Virgin Mobile MiFi
I was just at BestBuy and noticed that Virgin Mobile now has a MiFi device. The thing that caught my attention is that were advertising an Unlimited Plan for only $40 a month, and you don't have to sign a 2 year contract. They use the Sprint 3G network for service. Has anyone tried this. You don't hear much about Sprint 3G network and how fast or reliable it is. Anyone have a Sprint phone? I didn't buy the WiFi Ipad because AT&T is almost non-existent where I live.
I have the sprint mifi card and in all honesty, it sucks.
Now if you have a computer or in my case an iPhone running on tmobile edge, then it's good because most laptops don't have a built in wireless modem.
Now iPad has AT&T 3G. If service is okay in your area, you're better off using them. Now if service sucks, then mifi be a good option depending on carrier.
Mifi lasts 2-4 hours depending on use. Also it's another device to carry around. Charge (another cable to carry). Turn on/off every moment you need/don't need Internet ( I have forgot to turn it off a few times..). And for that you can see why the 3G iPad is a better option if AT&T in your area allows it. In Denver metro, no issues.
I have a pay as you go 3 mifi for my old sony and it works fine with the iPad. Really only used it two or three times a year.
Horrible counter intuitive design though, every time I use it I have to check the manual.
I've been using the virgin mobile mifi for about three months now and it's great here in St. Louis. plus it's prepaid so you just activate when you want to by calling in with a CC or buying refill cards just about anywhere. And they have a 10 day option if you just want it for a business trip or something.
I get about 5 hours of continuous use from it during the day. As long as you turn it off when youre not using it, it will last all day easily. I charge mine every two days because I only use it for about 2 hours a day browsing the web. Im sure if you're streaming YouTube or Netflix it will drain faster.
I've been using the Virgin mi-fi for about 3 months and it's terrific! Using it mostly in rural areas of Pennsylvania with good speed & coverage. Only refill the time when I know I'll need it so save a week here & there.
Can you charge the MiFi unit using the USB port provided by the Camera Connection Kit?
I used the virgin mobile mifi just shy of a month before returning it.
The reception was fine everywhere I took it, but I found it to be too slow for my Netflix streaming needs. I have a 3G 16G and found AT&T's service to be a bit faster, but unless you were grandfathered into the $30/mo unlimited plan (which ends the moment you stop service), the average person will blast through 2 gigs of data rather quickly if streaming video; ie. Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, etc. - for that reason I did like the unlimited aspect of Virgin's mifi for only a difference of $15, plus I could use it with other devices, like my iPod touch, my Mac, or PC.
I currently use a Clear iSpot, which is a little thicker than the Virgin Mobile mifi, but delivers 4G speed, unlimited, for the same $25/mo I was paying AT&T - and best of all, there's no contract, just like Virgin's mifi.
For those who don't exclusively live/work/play in a 4G area, there's the Clear 4G/3G combo personal router that runs $55/mo.
The routers start at $99, but Clear runs specials from tome to time. I picked up my iSpot for $20. A bargain considering Virgin charges $150 for theirs, and Verizon charges $269 for contract free operation- neither matching Clear's 4G 6 Mbps download speeds.
If you're not in a current or future Clear 4G area, I would say that Virgin's mifi is the next best choice for the average ipad user based on it's unlimited data/no contract use.