Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Novatel MiFi 4620L – Review

By Christian Stampfer on 19 October 2012
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Staying connected is one of the most important considerations for today’s business travelers.  Since a large number of hotels are still not able to provide a reliable and fast Internet connection today, alternative solutions are the way to go. On my recent journeys with FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira, I learned how useful and important it can be to have a portable Wifi connection that is always available. During a stay in several European countries, which included Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, we used the Xcom Global MiFi Hotspot and found ourselves very satisfied with its performance.

For a secure and reliable Internet connection in the United States and abroad, Verizon Wireless offers the Verizon JetPack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4620L, manufactured by Novatel Wireless.  The unit provides instant Internet access to the Internet via the company’s 3G and 4G data networks. On my recent trip to the east and west coasts of the United States, I was able to test it rather extensively.

The Verizon MiFi comes with a Micro-USB power cable, several instruction manuals and a small, black storage pouch, in short, everything you need for a trip except a car charger (which I brought along separately).

HOW IT WORKS

Just press the power button to set things in motion. The MiFi connects itself automatically with the best data network available. If it happens to be that no 4G LTE network is available, the MiFi is also capable of using the slower 3G network. To connect a device to the MiFi, I simply had to search for a network called “Verizon MiFi 4G LTE Jetpack 4620.”

Once the network is accessed, just enter the password and you’re immediately connected to the Internet. Since I was traveling with a colleague, we had multiple mobile devices that needed to be connected. Since the MiFi supports up to ten devices simultaneously, we had no problem using two laptops, mobile phones, and iPads at the same time.

The battery of the MiFi lasts for approximately three hours on a full charge. This may be acceptable when you are at a place, where you can immediately charge the unit, but if it happens that you are on the road traveling, three hours may not be sufficient.

During my visits to New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, I experienced a fast and reliable Internet connection, regardless of whether I was on the road or in a hotel room. For example, I clocked a download speed of 12.1 Mbps and an upload speed of 9.9 Mbps in my hotel room in Washington DC. It was only in remote locations such as the Olympic Park region near Seattle, that I saw slow Internet speeds. But nonetheless, even these I had Internet access.

Verizon Wireless offers the MiFi for $49.99 after rebates, although Amazon.com currently offers it for $0.01.   Both require a two-year contract.  Verizon offers plans with volumes ranging from 4 GB ($30 per month) to 20 GB ($110 per month).

BOTTOM LINE

A portable and independent hotspot device is a must have for today’s business travelers. Whenever you need an Internet connection in the United States, which is not only fast but also secure, the Verizon Mifi 4G van be your best friend. The easy use of the device and the fast Verizon 4G network coverage are further plus points for using a private hotspot. My only caveat is about the miserly battery time. Just make sure that you always have a micro USB charging cable when you are on the road.. And don’t forget that you can charge the unit by plugging it into your laptop’s USB connection.

$0.01 at amazon.com (with service plan).

 

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