What is a portable hotspot device or a MiFi?

MiFi – the ultimate portable hotspot device

Maybe you’ve heard about it, maybe you haven’t, but the MiFi is here to stay as the greatest portable hotspot device!Portable hotspot device

According to the Wikipedia definition, a MiFi is a portable hotspot device and it’s used as a name for wireless routers that act as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. In many countries MiFi is a Novatel Wireless brand. MiFi stands for “My Wi-Fi”. So, although we don’t want to give too much publicity to Novatel, we’ll have to use MiFi a lot 🙂

What you need to know is that a MiFi device can be connected to a mobile phone  carrier and provide Internet access for up to five devices (tablet, PC, laptop, camera or your smartphone). The MiFi works at a distance up to 10 m (30 ft) and will provide internet or network access to any WiFi-enabled peripheral device.

4G portable hotspot devices

The latest developments have brought 4G portable hotspot devices to market and this happened in 2011, when at Novatel presented 2 new products available in the US at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. Both devices maintain backward compatibility with existing 3G networks, while other features include:

  • MiFiOS with widget support
  • MicroSD card slot
  • GPS receiver
  • Four-hour battery life
  • Front panel status display using E Ink technology.

A significant improvement wast the introduction of the front panel display that shows battery, signal strength, and number of connected devices. The difficulty of viewing such information was resented by consumers and represented a major shortcoming of earlier portable hotspot devices.

What about security issues?

In January 2010, two major security threats were discovered with the Novatel MiFi 2200  series. If properly exploited, these could allow a malicious user to obtain the device’s current GPS location and security keys. What’s more,  If the malicious user were physically close enough to use the device’s Wi-Fi signal, this could give access to the MiFi’s 3G connection as well as any other connected devices. Fortunately, Novatel reacted fast and announced that a security patch would be available in February 2010. However, you need to be careful about the provider you choose and make sure that they are using certified equipment. We do that for every provider we endorse so that’s another reason to use our services.

I hope you found this article useful, if you have any comments or questions please use the form below or contact us!