Tell me about MiFi
MauserGirl
Newbie

We are about to move to upstate New York (Gouverneur - near Fort Drum) and it seems that the only options we have for Internet up there will be satellite and dial-up. Dial-up is a definite no-go, firstly because it's damned slow and secondly, because you can't reasonably set it up with wireless Internet. As we both rely on decent Internet to pay our bills and do some work, we need something that's fast. Since we both use laptops, we want something that doesn't require us to sit at a desk when online. And truth be told, I've not heard a lot of great things about satellite Internet - and it's expensive, too!

 

I've been looking into the MiFi, and I would like to know more about it, especially from people who use it. How realistic is the 5gig a month restriction? Do most of you go over it real quick? Is there a way to track how much of that you've used? Any and all info and feedback would be appreciated, the good and the bad.

 

As for the technical, we'd be using it with two laptops running Windows Vista, a Sony Vaio NS190J and a Toshiba Satellite.

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BBgirl09
Contributor - Level 1
You can track your data usage on My Verizon, but it's usually 2 to 3 days behind. 
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dave1812
Contributor - Level 1

Despite being spoiled by a typical 15Mb/s download, 4-5Mb/s upload speed from Comcast cable, my MiFi does a respectable job of bringing up websites on my Touch or our Netbooks.  I've gotten as little as 30 feet of coverage inside a hotel, to over 115 feet inside of a large store.  typically it provides the rated distance of 30 feet.  Speeds range from a low of 400kb/s to over 1.1Mb/s (download), with upload speeds being quite a bit slower.  Despite that, a Mifi and iPod Touch is MUCH FASTER to bring up webpages than a Storm on the very same Verizon network in the same areas. 

 

As far as the 5GB goes, don't expect to be updating Vista, XP and watch much video!  I can stream Pandora for several hours a day and do some browsing (sans videos) and only average about 65MB a day.  We are alloted around 170-something per day (5GB every 30 days).   I can't imagine relying solely on a 5GB limit service for keeping my computers up to date.  Windows and other program  updates, will quickly chew up your data limit. Imagine when a service pack is needed! Yikes.

 

Bottom line: speed is a little low to expect decent video playback as well as videos eat up your limit.  For browsing news, posting on forums, online banking, etc, it should be just fine--in fact it's better than I anticipated, having been thoroughly disgusted with the slow page loading times of a Storm, which I returned for refund.

 

If you go much over the 5GB, the bill can easily reach many hundreds of dollars more.  Five cents per MB doesn't sound like much, until you go over by say, 1GB -- that's $50 if my math is correct.

Message Edited by dave1812 on 06-19-2009 01:41 PM
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MauserGirl
Newbie
Thanks so much, Dave, that is great information and exactly what I was looking for. I think that, all things considered, it sounds like we'll be better off going with satellite. There is already a dish installed where we're moving, so it's just a matter of having it all hooked up and paying for the service, with no cost for a new dish or installation added. I think we'll be best off sticking to satellite for our Internet, then, even though it may go out every so often. (But then again, so does cable .... at least it has with both Cox and Comcast...)
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dave1812
Contributor - Level 1

You're welcome!   I think you'll be happier with the satellite service compared to the MiFi due to the restrictions on data usage.  Not sure what limits satellite has, but Comcast is 250GB which is plenty for the average family.  I looked into satellite when there was no other option for me (right in the heart of silicon valley!) but dial up.  At the time satellite was $70/month.  I waited years for another option and finally Comcast provided service to our neighborhood.  I was probably the first person in our immediate area to get internet as I was so eager to get off of dial up. For the first year or two, Comcast suffered many slowdowns and outtages.  For the past few years it's been rock solid and I get my money's worth from it.  

 

How much is the satellite service?

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