May 7, 2009

State of the Art - With a Private MiFi Hot Spot, Be Online Wherever You Like - NYTimes.com

With a Private MiFi Hot Spot, Be Online Wherever You Like - NYTimes.com

David Pogue describes Verizon's soon-to-be-announced offering of a Novatel device.
"It’s the Novatel MiFi 2200, available from Verizon starting in mid-May ($100 with two-year contract, after rebate). It’s a little wisp of a thing, like a triple-thick credit card. It has one power button, one status light and a swappable battery that looks like the one in a cellphone. When you turn on your MiFi and wait 30 seconds, it provides a personal, portable, powerful, password-protected wireless hot spot."
This will be a big seller in many markets and the other wireless providers probably won't be far behind in offering similar devices. I envision many uses for it and it also has a bit of a wow factor, in that the device does not require a hard connection to your computer. You can keep it in your pocket or purse, or plug it into a wall outlet in a conference room 9don't forget it when you leave!), or other small space. With a range of 30 feet, it could even be the wireless network in an apartment, condo or RV. Seems perfect for use with all sorts of devices, including Netbooks.

If Pogue is correct, it seems dead simple to use and up to five people can share the WiFi hotspot. Various pricing plans are available, too.
"If you just want to do e-mail and the Web, you pay $40 a month for the service (250 megabytes of data transfer, 10 cents a megabyte above that). If you watch videos and shuttle a lot of big files, opt for the $60 plan (5 gigabytes). And if you don’t travel incessantly, the best deal may be the one-day pass: $15 for 24 hours, only when you need it. In that case, the MiFi itself costs $270."
The $60 plan is what I have now with a 5 gigabyte cap. So the new device has the same pricing with a BIG value added with the portable hotspot. Very nice, indeed!
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