MiFi. Hotspot. What’s the real difference?

Learn all about MiFi, including what it is and how it works. 

We all want to stay connected on the go—not just from phones, but with our laptops, tablets and more. Luckily, Verizon MiFi hotspots allow you to get out there with  the speed you need. Let’s clear up what exactly MiFi is. 

MiFi. Wi-Fi. They might sound the same, but once you fully understand the differences between MiFi and traditional Wi-Fi, you can make an informed decision on the best way to connect. Basically, Verizon MiFi is a wireless router that acts as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, giving you wireless internet access without cables or a fixed access point. Let’s break down how it works. 

MiFi: Take Wi-Fi with you.

MiFi is a type of internet hotspot. It’s a small portable router that creates a local Wi-Fi network for any internet-enabled device (cellphone, computer, tablet, etc.). Instead of using copper or fiber cabling to bring the internet to your home, like Verizon Fios, it connects wirelessly to a cell tower to make a portable internet connection. That means you can access  Wi-Fi where traditional networks are unavailable, whether at home, in the office or on the go. It’s similar to what happens if you turn your phone into a hotspot, but it doesn’t use your phone’s data or battery life, since it’s its own device.

What does MiFi stand for anyway?

When MiFi was first introduced in 2009, the term was coined to refer to “mobile Wi-Fi.” It’s commonly used to describe portable hotspot devices, regardless of the manufacturer. Verizon offers its own brand of MiFi devices, which are designed to get you online from a variety of locations. It’s all about letting you get online on the go.

Ok, so what’s the difference between MiFi and Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi and MiFi may sound similar, but when it comes down to it, MiFi helps you access Wi-Fi. See, Wi-Fi is wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet access. Many people broadcast it into their homes or businesses via a router connected to a fiber-optic network like Verizon Fios or through a fixed wireless access (FWA) point like Verizon 5G Home Internet. But if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have Fios or FWA, you can use a MiFi hotspot. This portable device creates a local Wi-Fi network by utilizing cellular data. That means you can use a MiFi device to access Wi-Fi internet on the go, wherever your mobile network has service.

So, why MiFi?

Rather than a fixed internet connection, MiFi devices work on cellular networks, similar to how smartphones connect to the internet. That’s why MiFi is a great option for those who need internet on the go or in areas with limited internet access. Another feature is that with a MiFi device, you can connect your smartphone, tablet, laptop, gaming console or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices without needing separate data plans for each device or having to rely on public Wi-Fi networks, which are not necessarily secure. It’s a strong solution if you switch between devices or are working collaboratively, and MiFi devices often have security features such as password protection and encryption, so you know the connection is secure. That’s important when working with sensitive information or doing online transactions.

MiFi often tops tethering.

While many of these features are available through phone tethering, where your phone acts as the Wi-Fi hotspot, using your phone this way can eat up significant data and battery life. It can also be challenging to use your phone if other devices are tethered to it, as you may want to move away from other people to take a phone call. A MiFi hotspot has its own data plan, won’t take away from your phone’s battery, and allows multiple people to connect without everyone needing to be on in range of your phone.

Verizon and MiFi: A winning wireless combination.

Verizon offers a wide range of MiFi devices to serve your needs. Some popular brands include Orbic, Inseego and TCL. Our own Verizon MiFi devices come in a variety of different sizes and designs, and with various features such as long battery life, so you can worry less about losing connectivity in important moments.

I’m in. What do I need for Verizon MiFi access?

To access MiFi, you need a few essential components. First and foremost, you’ll need a MiFi device. You can get one directly from Verizon. Secondly, you need a SIM card that supports data services, which we also provide. Finally, you need a data plan that suits your internet usage needs. Remember to consider factors such as data limits, network coverage and data speeds when selecting a plan. You can even find a data plan designed for mobile hotspots.

With so many MiFi options available, it’s essential to choose one that aligns with what you need to do online. Still, no matter what you opt for, when you connect to MiFi with Verizon, you can enjoy a secure and reliable connection as you surf the web. 

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