The MiFi is right for you, IF ...


Mobile Broadband Consultant
Its been my job to spend the last few days with the MiFi to do a review for the company I work for, and since I spend a lot of time on RV forums I've prepared this post that specifically addresses the RVer who will very likely be wondering if the MiFi is for them.

There is a LOT of buzz about the "MiFi". Its being sold by Verizon right now, and will be sold by Sprint in June, and like to be sold by AT&T and possibly other carriers, down the road.

What is it? its a tiny battery-powered hotspot that allows customers to have as many as five computers (or other wifi-enabled devices) to access the internet using cellular mobile broadband.

Many of you already have something like an "aircard" or a "USB modem" that attaches to ONE computer and gives it internet access. The MiFi is like that, except its a wifi hotspot that easily allows multiple computers the same internet access, for the same monthly fee. Nothing like it has ever been sold by a cellular carrier before.

Many of you have also bought "cellular routers" like the popular models from Cradlepoint, that allow you to share your aircard or USB modem's connectivity with multiple computers. The MiFi accomplishes the same thing, but the modem is built into (embedded) the MiFi so there is nothing attached making it much more portable.

In my opinion, the combination of Cradlepoint router and separate USB modem or expresscard is the better solution because the MiFi:
  • has NO antenna jack to easily allow for high-antenna antennas and direct-connect amp;
  • would require a more expensive 'wireless amplifier' to improve cellular signal;
  • is tied to ONE carrier and cannot be used with multiple carriers like a cradlepoint router can;
  • can only tether via USB cable. it has NO ethernet port;
  • cannot tether to one computer and STILL be a WiFi hotspot;
  • to allow for longer battery life, it only has about 30ft of WiFi range.
  • must be replaced when 4G or other future technology is viable.

Having said all that, there is one group of RVers that I think are great candidates for the Mifi:
  • you already own a wireless signal amplifier
  • all the equipment you want to get online already has WiFi capability
  • you only need a hotspot for use while traveling in an RV (not a home) OR
  • your need for a hotspot in a home doesn't require more than 30ft wifi range
  • you have NO need to tether a computer and still have a WiFi hotspot
  • one carrier at a time doesn't bother you
  • if you can answer Yes to the last six points, you should be happy with a MiFi

I hope that this post helps some RVers who are contemplating whether or not to get the MiFi.


Active Member
I have used the MIFI 12200 hotspot for on the road and at home. So far I am pleased with it. We are in a 3g area at home so I opted for that and will look at it in a few years when 4g is more prevalent. For now the speed at home is adequate for my needs on 2 computers and on the road it is mighty convenient to be able to not have the hassle of weak wifi signals or paying for it by the hour.