The MiFi Updates

Dave Zatz —  October 24, 2009

mifi

Back in June, I traded in my Cradlepoint router and USB aircard for Sprint’s rendition of the MiFi to meet my mobile broadband needs. The combo aircard-WiFi access point has served me well in a variety of situations.

In fact and ironically, Sprint basically allows me to retain AT&T by keeping my iPhone’s data functionality going during my 8-10 hour daily coverage blackout. However, the iPhone is very good at power management and severs WiFi connections when not in use. And the MiFi also hibernates after a few minutes of inactivity. Creating a somewhat annoying scenario that requires ‘rebooting’ the MiFi. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a huge deal, but the MiFi has such amazing WiFi range (given it diminutive size) that I’m not always near it when I want it active.

Fortunately, both Verizon and Sprint MiFi owners were treated to our first firmware update earlier this week:

  • Now fully compatible with Nintendo DS and BlackBerry Curve
  • No longer goes into hibernate mode while plugged into AC.
  • Now works properly while roaming internationally
  • New Administration page enhancements:
  • Fixed Roaming indicator added
  • Sprint Only mode support added
  • Allows international access
  • WiFi Channel Default changed to ‘Auto‘
  • DHCP IP ranges now support class A, B and C

I can confirm the MiFi now stays awake when plugged in. Eliminating perhaps my biggest and only complaint with the device. (If we’re nitpicking, battery life could see improvement.) Novatel’s firmware update isn’t automatic and the trigger isn’t housed under the most intuitive menu item. So check out the screen grab below to track it down.

Also this week, I learned of a free iPhone Mi-Fi app. (Guess I’m not the only one with AT&T coverage issues.) It allows you to monitor your current connection, but on my phone the visuals are jacked up as you can see below. Not sure if this is an issue with the developer’s server, the app itself, the new firmware update, or compatibility with Sprint’s (versus Verizon’s) hardware. Regardless, I don’t see much value in this app. Sprint’s website displaying my total monthly usage against the 5GB cap is the only info I care about. Should you feel different, grab the MiFi app here: Mi-Fi

Click to enlarge:

4 responses to The MiFi Updates

  1. Glad I saw your tweet about this today. I use a Verizon MiFi with my iTouch so this was a good find. I never remember to look at my usage so this is handy. I also like being able to see how strong my signal is.

    Thanks!
    Bill

  2. Hey Dave,

    Try the new 1.1 version of the Mi-Fi app. If that doesn’t work can you please contact me at d[at]n-so.com so I can see if it’s due to the Sprint card firmware update. Thank, Daniel.

  3. The update, works – thanks! Sorry I didn’t contact you sooner, I was on the road.

  4. Hi Dave,

    I’d like my pc to connect to a hub (wired), and the hub to connect to a SPrint Mi-Fi. Can you recommend a hub that can accomplish this feat?

    (I have issues sometimes with wifi on my desktop, since I’m playing around with Linux distros a lot, so I need to have an option of ethernet)