A solution for all your mobile internet needs, MiFi can be indispensable to some people. If you love being online everywhere you go, then MiFi might be for you. Read on to find out what it's all about...
What is MiFi?
Basically, you carry around the internet in your pocket. You buy a small MiFi device which you take with you wherever you go, and this device taps into a network and lets you use the internet. It works as a mobile version of the wireless router you may have at home. MiFi lets several users (or several devices, such as your laptop, iPad and phone) all use the same connection at the same time whilst you're on the move. You will need a contract with a mobile phone service operator in order to use one, and these are available in the same way as mobile phone contracts are, wither with a monthly contract or as pay as you go.
How Does it Work?
Your MiFi device taps into a 3G mobile phone network (which is why they're available through mobile phone service providers), and then uses the connection to make a mini WiFi network. You can then use this network on any 3G enabled device that's within range of the signal. The signal has a range of around ten metres, generally.
Where Can I Get One?
Vodafone MiFi is probably the most popular option on the market right now, but Orange and T-Mobile also offer devices and payment plans.
How Fast is It?
Right now the speed of MiFi is limited by the speed of the 3G connection it uses. The best speed you can get is about 21 Mbps, but this depends on where you are and what your 3G reception is like. However, as more phone companies offer 4G connections, MiFi will be able to take advantage of this and get faster speeds. 4G connections have speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
How Do I Set it Up?
One of the biggest advantages of MiFi devices are that they are incredibly easy to set up. All you have to do is to turn on your device and wait for your computer (or iPad, or gaming console) to detect the signal. This takes just a few seconds, and then you're online and ready to go. There's no software to install, and really nothing that you have to do other than switch it on and wait for the WiFi signal to be detected by your internet device. It's that easy.
Can I Store Data on a MiFi?
Absolutely. MiFi devices double as mass storage devices, letting you store files, music, movies or whatever you want on them. They're generally micro SD card compatible, so you may need to buy a storage card first. But then you simply insert the extra memory card into your MiFi device, and you can use it to store anything you want.