What an age we live in. The internet instantly connects us with people, places, images and ideas from around the globe, plugging us into the best (and the worst) that the world has to offer, and all from the comfort of a favorite armchair. Until–uh oh: there’s a power interruption.
While just minutes before, we were smiling with amazement at just how far technology has brought us, it takes only a moment of disconnect for us to be transformed from happy, satisfied users to outraged, cheated customers. And if the outage lasts longer than a few moments…well, how did we survive before the internet.
Thankfully, you don’t have to relive that dark era. Just click on over to the power of MiFi and you’ll be back to cruising the intertubes faster than a new meme can arise.
MiFi is the cutesy nickname for “My WiFi,” itself a cutesy name for “my wireless connection” (the “Fi” part is a nickname holdover from the high-fidelity HiFi stereos of yesteryear). There is a specific mobile internet hotspot device brand by this name, but other mobile hotspot units are also often generically referred to as MiFi devices.
A MiFi device lets users tap into the surfing power of their own mobile devices to provide a mobile hotspot wherever and whenever wanted or needed. It’s essentially broadband on demand.
Tapping into mobile internet connections is quick and easy. You’ll need to purchase a MiFi device, a small bit of tech typically about the size of a thin deck of cards. Before you finalize the purchase, make sure the device works with your mobile device and with your cellular and data service provider. Most major carriers in the United States offer MiFi service to their customers.
The ease with which you can access your portable remote connectivity can make you forget you’re even hooked up through your mobile phone or other mobile device. Which is good news, until you consider that you’re tearing right through your mobile’s data plan–not so good news if you have a data cap. So it’s important to track your usage and make sure you don’t exceed your plan’s allotted amount.
Several apps are available in the various app stores for this very purpose. MiFi managing apps will keep you updated in real time on such important details as your battery power, signal strength, network status, data usage and more, while also informing you which devices are connected to your mobile broadband. Apps vary in price from free to a few bucks, and not all apps work with all MiFi devices, so again, it pays to give careful attention to detail before choosing a tracking app.
Carry Your Connection
If toting around yet another device doesn’t appeal to you, other alternatives do exist, but they come with their own pros and cons. MiFi apps for example, can provide the freedom of mobile broadband without the burden of another physical box of tech, but such tethering may require jailbreaking, a step many users wish to avoid, as well as other downsides. Look into all your options before deciding what will work best for you and your devices.
It’s nice to know that, in this day and age, we need never fear taking a single breath without having a trusty internet connection available for us to blog about it.
Sam Jones, the author, has been looking at laptop reviews and has discoverred the amazing power of MiFi.