Taking WiFi with you – Vodafone Pocket WiFi

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.

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  2. Megsie

    September 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    As I live part year in USA and part in Australia, it has always been a problem with internet. Having to have contracts in both countries is a pain when only used part time. With Vodafone’s prepaid broadband and now the Pocket WIFI, all my problems are solved!!!!! rnJust got it yesterday and now can finally use my IPod Touch along with my Netbook. It is a pity the USA does not have Prepaid internet………….. then my problems would really be solved permanently. I live in Dallas and they are just rolling out Clear which also has a pocket WIFI on a contract.rnI believe this is the future and the way to go.

  3. Foxy_chikko

    December 3, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Can someone please tell me How I check the messages that my pocket wifi is alerting me of?

    • Anonymous

      December 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      You need to connect to the management console in your browser. Have you still got the instructions?

  4. Anonymous

    December 5, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Yes, I know, but on mine – it wasn’t! and it was a loaner so I wasn’t moving it:)

  5. Lolololol

    December 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    omg my question was wat is da password for the vodofone pocketwifi on your ipod touch and this bs came up!!!! nno cool u bunch of idiots hahahanno affence

  6. Tajsifaa

    December 26, 2010 at 3:10 am

    please tell how to check message in there ?n

    • Anonymous

      December 29, 2010 at 8:56 am

      Via the web interface – in the instructions you’ll get instructions. When a device is connected you go to the wifi in your browser (eg

  7. Anonymous

    January 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    You should pick it up for $99 now days I think

  8. Wau001

    February 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    hi i can connect via ipad, iphone, ipod and my kids lapstops but mine i cant connect only with it plugged into the usb, also on the web based interface, i cant change the password for some reason any ideas

    • Anonymous

      February 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      You need to connect via the web to it – Best you call tech support I think!

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