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What is MiFi? (mobile ISPs)

Last Edit: 10/01/10

MiFi routers were released in 2009. MiFi is a relatively new development. Most of you will be accustomed to a landline router. You plug the landline router into your home telephone socket, it connects to your landline broadband account, and then connects to four or more network enabled devices via WiFi (wireless) or via ethernet cabling.

A MiFi router works in much the same way. The difference is that it will connect to a 3G mobile signal rather than through a landline telephone line. The advantage to connecting to 3G, is that the MiFi router can be placed wherever a 3G signal is available. Whereas a landline router is restricted in it's access, needing to be placed near the landline socket it is setup for.

MiFi routers are a handheld device, and are about the size of a credit card. Therefore, they do not currently support ethernet. The technology was developed by Novatel Wireless. Novatel have released three MiFi devices, generally speaking they support,

  1. Access to a 3G broadband signal.
  2. WiFi networking to other devices. (Restriction to five currently)
  3. A USB cable connection, so that a single-client modem connection is optional.

So simple put, this is procedure to get MiFi up and running.

  1. Check that the area you live or work in supports 3G.
  2. Purchase a 3G mobile broadband access package.
  3. Some 3G packages will give a MiFi router for free.
  4. Purchase a MiFi router if you are not given one.
  5. Connect the MiFi router to a 3G broadband signal.
  6. Connect the MiFi router via WiFi to a Laptop, iPad or Nintendo DSi etc.