Customer Reviews: Novatel MiFi 4620L Jetpack 4G Mobile Hotspot (Verizon Wireless)
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on May 18, 2012
I owned the Novatel MiFi 2200 Mobile Wi-Fi Modem (Verizon Wireless) for more than 2 years. After my contract ended, I kept using it because it worked so darn well. Working well for me means that when I turn it on it connects to both the Verizon network as well as my connected devices every time, all over the Washington DC area, and other parts of the country when I traveled. The 2200 did this, consistently.

About a year ago, I started looking at a replacement for the 2200. I didn't like what I saw. The reviews were alarming. Yes, some of these newer devices were supposedly faster at "4G," but some of the reviews of the newer models said they were unreliable, in that they didn't consistently work well. For me, there was no point in upgrading the device to a faster speed if it didn't work all the time.

I am really glad I waited. I've had this device, the 4620L Jetpack, for almost 2 months now. It has worked every time I have turned it on. The connections are really quick. And, the speed at 4G is fantastic.

One caveat: the plan I had under 3G with the 2200 was no longer offered by Verizon, and the cheapest plan for the 4620L is $15 more a month, with a higher monthly data use allowance. I don't use any more data than I did before, so I am effectively paying more each month, but at the higher speeds it is worth it for me.

In sum, if you are upgrading you will like the faster speeds. If you are new to the MiFi product line, you will appreciate that it works as described.

****UPDATE, July 2, 2012****
As you may know, the Washington, DC area just got through a very bad storm and many people have been without power for days. I myself lost power for 2 days. During this time, neither my Cable company's internet service worked, and nor did the data service for my iPhone, provided by the major competitor to Verizon. The Verizon Jetpack, on the other hand, worked consistently during this time allowing me to stay connected to the internet to check on the status of power restoration, as well as do other critical things.

The battery life of the Jetpack was impressive, but it certainly did not last the entire time my power was out. So, in addition to charging the Jetpack while driving, I used the Brunton Inspire Portable Power to keep it charged.

****UPDATE, Dec 5, 2012****
Since I have purchased this, I have had a chance to use other "hotspots." For exmaple, I purchased another brand for my mother to use in her assisted living facility. One thing that sets this product, the Novatel MiFi, apart is its smaller size. Its not apparant when shopping for them, but some other models are really quite large. The nice thing about the Novatel MiFi is that it is small and light weight, so you can slip it in your pocket and not really notice its there. By comparison, the model I got for my mother (offered by a different provider) is large and heavy.

Also, just thought I would mention that this Novatel MiFi is still going strong. One of the nice things is that every couple months Verizon sends a firmware update, so I know that are actively supporting it.
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on June 7, 2012
After years of fighting with delays with my old Internet link, which happened to be a Netgear system, I finally step up BIG TIME to the Jetpack Mifi and OMG what a blazing change! Literally mind blowing. I understand my netgear response time had a lot to do with my providers capabilities too (century link) But guess what, I said goodbye to them as well! All cell phone and Mifi household here and loving it. This Mifi has apps where you can check on your data usage, the little box has a lot of features. The only drawback is the size (smaller than a deck of cards), have to keep an eye on it for sure. Someone needs to create a "find my Mifi" ap just in case. It's early, but so far I'm loving it!
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on April 20, 2012
This Verizon cellular modem is compact and half the size of my previous modem. It connects to Verizon's 4G LTE network instantly and maintains a strong signal (At least in the Houston TX area so far). CNET also reviewed this modem and gave it their Editor's Choice award as the best cellular modem to-date.
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on August 30, 2012
While staying at a hotel in Alabama recently during a trip from Maryland to Alabama, the hotel in Alabama's wi-fi speeds were really bad. So I went to the local Verizon Wireless reseller (Cellular Sales) and picked up a 4620L after doing research and learning that we would have LTE available on nearly all of our drive back to Maryland. After buying the 4620, I fired it up in the hotel room and was instantly able to get almost double the speed the hotel's wi-fi offered, and used it solely during the rest of the stay. On the drive back home, Verizon and the 4620 never failed me. I had LTE about 90% of the time. My first speed test in Georgia was over 15Mbps. You should get this, if for any reason, due to Verizon's LTE coverage. The device itself is top-notch. Very easy to configure via its web-based interface. You turn it on, it connects in < 15 seconds, and you're online. Period. Battery life varies depending on how much you task it while it's on.
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on June 11, 2012
Had the modem 10 days when the battery refused to charge or hold a charge. Called Verizon, had to take it into a store to be evaluated. They could not replace or repair the modem because I purchased it through Amazon. Contacted Amazon wireless and the first girl said (after 17 Minutes)she would send a replacement and confirmation email. The email stated she re-ordered the optional antenna instead of the modem. The email stated that the battery problem would be fixed with the new antenna.
I called back and got another girl who understood that the antenna did not have a battery and it was the modem that needed to be replaced.
They have one on the way.
Love the modem and the speed, the portability and the ease of use. I just hope that the battery will last a little longer this time.
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on January 1, 2013
I've been using the JetPack since last May. It is reasonably fast, when it works, but is terrible at maintaining a connection with my iPad. I have to reset the device at least a couple of times a day. I am told by Verizon that it is because the device keeps switching from 3G to LTE (which is only marginally supported in my area --if at all). They claim I am stuck with it until reliable LTE is implemented -- not likely soon.

