Some people have nightmares of falling off a bridge, crashing their car, or indeed drowning; however the modern-day techies nightmare is slightly different. Many a night I woke up in a cold sweat thinking that when I went got up to check my email/surf the web I would not be able to do so, my internet would be down. Being a student rep at university, enjoying life on the twitter-sphere and generally spending a fair amount of my day-to-day life online, means that I can’t imagine what would happen should I not be able to connect to the world-wide web when I wanted to.
The days of dial-up have gone, broadband connections are now fairly reliable; and to be honest I can’t remember the last time my ISP (Virgin Media) let me down and failed to provide me with the service I couldn’t live without. iPhones then came onto the scene and to my joy brought push email and easy website browsing with them. No longer did I have to wait till I returned home to reply to an email or look up some information, the internet was in the palm of my hand; this was great a year ago, however now I want something else.
For those who are reading this post as my first I have decided to purchase the iPad 64gb wifi model (when released in the UK that is), and already own a MacBook Pro, both of which need to be connected to the internet when required. I could have gone with a 3g iPad, however that would still leave my MacBook Pro conectionless – so the MiFi was the obvious choice.
The MiFi is a device that connects to a cellar data network, then using a built-in ‘wireless router’ broadcasts this signal to your mobile devices. In every respect this is a wireless router, however you can take it everywhere with you as it connects to a mobile phone network, rather than a land line. Looking around the UK network ‘3’ appeared to be the best for data coverage in the UK. I have previously been a 3 Pay Monthly customer for 3 years and whist I was impressed with the network coverage – customer service had a lot to be desired. However as I decided to go with the Pay As You Go price plan, I thought that my contact with 3 customer support would be kept to a minimum.
3 Are currently the only UK network that offer a MiFi device, and whist it is possible to order unlocked MiFi’s and drop in a data sim, or even unlock the 3 MiFi, I decided to do this one properly and order the MiFi and keep it attached to the 3 network; at least till any problems arrived.
Cost of the MiFi was £69.99, which included free next day delivery and 3gb of data which was valid for 3 months. I thought this was a brilliant idea as it allowed you to get going right out of the box. Setup was simple, involving inserting the mobile phone SIM into the back of the device, and charging said device using the included mini USB cable. Also in the box are a handful of cards, giving answers to FAQ’s and your MiFi password; as your MiFi is password protected in the factory. To get the MiFi going simply press the power button to allow the device to search for a network, activate the MiFi, then press a 3rd button to allow the data to be broadcast.
The MiFi is capable of connecting several devices to the internet at the same time, however it goes without saying that the more devices connected – the slower the internet connection. That said, the MiFi can connect to high-speed HSDPA allowing data speeds of over 7.2 mbit/s.
I have been using this device for just over a week now, and its hard to think how I have lived without it. I have used it to connect my MacBook Pro to the internet, as well as my iPhone when data was not available by O2. It’s small enough to throw into your bag, handbag or back pocket, and is available on PAYG or Pay Monthly plans. As I mentioned I elected to go with the PAYG option with data being £10 for 1gb of data or £15 for 3gb, however I only see myself using 1gb a month (if that) which is worth not receiving another monthly bill for.
To sum up this Huawei E5830 available from 3 is a device that will change your life. If like me you have more than one mobile device that you would like to connect to the internet, don’t connect them separately with different pay monthly plans; get a MiFi and connect them all with just one product.