When I'm in an airport for work I have my work laptop which has a 3G cell modem and I can connect to the internet fine (sort of thanks to poor 3G coverage). This is a great thing and allows me to become "untethered" from wifi hotspots. However if I'm not lugging my laptop around I'll have my nokia n800 on me which only has wifi. I was really excited about the n810 WiMax edition because that would allow me to have internet access in metropolitan areas but unfortunately WiMax rollout was way too slow and Nokia figured their next device the n900 would be released before people could connect with the n810 WiMax edition so they pulled it. Some time later I think this was a wise decision because WiMax still isn't available outside a limited area of the US and there are problems in the way it works with treating it as a mobile service. The Nokia n900 just got submitted to the FCC so I figure by Christmas it will be out with wifi, smaller size and 3G access. However if you have a device like an n800/n810, ipod touch, laptop or any other Mobile Internet Device that relies on wifi then the MiFi may be of use to you.
Introducing the MiFi series of mobile wifi hotspots. They come in several flavors (EVDO, HSPDA US, HSPDA EU) but all work the same way. They connect to the 3G network and act as a wifi router for wireless devices. You can only connect 5 wireless devices to it at a time but considering the intended audience I don't think that's a problem. It's so small too that you can just place it in your shirt pocket and become a mobile hotspot yourself. I was just thinking how fun this would be to walk up to someone with a laptop and let them connect to the access point but then slowly move away to see if they would start to point their laptop in different areas to get a better signal. The real fun part would be getting them to move closer to you as they figure out which direction the signal is coming from. If you were bored you could lead them around all afternoon.
Enough of my demented mind. Here's the skinny..
- Connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
- Computers, PDA’s, cameras, music players, personal and game players and more
- Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
- GPS- enabled
- Advanced internal antenna system
- NovaSpeed® capable
- Auto-install and auto-connectivity
- 10M (30 ft) range of network coverage
- Wireless and secure internet connectivity from virtually anywhere
- Portable and convenient – smaller than a deck of cards
- Great for travel – family, friends and colleagues can connect
- Perfect for the mobile professional – creates a virtual office wherever you go for your and your co-workers
- Easy installation with MobiLink™ Connection Manager- no CD required
- Enhanced performance and less connectivity interruptions with NovaSpeed®
- Lasts up to 4 hours on a single charge so you can be anywhere and have connectivity (when connected to one Wi-Fi device)
Pretty cool. The downside is in order to connect to the 3G network you have to sign up for a service plan on that network. Of course this is expected but still, you can't use it for free after if shows up in the mail so take that into consideration.