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Old 25th October 2012, 10:46   #1
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Default All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Just got introduced to this nifty little device called a MiFi router and thought I would share the info here. (didnt see a thread on MiFi routers) Despite being from IT, i am a bit tech-challenged when it comes to mobiles and routers and stuff like that. So I was quite surprised when a friend and fellow traveler from Delhi, kindly lent me his MiFi router when I asked for a datacard.

A MiFi router is basically this small credit card holder sized device, with slots for holding one or more 3G SIM cards and which can be configured to act as a router with a range of 10m or less. Most of them can connect upto 5 devices through WiFi and one device through the USB which is also used for charging. There are some devices that allow upto 21 connections though that does seem pointless.

I could not find a Dual SIM like the one my friend had: i eventually bought a Micromax 400R from SP road for 2300 bucks. It supports a single SIM and I can confirm that its range is far more than the 10m claimed in the specs. I have a USB charging hub in the glovebox of the gypsy, and this thing fits neatly in there turning the car into a Hotspot. At home, it has sufficient range to power up 2 laptops and my Blackberry. I have discontinued the expensive GPRS connection (400 bucks extra/month) on the Bberry. It also works with the WiFi enabled Home Theater streaming youtube content!

Tested it in the car, and it works flawlessly. For the FIRST time, i managed to get google earth load up the maps on my Carputer-Tab without too much lag.

Complaints on the 400R? Well for one the 2G/3G detection gave some problems. If set to auto mode, it kept going to 2G by default. I had to force it to "3G only" mode. Secondly though the claim is 4 hour backup, i have managed only slightly more than 2 hours so far. The SIM card is hidden away behind the battery: which means that I have to open up the device, remove the battery to change the SIMs. For some reason when i check the status page of the connection (http://192.168.1.1), it shows my connection as Airtel, when actually its a VODAFONE sim. When i put in my Airtel SIM, it was detected as Aircel! Finally there is this annoying landing page that pops up when you connect for the first time every day.

The device that my friend had, EDIMAX was a dual sim model and far more friendly to use, though a little less attractive. The SIM's were accessible via slots on the outside: very nice to have. Dual SIM's means that he could use 2 SIM's: one like Airtel for city use and the other BSNL for use in remote areas where private operators are absent. Unfortunately couldnt locate this model anywhere!

Please share additional gyaan on MiFi routers on this thread!
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Old 25th October 2012, 11:03   #2
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

This 3G Router/Access Point was probably late coming to India but I have been using this device at my place of work (abroad) since more than a year back, thoug it does not work very well with GPRS, buy yes it a quite handy if you need to share your Mobile Internet conection.
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Old 25th October 2012, 11:18   #3
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Sounds same as tethering, which most smartphones offer. Is it any different?
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Old 25th October 2012, 11:26   #4
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Quote:
Sounds same as tethering, which most smartphones offer. Is it any different?
The difference could be the battery. The wifi tethering from mobile fone will sink your new age phones in less than an hour or max 1.5 hours. These devices probably can last for substantially longer time may be 4 hours of continuous usage.

Secondly you dont have to worry about your mobile phone heating up.

Last edited by GTO : 25th October 2012 at 17:47. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 25th October 2012, 11:36   #5
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Vodafone has been selling a similar thing same for the past 1 year or so.
https://www.vodafone.in/3gworld/page...i.aspx?cid=che
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Old 25th October 2012, 12:45   #6
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
The difference could be the battery. The wifi tethering from mobile fone will sink your new age phones in less than an hour or max 1.5 hours.
Err, not that I measured the time at that time, but I remember having run my mobile with wifi tethering for 3-4 hours without it getting completely drained off then or post that for some more time. Had my laptop connected to the wifi, not sure if multiple laptops being connected drain the battery more(?)

My mobile battery's a 2000 mAh. Probably some other day, I'll measure this on a full battery and see how long it lasts.

