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Review: Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L

Portable hotspot permits wi-fi use for mobile devices on the go

If you're looking for a way to access the Web in all of its glory on your laptop or other Internet connected device while on the go, Verizon's latest MiFi mobile hotspot may be just the ticket. Built by Novatel Wireless for Verizon Wireless, the MiFi 4510L ($99.99 with 2-year contract; $269.99 without) delivers blazingly fast download speeds. Basically, you can think of the MiFi as a much smaller version of the wireless router you have at home, which connects all of your computers, video game systems and other doodads to the Web, just with the added ability to travel with you and your devices quite easily.

Verizon Mifi

The MiFi 4510L is simple to use, with only one button to operate. — Photo courtesy Verizon Wireless

What's in the box

About the size of a Blackberry smartphone (2.4 x 3.7 x 0.5 inches), the 4510L MiFi is a simple device, with a small notification screen (indicates signal strength and battery life) and only one button (power on/off).

The hotspot comes with an instruction manual, along with a microUSB to USB cable that allows you to charge the MiFi via the USB port on your laptop. Additionally, a microUSB wall power adaptor is included to juice up the battery when it gets too low (and yes, you can charge and use the device to surf the Web at the same time).

Setup

This has to be one of easiest ways to get online while setting up a small network. There are three steps to getting online:

  1. Press the power button, and wait for the device to power on.
  2. Flip the MiFi over and you'll find a 14-digit password printed on the back. Enter the code into the Network Connections setting of your laptop or wireless device.
  3. Surf the Web!

You can repeat the above process with as many app-filled iPods, tablets, etc., as you wish. Just remember that only five devices can actively use the hotspot at the same time.

 

Next: Speeds of both a tortoise and a hare? >>

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