Being caught without Internet access when you really need it sucks. Thankfully, Verizon's got a solution that will stop you from ever being without Internet again, as long as you don't mind paying. The MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, made by Novatel Wireless, will connect you to the Internet almost anywhere in the country.
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In essence, the MiFi is a Wireless WAN card that provides 3G Internet access to up to five Wi-Fi devices. It has integrated CDMA and WiFi antennas, and a four hour rechargeable battery. Plus it is portable; the Mi-Fi weights just over two ounces, and is about the size of a 3.5 card. That definitely qualifies as 'portable'. I'm impressed.
What I'm not, is convinced that the MiFi is worth the cost. It's only $150 bucks, with a $50 mail-in rebate. That's not too bad. What is sort of annoying, are the monthly price plans. $39.99 a month for 250 MB and 10 cents per MB over, or $59.99 for 5 GB and 5 cents per MB over. You can also buy a 24 hour access pass for $15.
I know what the MiFi is supposed to be. It's an emergency back-up, and it's not meant to be used unless the 'net is down and you have no other options. I suppose for some people it will be a good deal, but not for anyone who has a smartphone with 3G access. If you really need to get online, and you have a 3G phone, just leash it to your netbook or laptop, download the proper software, and use your phone's Internet in a pinch.
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If you don't have a smartphone, or want extra assurance that you'll be able to stay connected, than go for a MiFi. Just don't use it too often or you'll end up surfing yourself broke.