REVIEW: (Wow … it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these …)
A day before I set off on a road trip to San Francisco, Verizon Wireless shipped me its new MiFi 2200 to play with. This portable Wi-Fi hotspot came in really handy for the long drive and later at the hotel, which was trying to get us to pay $10/day for Wi-Fi.
Now, I already have a broadband card, gratis the OC Register, which lets me work almost anywhere, like the car (but not while I’m driving, of course). The $150 MiFi trounces broadband cards for several reasons: There’s no need to install software (like my broadband card), MiFi isn’t accidentally bendable (like my broadband card), it causes no issues when it turns off (unlike my broadband card if I skip the “safely remove” step) and it shares its single mobile Internet line with everyone else in the car.
This looks like a sleek, black business card holder with a 20-card capacity. It’s actually a bit larger than a business card and slightly thicker than an iPod Touch (see photo). A button on top depresses to turn it on, while a mini-USB port on one side is used to recharge the removable Li-ion battery.
It took several seconds, maybe five to 10, before the MiFi wireless signal was recognized by nearby computers, iPods and other Wi-Fi devices. But after the network showed up, we connected and started surfing in no time. Read the rest of this entry »