Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Can you guys tell me about MiFi and the iPad?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted June 26 2010 - 12:35 PM

I realized that mifi might be a great solution for my parents who don't want to sign up for a DSL account.


I did some research and found that some new offerings would allow a pay-as-you-go sort of situation. Like a pre-paid phone card? But the articles I found were not clear how this works. If there is literally a card you insert into the mifi device.


And how does it work? From what I've read, it's a simple little modem sized device that receives a 3G signal and then broadcasts out the signal in wifi. Do you need a computer to set it up? It's battery operated? And I gathered you can password protect it from others getting on the wifi signal.


If it's simple enough, my parents would be more receptive of a wi-fi iPad. I showed them mine and they think it's cool, but not cool enough to get DSL!


Thanks for your input!




#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

Keith Plucker

    Screenwriter



  • 1,047 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 1999
  • LocationSacramento

Posted July 05 2010 - 05:00 PM

I am not sure how the mifi pay-as-you-go plans actually work, here is Virgin Mobile's page, I believe they are the only ones offering such a deal now:

http://www.virginmob...dband-2200.html


The biggest problem I see is that the time expires rather quickly, with the longest length of time being 30 days.  So if you buy 1GB of data and don't use it within 30 days, you loose it. A cheap DSL plan would be a much better way to go.


Are your parents friendly with any of their neighbors? If they are in wifi signal range maybe they could share a neighbors connection for a few dollars per month?


-Keith


As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#3 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,262 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 06 2010 - 03:15 AM

Is this solely for an iPad? If so, a 3G iPad would solve the problem, without requiring a contract.


The MiFi from Sprint and Verizon are two-year contract things, like a cellphone. It provides a local wifi hotspot for up to about 5 devices, connected to the cell service. Speed will be limited to whatever your local cell service provides.



#4 of 18 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Executive Producer



  • 12,120 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted July 06 2010 - 04:07 AM

Nelson


I have a Sprint MiFi that is a portable hot spot that connects to my 3G network and then allows up to five devices to connect to it. It is battery operated and lasts about 5 hours when turned on. You don't need a computer to use it except for the initial setup where you secure the network connection like you would with setting up a wireless router.


This is a monthly plan though with a limit of 5G per month. I am sure that the pay as you go would be set up in a similar manner.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

Michael_K_Sr

    Screenwriter



  • 1,346 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 14 2005
  • Real Name:MichaelK
  • LocationChicago 'burbs

Posted July 06 2010 - 04:48 AM

5 hours? That's pretty good. The Sprint Overdrives can barely provide two hours with their meager batteries.



#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted July 06 2010 - 05:05 AM

Thanks guys for the great feedback!


The mifi could be used with my Dad's iBook, so it doesn't have to be an iPad. I guess if one got the 3g iPad, there is no contract, but you do pay per month and the new plans are no longer unlimted. I'll have to review that.

I'll review the Virgin Mobile info and the Sprint option. That one sounds pretty good. But it does sound like a low cost DSL plan might be more cost effective. But the lowest AT&T plan at a decent speed is $24/month. Which my parents didn't really want to be do.


They had a neighbor with a wifi and it was not password protected. So they used to use that every now and then. But the neighbor's kids moved out, so the wifi stopped at the same time! There is a neighbor with a password protected wifi spot, but they don't know who it is.


Still more to research here and thanks for the info!



#7 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,262 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 06 2010 - 06:44 AM

What problem are you trying to solve? Is it cost: they don't want to pay every month for internet? Or is there some technophobia about home broadband you can end-run with a cellphone device?


I assume it's cost if they're willing to leech off the neighbor's wifi :) Perhaps they could go in halvsies on DSL or cable modem with the neighbor, since they can get their wifi.



#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

Michael_K_Sr

    Screenwriter



  • 1,346 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 14 2005
  • Real Name:MichaelK
  • LocationChicago 'burbs

Posted July 08 2010 - 03:16 AM

I can guarantee they'll be paying a lot more than $24/month for service on a Mi-Fi. Probably more than double that. Usually in the $50-60/month range.



#9 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,262 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 08 2010 - 03:31 AM

So basically, your parents want free wifi / 3G broadband. Good luck with that. /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif


Is NetZero still in business? That used to be the way to get free internet, over dialup. Otherwise, I don't think you're going to get cheaper than $24/mo, short of leeching off a neighbor.


Well, they can take their iPad to McDonalds, Panera Bread, Starbucks, etc. and use the free wifi.



