Me, my MiFi, and a bunch of hangers-on
I’ve got a friend. Well, actually, there would appear to be several people that would like to be my best friend. This is no doubt due to the fact that I have suddenly found myself to be a part of the global communications industry.
I am in Portugal, and on my person is a MiFi personal hotspot device, complete with a data SIM card and its own 3G or 4G connection. The bundle was delivered pre-configured and ready to use, which is a good thing, because although I am one of those people who is interested in modern technology and enjoys using it, I am not a technophile in the true sense of the word, because if anything goes wrong, I am utterly stuck.
In order to use the device, one must have a WiFI enabled device, and the WiFi signal is secured by encryption key. All I had to do was press the power button, wait for the LED screen to power on, and register a mobile network. The device then attempted to auto connect to the internet. Once connected, I used my iPhone 6+ to locate the MiFi device name (SSID) and connect to it, entered the WiFi encryption key and I was good to go. Now, I can tell you are impressed.
I am travelling through the Alentejo region of Portugal, in close proximity to the Spanish border. Normal internet connection is somewhat hit and miss, which is why I suddenly feel like the Pied Piper, as several others on my journey are keen to tune into my small, portable router.
The MiFI is clearly an invaluable tool for families and friends, as up to ten people can use it at the same time. All they need do is key in the same passcode. The MiFi allows internet anywhere, so is the perfect device for work, holidays and general travel. I discovered that 4G reverts to 3G where the former signal is weak or non-existent.
As the MiFi creates its own private Wi-Fi hotspot, it makes it more secure than free or even paid for Wi-Fi hotspots. It doesn’t drain itself either, because after ten minutes of no activity, the device enters sleep mode. The LED screen powers off, but the product stays turned on. Once in sleep mode, the WiFi function is disabled, and to exit sleep mode, you simply press the power button.
We were travelling in two cars back to Lisbon airport. Once in the terminal building, the passengers in the following vehicle are delighted to tell me that they were able to pick up the signal en route. Funny, that once we were back in the UK and I had returned the bundle, telephone and email communication seemed to fade away.
The MiFi bundle was rented to me by Cellhire (www.cellhire.co.uk), a leader in global mobile communications, providing clients and partners with innovative and competitive voice and data solutions around the world. Cellhire hires out MiFis in 30-day slots, along with data SIM cards. Technical support is 24/7, at 01904 616810 or firstname.lastname@example.org