MiFi Price Drop, Still More than Free

MiFi 5510L

MiFi 5510L

Need a way to surf almost anywhere without relying on the chance that public Wi-Fi will work? Not that I’m knocking free Wi-Fi. I’ll jump on that first if it’s available. But what if it’s not?  What if you need to get online and you have a Wi-Fi only Device?  What if you want to save some money?

Verizon sure thinks you don’t and hopes to entice subscribers with a new Jetpack mobile hot spot. The Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 510L made by Novatel ships for $19.99 and continues the carrier’s line of portable 4G sharing products. The hockey-puck-shaped 510L can spread its 4G LTE data connection to up to 10 mobile devices such as smartphone, tablets, and laptops via wireless Wi-Fi connection. Verizon readies $19.99 Jetpack MiFi 510L for Jan 31 launch.

Freedom Spot - Photon

Freedom Spot – Photon

I’ve had 2 MiFis from Verizon.  They work most of the time. When they did not work,  I had used my iPhone to make a Wi-Fi hot-spot. Then my buddy Bill introduced me to FreedomPop.

You can get the same thing as a MiFi for much less from MVNO FreedomPop.
One of their devices provides internet access on the go for you. The devices connect through USB, create a little Wi-Fi hot-spot, or work as a case for your iPhone.

Fiercewireless reports:

MVNO FreedomPop is officially launching its freemium mobile broadband service using Clearwire’s (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network today. The company plans to expand its service to Sprint Nextel’s (NYSE:S) CDMA and LTE networks in the first quarter of 2013.

After I signed up I chose the Photon that makes a hot spot for 8 devices.  My Mac, iPhone, iPad, Galaxy S 2, Samsung Focus and Nexus 7 can all share the Photon’s private network. This allows me to show demonstrations from the web server on my laptop through all of my wireless devices. The LTE internet connection is blazing fast when it works, but if all you need to do is make sure your devices are sharing a network it’s great. If you are driving don’t expect to keep a VPN session, it will drop you here and there for a second or two.  For web browsing, email and GPS data for WAZE it worked very well everywhere I’ve driven from Boston to New York City.

My new AT&T. Same towers, 1/10th the cost.

My new AT&T. Same towers, 1/10th the cost.

One of their plans offers the first 500MB per month free) for just the cost of the device. And at $89 it’s about $1,100 cheaper than Verizon. Theirs costs is $50 per month for a 2 year contract. True, you can pay $175 to get out, I’ve done it twice, but trust me Free is better. If 500 MB is not enough for you it’s only 2¢ per MB. Much less than 30¢ per MB that Airvoice wireless charges.

Airvoice is my new wireless carrier. Thanks to a Very Mustachian blog that showed me how to get out of sending AT&T $110+ per month. So far I’m averaging about $25 per month with them. Thank you Mr. Money Mustache.