Saturday, July 31, 2010

Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200





http://www.virginmobileusa.com/phones/mobile-broadband-2200.html

- It's for those of us poor saps stuck in the US with iPhones and refuse to give up our unlimited data plans and don't plan to jailbreak (and missed that flashlight app by 2 hrs).
- $150 from best buy
- Performs pretty much just like their previous usb modem: Same sprint evdo 3g network and coverage, same speeds, same pricing plan, same great pay only what you need when you need it.
- 4 hrs of batter life on a charge. I tested this, and it indeed does last 4 hrs.
- It's a complete router with a ton of settings on it's built in little web server config pages.
- Setting up couldn't be easier with the wpa password printed on a sticker on the back along with the ssid (you can of course change all this if you want to).
- Range was good (covered my entire house).
- It does get pretty darn hot.
- The best part is the freedom you get with this thing. Having no wires or anything sticking out of your laptop is awesome. Not needing any kind of drivers (no OS specific dependencies) is even more awesome. Having it be a mobile wifi hotspot which you can use with a variety of devices (up to 5 at a time) like: nintedo ds, psp, ipad, ipod touch, iphone (take that stupid wifi only restricted apps aka evil at&t) is the most awesome-ist. On a recent road trip we rubber banded the mifi to the back of the car rear view mirror for really great signal reception. My wife surfed the entire time on the macbook pro this way.
- I tried iPhone 4 facetime over mif and it works! The video stuttered once in a while but I was surprised by the quality.
- It comes with an AC adapter charger and a usb cable (mifi uses a micro usb port). The problem is once you plug it into a laptop it tries to go into tethering mode which then shuts down the wifi hotspot part of it. I found that you can charge it from an external battery pack like the Just moble gum pro and still continue to use it at the same time. Another option is getting a cable that only charges (no data) so that way you can charge it off of your laptop's usb port but still use it as a hotspot. I little research came up with 2 possible options (neither which I have tried): Best Buy Rocketfish ($15) and a retractable one from 3gstore ($15).

Highly recommended! It's a neat little device. I've always wanted to own a mifi device ever since verizon got one but I was not going to pay a huge monthly fee for something I would only use a few times a year. Virgin mobile comes through again with the right product coupled with the right pricing structure (except for that annoying 30 days your minutes expire thing though).

UPDATE: 10/14/2010
- So they updated their plans. Now there are only two: $10 for 100MB for 10 days or $40 unlimited data for 30 days. The unlimited is quite reasonable but I kind of miss the $20 for 300MB for 30 days.

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