When it comes to connecting to internet beyond the phone, some people are still stuck in the age of modems. However, nowadays if you want to have wireless WiFi without tethering your phone you can opt for a 4G MiFi or a 4G Router.
The main difference between MiFi and Router is that MiFi is portable while Router is usually fixed. In other words MiFi has inbuilt rechargeable battery hence you can carry it everywhere. On the other hand, a Router has no battery and will need to be connected to power.
All MiFi have a SIM card slot while not all Routers have cellular connectivity capacity. A MiFi can connect to 8,16 and even 32 devices at a time. Buying a MiFi can be necessary when you want WiFi at home for use with multiple devices such as PC, Laptop, Tablet, Smart TV, Phones etc.
Some issues you might need to consider when purchasing a WiFi are;
1. Speed – MiFi have different speed capacity. Download speeds can vary from less than 150Mbps for 4G Category 4 to 300Mbps for 4G Category 6 etc. The key issue here is to ensure the MiFi is 4G.
2. Locked or unlocked? – If you buy MiFi from a mobile service provider it will be locked to that provider only. It cannot work with a SIM card from another provider. If you want a MiFi that will work with any SIM card then you need an unlocked MiFi.
The unlocked MiFi will be more expensive than a locked one. However, a locked one usually comes with free data bundles e.g. Telkom Kenya 10GB and Airtel Kenya 15GB. Faiba has no data bundle offer.
If you are considering using Faiba Mobile, you might need to confirm with them whether the MiFi you are buying is compatible with their network.
3. Cost – The Cost of a MiFi will be in the range of KShs 5,000 to KShs 8,000. The locked MiFi are cheaper.
4. Battery capacity – usually the battery lasts from 6 to 8 hours of continuous use but can last more due to power saving properties. The MiFi will go into low power mode when no device is connected hence the battery will last longer.
5. Brand – the most common brand is Huawei. Others are ZTE, TP-Link, Alcatel etc
6. SIM card size – some MiFi use MacroSIM and others MicroSIM. NanoSIM is not common with MiFi.
7. Ease of controlling the device – you usually control the MiFi using a mobile phone App or a Web browser.