Forget wifi; MiFi is the future

In May, I got all excited when David Pogue previewed a new wireless device called the MiFi from Novatel. I’ve used all manner of devices and services to connect to the Internet from wherever, and this device looked like a real step forward.

mifiTurns out I was right to get excited. I’ve been using the MiFi to work from a lake cabin in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this week and it’s been flawless and fast. And the form factor is small and simple: just one button to turn it on and it’s small enough to fit into an Altoids tin. So you just turn it on and toss it into your laptop bag and you’ve got Internet without USB cords or cards connected to your laptop or a need for power (the battery lasts for about 3 hours).

The possibilities for news gathering and publishing are vast. (This would be perfect for sportswriters and photographers.) The MiFi will connect up to five devices to the Internet anywhere Verizon or Sprint offer coverage. That means a reporter or blogger can write and publish from pretty much anywhere. You don’t even need a power outlet.

The service isn’t cheap, of course, since the first tier of $40 per month only allows 250MB transfer. It costs $60 per month for 5GB and the device costs $100 from Verizon with a two-year contract (see plans here). But if you travel a fair amount, you could replace your home Internet with the MiFi and save on those one-time Internet connection charges at airports, hotels and Starbucks. So it’s possible you could spend less with the MiFi.

Sure beats the old days, like when I first started covering sports for a newspaper and used a Radio Shack “Trash 80″ with couplers and a pay phone to send a story from the field. The MiFi is like some kind of Jetson’s world in comparison. Now if I can only find a robot to clean my house and cook dinner.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply