As many of you know I am an iPad user. I have a 64GB Wifi only iPad and I do like it, but there have been times where I am without WiFi as I travel around. It is frustrating to sit down in a restaurant for lunch or a coffee shop, pull out the iPad to check email or respond to something online and realize you cannot connect. Ok, yes, I am spoiled and I am internet dependent for many things. So why didn’t I just get a 3G compatible iPad? Cost mostly. The extra $130 price tag on the iPad itself and another data plan with AT&T seemed to be a bridge too far for my budget. From the beginning, I thought mifi would be the answer for me.
So what is mifi? Mifi is a small (almost thick credit card sized) mobile wifi hotspot device. Turn it on and it connects to a cellular network and provides WiFi access for up to 5 devices. While the price tag is very similar to the iPad 3G and its data plan, the ability to connect more devices (namely my Macbook Pro) for the same cost, seems to be a better deal.
Enter the Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200. The reason I chose this device is very, very simple – no contract. Its data plan is a little more expensive that AT&T’s plan for the iPad alone, but much less expensive than other device’s contract costs. The Virgin Mobile device allows you to pay as you go. You can pay $10 for a 10 day plan that allows you 100MB of data (great for a short trip) or you can pay $40 for a 30 day plan that allows you unlimited data access. You can access these options on the fly and choose whichever you like. There is also an option to charge your credit card each month automatically if your needs are more constant. The 2200 uses the Sprint 3G network, so the access areas are solid. The device itself sells for $150 from the Virgin Mobile website.
So this Christmas when we visit grandma’s house (no internet access) I will still be able to get online and so will my kids. I love this device already. Happy mobile connecting!