3 MiFi – Final Looks

August 9th, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve already covered many of the key benefits to the new 3 MiFi unit (in my first looks), although I will restate that it’s a joy to use now it’s a single power button to set everything up, and the wireless encryption key being only numbers makes it easier to quote to people to share the connection.  For the full review, click on the full article below.

So, in the final part of this series, I wanted to concentrate more around the other changes; notably the management interface; the first device used a custom Windows program, and you had to be connected to the device via USB, whereas this version is fully managed via a web browser, making it easy and convenient.

Firstly, you can either select http://192.168.1.1 (unless you change the IP address ranges on the devices), or, and much more easily, simply select http://3.home and you will be taken to the management homescreen.

From here, you can can access a range of functions (including the SMS text messages, something that was pretty impossible on the old device), and then login to the administration further. Here, for example, is the data usage information, showing not just the session information, but also the totals.

Now, once logged in, you can access a whole range of things to control;

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This screen, for example, shows the Advanced Settings, and shows that this device has as much control as many of the Home Broadband Internet Routers available on the market, allowing control over the DHCP settings, as well as the finer points of the Wireless settings.

In fact, it’s nice to see there are even settings such as UPnP settings, showing the real power behind this device.  I have to say though, that although I checked all the settings on all the screens, I felt that actually the “out of the box” settings were pretty spot on in terms of using the device, and I didn’t actually need to tweak anything whilst I had the device.

Although I didn’t get a screenshot of it, the device can actually recognise mobiles, and presents a more compact mobile friendly option:

Screenshot courtesy of Liam Green-Hughes

I had no problems with the device in marginal signal areas (I even managed to conduct a Skype video call for over 15 minutes in an area where you are lucky to not have the signal drop down to zero every few minutes), and had no problems at all with the battery life (it charges via microUSB like many of the modern mobile phones, so that’s one less charger you need to carry around).

Overall, as I’ve said below, this is a very powerful device, and at the price (currently £49.99 or £69.99 with 3GB of data to use over 3 months), the 3 MiFi should certainly be something everyone should consider; after all, a year or two back, and we were all paying more than that just for a USB dongle, and now you can get a device capable of supporting 5 devices at the same time (as well as working on those locked down corporate build laptops without needing to install any applications).

Thanks again to 3MobileBuzz for the loan of the device.


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