I had a little surprise waiting for me this morning, the folks at Verizon were kind enough to send over their new MiFi device, built by Novatel. The MiFi is about the size of a credit card and acts like a portable hotspot providing a mix of 3G and WiFi allowing any WiFi enabled device to be broadband enabled wherever you might be. It goes for about $100 with a two year contract and comes with service plans ranging for daily pas as you go, 250mb for $40 and $60 for 5gb.
Once you activate the unit over USB, you simply connect to it over WiFi as you would any other WiFi router. I’ve been testing it for a few hours here and so far it works flawlessly. At the moment I’ve got the Slingbox client playing on my Macbook, Tweetie running in the background and I’ve stopped to make a few Skype calls, using the Skype client on my iPod Touch. Using my WiFi Skype phone, I had no problems making and taking Skype calls in the car. Up to five devices can connect at one time which makes it perfect for sharing on the road. I’ll post a more detailed look next week, in the meantime, if you have questions, please post in the comments and i’ll answer them over the weekend.
For now MiFi is now a ubiquitous part of my mobile toolkit. There’s actually a lot more to the MiFi story that Novatel has coming but that’s for another day.