Review by IowaCowboy
Good "Solid, fast, reliable."
- Location: Indian Orchard,Hampden,MA
- Cost: $50 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Low bandwidth allowances"
Overall "Serves as a good backup to unreliable wireline internet"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I had the new AT&T MiFi for a little under a month for $60 for 5GB of usage. The reason I switched to Verizon is due to the high cost of the AT&T DataConnect plans and their lack of options even though I've been loyal to AT&T for six years and counting. Cost is a big driver for me. I like to have mobile broadband, but I only need it occasionally. Verizon offered me a MiFi Novatel 2200 MiFi Free with a 2 year agreement and they were running a promotion of 3 GB for $35 per month, which is a much better deal than AT&T 5GB @ $60 per month. I don't use the computer outside the house more than a couple of times per week so the 3GB/$35 per month fit my lifestyle perfectly. I went to the Verizon Wireless store at Holyoke Mall in Holyoke, MA and the sale of the device took less than 15 minutes. I went home and the setup was straightforward and I was online in less than 10 minutes. I did have a minor glitch with it dropping connections when connecting via the USB cable to my MacBook Pro but the solution was just a reconfiguration of the Network Preferences in the Mac OS software and did not warrant a call to tech support. Connection speed is about average for a cellular connection. It is not as fast as my cable modem but is not as slow as dial up either. I would compare the speed to the average DSL connection. So the bottom line is that Verizon Wireless has mobile broadband plans to fit every need and lifestyle, although it is intended to supplement a wireline connection and not replace one.
I just got the Novatel MiFi 4510L and it works great. They let me get full discount upgrade pricing (even though I bought the 2200 6 months ago) because they are upgrading my area to 4G. It is 6/24/2011 and Verizon is not scheduled to run 4G in Western Massachusetts until 7/21/11. I am currently getting moderate signal and my connection is comparable to a cable modem. I am using it right now to post this review. I did try the Samsung, but I exchanged it for the MiFi 4510L under the advice of the Verizon salesman and I find the Novatel works better than the Samsung. The only issue is that I could not keep my $35/3GB plan and had to kick it up to the $50/5GB plan. I would drop my home internet (Comcast) and use the VZW MiFi as my primary internet connection in a heartbeat (considering the many problems I've had with Comcast) but the VZW plans go up to 10 GB and I use an average of 12 GB per month on my home connection (which would get costly with the MiFi and you cannot connect ethernet devices to it and you can only have a maximum of 5 devices online at once and I have 5 devices that are online 24 hours a day (2 TiVo boxes, Wii, PS3, Apple TV, HP Printer). I also have as many as 2 computers online at once also.
Since Verizon Wireless upgraded much of their footprint to LTE, the speeds are like having a cable modem on the go. The old 3G EVDO speeds are more DSL like. I use Verizon Wireless 4G to access the Internet with the built in cell radios in my iPad and iPad mini and using these devices on the go is no different than using fixed line broadband with the devices connected to my home network. Verizon can have issues with billing at times.
My current MiFi is the ZTE UML 890L and I think it performs slightly better than the Novate
The reception in my area (Springfield, MA) is pretty good but it will sometimes kick down to 3G if you are in a large building or in a basement (such as the food court at Holyoke Mall). It also sometimes kicks down to to 3G if you're in a moving vehicle (such as a bus or train).
I just bought the new 4G LTE Broadband Router With Voice to serve as a backup to my somewhat unreliable Comcast internet connection (that goes out more than enough times to justify the cost of buying a backup connection) and I only activated the data side of the device but I may activate the voice portion later on. It does have an alarm port on it that may allow me to connect my security system (I'm suspecting they'll support it when they go VoLTE) and that will allow me to cut the landline completely. On the device itself it is a simple gadget, Wireless router with a LTE cellular radio, three ethernet ports and two phone ports and an RJ31x port (for future use) and provides some pretty decent and stable speeds for wireless internet and performs better than a mobile hotspot. I did put it under the cable modem and I left it on so if the Comcast goes out I can switch to Verizon at anytime.
As for the connection itself, I'm pulling about 20 mbps down and 10 mbps up and my ping tests are about 42 ms. The connection itself is pretty stable but I am in an area with decent 4G LTE coverage. The device does require a 4G signal in order to function. As for the PingTest.net grades, I got a B rating when I tested.
As for the connection itself, it's intended for use as a backup connection unless you have limited options such as DSL/dialup or a provider who is unwilling to fix an unreliable connection. You DO have to be in a 4G LTE coverage area to use this device.
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updated 34 days ago