Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 Unlocked 3G Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot GSM For North Ame...
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- Connects up to five 802.11 b/g compatible Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
- Secured with WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA/WPA2 mixed mode, and WEP options
- 10M (30 ft) range of network coverage
- Supports microSDHC/SD cards up to 32GB
- Unlocked for any compatible cellular network
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MiFi® delivers the ultimate in personal freedom. With the simple push of a button, wirelessly access the Internet from virtually anywhere with any WiFi-enabled device. MiFi® supports multiple users, you can share your high-speed connection with friends, family members and co-workers. The world's first Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, MiFi® is the fastest and easiest way to get online on the go—and it even fits in the palm of your hand. My Internet, my applications, my content, my way. MiFi 2372 intelligent mobile hotspot for HSPA networks with download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5.76 Mbps. This unit is capable of sharing 3G Internet connection between 5 Wi-Fi enabled devices. Operates virtually anywhere in the world with multiple frequency band operation in HSPA, UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS providing high speed mobile Internet access.
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Anyhow, I recently switched to a MBP and too my extreme surprise, AT&T does not support Mac OSX with their LaptopConnect software. Unbelievable, considering the Apple iPhone is the only thing keeping them in business. So my choices were, use the Mercury native drivers and software direct from the manufacturer or try some other solutions. I decided to go check out Sprint and Verizon Mifi solutions and while searching for those, ran across this little device.
For the record, this device is not supported by AT&T. Now that we have that out of the way, I guess it should come as no surprise that the one device that I've purchased that is not supported by AT&T works better than anything they've ever sold me. This thing is a snap to set up. I'm still on the $60/ month data plan so I just use the Sim card that was in my AT&T mercury. Slap it into this thing. Follow the very basic setup instructions. You connect this thing to your computer via USB and then enter the network settings. Some other review here has the AT&T network APN settings. I do think it's different depending on whether you have the data card plan like I do vs if you pull a SIM card out of smart phone and are using that data plan.
You can then add security settings if you want. I would suggest you skip that and test your connection first to make sure you have the AT&T network settings correct. Then power it on, wait for it to connect to the network, then find it like you would find any other wifi hotspot.
Rated battery of 4 hours is about right. As others have noted, you cannot charge in a USB port and still have other people connect. Since I always carry around a USB outlet plug for my iPhone, I just use a 6 inch usb to micro usb plugged into my apple charger one end and this thing on the other. I pulled the 6 inch cable from my jawbone headset but I know they're available for sale separately. The same charging setup charges my kindle.
The reason I love this thing so much is that it turns on and connects to the AT&T network fast. Within 30 seconds usually. Before, I had to boot up my laptop, plug in the aircard, pull up the software, wait for the software to find the aircard, the connect. That process took over 2 minutes. And whenever I put the laptop into standby with the aircard, the software would lock up requiring a reboot if I wanted to connect to AT&T again. Not so with this thing. Plus, I can let 4 other people connect.
Speed is better than with my aircard.
Needless to say, I highly recommend this product. Outside of AT&T's well documented network problems, this device is great. Save yourself the money and if you sign up for a data plan, do not get the aircard and buy this instead.
It arrived yesterday, and I had the same issue. It almost seems to turn on at random, and the button seems to accomplish nothing. It locked up after an hour. Same nonsense.
Want a firmware update? They have produced many, but they are NOT available from Novatel. Or Amazon. You are stuck with the buggy firmware from January of 2010. This unit seems worse than the first, and after it locked up for the second time, I gave up and requested a return from Amazon. I bought a Virgin Wireless Mifi from Best Buy today and will not look back. The Mifi 2372 was a complete pile of garbage for me. Both of them.
I also have the Sprint hotspot box. When these devices are that bad it helps to have a backup. The Sprint box (Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro) is also bad in somewhat different ways. It likes to disconnect more often and hangs sometimes. The Novatel does better on the road (roaming, etc) than the Sierra Wireless.
In short, buy this if you need to use a mobile hotspot but do not expect much out of it.
I found that the Novatel firmware allows the wifi to continue to operate when the device is powered from an external battery or AC adapter through a normal USB cable. The AT&T firmware would shutdown the wifi in this case. However, when you connect it to a laptop with a normal USB cable, the Novatel firmware still shuts down the wifi. I was able to work around this with a micro USB "Y" cable. (One of the two computer plugs only connects to power.) StarTech.com USB2HAUBY1 1 Feet USB Y Cable for External Hard Drive - Dual USB A to Micro B