Novatel MiFi 2372 Review
by Chris Day @ Fully Managed™
Posted 6 years ago
A lot of people were shocked when they found out I purchased the iPad WiFi without 3G because I'm known to always go for the most elaborate, technologically advanced device available. This post provides the reasoning behind my decision to go with a stand-alone WiFi gateway instead of a dedicated data plan in the iPad 3G. Below are the advantages of this approach and the quick steps to get this configuration going. When you're all done, your setup might look like this:
Advantages of iPad WiFi + MiFi vs. iPad 3G:
- Avoid a stand-alone data plan on your iPad - even though the carriers (like Rogers & Bell here in Canada or T-Mobile & Verizon in the US) are making the plans fairly cost effective it is still another data plan. Do you really need/want a data plan on every device you carry? On your handheld/smartphone, your iPad and your laptop (e.g. rocket stick)? If you have an iPad 3G and you want to get your laptop online to do some real work, there really is no way to do that unless you choose to Jailbreak your iPad and install MyWi (although not sure they support iPad 3G yet).
- The MiFi devices (by Novatel) work with any device that supports WiFi - your phone, your laptop, your friend's laptop, your iPad, your Android slate, etc. Up to 5 nearby devices (30 feet or so) can jump on your WiFi network and access the internet - and the speeds are good - depending on your carrier up to 7.2Mbps downloads.
- You can setup different profiles on the MiFi to allow "instant hotspot" (e.g. unauthenticated, unencrypted) or secure profiles. This is all very easy to configure via the web interface.
- Use WiFi only apps from your iPhone while on the road - since your iPhone can now be tethered (via WiFi) to your MiFi device you are able to run any of the apps that are disabled on 3G without any issue.
Quick Setup Steps:
- Order a Novatel MiFi 2372 device, preferably unlocked so that it it works on any carrier. I bought mine from Quantum Wireless in the US and received it next day via FedEx. You may have heard about the Bell recall of the MiFi devices in Canada - the ones available now are not affected by this recall. The good thing about not buying it from a carrier is that it is unlocked - when I travel to the US I can purchase a US data plan to avoid the exorbitant data roaming or US roaming plans.
- Purchase a data plan & SIM card that suits your requirements - I went for the Rogers flex plan that starts at $35/mo and scales up depending on how much data is used that month.
- Configure the MiFi device for Rogers (3 screenshots). Setup the profile and the magic setting you need for APN is "rogers-core-appl1.apn" - username and password field are both blank. Apparently this setting will work worldwide (if you choose to roam) although I have not yet tested it.
How's the speed?
Here are my results from the iPhone connected via the Novatel MiFi 2372: