Mobile hotspots are a great way to connect to the Internet on-the-go .
The tiny devices use a wireless carrier's network to connect at high speeds and then beam it your computer or other device through a WiFi signal.
I've been using Novatel's latest hotspot, the AT&T MiFi Liberate, for some time now and overall I've been pleased with the experience.
The Liberate has a long battery life (11 hours), easy-to-use touch screen, and a bunch of features that let me to know just how strong my connection is and how much data I have left on my plan.
Using the Liberate
While my MiFi did struggle a bit in New York, which is inundated with people and competing for wireless bandwidth, its awesome battery life trumped the temporary lags. The device pushed out fast speeds and a stable connection in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.
While Novatel's addition of a touchscreen to the MiFi may seem unnecessary to some ,I saw it as a benefit because it was very easy to swipe through options like connection status, data usage, and screen brightness.
It was also super useful to have the WiFi password displayed on the screen so I never had to remember it. Besides the basics, the Liberate also features GPS, a messaging program, and media streaming that lets you beam videos, music, or photos from an SD card on the device to your laptop.
You can connect up to 10 devices at once.
It is very easy to slip the Liberate in a bag or pocket thanks to its slim profile. The MiFi is made from a combination of plastic and glass. I will say that for the next version I hope Novatel uses more durable glass.
The battery rests in the circular area at the top of the device and it is removable. It charges using a standard Micro USB port. The device took a while to charge up but once it was full, it lasted several hours with life to spare.
If you're in the market for a mobile hotspot and are stuck between a few choices, I suggest you consider the Liberate. Its long battery life and LTE connection definitely make it stand out from the rest.
The MiFi Liberate is available through AT&T for $49.99 with a two year contract.
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