The upcoming Verizon 4G MiFi is obviously the victim of consumers not being educated. When you search for the 4G MiFi online, you still see a lot of info that is about the 3G WiFi (the older version). The fact that so many consumers are getting the two products confused can leave someone that wants to purchase the Verizon 4G MiFi totally unable to decide what it is and if the product is right for them.
1. The Basic Idea Is That Verizon Has The 4G In Three Different Things On A Timeline
Despite the frequent text that discusses 4G, LTE, WiFi, and MiFi with various model numbers for Verizon devices, the truth is, most people don’t know what they are talking about. It’s not their fault! All of this 4G technology is overwhelming and confusing.
To clarify 4G, here is the rundown written into a crude timeline:
– Basically, the 4G is not mobile yet. It’s still just a network that is in some cities and not others as of December 2010.
– The 4G Network is like having electricity installed so that your 4G devices like smartphones, iPads, and laptops will work.
– The 4G network is the foundation needed for the 4G modem.
– Right now, only a few people have 4G Modems.
– Later on, you will have Mobile 4G.
– Mobile 4G means that later you won’t need the modem at home because your modem will be mobile for uses in the middle of nowhere with your laptops iPads, smartphones and more.
2. Visualizing Exactly What a WiFi, A Modem, A Router, And MiFi Is
As a former teacher for adults, I am afraid that the differences between the 4G and 3G are so difficult to visualize that people are having problems keeping track of the information visually. Most people understand this stuff already but are visual learners.
For example, during the holidays, most of my college educated friends couldn’t give reasons over why the 4G is better than the 3G except that the number 4 instead of 3 means that its a newer model and probably has fewer problems. Sometimes, when products are so new and different, people don’t know how to describe them or connect all the dots.
Basically, if you have a laptop, you have wireless service. That means inside your computer is a modem to receive the wireless service. You pay a company every month to have this service in your home or office. When you go too far away from the router, you can’t get a good connection for your wireless service on your laptop.
If you have 4G WiFi, you don’t need to pay a wireless service company anymore. You can pay Verizon instead. Now, instead of having a router for wireless, you will have a modem for 4G. That means that things seem like they are changing and it could get dicey, but in reality, this is not a big problem.
Now that you have the 4G modem, you can use it like you used your old WiFi. When you go too far away from it, it won’t get the signal. In mid-2011, that will all change. The mobile version of the 4G WiFi will be available. That means you will have a modem/router for your 4G WiFi that is on the go.
This means you will only need to carry around this small device all the time in order to have wireless in your laptop, etc. This is why Verizon calls it the 4G MiFi. The 4G MiFi will really change things for the better in the world of technology.
3. Where Can You Get More In Depth Details About The 4G?
Unfortunately, Verizon’s 4G MiFi and 3G WiFi are so modern and confusing that people don’t know where to begin in figuring out whether not they should purchase them when they become available. Sometimes, basic explanations like the one I gave above still don’t help. If you want more details and much longer explanations about the 4G, you can read more at the independent consumer blog UCan.org.
4. To Buy A 4G MiFi WiFi Means Understanding Potential Problems
Unfortunately, although I could gather that my friends would like to buy something like the Verizon 4G and would most likely use it all the time, they couldn’t figure out what the potential problems would be and whether or not it would make the purchase worthwhile for their current computer equipment. A better understanding of old 3G problems can be found at the WindowsBBS.com forum.
5. The 4G MiFi Is Windows Based Only For Now
Despite attempts to work with Apple, GigaOM.com reported that the 4G network modems and perhaps the upcoming mid-2011 4G MiFi are Windows or PC based only. However, one site claims to have a solution to this current 4G modem Mac incompatibility issue. You can read more about these claims at EvdoInfo.com.
6. Consumers Still Plagued By Compatibility and Connection Doubts
Consumers are always burned by past electronics experiences that didn’t turn out like they thought they would. After all, they think that Verizon is just trying to sell more for the holidays. Then, after it has been out for awhile, the 4G will have just as many problems as the 3G did. Time will tell on this issue. For clarification about past issues with Macs and the 3G and 4G compatibility solutions, consult 9to5Mac.com.
7. 4G Started For Existing 3G Customers At First
Sometimes, a corporation knows the best way to spoil its loyal customers. After so many beta issues with the 3G network, Verizon decided that brow-furrowed 3G WiFi customers would love the chance to test improvements to the previous model. For this reason, 4G routers will first become available to current 3G Verizon customers according to 4GInfo.com.
8. 4G Smart Phones and 4G iPhones Don’t Come Out Til Mid 2011
Because they are releasing the 4G LTE WiFi routers to their loyal customers first, it creates a lot of commotion over when everyone else will get their chance. Unfortunately, for newcomers to the Verizon 3G network, they won’t get their chances for 4G Modems until later on according to ComputerWorld.com.
9. The 4G Is Still Currently A Router
The fact of the matter is is that the 4G network has been installed in many cities but it is not beyond the routers yet. This means that it is not being sold as an independent device until mid 2011. In mid 2011, you will start to see the 4G MiFi devices for cell phones and those small independent boxes you see on ads on TV.
Currently, the 4G Modem comes in 10GB and 5GB models. This means that there will a price increase for on or the other. For now, the 10GB will be $80 and the 5GB 4G modem will be about $50. More information can be found at the Technoligizer.com.
10. Will the 4G LTE Go Everywhere?
Yes and no. However, if you are in an airport, chances are, the answer is a definite yes. For 4G LTE airports, consult the list created by MobileCrunch.com.