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Using Sprint MiFi 2200 to Get Around Pricey Hotel WiFi



MiFi_hotel.jpgI’m camped out at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose for a few days and while attending the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference. While there’s plenty of free WiFi access points on the showroom floor, WiFi access in the guest rooms costs $14.95 per day.

Instead of paying mini-bar prices for WiFi I’m relying on my trusty Sprint MiFi 2200 to stay connected. I’m able to stay connected with everyone I usually do via email, Skype, Twitter and Facebook.

I have my MacBook Pro, HP 2730p and iPhone all connected to the MiFi. If I wanted to connect all three of these devices to the hotel’s network I’d have to pay $45 per day.

I have had a couple of slowdowns, but it’s been pretty solid so far.
I’m not seeing blazing fast upload/download speeds, but I haven’t been slowed down in my normal course of work except for uploading/downloading large files.

My Sprint subscription includes unlimited data, which means I never have to worry about overage fees.

How do you deal with Internet access when you’re on the road?



  1. tivoboy

    10/01/2009 at 4:46 pm

    I usually get better signal actually near a window, try that. Downtown SJC I get 2.2MB on the sprint network with the MIFI.

  2. lsbeller

    10/01/2009 at 4:54 pm

    You can also join their frequent flyer program and get your internet for free! Just stayed at the Chicago Fairmont and did the same thing.


  3. Tivoboy

    10/01/2009 at 5:15 pm

    True,but one cannot join while at a property and get the free wifi benefit. It will be available upon the next stay.

  4. Walter Wise

    10/01/2009 at 6:35 pm

    I, like you, hate to pay those high WiFi charges. I use a Verizon MiFi 2200 if there isn’t a free connection. I also tend to stay at Hampton Innns which offers free WiFI in the guest rooms.

  5. Joe

    10/01/2009 at 7:29 pm

    Wifi tethering on my Pre (before that it was similarly connecting via Bluetooth PAN on my q9c).

  6. HG

    10/01/2009 at 8:56 pm

    I use my BB Storm and if I need fast speeds I use it with the USB cable, but for most of email, web, and my office work I use it with the BT DUN and works great..

  7. Rodfather

    10/02/2009 at 12:30 am

    A MiFi :). It’s been fantastic so far. I’ve used mini USB modems in the past and resorted using a Cradlepoint router when there was a need to share. With this, I’m using up a lot more bandwidth than before. There’s a whole lot of opportunities to put this to use since it’s so pocketable.

  8. Alan A. Reiter

    10/02/2009 at 10:16 am

    Unlimited data? Isn’t the MiFi capped at 5 GB?

    • Xavier Lanier

      10/02/2009 at 11:35 am

      Most Sprint/MiFi customers are capped at 5GB. I’ve been a Sprint 3G customer since 2005. Back then Sprint offered unlimited plans for $59/month. They’ve kept me on the unlimited plan even though they don’t offer it to new customers.

  9. BBusyB

    10/02/2009 at 2:17 pm

    Well, In the past I used to have a membership to Wifi Subscription Programs like Boingo, etc and I would usually try to book into a hotel which had free Internet access, or was a Member of the program.

    Once Prepaid 3G plans became Affordable (Here in the UK) I switched to using a Unlocked 3G Modem, and just paid for the days I used it (Usually £1-2 per day or £15 pm for 3GB).

    While that solution had worked, it was at times a bit limited, as You can only have one device connected, and sometime you need to hook up a couple of laptops or a laptop and smartphone, etc. This was made worse by a recent switch to a Mac with SL, which created problems with that modem, and Tethering.

    So I ended up getting the Three Version of the MiFi (Which is a Huwie Device not Novetel) a couple of weeks ago, and so far is proving to be very useful. The beauty of getting it prepaid, is that once the included 3Gb runs out, I can choose to Just pay for a months usage when I need it and pay for the bandwidth I need (£10=1GB, £15=3GB, £35=7GB) which cuts off once I go over my allotment, meaning that no expensive overage charges.

    Over that Time, I’ve also been able to get a couple of collogue online when needed during a meeting, which would have been difficult or impossible in the past.

  10. Xavier Lanier

    10/02/2009 at 4:50 pm

    I envy our friends in Europe that have so many 3G options…

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