21 Comments

Summary:

Verizon will start selling the MiFi 2200, a nifty, credit card-sized 3G router this Sunday, May 17th. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you use more than one device on the go. The MiFi is a pocketable, battery-powered combined 3G modem and Wi-Fi router that […]

mifiVerizon will start selling the MiFi 2200, a nifty, credit card-sized 3G router this Sunday, May 17th. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you use more than one device on the go.

The MiFi is a pocketable, battery-powered combined 3G modem and Wi-Fi router that effectively provides a hotspot that you can take with you anywhere. James Kendrick over at our sister site jkOnTheRun has had a pre-release version of the device for review and says that it’s “mobile broadband done right.” Once the device has been activated, hit the power button and — in a matter of seconds — your laptop, phone and any other devices (up to five at any one time) are connected to the Verizon Mobile Broadband network via Wi-Fi, without needing to install drivers.

Although the device goes on sale on Sunday from Verizon stores, if you ask nicely you might be able to get your hands on one now. The MiFi costs $99.99 (after a $50 rebate) and is available with a choice of two subscriptions:

  • $39.99 month for 250 MB and 10 cents per MB overage
  • $59.99 month for 5 GB and 5 cents per MB overage

Alternatively, you can buy the MiFi with no contract for an upfront cost of $269.99, with “day passes” available for $15.

The MiFi is a branded version of the Novatel MiFi. Other carriers (like Sprint) will be offering their own versions, too.

Will you be picking up a MiFi?

  1. $100, *plus* $60/mo, for what I can get by a little extra footwork to find a wifi coffee shop? Nuh-uh.

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  2. Very cool I think I am getting one.

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  3. This thing will be a potential iPhone killer. If you need to be able to give demos to customers on a laptop, you probably carry a Sprint 3G USB modem with you – $60/mo. Add to that the iPhone for $70/month where you basically pay for data services again. With this thing, I can provide WiFi anywhere (and not just in coffee shops, if I can even get on there — see Peet’s) to my iPod Touch, my notebook, my co-worker’s notebook aso. That $60 plus a pre-paid, all-you-can-eat wireless telephone service for $50 is all you need. Sure, bandwidth is capped, but it’s practically capped anywhere, so as long as you don’t download MacOSX updates or Windows service packs, overage should not be a problem.

    I plan to ditch my iPhone for this. I’m sure Om as a recent iPod Touch convert is already salivating as well!

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  4. “If you need to be able to give demos to customers on a laptop, you probably carry a Sprint 3G USB modem with you – $60/mo.”

    Where do you work? Deserted island? Do demos on a street corner? Every customer/business, large or small that I’ve gone to either has wifi or ethernet.

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  5. There is a full review and movies of the MiFi at:

    http://www.evdoinfo.com/mifi

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  6. Silicon Valley! Just go into any of the office parks next to 101. No residential Wi-Fi reaches in there. Sure, there’s Wi-Fi in every building, but most/all are closed. If you have 30 minutes with someone, you don’t want to spend 15 trying to get connected or waiting for someone to chase down the person who knows how to get on. Even worse at the big companies. Go to Intel, HP or any of the biggies – I bet a majority of the workers there don’t know how their guests can access guest-Wi-Fi (which they have). And the fabled free Mountain View Wi-Fi does not reach into many of the office parks either.

    Same, although not as bad, in S.F. Open residential Wi-Fi is gone. Coffee shop Wi-Fi is there, but often crowded and you often lose reception.

    Bottom line: If you have important business meetings, bring your own Internet. Up until now – USB based 3G modem. As of tomorrow – Verizon MiFi. That’s why it’s a game changer… At least for me.

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  7. @Velt: How does your existing 3G modem disappoint you, currently? And how much does it cost?

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  8. The subscription seems very pricey.

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  9. Why would I trade in my USB stick for this? I am missing the advantage. I don’t frequently use 2 devices at the same time while on the road.

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  10. The personal wifi bubble makes a huge amount of sense. For cars, for trains…it makes the mobile internet easily accessible…no more drivers, no more usb sticks. The MiFi is evolutionary, because it is obvious, but ease of use, ease of sharing make it revolutionary.

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  11. Not cost effective. 250M/mo? F that.

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  12. USB sticks cost $60/month. So does MiFi. Why not use MiFi when it can be shared, e.g., with co-workers that I’m traveling with, and I don’t have to plug an USB stick in any longer?

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  13. tonyhunterajh Monday, May 18, 2009

    It might be worth it! I am seriously considering it. I go lots of places that don’t have wifi so this is almost a dream come true… a $60/mo dream but still worth the consideration.

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  14. Wow…some people really don’t get it.

    I was at a conference where a) having reliable Internet was crucial and b) the hotel staff was clueless when their wi-fi and wired networks got hosed by the Internet savvy attendees. Something like this would have been great.

    Yes, you could get a modem, but with this several people can share wirelessly. I’d think, though, the market is fairly niche…can’t imagine this thing is going to start selling like hotcakes.

    One thing though — Verizon has to provide a way for me to be able to quickly log somewhere and get exact usage data. I am so sick of all the phones/modems I have that have strict usage limits but no way to quickly find out how much I’ve used so far this month. Insane!

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  15. For me, it’s an ease-of-use thing. You can’t get any more simple than just switching the MiFi on. You don’t have to plug anything in, you don’t have to install any software on your computer. Just switch the device on and go.

    Yes, it might be a little expensive now, but we’ll see more devices like this and the cost will come down.

    The ability to use more than one device or share with others is great, but not the main draw for me.

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  16. sounds really interesting !

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  17. i am against all that is limited access, AT&T gave me a 5gb limit and i didnt even know it, they reffered to it once when i was buying a mobile wifi usb connector, i ended up with 32gb by the end of the month and $10,000+ in overage charges (i’m a huge gamer) and just forget about watching vids on youtube, luckily they put a “block” so it would turn off after using it for 5gb so they messed up and we didn’t have to pay.

    it to was $60 a month and this mifi really isn’t much better, if there was no limit then i would be all over this but it doesn’t and if all internet had limit’s youtube and any other streaming vid cites would die out or cause us massive overages

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  18. [...] gear news, the Verizon MiFi 3G router went on sale, while I pointed to a report that blamed poor Wi-Fi performance on baby monitors. I reviewed new [...]

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  19. [...] signals through Sprint’s high-speed 3G and 4G data networks. It’s similar to the Verizon MiFi, although it can connect with faster 4G speeds and is slightly [...]

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  20. [...] Internet signals through Sprint’s high-speed 3G and 4G data networks. It’s similar to the Verizon MiFi, although it can connect with faster 4G speeds and is slightly [...]

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  21. Hello, Mugen Power just released the Extended Battery for for Novatel MiFi 2200, 2352 and 2372.
    it should be last over 10 hours use with 1 charge!

    http://mugen.hk/mugen-power-3300mah-extended-battery-for-for-novatel-wireless-mifi-2352-and-2372.html
    http://mugen.hk/mugen-power-3600mah-extended-battery-for-for-novatel-verizon-wireless-mifi-2200.html

    and if you visit their page on facebook, you can find a discount code:
    http://www.facebook.com/MugenPowerBatteries

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