Not too long ago I wrote about Comcast discontinuing their 4G MiFi service. I had used it for a little over a year. The service was discontinued on August 31. I had just started to think about evaluating other services when as luck would have it only 5 days later I was contacted by Netzero and asked to test their MiFi service. The timing was perfect. Netzero has been around for a long time. But they were previously known for their super cheap (aka FREE) dial-up service. Since the times and technology has changed, they have too.
I have been using it for just about one month. I was able to use it in Vegas during a conference because the hotel MiFi was very spotty. I have also used it recently when in downtown Chicago, at my kid’s school. and when at a lunch meeting. And unlike some airports, Midway Airport here in Chicago does not have free WiFi, so I used it there as well while waiting for a flight.
Last night I used it here at home. I was working when my internet connection went out. I did the usual and went down to the basement and rebooted the router. I could tell by looking at it that the connection was still not right. All of the lights that should be pretty and blinking were not. I then called and was greeted by a message telling me that Comcast is having internet problems in my area. The estimated time for repair was 3 hours later. :O Well I connected via my MiFi from my Macbook and was able to keep working.
The HotSpot that I have can support up to 8 devices connected by WiFi. I tested this theory. All 8 devices (a mix of tablets, phones, and computers) connected without an issue. When attempting to connect device number 9 it rejected it as expected. The speed that I get here at home is not great at just over 1mb down. However, as with most services the quality of the connection is dependant on the area. If you are just worried about web browsing, blog posting, and email… it is more than fine. It also allowed me to stream a movie via Netflix from my iPad without a problem.
Netzero offers a range of plans based on data usage. I am testing the premium service which is 4GB of data for $49.95 per month. And right now, you can purchase the MiFi device for half price at only $49.95. Not sure that you will love the service? Buy a device and try out the FREE plan. It is 200mb of data which is fine for email and web browsing, and can be used a few times a month.
I’ll be heading to Austin soon and I will have my HotSpot with me again… just in case.
Disclosure: The Netzero Hotspot and service were provided to me to test for 1 year. All opinions are my own.