What is MiFi?
MiFi is a portable broadband wireless device about the size of a credit card that combines functions of a modem, router and access point. The internal modem accesses a wireless signal and the internal router shares that connection among users and devices. MiFi is sometimes called a personal hotspot.
MiFi was designed to simplify setting up a small local area network (LAN). The device supports five users and can also network Wi-Fi-capable devices including digital cameras, notebooks, MP3 players and gaming systems. A MiFi device could be used to set up an ad-hoc network with a shared Internet connection anywhere with cellular connectivity.
Here are some of MiFi's other features:
- Storage capacity.
- The ability to host applications.
- Support for EV-DO or UMTS/HSDPA 3G technologies.
- Four hours active use, forty hours standby before the internal battery needs to be recharged.
- Can be configured for automatic email synching and virtual private network (VPN) connection.
- Support for remote management.
Novatel, who developed MiFi and trademarked the name, call their associated product line "Intelligent Mobile Hotspots." Novatel markets the devices, which require a data plan, through carriers. According to Novatel, MiFi stands for "my Wi-Fi" and is pronounced as "my-Fi."