Mobile Wi-Fi hotspots (Mi-Fi)

ByAnthony Hill

With mobile Wi-Fi or 'Mi-Fi' you can share 3G between several wireless devices wherever you are...

Mobile Wi-Fi is a technology that lets multiple devices share a single mobile broadband connection. It is rapidly growing in popularity, as many of us now have two or more gadgets we want to connect at the same time.

It's just like having a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. With a laptop, smartphone or tablet, you'll be able to connect wirelessly wherever you go - provided you've got a mobile broadband signal. If you want to know more, keep reading.

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Mobile Wi-Fi hotspots

You can now get mobile Wi-Fi deals from any of the main mobile broadband providers operating in the UK:

When you sign up, you'll get a handy little Mi-Fi device which computers and phones can connect to wirelessly - just like the free Wi-Fi hotspots you get in airports and cafes.

The major benefits of Mi-Fi are that several gadgets can be online simultaneously, and that you can take your hotspot anywhere you go.

What is mobile Wi-Fi?

Using a small, portable modem, you can connect to a 3G mobile broadband network. But unlike a standard mobile broadband dongle, which requires a USB port, devices connect to your Wi-Fi modem wirelessly.

It works in a similar way to current mobile broadband routers that allow you to connect your mobile USB modem stick and share your mobile broadband connection.

What's the difference between mobile Wi-Fi and mobile broadband?

Using a mobile Wi-Fi modem, you can connect any wireless-enabled device to your 3G mobile broadband signal, regardless of whether they have a USB port. So not only laptops, but also tablets and smartphones are compatible.

This means you can connect devices like the iPad, the Sony PSP or the latest Samsung Galaxy handset, as well as being able to share your connection with friends or colleagues if you want.

Download limits

If you decide to share your mobile Wi-Fi connection with multiple devices, or with other people, make sure that you keep a close eye on your download allowance.

In the same way that regular mobile broadband customers are charged if they exceed their limit, you could have to pay extra for any data you use over your mobile Wi-Fi allowance - and costs can very quickly add up.

Use our free price calculator to find the best mobile broadband package for you.

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