I swapped out my 3G MiFi at work for one of the new Verizon 4G LTE models, and initial results indicate that it’s obscenely fast when it’s connected to the 4G network, but the same 3G speed that was passable last week feels lethargic otherwise (parts of the Northeast Corridor NJTransit Commute). Sitting still at Newark Penn Station, I got over 20Mbps down, and 4Mbps up – which is faster than my cable modem at home.
While in transit it steadily dropped as I got further from NYC, and for many parts of the train trip (which unfortunately is where I use the MiFi the most) it drops back to 300-400Kbps that I got with the 3G model.
Aside from that, the other points are all about what you’d expect:
- Battery life is not as good as the 3G Mifi – it easily lasts my 1-1.5h commute, but definitely isn’t going to go all day
- It’s a bit bulkier than the 3G MiFi, I keep it in my bag, but don’t think I could shirt-pocket it like I would have the 3G
- The external pointers are good – the batter gauge is really helpful, and the led pulses different colors depending on 3/4G connection
- Changing the ssid wasn’t easy, but wasn’t hard either – it helped that I don’t have any of my other networks on 192.168.1.1 either
Having said all those bits, the bottom line is I love this thing, and expect that in a few months as LTE coverage creeps across my train commute I’ll be even happier. While I would have said 3G was fast enough for the stuff I do on the train, the truth is 20Mbps is life-changing fast – it feels like when I first got a cable modem, except it follows me around.