@Cougar,
Thanks for starting this thread - will await more posts from you on your experience with the product.
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Old 25th October 2012, 13:25   #7
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

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Originally Posted by Daewood View Post
Vodafone has been selling a similar thing same for the past 1 year or so.
https://www.vodafone.in/3gworld/page...i.aspx?cid=che
BSNL also a similar device which is capable of 14 MBPs throughput. However both the BSNL and Vodaphone devices will work only with the respective SIMs. That could lock buyers into providers.
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Old 25th October 2012, 14:03   #8
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

I have the same device Micromax 400R .
using it for last 4 months bought from ebay @ 2400 Rs.
i have vodafone 3G sim. i have the same annoying problem of default page (IP address) coming up again and again after it disconnects automatically when it's not used.
I am also not happy with it's range. i have 2 BHK flat and i have kept in one of the rooms for good network coverage.
i don't get enough wifi connection in my Drawing room. i have tested it on my iphone 4s and xperia Ray.
laptop shows OKish range.
battery life is just 2 hours only.
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Old 25th October 2012, 14:54   #9
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Nice thread. For people who have a Airtel 4G USB dongle, it has been a challenge with roaming as 4G is supported in only two cities per my knowledge - Kolkatta and Bangalore. The device does support roaming, but USB can be used only with one device. You can use a small tiny router called DOVADO Tiny and use the dongle to get mifi. Yes, it is not exactly card shaped, but small enough to carry it in your bag. I found this 4G tiny router with some effort, hope this information would be of use to someone.

Thanks
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Old 26th October 2012, 22:23   #10
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Nice Thread, various options will work from tethering to dedicated devices like miromac 400 for mobile internet access. Unfortunatly Wimax did not take off in India and other countries. I used wimax in Japan and it was a great experience, Speeds of up to 40Mbps download and 10Mbps uploading are being advertised.
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Old 27th October 2012, 01:36   #11
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

Is the picture you have posted of the micromax one? The black one on the web site looks smarter. As Daewood said vodafone has been selling these for over a year, but those were restricted to the carrier it came with. Two hours of battery life does sound less hope they get launch a newer model with more battery capacity.

I normally use my iPhone's tethering feature when required but this is good if you want to use another simcard for data only.
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Old 27th October 2012, 12:30   #12
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

i have been using similar portable device Asus 3G wi-fi router ( WL-330N3G ), can be powered thru usb , will connect with 3g dongle / wifi hotspot and connect upto 5 devices .
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Old 27th October 2012, 18:21   #13
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

i have used this so called wifi devices from most of the companies, tata docomo, vodafone, edimax, dlink, etc... but as per my opinion the signal strength of both 3g and wifi are lower, in most of the rural areas where i used this devices i did not get good connectivity as signal strength was not very strong. but using full fledge adapter powered 3g router worked flawless with the same sim card.

this device is only useful for person who require mobile wifi and is mostly used in major cities, in my opinion.

Last edited by devenashani : 27th October 2012 at 18:22.
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Old 27th October 2012, 18:22   #14
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

There is a portable router from Olive (http://www.olivetelecom.in/olive-nex...reless-router/). The feature I like about this router is multiple connectivity options - 3G, ADSL, WIMAX, etc.
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Old 30th October 2012, 18:39   #15
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Default Re: All about MiFi routers - data connectivity on the move!

I would suggest to go for HUAWEI U5510. It sis Java based phone with small 2.3 inch screen (QVGA resolution of 320 x 240 pixels) and standard keypad.

It accepts 2 GSM SIMs and excellent as a wifi router!

1000 mAh battery lasts for 4 hours.

Weighing just 90 g, has dimensions of 49.5 x 115 x 13.2 mm.

And as a bonus you get lot of other utilities like 3.2 MP main and secondary (VGA) camera, Music player , FM radio , calculator, alarm, world clock, notes, unit converter, currency converter, and stopwatch etc. Micro SD card slot.

Can be used as a webcam for video chatting.

And not to forget it is a complete phone so you can use it as a back up phone in case your main phone's battery runs out of juice.

Cost is around Rs 3000/-.

Item is hot selling, Out of stock at Flipkart but available at other online stores adexmart etc.

Read reviews at gsmarena etc.

Last edited by vipulG : 30th October 2012 at 18:40. Reason: typo
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