Internode MiFi review: Internode MiFi

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Simple set-up. Works well. Supports up to five clients. microSDHC storage.

The Bad Comparatively expensive. One button approach limits on-the-fly tinkering.

The Bottom Line Internode's MiFi 3G modem/router works quite well, but carrier issues and high pricing are a big downside.

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Design

Internode's entry into the personal Wi-Fi-enabled 3G modem category carries about the least catchy name possible, as it's labelled simply as the "MiFi", a title used often for this entire category of devices. Then again, if you can own an entire category by name alone, it's probably not a bad marketing strategy. The MiFi device itself is small (62x98x15.3mm) and light (81g) and slips into the pocket in much the same way a mobile phone does. That's both a plus and a minus, as while it's highly portable, it also means it's pretty easy to mistake it for your actual mobile when digging through your pockets. Internode sell the MiFi in white or black. Unsurprisingly, those options give you a modem router in white or ... (you guessed it) black.

The MiFi does have the advantage of simplicity. It features a single button that glows when you switch it on. From there, the MiFi handles connection to the wireless carrier and setting up a WEP-protected Wi-Fi network for you. There's no other buttons to push or settings to tweak, at least in theory.

Features

Internode's an ISP, not a hardware manufacturer, so the MiFi isn't a unique design. It's actually a Novatel MiFi 2352. That's an HSDPA/HSUPA capable modem with a top speed of 7.2Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up. On the wireless front, the MiFi is 802.11b/g capable only. It's a compromise not having wireless-N, but then this is really a personal modem router rather than something you could reasonably expect to run an entire home on. The internal battery is a 1530mAh Lithium-ion that sits above the SIM holder. A microSDHC slot also makes this a tiny storage router for any connected client. You're not going to be able to serve data to absolutely everybody, however, as the MiFi has a hard limit of only five clients.

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Where to Buy

Internode MiFi

Part Number: CNETInternode MiFi

Typical Price: $349.00

See manufacturer website for availability.