I recently upgraded my wireless USB modem from a Sprint Novatel Ovation U727 to a Sprint Novatel MiFi 2200. The MiFi 2200 is a great, tiny device that integrates a 3G modem with a wireless router so that you can connect multiple wifi-enabled devices to your 3G modem. There are all sorts of reviews of the MiFi 2200 on the Web already, so I won't add an in-depth review. I will say, though, that:
- The Sprint version of the MiFi 2200 doesn't come with an included USB Micro data cable, so you'll need to get one if you want to tether or charge from your computer. On the other hand, unlike the Verizon version which does come with a cable, the Sprint version doesn't require being connected to a Windows PC for activation, so it's easy to setup
- The Sprint version of the MiFi 2200 includes GPS, but it's pretty useless. You have to go to a Web page on the router and go to linked searches from that specific interface for local resources
One of the limitations of the MiFi 2200 is that if you connect it to your computer with a USB Micro, it won't work as a wifi router. This creates problems if you want to charge your MiFi 2200 via USB while also sharing your connection or using an operating system/laptop without adequate drivers for using the MiFi 2200 as a tethered modem. I've worked around this limitation in two ways:
- Purchase a Belkin Mini Surge 3OUT. This is a fanstastic, travel-sized power strip with 3 outlets and 2 USB jacks. You can use this to power your MiFi 2200 via USB and also share a power outlet with other devices, like your laptop. The Belkin Mini Surge is great if you want to use a power outlet in public, but it's already full. By plugging in the Mini Surge, you can share that power outlet with other people
- Purchase an iPhone USB Charging Adapter.
Even though this adapter says its for iPhones, what it really does is take a USB cable and strip out the data across it, leaving only power. By plugging this adapter to a USB Micro cable, you can then attach your MiFi 2200 to your laptop's USB port to charge it but still have the MiFi 2200 function as a wireless router
One important thing to note is that the MiFi 2200 requires a lot of power to charge, and many off-the-shelf USB micro cables won't be able to send enough power to the MiFi 2200 to charge it from a USB port. In fact, I've tried several different USB micro cables with my MiFi with varying degrees of successful charging. So, if you buy an iPhone USB Charging Adapter or try using the Belkin Mini Surge but aren't able to charge your MiFi, the chances are that it's your USB Micro cable which is the problem.
I've recently purchased a Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800, which is a portable battery back that can power and charge the MiFi 2200 as well as other power-hugry devices (like my iPhone).
The TekCharge comes with a retractable cable that is able to charge the MiFi from a computer's USB port, and it also provides a compact battery for giving your other electronic gadgets additional runtime and charge. Since purchasing the TekCharge, I just use the cable that came with it and no longer need the iPhone USB charger.