I have been watching the coverage of the launch of Novatel Wireless’ Mifi device (left) with some interest over the last few days. This pocket sized device is a mini hotspot allowing you to connect up to five wifi enabled devices to a single 3G connection. This is such a great idea as it allows you to connect not only laptops and netbooks but also other portable devices such as the iPod Touch, Sony PSP etc.
So far the only people that have launched the mifi are Verizon in the US and there seems to be on carrier in the UK set to launch it, although it cannot be long before someone does.
However, all is not lost. I realised that I already had all the components I needed to create my own mifi using my mobile phone and a little piece of software call JoikuSpot. Just like Novatel’s pocket wonder JokiuSpot allows you to create a personal hotspot to share out your 3G connection.
JoikuSpot is available for Nokia phones and comes in a free lite version and a premium edition. The former allows you to create a hotspot but only allows web browsing (port 80 access) and has not security so anyone can latch onto your connection. The premium edition, which at the time of writing costs €15, allows access via any port and adds security. So with the premium version I was able to wirelessly connect my iPod Touch and run Sling Player to watch some TV. It should also be able to make VPN connections. If you are going to use JoikuSpot regularly and in any public places then I would suggest that having the ability to set some security to be essential.
In use JoikuSpot was simplicity itself. All devices I have tried it with have found and connected without any problems at all. It really is just as if you were connecting to any other wireless router. Speed is obviously dictated by the strength of your 3G signal but I didn’t see any noticeable drop is speeds when I had multiple devices connected.
JoikuSpot is a perfect solution for making the most of your 3G connection and at €15 is considerably cheaper than a mifi device.
Would you be interested in buying a mifi? Leave a comment and let us know.