MiFi – Cellular Mobile Wireless Internet Hotspot

by Mike McEvoy on October 24, 2009


Ever wish your laptop could wirelessly connect to the Internet from anywhere that your cell phone can connect? And that you could do it without having to install software, attach hardware or cables, or configure any special devices on your computer? What if you could have a small portable wireless hot spot that allows multiple wifi connections anywhere you can get a cell phone connection? The MiFi cellular mobile wireless Internet hotspot makes all of that possible.

The MiFi uses a very small wireless router to convert an incoming 3G radio signal normally used for a cell phone into a small, Internet connected, wifi network that up to five people or devices can share with a range of up to 30 feet. No more driving around town looking for a coffee shop to get a wireless Internet connection or paying for overpriced wireless Internet in a hotel. Plus the MiFi provides a more secure Internet connection than using other shared hot spot networks.

While there are other methods of connecting a laptop or other wifi device to the Internet with a cellular connection the MiFi has two major advantages:

  1. You don’t have to go through hassles of plugging in and unplugging a device like a cellular wireless modem. The MiFi can be left in a laptop bag, in a pocket or in a purse while in use with no concerns about banging, knocking or damaging a device connected to a port on your laptop computer.
  2. The MiFi allows you to share your connection with multiple wifi devices and other people. Up to five users or wireless wifi devices can share the same connection. Beyond a business tool the MiFi might also come in handy on the next family road trip when you can have mobile wifi hotspot in your car.

Sound interesting? Here are some of the specifics about the MiFi mobile wireless wifi hotspot:

  • MiFi is available from both Verizon and Sprint
  • Connects up to five wireless wifi devices simultaneously including laptops, netbooks, an iPod Touch, and wifi cell phones through a standard wifi network connection.
  • Wifi connection is via standard 802.11 b/g wireless
  • Wifi network coverage range of 30-feet
  • Built-in security includes wifi encryption
  • Typical download speed –  600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps
  • Typical upload speed – 500 to 800 Kbps
  • Dimensions of 3.5? x 2.3? x 0.4? or smaller than a deck of cards
  • Weight of 2.05 ounces
  • Battery is a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that is user-replaceable
  • Battery life is rated as four hours with one Wi-Fi client with a 40-hour standby time
  • MiFi wireless Internet hotspot can be used when connected to an AC outlet
  • MiFi charging time is 2.5 hours with AC charger, 7-8 hours by connecting to a USB port.

The MiFi mobile wireless Internet hotspot is currently offered by both Verizon and Sprint with relatively similar pricing.

  • MiFi device costs $70 – $100 depending on your plan.
  • Data plan costs are:
    • $60/month for 5GB of data transfers; with an Overage charge of $0.05/MB or
    • $40/month for 250MB of data transfers with an Overage of $0.10/MB
  • DayPass – You can also purchase by the single day for $15 per day (24 hours) with no contract

Some costs may vary depending on the specifics of an existing service agreement you may have with Verizon or Sprint. Check with your service provider for costs details.

The MiFi wireless Internet hotspot is simple and hassle-free for wifi users. The MiFi appears as an Internet hotspot to any device with wireless wifi capability making the wi fi connection as simple as entering the network security code which is printed on the back of the MiFi.

Since the MiFi works as a standard wifi router it has common router configuration controls such as the ability to access the router set up via an IP address and the ability to set the router password, change the wifi network name and limit access to the wifi network to specific devices.

If you are interested in getting a wireless Internet connection anywhere you can get a Verizon or Sprint cell phone connection the MiFi wireless Internet hotspot may be just the device for you. For more information about specific service provider plans you can visit Verizon Wireless or Sprint.



SEO Manchester November 20, 2009 at 9:10 am

Dude, this is pretty awesome and useful too… why havent i heard anything about this MiFi and is it possible that they retail them in the UK per chance?

George December 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Make sure that you have all of the necessary information for your service provider with you during installation.
.-= George´s last blog ..How To Install Wireless Routers =-.

laptop wireless internet card August 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Wow – I had never heard about MiFi until I read this! The charging time @ 2.5 hours is also very little IMO.

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