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Cellphones Portables Wireless Networking

Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spot 202

Posted by kdawson
from the boy-in-a-bubble dept.
bsharma writes to let us know about a little goodie that we will be able to buy starting May 17: a battery-powered, rechargeable, cellular, Wi-Fi hot spot that you can put in your pocket. "What if you had a personal Wi-Fi bubble, a private hot spot, that followed you everywhere you go? Incredibly, there is such a thing. It's the Novatel MiFi 2200, available from Verizon starting in mid-May ($100 with two-year contract, after rebate). It's a little wisp of a thing, like a triple-thick credit card. It has one power button, one status light and a swappable battery that looks like the one in a cellphone. When you turn on your MiFi and wait 30 seconds, it provides a personal, portable, powerful, password-protected wireless hot spot. ... If you just want to do e-mail and the Web, you pay $40 a month for the service (250 megabytes of data transfer, 10 cents a megabyte above that). If you watch videos and shuttle a lot of big files, opt for the $60 plan (5 gigabytes). And if you don't travel incessantly, the best deal may be the one-day pass: $15 for 24 hours, only when you need it. In that case, the MiFi itself costs $270." The device has its Wi-Fi password printed on the bottom, so you can invite someone to join your network simply by showing it to them.
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Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spot

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  • by strredwolf (532) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:16PM (#27899943) Homepage Journal

    Someone forgot about the battery powered Cradelpoint systems. They're at http://www.cradlepoint.com/ [cradlepoint.com] and aren't tied to one system or another: You provide a USB dongle for it. It provides everything else. The PRS300 or the CTR350 has been around for years now.

  • by haner (1551705) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:18PM (#27899959)
    I don't see the big deal in this. For those of us who run Symbian based phones, Joikuspot has a free version which allows you to use your phone as a personal wifi hotspot with encryption. I use my E71 on ATT for an instant 3G hotspot wherever a 3G connection exists.
  • Re:Cash money! (Score:5, Informative)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:27PM (#27900037)

    Yeah, I don't get how these highly-metered services even exist -- especially on "landline broadband". Even in mobile broadband, it's nowhere near justifiable, methinks. Anyone who pays $40 for half a CD per month of data transfer in 2009 is batshit insane. That probably wouldn't even cover the spam I get.

  • by Hillview (1113491) * on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:30PM (#27900069)
    Theoretically, you could "type 192.168.1.1 into your Web browser's address bar -- a trick well known to network gurus -- the MiFi's settings pages magically appear. Now you can do geeky, tweaky tasks like changing the password or the wireless network name, limiting access to specific computers, turning on port forwarding (don't ask)." Of course, you could also read the article.. Theoretically.
  • Re:Singularity? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rwwyatt (963545) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:31PM (#27900077)

    I am not actually an RF engineer so my thoughts/explanation may be completely ludicrous(it would not be the first time). My expertise is basically layer 3 through 5 of the OSI model

    During the system test phase, a large number of measurements were performed to isolate the impact of Wifi Noise on 3G and 3G Noise on WiFi. It was found that there was actually minimal impact of Wifi on 3G and vice versa.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:35PM (#27900107)

    Its rechargable, does 802.11a/b/g, does GPRS and edge and lets me make voice calls without using some POS VoIP app that sounds like shit regardless of how much bandwidth you give it (looking at you skype).

    Hate to sound like an iPhone fan boy, but really this isn't impressive unless they pay me to buy it and cut the monthly cell data charges down to $40/month for unlimited usage like I get with my iPhone. Otherwise its just dumb to waste your money on it if the iPhone is an option.

  • by nilbog (732352) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:35PM (#27900109) Homepage Journal

    This isn't that revolutionary. I have an AT&T Tilt that can share its 3G connection via WiFi using a program called WMWifiRouter. Since my data plan is "unlimited" and only $15/mo, it's a way better deal than this "new" tech.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:43PM (#27900171)

    Same thing you do with every other wifi router, you change the password. In this case using their web interface which much like every other little consumer WAP/Router on planet.

    And this would be a good example of how reading the article can save you from asking a stupid question.

