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MiFi 2200 versus the Cradlepoint PHS300

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Friday, 12 June 2009

MiFi 2200 versus the Cradlepoint PHS300

Sprint MiFi 2200 and Cradlepoint PHS300 with Sprint U760
Top: the Sprint MiFi 2200. Bottom: The Cradlepoint PHS300 with Sprint U760

3G routers that allow you to share your mobile broadband connection with multiple computers have been available almost as long as mobile broadband itself, but the release of the Cradlepoint PHS300, the first cellular router to feature a rechargeable battery, gave mobile users the unique ability to go TRULY mobile. The new hot-selling Novatel MiFi 2200 includes a built-in cellular modem and WiFi radio that allows the MiFi to provide essentially the same functionality as the Cradlepoint PHS300 with a USB modem. With two great options for a battery-powered mobile broadband WiFi hotspot, many users are now wondering which option is best for their needs. EVDOinfo is here to help - we've taken a close look at both options and broken down the pro's and con's to help you make the most informed decision for YOUR needs!

To start, let's examine the features offered by the MiFi and Cradlepoint PHS300. The following chart will list features found on one or both devices, and ranks the feature on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best:

Feature/Description
MiFi
PHS300
Portability
√√√√√
√√√
Battery Runtime
√√√√√
√√√
Ease of Use
√√√√√
√√√
Carrier Versatility
√√√√√
Data Device Compatability
√√√√√
Future Network Compatability
√√√√√
Web admin features
√√
√√√√√
WiFi Range
√√√√√
BroadBand Speeds
√√√√√
√√√√√
Coolness factor
√√√√√
√√

Obviously, while the devices provide similar features, they're not exactly identical. Let's take a closer look at how they stack up in more specific comparisons.

Portability, Battery Runtime and Ease of Use:
The MiFi 2200 is considerably smaller, has longer battery runtime - use the extended MiFi battery for 3X runtime , and is very easy to use. The PHS300 is not difficult to use, but it does require at least the additional step of attaching a supported USB modem to it. If that USB modem is not supported or needs more recent router firmware to operate with the PHS300, there's more work to be done to be functional. With the MiFi, there will never be a concern that the modem won't be compatible with the router since its an all-in-one unit.

Compatability and Versatility:
The MiFi 2200 is always tied to the carrier that sold it. You can't activate a Verizon MiFi on any other network, nor do we expect that you can upgrade the internal/embedded cellular modem to take advantage of any future technology. The PHS300 provides the user with option to support a wide range of cellular carriers and in most cases, support for most of the devices offered by that carrier. Because the cellular modem is not embedded into the router, the PHS300 can support different cellular technologies like 3G/EVDO from Verizon/Sprint/Alltel, or 3G/HSPA from AT&T and even 4G/WiMax from Clear/Sprint .

WiFi Range:
In order to provide four hours of battery runtime, the MiFi 2200 only has about 30ft of WiFi range. At its maximum WiFi power setting, the PHS300 offers 50 to 150 ft of range to and from the router and about 2 hours battery runtime. At its lowest WiFi power setting, the PHS300 will still provide 20 to 50ft of WiFi range to and from router, and just over three hours of battery runtime.

Web Admin:
The MiFi 2200 provides the functionality that the majority of users will find more than adequate. However, some enterprise IT managers who need maximum control and remote connectivity will demand the "geekier" admin features offered by all of the Cradlepoint routers such as: Remote admin; DDNS support; DMZ; OpenDNS support; WDS support; and Traffic Shaping.

The Bottom Line:
This article isn't meant to decide which device is a clear winner... we feel that both the MiFi and the PHS300 are worthy options and that each customer may have specific reasons to need or choose one over the other.

Want even more cellular routers to ponder? Check out our Router Selection Guide at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/whichrouter

Can't decide which router is best for you? Feel free to contact the Mobile BroadBand Experts at 3GStore to discuss your needs!



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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 August 2010 )
 
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