After acquiring a MiFi 2352 mobile router from Novatel I realised I’d need a more permanent data SIM with which to better test it. Not only this, however, but there seem to be many questions as to the compatibility of various SIM cards with the MiFi so I took this opportunity to test and report my findings with the 1-month, rolling data contract from Three. This contract is a bargain as far as mobile data goes, and will set you back £15 a month plus an absolutely paltry £9.99 up front for a dongle. The best thing is that you can cancel with a months notice if you find a better deal.
The good news? It works fine in the MiFi 2352. The bad news? Well there’s none, apart from the fact everything works so easily and so simply that there’s really little I can report in this article. The very stylish, but decidedly bulky Three USB mobile broadband dongle also works a treat and, as usual, simply has the software required for its installation stored on flash memory on the dongle itself. This makes setup ridiculously simple, and furthermore makes the dongle a very handy companion to a netbook or laptop. Unfortunately, and unlike the MiFi, the dongle is inflexible and can only serve one client unless that single client shares its internet connection.
There’s an added bonus with the Three mobile data SIM, you can receive text messages for nothing and send them for 10p which will get added to your monthly bill. You can also receive calls, at least there’s nothing to suggest you can’t, but I’ve yet to test this theory.
Anyway, as far as the initial reason for my purchase and testing is concerned, the rolling monthly Three data plan will work fine with a MiFi, it’ll give you a 5gb usage limit which should be plenty for normal on-the-go usage. Three, however, also now offer a Mi-Fi Mobile WiFi router which differs from the 2352 visually, and offers a lot more buttons and LEDs to make things clearer and simpler to the average joe. The Three MiFi is available on the same deal as the dongle, a £15 rolling monthly contract, and will set you back £69.99. This is an absolute bargain considering the usual £200+ price tag of mobile routers. Of course, it’s likely locked to Three.
Anyway, for those of us who love our mobile WiFi and hate ungainly, single-client USB dongles which don’t work with internet tablets or iPod touches the Three Mi-Fi is good news, and other networks picking up this technology can only bring better deals to the table.
Now I’ve successfully tested the MiFi 2352 with Three, T-Mobile and O2. Three, in my opinion, has by-far offered the best speed in my area and seems to have pretty good coverage too, your mileage may vary but they’re looking like a pretty good deal at the moment.
I still, however, recommend going for a MiFi 2352 outright and grabbing SIM cards as and when you want them. This is a much better solution for roaming, and the 2352 is, I believe, a far more attractive and geek-orientated piece of hardware.