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May
18

Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot Review

My work recently provided me with a Verizon’s MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot to use.

This is basically a portable wifi connection that connects to Verizon’s 3G network.  It can connect to up to 5 clients at a time.  I tested it with two clients connected and it worked very smoothly.  Here are my findings:

Package Contents: The unit includes a micro usb link cable, protective pouch and also an external charger.  The charger is almost as big as the mobile hotspot.

Size: The device is relatively small: 3.5″x2.31″x.31″.

Installation: Installation is simple.  You just have to plug it into your computer with the usb cable and activate the device once.  The drivers are located on the device itself.  This works with both Mac’s and PC’s.  After this you can can just turn on the device and select the Verizon MiFi 2200 SSID from your laptop’s wireless connection preferences.  The password for the hotspot is located on the back of the device.

Advanced Settings: By default you can login to 192.168.1.1 (password admin) from a browser to change some of the wireless settings.  You can change the security mode, channel, SSID, password, encryption, and 802.11b/g modes of the wifi.  You don’t really need to change anything to get this up and running.

Bandwidth: I was able to get about 2-2.5Mbps download speeds and .5-.6Mbps upload speeds on average.  This was enough to stream a netflix video on low/medium quality.  For browsing websites the latency was acceptable.  You can monitor your usage by plugging the device into your computer and running the software that was installed at installation.  For some reason it always pop’s up saying I’m over my plan’s limit, but the metering is still correct.  This might be a bug in the software.  The bill online is correct.

3G Network Availability: It basically corresponds to the availability of Verizon’s 3G data coverage.  I was able to use this in both Minnesota and while I was traveling in Florida.  There are no extra fees to use it in a different state.  I was able to get coverage everywhere I tried.

Wifi Range: The range on the hotspot is surprisingly good.  I was able to move my laptop ~30ft away with only a .10Mbps drop in speed.  This should be good enough to fill a floor of your home.

Battery Life: I’m usually able to get about 4 hours out of this device with heavy use.  If you turn it off when your not using it and download less data it will last longer.  You can charge it from your computer or the external cable.  I prefer to charge with the external cable because other users can use the wifi at the same time.  If it’s connected directly the data is downloaded directly through the usb cable instead of over wifi.

Cost: The cost is relatively expensive because of the data.  A 5GB plan costs $50 per month with $10 per GB over 5GB.  There are slightly cheaper plans from Verizon if you need less data but the cost averages about $8-20/GB.  This may be worth it if you travel enough and need a reliable internet connection.  I’ve seen some hotels charge $15-20 a night for their internet.

Overall: The MiFi 2200 is a solid product and is worth it if you use it every month.

 

 

 

 

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