MiFi is an excellent option for those who don’t have access to broadband internet at home, providing reliable 4G service with portability and battery backup power that ensures it can function even during power outages.
Most UK mobile networks offer MiFi devices on a contract or pay as you go basis, including Three Mobile and EE, who both offer contracts spanning 12 or 24 months.
Table of Contents
It’s a wireless router
MiFi (Mobile WiFi) devices are portable cellular devices designed to function as wireless routers that create an ad hoc network connecting mobile devices and laptops to the internet. Similar to smartphone tethering, but with added benefit that users can share access at once. Many carriers sell MiFi devices on a pay-as-you-go basis while others include them with contracts and data plans.
MiFi devices are ideal for individuals who travel frequently or require portable connectivity in places with poor broadband infrastructure, such as remote locations or where fixed line broadband is unavailable. MiFi also serves as an affordable alternative to standard mobile broadband service providers which often charge higher monthly subscription fees and offer limited data caps compared to USB dongles; and are compatible with VPN programs, making them invaluable to some business users.
Since their debut in 2009, MiFi devices have quickly become an essential travel and business tool. Available from several providers and often cheaper than other mobile broadband solutions such as mobile dongles or USB tethering dongles, these MiFis provide portable internet connections at reduced data capacity with greater stability than mobile hotspots or USB tethering dongles. More recently released MiFi models now boast 5G internet connections that should provide faster speeds than traditional hotspots or USB tethering.
These devices resemble smartphones in size and form. Their battery can last for hours while supporting up to five wifi devices simultaneously; making it the ideal mobile broadband solution for home. Setting it up and using it are straightforward processes.
Bell Mobility and Rogers Communications in Canada issued a recall of MiFi devices manufactured by Novatel due to issues with its battery compartment in 2010. Customers reported difficulty opening and accessing its battery, leading to overheating and short circuiting issues. Novatel replaced these defective units with ones featuring more user-friendly batteries compartments; additionally they advised keeping these recalled units cool in an environment free from metal contacts that might become exposed during usage.
It’s a dongle
MiFi devices create Wi-Fi hotspots that you can connect to using any Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, laptop, tablet or digital camera. Their portability makes them invaluable when traveling or working remotely or living in homes with poor internet connectivity, or connecting multiple devices simultaneously at the same time – more so than traditional home broadband connections! A MiFi uses mobile data instead of cable or DSL connection so will require a suitable mobile network provider and plan. They offer significant cost savings over satellite plans while still offering faster speeds and greater convenience!
There are various MiFi devices on the market, each offering different features and benefits. Some come equipped with built-in micro SD slots for additional storage purposes and can automatically synchronize email or connect to VPN servers; while others support DLNA, GPS, weather data, SMS messaging services. Most MiFi batteries provide around four hours of active use or 40 hours of standby use respectively.
MiFi devices in the UK are typically sold through contracts from mobile network operators like EE and Vodafone; however, some can be purchased without contracts as pay as you go options – sometimes at less than regular home broadband connections! Some MiFi models can reach speeds as fast as 165Mbps; faster even than some fibre optic connections!
MiFi devices work by connecting to mobile networks via 3G or 4G technology, depending on which network is in your area and its coverage. Their speeds depend on both factors and typically offer download speeds up to 21Mbps on 3G networks and 60Mbps on 4G ones – as well as having low latency (ping times), ideal for gaming and video streaming.
MiFi devices offer greater sharing flexibility compared to dongles; up to 10 users may share one at the same time within range of the device. Some models even feature additional storage capability in form of Micro SD slots and/or USB connections for easy data transfers between devices.
It’s a stand-alone device
Depending on your model choice, MiFi can connect wireless internet to multiple devices at the same time and can support up to 10 simultaneous Wi-Fi-enabled devices at 4G speeds simultaneously. Plus, its backup functionality ensures continuity should your primary broadband service go down or overloads unexpectedly!
MiFi devices work much like mobile broadband USB dongles in that they convert mobile data connections into Wi-Fi hotspots that support up to 10 devices at the same time and typically reach about 10 meters in range. Contract-based plans from most mobile networks offer the MiFi device for purchase; typically this solution is more cost effective than traditional cable connections.
In the UK, mobile network providers such as EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone sell various MiFi models available for contract or pay as you go contracts or PAYG deals. Some models even support 5G technology to offer faster data speeds.
Before selecting a MiFi device, be sure to consider your monthly data needs. If you plan to use it for more data-intensive activities than expected, a higher monthly limit may be worth paying extra for. In addition, check the network coverage maps of various networks to identify which one has the strongest signal at your address.
Before purchasing a MiFi device, the key consideration should be its cellular signal quality. Weak cell signals can adversely impact data speeds significantly, so testing each device before making your choice should always take place prior to making a final decision. Hold down the power button until a signal light appears; once illuminated, your MiFi is ready to be used!
MiFi devices typically operate at 4G speeds, making them impractical for video streaming or gaming, yet still being useful when away from home. Businesses or people requiring internet connectivity could find these options suitable.
It’s a mobile broadband dongle
Mobile broadband dongles are USB devices that connect your laptop or desktop computer to the internet and provide connectivity, providing internet access on the go and serving as an ideal alternative for areas with poor network reception. Many mobile networks include them in their subscription plans; however, be mindful that dongles only operate where 3G and 4G data is available and do not compare in speed with home internet connections.
MiFi devices work like mobile dongles, yet can also be used at home. Multiple devices – consoles and smartphones alike – can connect at once; as it also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot, anyone in your household can utilize internet connection via it. However, for best performance under limited data plans it is wise to limit this number of connected devices to two or less, otherwise your data could quickly run out.
MiFi devices provide portable high-speed broadband Internet connectivity. This makes them ideal for people traveling without their laptop but needing to stay in contact with family and friends while remaining online. MiFis are also useful if your home internet is down or unreliable or you need an easy way to access online resources after moving into a new house.
MiFi devices are affordable, easy-to-use devices that work wherever there is cell service; though performance may improve in areas with stronger signals. While MiFis may work well for homes with weaker broadband services, their performance may be reduced when high data applications such as gaming or streaming require high data speeds. You can find the perfect MiFi mobile router by checking availability in your area and researching different providers; depending on your budget and requirements you may prefer either pay-as-you-go models or long term contracts; for another cheaper alternative consider tethering your phone; although this may expose it to security risks that should be avoided altogether.