I also tried using it in my car on a trip to Michgan. It locked up and dropped connection constantly. My AT&T iPhone tether never lost its connection to the device, and only dropped data when no cell service was available.

It's usable, and I'll hang on to it. However, I can't shake the feeling that there has got to be a better way.

9/13/2013 Update: a few months ago, I took the unit into my local Verizon store to complain about my dropped connection. The salesman called VZN tech support and they flashed the device with some updates (not firmware). Reverse since, it has worked flawlessly. I recommend this item without reservation now.
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on June 1, 2012
I just got it today and it was so easy to set up! Plugged it in and hit the power button and it was up and simple even a caveman can do it! Absolutely great product, really easy to activate and fast as heck! Shipping was super fast too!
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on August 25, 2012
I have the mini 4G hotspot and it continued to drop connections with my Apple Mac Book pro. I took it to the Verizon store here and they told me to down load a patch to work with the Pro. I did, it still dropped the connections after 5-10 minutes, because it does not automatically connect, I have to reboot the hotspot by holding the power button for more than two seconds. Powering it up you have to hit the power button twice once to get the battery state, the second hit you get antenna strength. I went back to Verizon and they refused to replace it on the warranty, so I cancelled. Even though you get this device for free like on Amazon, you end up with a two year contract which is expensive to cancel early at $55.00/month. I now have an ATT Elevate hot spot which works with all my Mac Book, iPhone, iPad and although LTE is not in Seattle yet, I am still getting close to 4G performance in Seattle.
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on April 17, 2013
I really want to say the device works; I really do. On the surface it works, but complications have turned it into a nightmare.

The good:
-Works as advertised* (up to 10 devices all running on blazing fast LTE)
-USB tethering too
-Gets about 4 hours battery life with light LTE usage. Heavy usage I get around an hour.
-Nice push button interface with OLED display. Lots of useful information without accessing the internal web panel.

The Bad:
-Has a tendency to go "Dormant." Google: "4620L too dormant to use." If you don't have a application on your computer (i.e. a ping, downloading something, ect..) continuously accessing the internet, the MiFi will enter a "Dormant" state. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but it frequently doesn't leave the Dormant state. This leaves you with a dead internet connection and you have to power cycle the device. This happens frequently when I'm streaming online music; the connection will die, because of the burst nature of the traffic isn't enough from keeping the 4620L from going to sleep.

-Obsolete Single band LTE. Only supports the 700MHz Upper C Band. Verizon is now deploying LTE on the 1.7GHZ AWS Band as well as the 700MHz Upper C Band. The newer MiFi 5510L supports both bands and will be the better device moving forward.

-Charge Deficit. When your uploading large files on an LTE connection, the battery with discharge even if it's plugged in (i.e. the MiFi consumes more power than provided by the AC charger). The MiFi doesn't seem to accept high current charging, so this is a tremendous problem for me. I constantly find my MiFi in a "fail safe" battery protection mode after uploading ~1GB of data (i.e. the internet connection is dead again).

-Mandatory over the air Firmware upgrades. This thing will hold your 4G internet connection hostage until you click okay for the firmware updates Verizon pushes onto it.

The Ugly:
-These 4620L's die like flies. I'm on the 3rd warranty replacement within 6 months! They usually die during a botched over the air firmware upgrade. The net effect is that I've seen 4 of these MiFi's and I'm beginning to think I'll see 10 of them before the original warranty period expires...
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on November 24, 2012
When it is working well it is very good. Other times it is slower than my 3g 5 spot. Anywhere from 800 to 8,000 kbps from the exact same location with the day of the week the only apparent variable. Often in online gaming, it comes and goes with connection interrupted and lag. The 3g may have been slower but at least it was reliable. If the gaming doesn't smooth out, I'm going to reactivate the 5 spot and use this thing as a paper weight.
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