I’m in the parking lot at WalMart while my son is inside soliciting donations for his Eagle Scout project. I thought I’d take this little bit of free time to play with the Verizon MiFi 2200. Here’s how things are going.
It was a breeze to activate the MiFi since I already had the Verizon VZAccess Manager installed. I just plugged the MiFi in using the included sync cable and clicked Activate within the VZAccess Manager program. After activation, I unplugged the MiFi and then found the factory configured SSID in my available wireless networks and clicked “Connect”. I keyed in the security key, and then I was off and browsing the internets.
After getting connected, I browsed to the router address at 192.168.1.1, logged in to the router control panel and relabeled the SSID to something more personal. I also reset the security key. In case you choose to keep things with their factory settings, the MiFi has a label on the back with the SSID and security key so you don’t have to remember it.
For my work and family life, the MiFi is going to be a much better solution than my old USB aircard. During times when my daughter is in the hospital, I”m going to be able to easily share my internet connection with my wife and daughter since I’ll have an instant WiFi router wherever we are – assuming the cell signal is decent. Another benefit the MiFi card offers is being able to place the modem / router in the best signal location, which is often next to a window. In addition to those benefits, I’ll also be able to use my Eye-Fi card in my point/shoot camera with the MiFi router, allowing instant uploads of my high-res pictures wherever I am.
For work purposes, it gets even better. Since the MiFi is also a wireless router cell modem, I no longer lose the use of one of my USB ports, which the aircard took up. My USB aircard was also quite wide, and depending on the computer and its’ USB port layout, I would often lose the use of two ports.
This summer, I’ve hired an intern to help me with various projects going on around my office. He’ll be my shadow wherever I go. Since we’ll both be carrying either netbooks or tablet pcs, we’ll both be able to get on the internet at the same time while away from the office. While GBM is covering CES 2010, the MiFi will also be a huge productivity boost, allowing up to five of us to be on the internet at the same time, as well as take advantage of the MiFi + Eye-Fi marriage benefits.
I also meet a lot of my clients at various coffee shops around town. Some have free WiFi, while others do not. In addition, libraries are a great place to meet and usually have free WiFi, but normally have slow firewalls monitoring traffic. Having this portable wireless router now gives me and my client the freedom to both be online at the same time while we go over their needs. That’s service!
The only downside I can see so far is battery life. Fortunately, I can recharge the modem using the sync cable and the USB port on my computer. In addition, I have a USB auto adapter, as well as a power inverter for my car. I do envision having to get a second battery for those times, like when I’m out taking pictures, I won’t have an opportunity to recharge the router.
All in all, I have to say that I’ve not been this excited about a connectivity solution in a long time. My mobile scenario just improved greatly and it isn’t costing me any more per month than I used to pay. I’m looking forward to all the benefits the MiFi will bring me over my old USB aircard.