  • by greenThing (111378) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:47PM (#27900203)

    I've been using a PHS300 from Cradlepoint with my Sprint USB broadband dongle for almost a year. I commute by train 50 mins each way daily. I turn it on, toss it in my backpack, and I'm online for the train ride with no problems & nothing hanging off my laptop.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:56PM (#27900255)

    Full disclosure: I work for Clearwire, and I am also not authorized to speak for the company.

    http://gizmodo.com/5192430/review-clear-spot-portable-wimax-wi+fi-hotspot [gizmodo.com]

    Beats hauling around a bulky CPE device and WiFi router everywhere.

    The only downside is that WiMax coverage isn't in many markets yet.

  • by goldcd (587052) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:00PM (#27900273) Homepage
    http://wmwifirouter.com/ [wmwifirouter.com]

    Which works like a charm. Main uses I have for it is to get my iTouch online when there's no wifi about, or when a few of us are stuck in a ransom office somewhere with no/firewalled net access.

    Main issue isn't getting a wifi available over a 3G backhaul (however you want to do it), but rather the quite horrific cost of doing so.
  • by maxume (22995) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:20PM (#27900375)

    Man, that not technically alliteration (It isn't quite assonance either, as you are switching between vowel sounds there).

  • by SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:22PM (#27900387)
    "What if you had a personal Wi-Fi bubble, a private hot spot, that followed you everywhere you go? Incredibly, there is such a thing."

    Yeah, it's called a phone!

    If you have a Windows Mobile phone with an internet plan, you could use WMWifiRouter [wmwifirouter.com](the most advanced of the pack), which has been available since 2007, and was the very first app to do this.

    If you have a Symbian phone, you could use JoikuSpot [joikuspot.com], which has been available since 2008.

    To continue, for iPhone you could use PDANet. For Android there are also several programs available as well!

    Why would you use something like this and get another data subscription when all you need is already in your pocket? Aside from the internet plan which you are likely to have already, all of these software are available for a small one-time fee - likely lower than one month of the data package itself.

    Funny thing, none of those apps ever made it out of the firehose when I posted them. What makes this (very expensive and limited) product so special?
  • by rwwyatt (963545) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:22PM (#27900389)

    I can only speak for the HSPA technology on DataCard. VOIP support will be a major feature in the next generation of cards which will be out later this year or first part of next year.

    VOIP requires certain functionality called continuous packet connectivity which is introduced in a later version of the standards. In fact, there will be no circuit switch support on these data cards.

  • by Celeste R (1002377) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:47PM (#27900541)

    Units like this are nothing new.

    The inherent problem with these isn't the fact that they're celluar; it's the fact that they're WIFI.

    Driving around with this isn't nearly so great when you're getting interference from APs on the same channel (and there's no way to avoid it).

    This means stuttered speeds while there's interference; and until this problem is solved with either a new WIFI spec or limiting the AP to an uncommon spec (who uses A these days?) that its utility is limited.

    And when utility is limited, it's not going to be the wonder product that people would like.

    I'll stick with my USB 3G, thank you.

  • Joikuspot (Score:4, Informative)

    by wintermute000 (928348) <.bender. .at. .planetexpress.com.au.> on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:49PM (#27900553)

    One word: Joikuspot

    Turns your mobile into a wifi hotspot.

    I've only tried with Nokia models but it works great (N82, 5800). The free version only allows port 80 and gives you a nagware screen the first website you go to but thats it. The paid version allows all ports/protocols with no nag screen.

    Beats this device hands down - you always have your phone with you . Of course your carrier charges may be another story...

  • Pretty well thanks (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:30PM (#27901243)

    So, how well does your iPhone share out that connection to a real computer (you know, what the whole point of this little device is)?

    Quite well actually [mydigitallife.info]

    Yes it's jailbreaking but since you only have to download an app and run it even my mom could do so. Of course, my mom would have no use in doing so, it would be only technically sophisticated people wanting to do this... kind of like the group of people that jailbreak. Huh!

    And of course it's rumored (well, beyond rumor but not in place yet) that AT&T will support official tethering with 3.0.

    So basically, you just made yourself look like a jackass in front of the entire internet for as long as the web exists. Do you Apple Haters get off on rants with no point or what?

    What's even more delightful is the irony of your username in contrast with the mechanism used to do tethering currently, which muffles any possible complaint from you in response.

  • Re:Autonet (Score:3, Informative)

    by Technician (215283) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:10AM (#27902929)

    Often not mentioned is many of these small electronics items can be powered by a small pocket inverter in the car. You don't need 12 volt appliances for mobile use. I use a $20 inverter instead of a $100 mobile laptop power supply.

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