Experience with Sprint / Nextel MiFi?
September 17, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Experience with Sprint / Nextel MiFi?

Moving into an area of Seattle with a cable/Internet provider with a poor reputation and performance. My wife and I are considering the MiFi 2200. We both work from home and I wanted to ask the MeFi-ers first to see if anyone has had any experience with this device/service.

We need something that can handle everything from running reports through VPNs, to watching videos, to downloading large files. What should we need to know (or be concerned) about? How does it compare to a top-of-the-line high-speed broadband service?
posted by bamassippi to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)

Don't expect to get any more than 1Mb/s. And don't forget that Sprint caps their mobile broadband service at 5GB/month. If you hit it twice in three months time, they'll cut off your service.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2009

I have a MiFi 2200 on Sprint.

Reports through VPN? Maybe.
Videos? Buffering... Buffering...
Downloading large files? Depends on how you define large.

Here in Las Vegas, I get the following results (image links from my blog, where I did a pseudo-review of the device):
Speedtest.net results
Toast.net results

It doesn't compare, at all, to top of the line high-speed Internet service. Not one bit. The performance I get from the MiFi is, on average, lower than the 512kbit/second cable I had in 1997. Needless to say, my 12mbit/sec cable connection pounds it into the dirt.

It is not meant to be used as a day-to-day Internet connection. I use it for my iPod Touch, and it streams Pandora fine most of the time, hitching only every 20 songs or so.

It's GPS is also worthless, if you were interested in that:
GPS results

Even if the cable provider in your region was the bottom of the barrel, it'll probably be better for long-term use than a MiFi. But if you're in Seattle, you're in Speakeasy's back yard. I used them here in Vegas, where they sublet from Covad. They're spendy, but worth considering as an alternative if they're available in your area.
posted by Rendus at 12:42 PM on September 17, 2009

You're in Seattle - you should check if you can get wimax.
posted by kickingtheground at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2009

I have three for work. If you can live with the speed of evdo, it's excellent.
I have to restart it from time to time when it locks up, but c'est la vie.
posted by rbs at 2:20 PM on September 17, 2009

If you're moving into an area with Comcast, check out their business class offering, rather than residential. The folks I know who have comcast business broadband are _much_ happier than the ones who have residential. The prices at http://business.comcast.com/ have very little bearing on reality--call a sales rep, or have them call you, to get the real prices and packages available to you.

As soon as I clean out my network closet so I'm not ashamed to have an installer see it, I'm placing an order myself. (Switching from Speakeasy, with whom I've been a customer since 1996 or so, when they were just a cybercafe, but who can't deliver a decent DSL speed to my house.)

Broadstripe probably has a similar deal with business vs residential, but I have no experience with them.
posted by hades at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2009

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