It’s Wi-Fi, but it’s MINE.
Any idea what I’m talking about? Didn’t think so. Allow me to educate you on a new gadget which is as yummy as a Krispy Kreme Donut but calorie-free!
You know what Wi-Fi is right? That’s right, wireless internet access such as you probably have at home, and that you may occasionally use in public places like airport lounges, Starbucks etc. When you’re out and about there are two problems with public hotspots: 1. There aren’t enough of them and 2. they usually require you to pay an inflated hourly access charge.
One new technology that has gone some way to alleviate this problem is mobile broadband. This is where you plug in a little stick, or dongle, into your laptop and it gets you on the internet via the mobile phone network. This is also sometimes referred to as 3G. 3G is great because it lets you get online anywhere you can get a decent mobile signal, and you can have a data plan for a relatively low monthly cost (or Pay As You Go). The problem with 3G has been that you need a separate dongle (and mobile account) for every device you want to connect, and that device has to support the 3G connection.
Enter the MiFi from mobile network provider “3”. The MiFi is a clever little box, about the size of a small mobile phone but with no keys, which does two jobs that combine rather cleverly: it acts as a 3G modem — just like the USB dongles you may have seen/used, but then it shares that connection over its own Wi-Fi network.
So, what this means in plain English is that with the 3 MiFi you can carry your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot with you wherever you go, and all your family and friends’ devices can share the connection: laptops, Blackberrys, iPhones, iPod Touch etc.
The car is currently snowed in so Elliot and I went to Brent Cross on the bus to pick it up from the Carphone Warehouse. I got online straight away and we were watching YouTube videos and chatting on Facebook from my iPod Touch on the top deck of the homeward bus. Very cool!
At £50 quid plus £15 for a top-up giving you 3Gb of data, it’s a very affordable way to stay online wherever you go.