Maybe we've seen too many spy movies, but when we first heard about the Wi-Fire, a portable Wi-Fi booster, we imagined some sort of collapsible parabolic antenna, maybe with an accompanying mini-tripod so it can sit next to you on your desk. In fact, the 3x4x3/8-inch directional antenna is rather boxy, and it attaches to your laptop's lid much like a Webcam. According to manufacturer hField Technologies, the Wi-Fire can connect to an 802.11b/g access point as far as 1,000 feet away, giving you the opportunity to roam beyond the range of your laptop's built-in wireless card. All you need is OS X or Windows XP (no Vista compatibility yet) and an available USB port.
At $79, the Wi-Fire could be a low-cost alternative for urban travelers who want more consistent connectivity but don't want to sign on for a cellular plan's monthly fees. Tell us: would you make room in your laptop bag for such a device?