By January 25, 2010

Three MiFi Review

MiFi from Three has been around for a while now but its only in the last week we have managed to get our hands on one to review. It certainly sounds a good bit of kit but is it a good alternative to using a normal dongle?


Three MiFi


The 10 second review:

Device: MiFi

Cost: From £9.50 per month with a contract or from £49.99 PAYG

Summary:  A mobile wireless router that will connect to numerous devices simultaneously.

Buy it now from: Three

Please see Matt’s unboxing video for more details.


What’s in the box:

  • Device
  • USB Charger
  • Instructions



If your not totally sure what MiFi is let me give a quick explanation. MiFi is a small device that connects to a laptop/netbook to provide wireless internet access.

You may be thinking that that’s what a dongle does. Well the difference here is that the MiFi is also a mobile broadband modem that acts as a wireless network access point. So. if you are out and about the MiFi will act just like any other Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect numerous devices to it so both you and your friends can all use the same internet connection. The other use for it may be that you are out, or at home and you have no network coverage on your phone. Connect your phone to the MiFi and use 3s 3G internet instead. Its quite clever but is the device as good as it sounds?

3s MiFi works for sure and im pretty impressed. It does however have a few bad points that hopefully will be rectified in future models.

Connecting a laptop or mobile to the MiFi was my first frustration. There are three buttons on the right side of the device and you need to use all three to get connected. First off is the power button. Then you need to press the Wi-Fi button to activate the wireless connection. Finally you then have to press the connect button to get the device connected to the internet. Each of these presses must be for two seconds. Although this procedure works it was a bit temperamental and I just found it to be a bit of a palaver!


MiFi Right Side


The next thing I was not that overly impressed with was its speed. The MiFi can handle a maximum speed of 7.2Mbits/s. Sounds great, but unfortunately the Three network only has a maximum of 3.6Mbits/s.

As you will see in the video below although the MiFi does its job its not always the most reliable.


Three MiFi speed test video



The concept of the MiFi is a fantastic one and the Three one works pretty well although sometimes its great and sometimes its a bit slow. As I said in the video this will be the network and not the hardware. Would I buy one: yes but I would rather get one on another network to be honest. If I was relying on the MiFi on a regular basis I would want its performance to be consistent and it;s not on Three. As you can see from the video above, there are times when it romps away and turns in an impressive performance but then there are others times that it just about works. Comparing that to my Orange connection Orange is much more consistent.

Now I wonder if Three will let me take this over to Mobile World Congress next month for a roaming test?


Posted by: James

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

Five year veteran of the site. BlackBerry specialist, but experienced in most operating systems. Enjoys flower arranging and cross stitch.
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