Everything you need to know about MiFi

Ari Howard

Jan 24, 2021 — 3 min read

Never go without Wi-Fi again.

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What is MiFi?

MiFi is a small portable router that acts as a mobile hotspot for any of your devices (cellphone, computer, tablet, etc.). The benefit of this device is that no matter where you are, you will always be able to connect to Wi-Fi instead of relying on cellular data. 

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Where did the term MiFi come from?

MiFi is not the official word for a mobile hotspot device — it’s simply the brand name for Novatel’s pocket router. However, just as “Band-Aid” is the everyday word for an adhesive bandage, MiFi has become the everyday word for a portable hotspot device. 

MiFi can refer to either “mobile Wi-Fi” or “my Wi-Fi,” depending on who you ask. Both references explain the use of this type of device. 

What is the difference between Wi-Fi and MiFi? 

MiFi is a type of device, whereas Wi-Fi is a type of technology. You use a MiFi device to access the internet (through Wi-Fi) when you are on the go. 

Who is MiFi a good fit for?

  • Travelers: If you frequently travel internationally or are frequently in areas without Wi-Fi access, then you would likely benefit from a MiFi device.
  • Multiple device owners: If you require several of your devices (phone, computer, iPad) to be able to connect to the internet when you are away from home, then you should consider purchasing a MiFi device.
  • Heavy internet users: If you are a heavy internet user outside of your home and do not have an unlimited cellular data plan, then you should consider purchasing a MiFi device.
  • Phone owners with poor battery life: If you are looking to preserve your phone’s battery life, then consider investing in a MiFi device as cellular data sucks up more battery life than MiFi. 

How much does MiFi cost?

AT&T MiFi data plans

AT&T offers three different data plans with the option to add additional data to each plan. The more expensive the plan, the less it costs for additional data. 

  • 3GB/30 days: $25/mo. (add 1GB for additional $10/mo.)
  • 10GB/30 days: $50/mo. (add 1.5GB for additional $10/mo.)
  • 18GB/30 days: $75/mo. (add 2GB for additional $10/mo.)

Device

Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro: $17/mo. or $509.99

T-Mobile MiFi data plans

Those with a T-Mobile plan automatically have access to unlimited 3G speeds for their mobile hotspot device. Add data to your plan to gain access to 5G speeds. Additionally, T-Mobile customers can get 50% off the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 device when they add a line. 

  • 500MB: $5/mo. 
  • 2GB: $10/mo. 
  • 10GB: $30/mo.
  • 30GB: $40/mo. 
  • 100GB: $50/mo. (limited time offer) 

Device 

Inseego 5G MiFi M2000: $14/mo. (for 24 months) or $336 

Verizon MiFi data plans

Verizon offers both monthly and prepaid data plans. If you know you will need access to mobile hotspots frequently, then choose one of the monthly plans. Otherwise, go with one of Verizon’s prepaid plans. The prepaid plans are attractive for lighter internet users because they do not require you to pay monthly for data. 

Monthly plans

  • Unlimited: $20/mo. for monthly unlimited data 
  • Unlimited Plus: $30/mo. for monthly unlimited data + unlimited Ultra Wideband 5G access 

Prepaid plans

  • 6GB: $35 
  • 16GB: $45
  • 30 GB: $65 

Device

Verizon Jetpack® MiFi® 8800L: $8.33/mo. (for 24 months) or $199.99

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Ari Howard

Written by:

Ari Howard

Associate Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content

Ari is an Associate Writer for the Allconnect team, focusing on broadband and wireless news, as well as broadband and TV provider deals. She recently graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in… Read more

Shannon Ullman

Edited by:

Shannon Ullman

Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content

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