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Anyone using Verizon MiFi for internet/phone
Old 05-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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Anyone using Verizon MiFi for internet/phone

A friend just got the latest Verizon toy and seems to be getting pretty good internet connectivity. Not high speed cable speeds but pretty fast and seems good enough for browsing and small downloads.

Verizon Launches MiFi Hotspot Without Subscription - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

But the real intrigue is how well Skype will work over this device. The MiFi will communicate with up to 5 users of devices that are WiFi capable. Cameras, PDA, etc.

The salesman at Verizon said, "We (Verizon) may have inadvertently created our strongest competitor".

Is anyone using or considering this for internet?
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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I saw Verizon's MiFi a few weeks ago on TV and I thought that it was a great invention! But the $40-$60 a month contract is a bit steep for me...
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
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Here is a recent review of the product: Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Review : EVDOinfo.com
Quote:
What We Like About the Verizon MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot
  • Price. The carrier's subsidy on a 2yr contract makes it very affordable.
  • Portability. The built in battery allows 4hrs runtime, and 40hrs standy.
  • Security. For such a tiny router, it still has great security options.
  • Sexy. There. We said it. Verizon has brought sexy to routers.
What We Dislike About the MiFi 2200
  • No cellular antenna jack. As great as Verizon's network is, you WILL encounter weak signal as you travel and the only way to improve that signal is with a wireless amplifier...
  • No WiFi antenna jack/Limited WiFi range. 30ft is fine if you're in a vehicle or dorm room or hotel room, but you may need to carry the MiFi around in a house to stay connected.
  • No ethernet port. If you've got equipment at home that requires ethernet connectivity, you will not be able to directly connect them to the MiFi.
  • No D/C adapter included.
  • Tethering a MiFi to computer via USB, turns off the WiFi. This baffles us completely.
  • Max of 5 WiFi Clients. That sounds like a lot, unless you're a family with laptops, desktops, an iPod Touch, a Wii and a TiVo... etc.
  • Embedded 3G module, locked to one carrier. What happens when 4G comes out? What happens if customer changes carrier? You need a new device and router.
  • Disabled GPS functionality. Sprint's MiFi will have the GPS capabilities of the MiFi enabled and supported.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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Is anyone using or considering this for internet?
In my opinion there are much better (and proven) wireless 3G routers for multiple computer use. Cradlepoint makes several very good ones.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:15 PM   #5
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What We Like About the Verizon MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot
  • Price. The carrier's subsidy on a 2yr contract makes it very affordable.
  • Portability. The built in battery allows 4hrs runtime, and 40hrs standy.
  • Security. For such a tiny router, it still has great security options.
  • Sexy. There. We said it. Verizon has brought sexy to routers.
I admit that I never really thought of routers as sexy.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
I admit that I never really thought of routers as sexy.
I think the review was written by one of these guys:
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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I think the review was written by one of these guys:
Yeah, they probably wouldn't know "sexy" if it hit them in the face!
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:23 AM   #8
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In my opinion there are much better (and proven) wireless 3G routers for multiple computer use. Cradlepoint makes several very good ones.
+1. I have a Cradlepoint at my weekend house and it works great. I have a Blackberry Storm (I like to be able to get my email on the fly, use GPS, etc) so it is worth it to me to pay for the basic device data fee. The extra $30/mth to tether the device to a laptop or the Cradlepoint seems a little pricey but the service can be turned on and off as needed on a prorated basis of approximately $1/day. I occasionally turn it on so I can connect at the wekend place and usually don't even bother. On travel I use it even less since many hotels now have free wifi. It ends up being pretty cheap to have access if I need it -- and the speed is acceptable for routine stuff.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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+1. I have a Cradlepoint at my weekend house and it works great. I have a Blackberry Storm (I like to be able to get my email on the fly, use GPS, etc) so it is worth it to me to pay for the basic device data fee. The extra $30/mth to tether the device to a laptop or the Cradlepoint seems a little pricey but the service can be turned on and off as needed on a prorated basis of approximately $1/day. I occasionally turn it on so I can connect at the wekend place and usually don't even bother. On travel I use it even less since many hotels now have free wifi. It ends up being pretty cheap to have access if I need it -- and the speed is acceptable for routine stuff.

