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MIFI Wireless Broadband Router

by Alvin on September 17, 2010

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Many people ask what MiFI is and how it’s different from traditional mobile broadband Wi-Fi. Hopefully this should help you get to grips with this ideally new gadget. The MiFi device is a compact wireless router, that’s small enough to fit inside your pocket or into a bag pocket; it allows you to create your own Wi-Fi hotspot while on the go. The device allows you to connect to up to 5 wireless devices at any one time i.e. an iPad, iPod, Printer, PSP, Laptop and any other wireless devices with no need for USB’s or wires.

The MiFi was first launched by Novatel and introduced in the US in 2009. In the United Kingdom the ‘MiFi’ is trademarked and the internet service is provided only by the 3 network. Around the world service providers such as Vodafone offer their own MiFi service in countries such as Germany and Spain.

When taking out a MiFi service you can either choose a monthly contract (18 or 24 months), the more you’re willing to pay each month, the higher the usage limit. You can also choose a pay as you go MiFi service, where you pay a one off fee (Approximately £69.99) for the device and top it up when your allowance has been used. This device has speeds of up to 7.2 Mb, compared to an 8Mb home broadband speeds provided from 02 and Plusnet Home Broadband this is a great benefit, especially on the go.

MiFi is a step ahead of the traditional Wi-Fi mobile broadband devices, all connecting to the internet is simple as all you need to do is switch the device on and simply press one button and you’re ready to go, there’s no need to manually connect to this device directly from your laptop, for example.

However it’s not all plain sailing with this gadget, the MiFi sadly only has a 5 hour (maximum) battery life, when fully charged. Many users have complained that they are suddenly disconnected from the device, which can be very frustrating. But if you are not ready to take that giant leap to MiFi why go back to basics with Mobile Broadband. You have more flexibility with Mobile Broadband as there is no need to charge the device, so it’s ready when you are.

Mobile Broadband is very similar to MiFi in many respects, they both allow you to access the internet on the go without the use of a landline, both are relatively simple to use (MiFi – One button, Mobile Broadband – Need to connect via Laptop and follow a few steps to successfully connect to the web). But one important disadvantage is that with Mobile Broadband you are unable to connect to more than one wireless device.

In conclusion when opting for either MiFi or Wi-Fi i.e. Mobile Broadband Dongle, its best to do some research and compare broadband providers, so you know which one would best suit your needs.

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