The VirginMobile version of MiFi does exactly what it promises: provides mobile internet access at a reasonable cost for up to 5 people at once. I would have rated it 5 stars if it were 4G fast or $5 less per month, but the WalMart version is by far the most economical solution available. I ordered mine online and used Site-to-Store for pickup since the cost was $30 less than in the store itself.
I use it primarily during my daily train commute; secondarily, if I'm out of town or waiting at an airport. Regardless, I can send and receive email, do simple online searches, and download simple attachments.
When the signal strength is good, this works very well indeed. The lower the Sprint signal, the more painfully slow the process becomes. So, if you plan to use this in an area with poor Sprint signal [such as my home!], you will be disappointed.
$20 for 1 GB over 30 days without a contract beats all the other carriers in my area. This deal is ONLY available if you buy from Walmart online or in the store, however.
I don't have a smart phone but I've used MiFi with my iPad 2, iPod & MacBook Pro and all synch up effortlessly. Using it for just a couple of hours per day means I don't need to charge it every night.
Unfortunately, there is no charge indicator on the unit so you can't tell when it will stop working. Since 4 LEDs cost almost nothing, perhaps they will fix this on the next iteration.
For low bandwidth users like myself, this is a very practical solution for those times when you're not on WiFi, and it's less costly than paying $9.95 every time you need to send a critical email message. If you find you don't need it every month, it costs nothing so you can add cash to your account only when you need it.
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