Are you sick and tired of driving to café’s and other hotspots for your mobile data fix? Do you ever feel annoyed by the restrictive nature of your home wireless network? Wouldn’t you love to take it with you wherever you go? Well, now you can. The answer to all of your prayers is here, in a new technology called a mobile MiFi hotspot.
MiFi is an evolutionary expansion of current WiFi technology. The technology itself is harbored through a wireless modem that contains a built-in wireless router as well.
Up until now, the only way to get any mobile data connection would be to buy a cellular modem card through the wireless carrier of your choosing. Admittedly, this has always been considered a great option despite the cost, as the speeds are pretty close to your cable connection at home, and you can take it anywhere.
So, just what are the advantages? Allow me to break them down.
First off, with standard cellular modems you can only connect one device at a time. Mobile MiFi hotspot modems allow for up to five devices to be connected to the mobile network hotspot at any time, making it far for beneficial for the same price. No more disconnecting and reconnecting the cellular modem to another device to utilize the same connection for multiple devices. This comes in very handy for those small groups on the road for work, a small group of friends on vacation or a trip with your significant other using both of your laptops and smartphones, or even a small apartment for its home network needs. Now there is no more need to pay ridiculous prices for data through the usual channels. Hotels, pay-for hotspots, etc. are a thing of the past. You can now have your very own personal mobile hotspot everywhere you go, and share it with others without paying a dime more.
Next, the device is wireless and happens to be very small and light. Being only 3.5″(H) x 2.3″(W) x 0.4″(D), and weighing only 2.05 oz., it can fit into your coat pocket or purse with ease without needing to physically plug the device into your laptop, making it even more beneficial and inconspicuous. With standard cellular modems requiring a physical connection in order to provide access to the network, MiFi modems are wireless, freeing up another USB port on your computer. Due to their wireless nature, they also harbor their own battery (removable) which saves more juice on your laptop, as standard cellular modems can drain your laptops battery fairly quickly.
The manufacturer of this first mobile MiFi hotspot device is Novatel. They have produced the Novatel MiFi 2200. It is currently available through Verizon Wireless, and Sprint will be releasing the same device on June 7, 2009, although I’m quite sure they’ll be ubiquitous fairly immediately through other carriers and providers.
And there it is. A completely unique, yet tremendously amazing little piece of hardware has now been thrust upon us, providing us with our own personal mobile network without needing any connection cables at all. Our very own little portable café hotspot, if you will. The only downside being the coffee is not included.
Dan McNaught is a freelance writer specializing in technology who loves sports, movies and his DVR. He spends most of his free time driving his wife insane with his researching and testing new gadgets.