Why I Love Sprint Broadband: Round 2 (The MiFi Edition)

Last year, I had written a loving, gushy tribute to my beloved Sierra Wireless Aircard 595U, an EVDO broadband card that operates on the Sprint network.  I used it, well, constantly - in the office, working remotely, and sometimes at home (if the power went out, for example.)

The signal strength and Internet speeds were consistently superior to the 3G data speeds on my iPhone and still are.  This is why I decided to renew my contract with Sprint and upgrade to the new Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot.

This nifty little device is about the size of a credit card and is slimmer than a Moto RAZR, so yeah, it's pretty small and would easily slip into a pocket.  It's pretty light as well.

The unboxing experience was somewhat unpleasant, as the box sucks.  There is literally no way whatsoever to open it without cutting the tab in the front.  When I went to open it in the store, the sales guy immediately went for his scissors as though by instinct, a good sign I was not the only one to go through this.  You do need the manual, though, for the default login password and so forth.

Once you have it charged and turned on, the Sprint logo will light up along with the power button, but you have the option to turn this off later.  By default, the SSID will be broadcast and you can latch on right away through the wireless connection in your laptop, PC, whatever.  This is a HUGE advantage compared to USB cards, as NO additional (annoying) software is needed.

Since this little gem is basically a tiny, portable wireless router - you can log in to like any other router and manage settings such as port forwarding, wireless security, power management, and check your data transferred as well as the signal strength and type of network youre attached to.

Overall Impressions

So, what do I think of the MiFi 2200?  It's pretty cool.  I'm not "blown away" by the network speeds, but it's good enough to do the job; i.e., streaming audio whilst working on the web works just fine, but video streaming suffers a bit... torrenting or downloading large files would be out of the question.  1Mbps isn't bad, but I've seen people get far more from this device, and with full EVDO signal I expected more.

That's not what the MiFi is for, though.  It's designed to be a super easy to use mobile Internet connection.  The best part about it is that it will work with virtually anything that can latch onto a hotspot, rather than being boung to USB connections only - a perfect solution for gadget hoarders and mobile warriors.


  • Slick, tiny form factor
  • Super easy to use
  • Flexible wireless hotspot settings, including WPA2 encryption
  • Can be shared with up to 5 devices 


  • After about 4 hrs of use it requires a recharge
  • Not as fast as I expected
  • Expensive without a contract renewal 

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