INSIDE MOBILE: How MiFi Provides Mobile Internet Access on Multiple Devices - Page 2

MiFi on the road

My wife Alicia and I spent our first night traveling to the wedding in the Hyatt Regency in Boston. Brenda was working to get my MiFi activated so I had to sign up for one day of Wi-Fi access through T-Mobile. The cost was $9.95 for 24 hours of access, but their system would only provide for one account access at a time.

We had to log out when done looking at e-mail and browsing on one system, log on with the other computer, and sort of continually switch access during that evening and the next morning before leaving for Maine. It was a pain to continually have to switch accounts to get Internet access for our three notebook PCs.

Brenda got my MiFi working the next day, so I set it up in the living area in the Belfast Bay Inn. In order to get it working, you have to attach the MiFi to one of your notebook PCs. The software to activate the MiFi unit self-loads. Once it's activated, you can leave it connected-in which case it operates as a "tethered" wide area wireless access modem. But to make it work as a MiFi, you unplug it from the computer and press the lighted button on the unit. At that point, the access portion of the MiFi begins to transmit its service set identifier (SSID), which I could see from each of our notebook PCs.

The notebook PC shows the Wi-Fi AP with the name "Verizon" with the modem ID and notation as "Security-Enabled" (to make sure others can't get unauthorized access and consume your allotted capacity). When you select it, Windows asks you to enter either a Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key or password. After I entered the password (supplied on the back of the modem), I was able to get concurrent access for all three of our notebook PCs during the remainder of our trip.