In this post we take a look at mobile WiFi hotpots, sometimes known as MiFi, as a solution to this problem.
How does it work?
These mobile broadband modems create a WiFi network that other devices can then connect to, this includes any compatible WiFi enabled gadgets you might have including laptops and of course your Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 tablet.
Connecting to the modem’s WiFi network is just the same as setting up any other connection, within Android’s settings page just tap on the WiFi option and you’ll see the network name listed. You just need to tap it, enter the password that comes with it and your connected.
The modem itself then connects to the a mobile network just like your phone, you therefore need to purchase a SIM card with a reasonable data allowance (see suggestions below).
WiFi Mobile Modems?
There are a few of these portable WiFi hotspots available on the market, however the lead supplier in the area right now seems to be Huawei.
I went for the following 3G model, it was cost effective and offers all the connectivity I needed:
There are more expensive versions that will allow more devices to attach at once, and other minor benefits.
The real consideration is whether you wish to go for a 4G enabled model to take the benefit of the faster networks coming on line in 2013/2014. However, right now, these are considerably more expensive and didn’t seem worth it for the basic connectivity I need on the go. If you are reading this in the future, 4G is probably now standard (roll on 5G!)
Best SIM Deals for Mobile Broadband
So, you have the modem, not you’ll need a SIM card to hook up to your preferred Mobile Network.
There are countless SIM only deals out there but I think there are two options that stand out:
- Giffgaff: These guys offer a 5oomb, 1gb or 3gb data “goodybag” with the latter only costing £12.50 per month. Based on the O2 network (currently rolling out 4G) you’ll get a reliable connection and fast speeds. Good if you want a regular allowance managed online. Order Your free Sim.
- Three Data Sim: This is a popular route on our forums and also the SIM card I personally use. It is possible to purchase a Three data Sim from Amazon for about £15. This will give you 3gb of data and last for 3 months. Assuming that’s an acceptable level of data usage, that’s £45 for a year’s worth of Nexus tablet mobile usage.