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Web Surfing in a Wireless Network of Your Very Own

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Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200

Verizon's unassuming MiFi weights just over two ounces.

Credit: Verizon Wireless

Not long ago Web browsing required sitting in one place and using a computer plugged into a cable. Now, people expect to hop online whenever they want  using wireless Internet connections. But it isn't always easy. Laptop users struggle to find a public Wi-Fi network that will work; and the Wi-Fi networks that are available get slowed down by overcrowding. Why not bring your own Wi-Fi? I'm referring to a new product called MiFi: a private Wi-Fi network for you. It's a one-button gadget that measures about the surface size of an Altoids tin, only thinner and lighter.

This week, while I was traveling, I used Verizon Wireless's MiFi 2200, made for the phone carrier by Novatel Wireless. The MiFi brings in the Internet using Verizon's 3G network and creates a Wi-Fi zone that can be reached from up to 50 feet away. Its connection can be used by up to five devices at once. At one point, I had a Lenovo ThinkPad, Apple MacBook, iPhone, Palm Pre and iPod Touch simultaneously using the Web via the MiFi's connection. Although video playback stuttered under these busy conditions, other tasks did well. And with just three devices using the connection at once, the connection worked normally.

The luxury of MiFi doesn't come cheap.

From The Wall Street Journal
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