Thanks for the alternative possibility. My thinking was just to buy the Verizon MiFi so I always have access to internet pretty much(not home, not in a hotel, no WiFi, no problem!) , then purchase a WiFi phone (no monthly fee) and just purchase Skype minutes.

The beauty for me was that for $200 equipment cost (MiFi device and WiFi fone) and a $60 montly rate, I have pretty decent Internet and Phone. AND, there are no limitations of having to be at home or in a hotel room or near Free WiFi. And Free WiFi seems to be getting scarcer IMO, at least I'm not seeing it that ofter.

So the cost is nearly a wash when compared to a Cable and cell plan, but the lure was nearly total freedom to roam. No tethers.

OH, here ya go. The differentiator was, it makes Skype (andy WiFi phone) useable anywhere a Verizon cell would work. No computer needed, no Starbucks needed, just the little credit card sized device.

Just hoping for a sanity check by this very diverse (thinkers) group.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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OK, now you have me thinking.

Say a Cradlepoint router = $150
A 5GB monthly 3G account at Verizon = $60/mo
So, if I want to be "contract free" but still have mobile phone, I just get a WiFi phone ($100) and buy some Skype minutes.

BUT, I'd be walking the streets with a 3G USB device, a Cradlepoint and a WiFi phone. Kinda clunkly but "nerdish" so to speak.

Same functionality I was seeing with MiFi but larger and more range.

Bottomline, the MiFi is like 4-5 Credits cards stacked. Pretty cool.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:45 PM   #11
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Looks like things might have changed with the introduction of the MiFi (built in air card for internet access), but Verizon and Sprint have long had a "no voice transmission" policy on the use of their air cards (plug into a laptop or a 3G router). Rules are (were?) major per minute charges if they caught you using what they claim are data only circuits to phone a friend.

I think it might be worth giving the folks at someplace like the 3G Store a call. They are up to speed on all these products and service providers and will try to sell you something should be able to answer all your questions. If you do talk with them, please let us know what you found out.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Looks like things might have changed with the introduction of the MiFi (built in air card for internet access), but Verizon and Sprint have long had a "no voice transmission" policy on the use of their air cards (plug into a laptop or a 3G router). Rules are (were?) major per minute charges if they caught you using what they claim are data only circuits to phone a friend.

I think it might be worth giving the folks at someplace like the 3G Store a call. They are up to speed on all these products and service providers and will try to sell you something should be able to answer all your questions. If you do talk with them, please let us know what you found out.

INTERESTING, I did not know that VoIP violated a contract rule. I am head to Verizon as I write. Will be sure to get the salesperon, Mike Melendez's, take.

Yesterday, he demo'd the MiFi for me and he put it in a wallet and in his back pocket, then called my cell using his cell. Perfectly clear.

The PC they have accessing it is about 20 ft away and the webpages popped up pretty quick.

But, further research is happening. Stay tuned.

Thanks for the thinging (Ricky Ricardo voice) points.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:57 AM   #13
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As of this morning, I have the MiFi in use, and I can say, so far, NICE. It's sitting about 18ft away at the moment and testing using SpeedTest shows 1.2Mbps download speed. Pretty nice speed compared to my previous USB Mobile BB device at about .7Mbps.

Oh, and Verizon store manager knew of no VzW policy that discourages VoIP over the data lines.

I used it on my patio and it seems even faster though I did not actually speed test it.

I definitely could use this a my primary (only) internet connection.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
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Oh, and Verizon store manager knew of no VzW policy that discourages VoIP over the data lines.
Looks like things have changed for the better...
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:21 AM   #15
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Looks like things have changed for the better...
I still plan to call 3G and others to confirm. Would hate to get blindsided!
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:20 PM   #16
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In my opinion there are much better (and proven) wireless 3G routers for multiple computer use. Cradlepoint makes several very good ones.

Thanks for the tip, just bought one.
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