Mobile WiFi. A Guide From UK Mobile Broadband Deals
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Mobile WiFi

A simple guide to mobile WiFi - what it is and how it works

Mobile WiFi is a relatively new addition to the mobile broadband family. This simple guide explains what mobile WiFi is, how it differs from ‘traditional’ mobile broadband and when it might be useful.

Your Own Personal Mobile Hotspot
Three MifiMost mobile broadband deals involved connecting a dongle to your computer and accessing the Internet directly over the mobile network. Mobile WiFi works on a similar principle but in a different way. With Mobile WiFi you get a simple unit (for example a MiFi from Three) which contains a SIM card and modem to access the Internet, just like a dongle, but connects to the Internet without the aid of additional hardware, like a laptop, or software, like the drivers and connection software you usually have to install. Once connected to the Internet then unit then creates its own WiFi hotspot that multiple devices can connect to to access the Internet. You can password protect this hotspot (highly recommended) or leave it open so anyone can join.


Advantages of Mobile WiFi
Vodafone mobile wifiThere are a few advantages to using Mobile WiFi instead of a traditional dongle. Firstly you don’t have to install any software, you just connect the device to the 3G network then your laptop to the WiFi network, this means it’s really easy to get up and running quickly and also means that other WiFi enabled devices besides laptops can access the signal – great for the likes of the iPod touch, iPads and other tablet computers and even more advanced WiFi connected gadgets like cameras and sat navs.

Secondly, because the signal works exactly like a WiFi hotspot, you can use multiple devices with the same connection. Whereas usually it’s a case of one dongle, one Internet connection with a Mobile WiFi connection you simply set up the hotspot then you can connect multiple computers and other gadgets at the same time. It’s worth bearing in mind that they will all be sharing the same signal and data allowance so using too many could slow it down or get expensive but as long as you limit the access to a smallish number of devices at once and choose the right package there should be no problems.


Using it with an iPad or tablet computer
ipad with mifiOne of the great advantage of Mobile WiFi is as an accessory to a WiFi only iPad. Indeed Three’s MiFi unit recently won an award from MacWorld as the best iPad accessory. Because WiFi only iPads are significantly cheaper than the 3G versions and because Mobile WiFi contracts tend to be better value than 3G iPad plans you can save a lot of money by using Mobile WiFi to go alongside your iPad on the move – and of course you’ll also be able to use the same Mobile WiFi connection with a laptop or other gadgets.

You can see all the Mobile WiFi deals available in the UK here.