“MiFi” (derived from the word “WiFi” for Wlan) is another name for mobile Wlan routers. MiFi routers are small devices that connect to the mobile network over 2G, 3G or 4G and create a Wlan network. Such MiFi routers are very handy, as they allow you to access the Internet quickly and easily almost anywhere. So all you need for mobile internet on the road is a SIM card and a MiFi router (mobile wifi router).
How does a MiFi router work?
As already mentioned in other blog posts, a mobile wifi router is actually nothing else than a mobile phone without telephone function. A valid SIM from a mobile phone provider must be inserted into the device. After switching on, the MiFi router connects to the nearest mobile phone tower. As soon as the Internet connection is established, you can use any device with Wlan to access the Internet: It’s like having a small Internet modem in your pocket. Thanks to their integrated battery and low weight, these routers can actually be taken anywhere and are the perfect companion for everyday life.
Before you buy: The different routers
You should be aware that there are different MiFi routers for different deployment scenarios. We present the different device properties.
LTE routers: MiFi routers with LTE are definitely the fastest devices. LTE 4G is the latest connection standard for mobile Internet. More than 100 Mbit/s are possible. These practical companions are faster than ordinary copper cable Internet on land.
3G router: 3G routers without LTE are somewhat slower, but still manage 20 – 30 Mbps under good conditions. Such routers are cheaper and are recommended especially if it is certain that no LTE transmission mast is planned in the near future in the vicinity.
Internet Stick: Unlike Wlan routers, these sticks do not create a Wlan network. They are connected to a laptop or computer via USB. This then has a connection to the Internet. Practical if you only need the Internet on one device.
What is a Wlan Router with SIM card?
As already briefly mentioned in the introduction, this type of router is a mobile Wlan router. Normal DSL routers connect to the Internet provider’s server via telephone lines. Wlan routers with SIM card connect to the Internet via the mobile phone network.
The advantages are obvious:
- Mobility – device can be placed anywhere, no need to worry about special sockets
- Speed – thanks to 3G and 4G you can surf at up to 100 Mbps
- Reliability – with old telephone lines something can quickly go wrong, there is (almost) always a mobile network
- Portability – some mobile Wlan routers come with built-in battery, perfect for travel
- no real flatrate – as soon as the data volume is used up, the speed is reduced
What if there is only bad mobile phone reception in my town?
Mobile Wlan routers usually have a stronger antenna than normal smartphones. Try to connect to a Wlan router with SIM card. If there are still problems, you can return the router or buy an amplifier antenna.
Is a WLAN router with SIM card faster than conventional DSL Internet?
Yes and no. In urban areas the speed will probably be in the same range, as DSL lines are well developed there. Wifi routers with a SIM card are especially useful in rural areas or when you are on the move.
Do Wifi routers with integrated battery exist?
Yes, most mobile wifi routers offer an integrated battery.
How does the configuration of such a Wlan router work?
Wlan routers with a contract are usually pre-configured by the manufacturer. You only have to switch it on – the device connects to the mobile network by itself and the Wlan network is active after a few seconds.
Where can I use the router to go?
As mentioned above, such a router needs power and a cellular network to work.
Mobile Internet speeds compared in Europe today, there is a sufficiently fast network almost everywhere. While Edge allows you to surf at a snail’s pace, 3G or 4G is fast enough to download large files or stream a movie, for example.
Although the antennas of mobile wifi routers are generously sized, it is rather unlikely that you will be able to connect to the Internet in dead spots.
On the websites of the individual providers you can find out where which network is available – for example at the Telekom.
As far as electricity is concerned, most devices have an integrated battery. However, the runtimes vary considerably from router to router. For example, some routers only last 4-5 hours, while other devices allow up to 12 hours of surfing pleasure.
Can I use the mobile router abroad?
The routers also work without problems abroad. However, it is important to know what tariff you have.
While there are no roaming fees for conventional contracts in Europe since last year, the situation is somewhat different for Internet-only tariffs. Here it depends on the provider whether surfing abroad is allowed.
Which connections should mobile Wlan routers have?
Mobile Wlan routers can have different types of connections. The most common types are micro-SD slots for memory cards, USB for USB sticks and micro USB for power.
There are also devices that have a Lan connector or an Ethernet port. Then it is possible to connect devices directly to the router via cable.
It is recommended to choose a device with a Lan connection. Some models even have up to four Lan ports. It is also practical if the mobile router offers the possibility of connecting a printer to it via a USB port.
If you can even connect an external antenna, you can easily increase the signal strength, which in turn can improve the speed and stability of the connection.
This shows that a comparison of different devices is very important to find the right model. However, because a good wlan router is not only about speed, but above all about the type and number of connections, special care should be taken to ensure that the device can be used later as desired.