MiFi, internet to go???? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-27-2009 Thread Starter
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MiFi, internet to go????

Hi all

I have subscribed to a free "geeky" type email newsletter since 1995 and when it comes out I scan through it and always find it interesting and sometimes helpful. The one that just came out talks about MiFi. Many of you may already know about it or use it. I would welcome your input.

It looks like it might be something that could give us internet access while we coastal cruise.

Link to web version of the article is here:

What is MiFi?

I am not affiliated, nor in anyway related to any part of Bob Rankin nor who he talks about. And yes - his site has lots of advertising on it.

Cheers

Rik

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-27-2009
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Most phones will let you pair a device via bluetooth and get internet that way. The advantage of the mifi device is that you can use multiple computers more easily. I thought about getting one not too long ago but decided that it was kind of silly as I don't have the battery power to run more than one computer so pairing with the phone when out of range of open access point is good enough.

I can see if you traveled in a group then you could get one and then share it. That would go quite a ways in splitting the cost of the device and the monthly service.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-27-2009
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OS X (apple) already allows users to share an internet connection (cable, modem, EVDO, etc.) via another port: FireWire, BlueTooth PAN, or AirPort (Wifi).

We did this once on vacation where one computer had an unlimited EVDO card and five other people were able to check their e-mails simultaneously.

I'm surprised that Windows does not have a similar feature.

I'm not sure how mifi could improve coastal cruising internet access unless you were in a club cruise and one of the boats had an internet connection that they were sharing with the fleet. It looks like the mifi needs an existing internet connection.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-28-2009
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I've been using a Kyocera KR2 router on board for the last two years. I plug in my Verizon Aircard to it, and also my mast mounted wireless amplifier, and I can pick and choose either EVDO network services or WiFi. There are other products on the market too, such as ones by Cradlepoint. Check out http://www.evdoinfo.com for a lot of information on this technology. I'd probably lean away from the MiFi due to a lot of restrictions and other devices on the market that don't have those same restrictions...

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-28-2009
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it's a neat idea - combining a wireless router and a Sprint mobile internet in one device. one drawback is that it comes with the same service as the rest of the Sprint mobile internet, including a 5Gb a month limit on transfers.

That 5Gb is decent but not great, so the device is probably good for occasional use but you better not make it your dedicated connection.

Technically this is superior to having to use a separate computer tethered to cell phone (or with a mobile internet card) and then "share connection". PC's make for poor routers and keeping your laptop on all the time just to use another computer may get kinda wasteful in power requirements.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-28-2009
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"I'm surprised that Windows does not have a similar feature. "

That just means you haven't been a Windows user for the past decade. "Internet Connection Sharing" has been in Windows for several generations now.
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