Where the MiFi Needs Some Work
There’s no doubt that I’ve been loving the heck out of the MiFi 2200 that I picked up from Verizon earlier this week. However, not everything is coming up daises in the land of the cloud. Here are some things that could be improved, two of which might be easily addressed with a firmware update.
1) When plugged into a computer’s USB port, the MiFi switches from being an access point to a USB modem. That’s not a good thing when the MiFi is running low on battery and you left the AC adapter at home, but still need to broadcast that signal. I would think this could easily be addressed with a firmware update.
2) While the MiFi is charging via the AC adapter, it automatically turns on. It will not charge while turned off. In fact, you can’t turn it off while it is plugged in and charging. This is a problem if you are re-charging the MiFi at night and some devices reconnect to the MiFi instead of your local wireless network, and then proceed to download the latest service pack update from Microsoft during the wee hours of the morning. With just a 5GB cap before overage charges kick in, this could be an expensive problem. We need to be able to charge the MiFi without it turning on. Again, I think this could easily be addressed by a firmware update. Until then, I would advise you to go in to your wireless settings and move your MiFi access point down the priority level so your other access points get connected to first when available.
3) There are two ways of checking available battery capacity and neither are that good. First, once the MiFi is powered on, you can go to 192.168.1.1 and see how much battery is left. Second, the power button will start flashing red when the battery is running low. What is really needed is an external battery gauge indicator that can be easily checked by the press of a button. Without turning it on, you’ll would then be able to quickly see that 75% battery is left. Unfortunately, this cannot be addressed by a firmware update. So, let’s hope it gets addressed with the next release of the MiFi.
4) The MiFi is awfully small, but it sure would be nice to have a micro-sd slot available for flash storage similar to the USB727 modem. What’d be even more awesome is if that storage card was also available as a network drive and not just when plugged in via USB!
05/21/2009 at 3:35 pm
Totally agree with the first 2 I mentioned earlier.
With #4, the GSM version does have a microSD slot.
I’ll add another minor gripe. The admin section for the router is a bit skimpy. I wanted to manually change the DNS server since it was having a problem connecting to FriendFeed one time, but it doesn’t give you the option to.
Also, it would have been nice if they added a login screen as another way to connect. Similar connecting using hotel WiFi.
If I’m going to share my connection, I’d rather switch it to a mode where people can connect without me giving away the security password. The Cradlepoint routers have this turned on by default. It would have been nice if this were an option for the MiFi.
05/21/2009 at 5:23 pm
I would suggest solving #2 with #1. If the wifi turns off when you’re charging via USB, then charge it overnight via USB. Just be sure the charging computer is using your network connection not the Mifi. Or maybe using a USB AC adapter instead of the direct AC adapter would have the same effect. That would be a good kludge.
05/21/2009 at 8:13 pm
Does anyone have a GSM version of the MIFI? I know it was released in Spain but is there a carrier-free version out there? That would be golden.
05/22/2009 at 10:33 am
Companies like gomadic.com make usb cables and tips that are charge-only. I have one that *appears* to charge the mifi without mounting it. The wireless connection still works.
05/27/2009 at 12:18 pm
Any thoughts on how to run this with a 12v mobile adapter? What voltage does the AC transformer provide? A dc smart tip like a Kensington would be perfect for us.