I been looking for an easy to use Mobile Wi-Fi (MiFi) device for my non-3G capable devices and travels. Seems like one (at least for me!) cannot survive without Internet connectivity. Can you imagine not connecting to WhatsApp, Facebook or even Google Maps while you are on the move in a foreign country?
Most of the time, I will pick up a prepaid card for Internet access but I will be restricted to only a single device. The MiFi allows you to share the Internet from the prepaid card to multiple WiFi devices (e.g. iPad Mini, Transformer Infinity, PSP).
Why the Huawei E5331?
I picked up a Huawei E5331, a budget MiFi at US$59, off an online store. Why the Huawei E5331 and not others? Simply because of the operating frequency it supports and Auto APN feature.
|Huawei E5331 Technical Specifications|
|Operating frequency (3G)||HSPA+/HSUPA/HSDPA/UTMS
|Operating frequency (2G)||GSM/GPRS/EDGE
|Speed||5.76 Mbps (HSUPA)
21.6 Mbps (HSDPA)
|Battery capacity||1500 mAh|
|Operating hours||5 hours maximum|
|Standby||280 hours while Wi-Fi is off
30 hours while Wi-Fi is often on
|Num of Wi-Fi users||8|
|Dimension||92mm x 60mm x 12.8mm|
The operating frequency of the Huawei E5331 seems to suggest that I will be able to hook on to the 3G network (2100/900 MHz) in most countries while I am overseas. To the unaware, 3G connectivity is a lot faster than GPRS or EDGE. If your device cannot hook onto the 3G spectrum, you will most likely be stuck with the slower GPRS or EDGE. Most countries offer different price plan for 3G or 2G Internet so do take note of it.
You can check out the GSM World Coverage.
The Auto APN feature takes away the hassle of manually configuring the APN information. You just have to insert the SIM and start surfing. This is something which probably Huawei has pre-populated inside the Huawei E5331.
Let me try to do some speed test one of these days.