without even taking the MiFi Card out of your bag, you can pull out your laptop and connect to the internet without any extra fuss or cords. And if you see the person across from you staring at you as you happily surf the net, you can offer them internet connectivity as well. Up to 5 people can connect to your mobile MiFi hotspot through your painless wireless charity.
 
The first thing MiFi made me think of was that I was no longer going to break my wireless data card. Everyone has either had this tragedy happen to them or seen it, a wireless data stick is plugged into the USB port when you accidently set it down/swing your arm/stuff it in your bag and the stick snaps in two. And then no more internet for you.
 
The Catch: The MiFi Card is just as expensive as another cell phone bill. It is currently only offered through two US carriers: Sprint and Verizon. If you opt for a 2-year service agreement with Sprint (and you’re a new MiFi customer) you will only have to pay $50 after a mail-in rebate ($100 normally, $300 without contract). If you opt for a 2-year service agreement with Verizon (and you’re a new MiFi customer) you will only have to pay $25 if you buy online ($75 normally, $270 without contract). For both carriers, your data plan is $60 per month for 5GB (or 300MB roaming with Sprint, no roaming charges with Verizon). After that, you have a fee of 5 cents/MB if you go over, like the old overage fees before we all had unlimited minutes. And no, there is no unlimited data plan for the MiFi yet.
 
Personally, I would pick the Verizon MiFi because it is slightly cheaper ($25 with online purchase and free overnight shipping) and there is no roaming distinction (which is key if you are traveling). Verizon also seems to have the best coverage in the US, which helps when you just have to get online all the way out at Grandmas.
 
Bottom line, the MiFi is ideal for small businesses that need internet connectivity for their laptops wherever they go. If you have others working on a presentation/deal in your business, all of you have access, no more hunching over the one person with mobile internet. Additionally, if you have a Skype-enabled cell phone you could connect to your MiFi and not have to be paying for two cell phone bills. Or even if you have a different carrier and you’re not getting the internet on your smartphone, you can just connect to the MiFi as if it were any other home wireless router.
 
The ways the MiFi can make your life easier are endless. So do yourself and your friends a favor, get a MiFi and share the internet in 2010!

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June 24, 2011
The price will come down to attract more customers.
 
March 21, 2010
Love my Mifi card - I have the verizon - makes it so much easier to get and stay on even when boarding a plane! ;-)
 
January 14, 2010
Yeah, I saw this earlier today at the PCCW store in Hongkong. 2 year contract, free of charge for the MiFi, monthly connection at $40 (unlimited access!) inclusive of a free Asus netbook! It's definitely more competitive over in Hongkong !
January 14, 2010
That's a great deal! Unlimited access is key!
January 15, 2010
Yep! I've noticed that in North America, telcos charge higher monthly access fee than Asia's telcos in general but the equipment, be it the mobile phone or the laptop is a lot cheaper (but as far as I know, Canadian telcos locked the phone which is a hassle; ie you need to get someone to unlock it for you so that you can use it with another telco's SIM cards!).
January 15, 2010
That to me is protective measure & is a violation of free trade! ;-)
 
January 14, 2010
again, Bethany delivers. This sounds like something I would have to wait on until the tech becomes more for the mass consumer market (cool way to say cheaper) Thanks!
January 14, 2010
Okay, I'll let you in on my other secret internet option...check out my review on PdaNet. It's internet access via your cell phone and cheap!
 
January 14, 2010
I've been wondering about this- thanks SO much for the review, Bethany! Can you use it to connect to WiFi for your iPod Touch? That is the only way I'd be able to excuse adding the expense onto my cell bill!
 
January 14, 2010
My friend has mifi and I agree, it is truly the shizzle and the coolest little thing! She's on one of Verizon's plans and there's just one thing that I don't like about it -- there's no unlimited data plan, and if she accidentally goes over, she's going to have to pay a ton. If there ever is an unlimited data plan, I'll look into it because my experience with it has been great and you have so many good things to say about it. Thanks for sharing, Bethany! :)
January 14, 2010
Unlimited access available in HK, Debbie ;-) Plus a free Asus netbook!
January 14, 2010
Are you trying to get me to come visit??? :P
January 14, 2010
I can't tell you how long I've waited for universal internet access (it's like oxygen for us Brand Ambassadors!). However, I agree that the lack of an unlimited data plan is a huge barrier (especially because it would be a disaster if you go over). So...you need to check out my PdaNet review!!! PdaNet is so amazing that I was almost afraid to post info on it for fear my new magic internet source would get bombarded with users and closed down.
January 15, 2010
Yes, it truly is! Checking out your PdaNet review now. I want to know your web secret! :D
 
January 11, 2010
In Australia, currently only one carrier (virgin mobile) offer this device (Huawei E1762) and only up to 4 devices can connect at a time.
January 14, 2010
Interesting! Are you currently using it?
January 15, 2010
No, as currently I am with Vodafone. For the time being I use 3G wireless router from Netcomm WSG-3G17WN to share, as mostly need that at home. If I have would like bring that out, just grab the usb modem.
 
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Quick Tip by . January 14, 2010
Really cool & handy for on-the-go folks. Only damper is that there's no unlimited data plan.
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
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Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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Wiki

A 'MiFi hotspot' is a device backconnecting to the cellular 3G network and frontconnecting to local (up to 10m/30ft distance) Wi-Fi devices, creating a local "cloud" of high-speed Internet connectivity that can be shared between users and Wi-Fi devices. MiFi is a small portable wireless device that enables a constant Wi-Fi hotspot wherever it is, continually connected to the internet. Created by Novatel, the MiFi device is currently available only on Verizon and Sprint Cellular Plans in the United States.

Typically, a person has to come within a limited range of a fixed wireless router at a residence, coffee shop, or college campus to gain internet access for their laptop. The MiFi device creates a Wi-Fi cloud wherever the person goes, and does not have to be removed from the person’s pocket or bag.

 

Depending on the MiFi device, the number of connected devices can be limited up to 5 clients, such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia players. Some of these devices can also be connected to a computer via a MicroUSB connection, though most of the time doing so disables the wireless feature.

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