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MiFi vs. Wi-Fi

  • 19/08/2010 AT 14:22 by It's a Gadget Staff
  • Technology

MiFiThe next step in Mobile Internet Technology is here and making its presence well known.  This advance in Technology allows you to connect to up to 5 at any one time, such devices include the iPad, iPod, Printer, PSP, Laptop and many other wireless devices with no need for USB’s or wires.

The MiFi was first created by Novatel and introduced in the US in 2009. Currently in the United Kingdom the ‘MiFi’ is trademarked and the Internet service is provided solely by the 3 network. Across the globe, carriers such as Vodafone have launched their own MiFi service in countries such as Germany and Spain.

With some providers such as 3, you can opt to buy this device on a monthly contract (18 or 24 months), the more the pay each month, the higher the usage limit or pay a one off fee (Approximately £69.99) for the device and top it up when necessary. The MiFi 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 as to get connected to the Internet all you need to do 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 a bed of roses with this gadget, the MiFi sadly only has a maximum 5 hour battery life, this includes when fully charged. Many 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 not try a Wi-Fi service such as 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.

Laptop Mobile BroadbandMobile 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.

So if you decide to take out Mobile Broadband you have two options, either Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go or Contracted Mobile Broadband.

In conclusion when opting for either MiFi or Wi-Fi i.e. Mobile Broadband Dongle, its best to do some research into which one would best suit your needs. It’s also best to ask yourself the following questions:

Do I need Internet for more than one wireless device?

Do I need the Internet for more than 5 hours?

Do I mind having a dongle sticking out of my laptop?

Do I want to be bound in an 18 or 24 month contract?

Am I going to need Internet on the go?


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