I’ve seen a lot of portable WiFi gadgets – but have struggled to understand the WHY behind WHY they are on the market.
Then I took a step back, and looked at just my own situation. At any one time, I have two devices with me that are connecting to the internet. A Smartphone and my iPad or Netbook.
Imagine then you add my Wife into the example, and we are let’s say at a hotel on holiday in another city. This might just make a combined internet device quite valuable.
I’m surfing the web on my iPad or Netbook, still receiving emails and updates on my smartphone, and my wife too has her smartphone checking emails and using facebook.
We’re using data across three mobile phone plans. No real problem, we have the data limits to cover it – but imagine we had lower plans, and paid less each month. That would be good.
This is the limit of the reason, but the basics of the reasons to want a portable WiFi device are for the traveller, the businessperson who has those two devices.
Vodafone have released the Pocket Wifi in Australia, and it’s available Free on any 24 month plan over $29 per month. Built by HUAWEI – this is no cheap device, HUAWEI have a long history in devices like this, so the quality should well be there, and let me tell you in the area that counts – usability – it’s 5 stars from me.
I simply turned the unit on, the screen came on, and shortly after the status looked like any mobile phone – seeing my coverage levels and battery display on screen.
I grabbed the iPad and tried to connect it – AHA – what is the WIFI password.
The instructions tell me this is located a sticker behind the battery cover, So I removed that – couldn’t see any sign of a sticker.
I removed the battery – and there it was.
A tad disappointing, having to then power up again, search for network again etc, but I will say this may be the unit I have only – a review unit, but if it is a production error – they really should put the sticker behind the cover, not the battery, it’s a right pain having to take it out each time you want to connect a new device.
A real pain because you see, you can connect up to 5 devices – so if someone wants to join you, you’re kicking every other device off, just to find the key!!
However, I’d expect most people would re-name that password once you set it up, through the basic web interface that you get with it, that is nice and easy to use!
You can even send and receive SMS Messages using the unit.
This is quite cool.
Overall, I’m impressed, it’s small enough to carry in your bag and not have to worry about it, and it’s powerful enough to cater for a group of friends, workmates or just a single person with multiple devices. A great idea – if you think you need it – check it out at Vodafone
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.