The Verizon Wireless Fivespot global-ready 3G mobile hot spot is about the size of the company's tiny MiFi 2200 , just noticeably thicker. It also offers a similar service: a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to five devices at a time. However, the Fivespot is much superior to the MiFi 2200, as it supports both 3G and CDMA networks, allowing it to work almost anywhere in the world.
Other than that, both come with the same domestic data plan. The Fivespot is also offered with international data plans that start at $129.99 per month for 5GB of data within the U.S. or 100MB outside.
As a mobile router, the Fivespot worked well in our tests and proved to be an excellent product for mobile Internet access. Unfortunately, like the MiFi 2200, it doesn't support the much faster 4G standard.
Business users who travel a lot will find that the Fivespot is a great product to bring along. For most users, the hefty price of the data plans might reduce the appeal of the convenience it offers.
Domestic monthly plans
- • $39.99 monthly access for 250MB monthly allowance and $0.10/MB overage
- • $59.99 monthly access for 5GB monthly allowance and $0.05/MB overage
Domestic prepaid plans
- • $15 for 100MB (one day of use)
- • $30 for 300MB (one week of use)
- • $50 for 1GB (30 days of use)
- • $80 for 5GB (30 days of use)
- • $129.99 monthly access (5GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 100MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
- • $219.99 monthly access (5GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 200MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
- • GlobalAccess Pay Per Use for occasional use must be purchased with a $59.99 Mobile Broadband service plan in the United States. The Pay Per Use rate is $0.002/KB in Canada, $0.005/KB in Mexico, and $0.02/KB in more than 200 other destinations.
Design and ease of use
The Fivespot is tiny, about the size of 10 credit cards stacked together, and weighs just 2.82 ounces. It can fit easily into your pocket. On top it has a circle of LED lights showing the status of the Wi-Fi connection, the battery life, the power, and the connection to the Internet. On one side, there's a power button; in order to turn the device on or off, you have to hold the button for a few seconds, so it can't be turned off accidentally.
The battery LED changes colors, indicating how much battery power is left: solid green means the battery has an ample amount of juice, flashing green means it's being charged, red means the battery is low, and flashing red means it's about to die.
On the bottom, the device has one standard Mini-USB port that accommodates the included wall charger and USB cable. The Fivespot comes with several different wall plug adapters, so you can charge it no matter where you are in the world. You can also charge the Fivespot with your computer, using the included standard Mini-USB cable.
Like the MiFi 2200, the Fivespot also works as a modem when connected to a computer directly. The first time you plug it into a computer, you'll be prompted to install the VZAccess Manager software, which can be skipped. The device still works as a hot spot when it's being charged, as long as you don't install or run the VZAccess software. When used as a modem, it works only with the computer it's plugged into but also allows you to send and receive text messages.
The Fivespot ships with a small user manual, but you probably won't need to use it at all. On the back, there's a sticker that shows the default wireless network name (SSID) and a default encryption key.
If you don't like the default SSID and encryption key--we didn't, because they are too long to remember--you can change them by logging into the device's Web interface. By default, this can be done by pointing a connected computer's browser to 192.168.0.1. The default log-in information is "admin" for both the username and password. The Web interface also allows you to access the router's other features.