Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 (Sprint) review: Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 (Sprint)

Given its tiny size, we were impressed with what the MiFi 2200 offers via its Web interface. You'll find regular features including the ability to change the SSID, the encryption key, the default gateway IP address, and so on. Other than that, we also found advanced features such as Port Forwarding, which allows you to set up special Internet applications, such as FTP server, HTTP server, or remote desktop connection. The Web-interface itself was well-organized and responsive, and works with various browsers.

The router also has built-in GPS that allows you to find points on interest, such as restaurants, banks, hotels and, of course, Sprint stores, near your location using the Web interface. This actually is a very useful feature, especially when you are in a new town or unfamiliar territory.

For security, the MiFi 2200 features both WEP and WPA encryption. It also gives the option to filter wireless clients via their MAC address. This is convenient when using handheld devices, such as VoIP phones, where you don't want to have to fiddle with typing in the encryption key.

Performance
The Sprint Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 mobile is not a regular wireless router; therefore we didn't stack it against others. However, we did put it through similar set of tests and were generally happy with it.

Featuring the older Wireless-G standard that caps at 54Mbps, the MiFi 2200's wireless LAN throughput performance was around 2Mbps, which was slower than the 5Mbps of the Verizon counterpart. This speed means you don't want to use it as a reliable way to transfer a decent amount of data between devices. However, it's still fast enough to share the Internet connection.

In our Internet connection tests, Sprint Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 offered around 550Kbps for both download and upload speeds. These are in line with what Sprint claims, but lower than the 1,000Kbps of the Verizon unit. Nonetheless, in tests where we streamed live video, the Sprint Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 did very well. Overall the device offers a decent Internet connection, comparable to a low-end DSL line.

The Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 mobile router's battery life is about the same as the Verizon's counterpart. During heavy use, it lasted for about three and half hours but could last much longer with just intermediate use. The device takes a couple of hours to fully charge from completely dead.

We tried the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 mobile router around the San Francisco Bay Area, both indoors and outdoors, and the coverage was consistently good. We didn't run into any dead zones.

The Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 has a range of about 30 feet, which is short but long enough for a close proximity such as a car or a van.

Overall, we were happy with Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 mobile router's performance, though we wished it were faster and supported more devices at a time. However, considering its physical size, what it has to offer is already very impressive.

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