The newest device to enter the market looking for a portion of your broadband-bucks is the MiFi (pronounced “my-fye”) Intelligent Mobile Hotspot from Verizon Wireless. Priced at around $99 (with new 2-year contract), the MiFi is pricey, but within reach for those looking to expand their mobile broadband network.
The MiFi’s main difference from traditional external USB and Broadband devices is that it has dual abilities, half modem and half wireless router. After activation the MiFi 2200 will work as a modem when it’s connected to a computer, or a router when disconnected. In modem mode it provides an Internet connection to only the computer to which it is physically connected.
In router mode, however, the MiFi connects to the Internet and shares that connection wirelessly with up to five other Wi-Fi enabled devices. This mode works just like any other Wi-Fi hotspot allowing wireless devices to pick up its signal automatically. A very cool feature to have, now that so many devices around the house are wi-fi compatible. Connect your laptop, along with your iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii, TiVo, and have another wireless slot still available for a friend.
Just slightly larger than five credit cards stacked together, the Verizon Wireless MiFi is small and attractive. You can easily keep it in your pocket of purse, which makes this great for grab-n-go with your kids. Imagine a family road trip where your teenage kids are using their Internet, iPod, and you can keep up travel advisories and weather along the way. All simultaneously, and all based on the one single device-your MiFi.
Data plans are different than the standard mobile broadband plans, so make sure you know what you’re getting. The most notable difference is that there is not option for unlimited date transfer. Currently, Verizon is offering two plans: either $40 for 250MB a month or $60 for 5GB month, (overage charges are 5 cents and 10 cents per MB for the $60 and $40 plans, respectively).
The bottom line is that if you’re looking for cell-based mobile Internet, the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot from Verizon Wireless is a great option to consider.