#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted July 08 2010 - 03:58 AM

Dave,


I am just looking for a way to get my parents wifi. They don't feel they need it or really want it all the time. They'd rather read a real newspaper.


But they thought an iPad might be fun, but it's not really fully useful without internet access. So they thought they didn't really need it.

And they get along fine without the internet or email. When the neighbor had their wifi spot on, it was fun to get on it every now and then. Our town actually installed free internet wifi hot spots all over the city 2 years ago. But it was poorly implemented, they had to be sitting in the front of the house with the laptop up against the window and they'd barely have a connection. I could not get a signal from my house! It only lasted about a year and the city ended it for some reason. It never worked!


I just thought if there was a way to get them internet access, and it wasn't on a contract and it was part time and could be ended and started when needed, it might be a good way to go. Which was why I thought mifi might be an option. It's not how much it cost, though if it's a lot more then $24 a month, it probably isn't worth it to them.

Bottom line is they don't really have a need for it. I'm just trying to see if there was a way to get them wifi. I live about a 1/2 mile away from them. Too bad I can't feed or beam them my signal!/img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif



#11 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,262 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 08 2010 - 05:05 AM



Originally Posted by Nelson Au 
Bottom line is they don't really have a need for it. I'm just trying to see if there was a way to get them wifi. I live about a 1/2 mile away from them. Too bad I can't feed or beam them my signal!/img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


You can. But it requires setting up antennas and hardware jiggery-pokery. I have in-laws that do this.


I think your best bet is a 3G iPad. Then they can pay $15/mo as they want for online access. Or perhaps cable modem, which is monthly, but doesn't always require a contract.


But I've learned not to try and force technology on parents. No one comes out happy :)



#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted July 08 2010 - 05:14 AM

/img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


You can. But it requires setting up antennas and hardware jiggery-pokery. I have in-laws that do this.


And I don't have exactly line of sight to their house. Buildings are blocking the way.


The iPad 3G does sound like the best option. But as you said, best to not force anything.



#13 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,262 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 08 2010 - 06:14 AM


Originally Posted by Nelson Au 

The iPad 3G does sound like the best option. But as you said, best to not force anything.

Since they already have an iPad, you can swap new for old and they'll never know the difference. Except they can go online :)


You need a "killer app". Like email from the grandkids. Or Facebook to reconnect with friends for their 40th HS reunion. Or something.



#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Executive Producer



  • 12,120 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted July 17 2010 - 02:48 AM

I agree that the iPad setup is probably your best bet as the Sprint MiFi is $50 a month. And you have to sign a 2 year contract.


Maybe with more cellphones including mobile hot spots in them the cost of these single units will go down in price and not require a 2 year contract.



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted July 18 2010 - 05:53 AM

Yes, mi-fi is not the right product for this application right now.


Dave, sorry if it wasn't clear, but my parents do not have an iPad, they've only seen my wifi only iPad. I'll look more into the 3g iPad plans, but it's all academic now unfortunately./img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif



#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Ed Faver

Ed Faver

    Second Unit



  • 378 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 1999

Posted July 25 2010 - 08:09 AM

I love my MiFi. Had it since August '09 & use it with my MacBook Pro and iPad. I work for a government agency that puts significant internet blocks on our computers, so I bring my MiFi to work with the iPad when I need to get to sites the blocking software will not let me go. Frequently, these are sites with work applications, but require streaming audio or video, like a college's website. I generally use it 5 days a week. Turn it on when I get to work, turn it off 8 to 10 hours later when I leave. Have never gone over the 5GB limit.


Also, I use it while on vacation in the Outer Banks. My son & I bring our laptops. I tether the MiFi to my machine, turn on 'Internet Sharing,' and we are both able to access the web at excellent speeds. I cannot recommend as a substitute for cable/FiOS/DSL unless you live alone. When one party takes the MiFi on the road, they take all the internet with them.



#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

Michael_K_Sr

    Screenwriter



  • 1,346 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 14 2005
  • Real Name:MichaelK
  • LocationChicago 'burbs

Posted July 25 2010 - 08:39 AM

Why turn on Internet Sharing? Can't your son access the MiFi directly from his laptop? Maybe you don't want to give him the SSID and password?



#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Executive Producer



  • 12,120 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted July 25 2010 - 10:26 AM

Ed:


I am with Michael. Your son should be able to access your MiFi directly without having to go through internet sharing, If you aren't wanting to share

the password with him just log into the MiFi for him and put the password in yourself.


When I go to my parents I will bring my MiFI and my sister, mom, brother and I can all log in at the same time.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."