Wi-Fi, Mi-Fi, Hi-Fi – all these techy abbreviations can get a bit confusing, can’t they? Mi-Fi is a combination of Wi-Fi and Mobile Internet, because that’s pretty much what it is.
A Mi-Fi device is like a Wi-Fi router, except it broadcasts an internet signal that’s gained from a SIM card and a mobile network, the same way that your phone does.
Three UK has announced a brand new and cheap MiFi router for those who need to share a mobile broadband connection with other devices. It’s made by Huawei, the company that has slowly started to appear everywhere with top-notch, low-price smartphones, tablets and dongles, and it goes by the model number of ‘E5331’.
With this little gadget, you insert your Three SIM card as you would with a mobile broadband dongle, hold down the power button and voila! You’ve created a network that can be connected by up to 5 different devices – laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets – you name it, if it can connect to Wi-Fi you can connect it to this clever little device.
Three already offers a selection of MiFi routers also made by Huawei, but this new model is a fair whack cheaper, or so we’re told.
A Micro USB socket allows the E5331 to be charged up using the same charger as your smartphone or tablet (unless it’s Apple!), and should last 4.5 hours from a single charge. A simple LCD display will show you the strength of signal and your remaining battery, as well as any messages you’ve received and the status of your network.
Three is the self-proclaimed biggest 3G network in the UK, so you should almost always have a data signal that can be shared. Download speeds of up to 21Mbps and upload speeds of 5.76Mbps can be achieved with this nifty device, so hooking it up to your laptop should give you a similar web browsing experience to the one you’ll get at home on broadband – pages should load in seconds and emails will fly out and in.
Despite it being a cheaper alternative, we’re not exactly sure on the price of Three’s new MiFi device at the moment. We’ll keep you updated though.
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