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    October 21st, 2010

    ♬ Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
    Save it for a rainy day! ♬

    Lyrics and music by: Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, recorded by Perry Como.

    MiFi 2372

    Rogers MiFi 2372

    I love technology that works well, works easily and enables you to work the way that you want. I was therefore pleased with how the Novatel MiFi 2372 works. By way of introduction, the MiFi 2372 combines a cellular data 3.5g modem with a 5 device Wi-Fi router in one slightly thicker-than-a-few-stacked credit-card sized case that weighs almost nothing (81 grams – 2.9 ounces).

    The MiFi 2372 has download speeds of 7.2 Mpbs and 5.76 Mbps upload. This device replaced an aging “Rocketstick” cell modem that has download speeds of 7.2 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2.1Mbps. So the greater upload speeds should speed things up somewhat!

    The differences between the Rocketstick modem and the MiFi device:

  • The MiFi is a battery-powered device with a stated battery life of 4 hours. The Rocketstick connected to your USB port on your laptop and as such, drew power from the laptop giving it the same lifetime as the battery on your laptop. Effectively to extend the connect time with the MiFi you need to carry the battery charger with you (you can run the MiFi plugged into the power charger) and seek out a handy-dandy electrical outlet (and while you are at it, plug in your laptop as well) or install the MobiLink software and connect the MiFi to the USB port on your laptop.
  • The Rocketstick modem could only connect one user to the web (in order to share this USB internet connection you would have to figure out the Byzantine settings on a laptop’s operating system that enables the sharing of an internet connection wirelessly through the laptop which, to my knowledge, has been accomplished by only five people in the history of mankind, 4 of which work at Microsoft). On the other hand, the MiFi sets up a private secured cloud for up to 5 devices (802.11 b/g with WEP/WPA/WPA2 security pre-configured) that is as easy to connect to as any secured WiFi cloud.  The range of the cloud is stated to be 30 feet.
  • The MiFi has a microSDHC slot that accepts cards up to 16GB where the Rocketstick does not have this capability.
  • Technical requirements:

  • Operating systems: Windows 2000, Vista, 7 or Mac 10.4.7 or Linux 2.4, 2.6.
  • 100 MB of Hard Drive space
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g capability on your browser
  • USB 2.0 port to use the USB connection capability
  • A data plan with your cellular provider. In my case this was arranged thru www.rogers.com.
  • The initial setup was quick and easy and the only glitch was the need to call technical support to enable the SIM/cellular connect (which was not mentioned in the materials shipped with the device – it implied that it was already enabled).

    The big advantage of the MiFi is the ability to set up a private cloud wherever you can find a cell connection that can be shared by a private group. You can catch the MiFi and put it in your pocket to use on a rainy day when you can’t find a free WiFi connection.

    This entry was posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 10:52 am and is filed under Make it Work!, Technology, Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    4 Responses to “Tech Tip – MiFi”
    1. Simon Fodden Says:

      Lovely stuff, Dave. I’ve wanted one for a year now. But is it available in Canada?

    2. Doug Jasinski Says:

      Dave – These would appear to be a good option for folks with an iPad that don’t want to tack on another device-specific data plan. While it does mean yet one more gadget to bring along in your bag/briefcase, it does have the advantage of being able to power either or both of a laptop and iPad with one data plan.

      Right now I have a Rogers iPhone with a big data plan that I tether to my laptop when I need laptop wifi, but Apple won’t let you tether an iPad. With a mifi, you still get stuck with an additional data plan, but at least it gives you additional flexibility in terms of the devices it powers.

    3. admin Says:

      Simon:

      Yes they are *now* available in Canada.

      Rogers has it: http://bit.ly/9NBzNY

      Bell has it: http://bit.ly/8UJOBM

      There may be more carriers as well.

      Doug:

      Great point about using the MiFi with the iPad!

      I agree about being stuck with an additional data plan but I don’t see much of an alternative until they build a cell-phone that has the same capabilities – allowing you to create a private Wi-Fi cloud for your other devices – and use one data plan!

      Hey Blackberry, Apple and Android – there is a marketing opportunity here!!!

      Cheers,

      Dave

    4. Rob Says:

      @ Simon.
      Yes Simon, it’s available here. I’m using the Rogers version as we speak. Bell has also come out with theirs. Same device just different service.
      Rogers offers a contract or a purchase option. I chose the purchase which set me back $250 not including taxes.
      One thing I’d like to add here is that this unit can be used in one of two ways. Plug directly into a PC’s USB ( even works on a USB 1) and use it as a 3G modem where the wifi capability is disabled or use it as a wifi hotspot powered by it’s battery for up to 5 devices that don’t have to be PC’s. I have my PS3 running through it when in wifi mode.
      This is a very handy gadget if you’re like me, who lives in an area where there is no cable and there is no DSL, it’s the only option other than dial up or expensive ( as well as slow upload) satellite.

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