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Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Review

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Friday, 15 May 2009

Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Review



The MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot from Verizon Wireless will change the way a lot of people access the internet while "on the go".

Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot
Even with a quarter on top of it, its hard to appreciate the MiFi's tinyness

Until the MiFi, customers of Verizon's mobile broadband were offered the choice between a data modem like the USB760 or tethering a cell phone -- either of which provided the user with internet connectivity to the computer it was attached to. If a different computer needed to access the internet, Verizon wanted you to disconnect the modem or phone, and re-attach it to the other computer. One at a time/Wait your turn -- and if you've got a wifi gadget like an iPod Touch or Nokia Tablet that needs access to the internet but isn't running Mac or Windows -- tough luck. Verizon didn't have a solution to provide internet access for those ultra-mobile doohickeys. Nor did Verizon care that you really wanted to have MULTIPLE computers and devices accessing the internet all at the same time. Fuhgeddaboudit.

Verizon's new MiFi 2200 changes all that. The MiFi is a WiFi hotspot that allows up to five different computers or wifi-enabled devices to access the internet simultaneously, using an embedded EVDO Rev-A module that connects to "America's largest and most reliable 3G Network".

The MiFi is portable, but that's not a good enough description for it because we guarantee that the MiFi is smaller than any of the wifi devices you want to get onto the internet. Its built-in lithium-ion battery is said to allow for up to four hours of runtime with a single wifi connected device, and provide up to 40hrs of standby operation because it can put itself to sleep after a set amount of inactivity. The sleep function can be disabled, and to awaken the MiFi from sleep does require a click on its power button. The MiFi ships with an A/C power adapter and USB cable that allows a computer to access the internet through the MiFi's micro-USB power port. What it does NOT ship with is a D/C charger you can use in your car -- which makes very little sense since its a mobile hotspot.


Unboxing the Verizon MiFi 2200

Of course we know all about "cellular routers" that do what the MiFi does, but none of them were powered by an embedded modem and directly sold by the cellular carrier. None of them were all-in-one devices that fit in any purse/handbag/clutch/ -- heck even my wife's coin pouch had enough room for the MiFi.

The MiFi not only goes where other portable routers struggle to fit into, but it does nearly as good a job as the "man-sized" routers we've sold for years.

Verizon MiFi 2200 and Cradlepoint PHS300
The Verizon MiFi is much smaller than the Cradlepoint PHS300

Here are the key features of the Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot:

  • 3.50x 2.32 x 0.35 and weight: 2.05 oz.
  • glossy, piano-black finish
  • EVDO Rev. A capable embedded modem with "NovaSpeed"
  • Maximum throughput of 3.1Mb/s download and 1.8Mb/s upload
  • Supports up to five computers or other WiFi-enabled devices
  • Supports one computer tethered via micro-USB port
  • integrated internal CDMA and Wi-Fi antennas. no external antenna options.
  • Wi-Fi "B" and/or "G" compatibility
  • High level security including WPA2-PSK, WEP and SPI Firewall
  • User-replaceable Lithium-Ion battery provides up to four hours of run time and 40 hours standby.
  • Works with Mac/Windows/Linux (pretty much anything with WiFi)
  • Works with mobile OS with WiFi -- like cell phones, iPod Touch, Nokia Tablet, Archos, Nintendo DS
  • Ships with A/C adapter and micro-USB cable. (DC jack is common 5v micro-USB port)

The MiFi's size makes it a great choice for college students, traveling executives, "soccer moms", public transit commuters,... practically anyone who is on the go in constrained spaces that need internet access and would benefit from not having to plug something into a wall in order to have that internet access.

We're certain that owners of an iPod Touch will really get a kick out of their MiFi as it allows them to use a VOIP app like Skype or TruPhone and end up with a pseudo "EVDO iPhone". Even true iPhone owners are likely to get a MiFi if they are frustrated by AT&T's lack of true high-speed 3G data coverage, which pales in comparison to the size of Verizon's 3g/EVDO network.

Verizon MiFi 2200 and iPod Touch
Verizon MiFi is a great addition to the Apple iPod Touch
(thats a 2nd generation iPod Touch underneath a MiFi)

Like all the cellular routers we sell, the MiFi also has audiences it is not well suited to. Its limited WiFi range, lack of an ethernet port, and lack of a cellular antenna port will make it a bad choice for certain applications... and while the MiFi admin is amazing for such a tiny device, it lacks some of the more technical admin options needed for some enterprise or commercial applications. Check out our Mifi web admin article that includes a video of all the web admin screens.

Remember, if you aren't certain the MiFi will do what you need it to, make sure to discuss your application with the Mobile Broadband experts at 3GStore.com

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 (Up to 3X with Extended Battery )
  • 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 like the SignalBoost Mobile Pro. Click here for signal boosting options for the MiFi.
  • 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.

The MiFi 2200 is now available from 3Gstore!


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 August 2010 )
 
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