Hands-on: MiFi 2352 from Novatel Wireless

By Posted 6 Dec 2009, 09:40

This is the MiFi 2352 for HSPA networks in Europe, which is basically an intelligent mobile hotspot that can share a broadband connection with up to five different devices via Wi-Fi. The GSM 3G HSPA model follows the release of a CDMA EVDO Rev.A MiFi 2200 on Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The photos on this page give you an idea of what comes in the MiFi 2352 box. Novatel Wireless supplies you with a global power-adapter that includes various plug inserts, which is handy for those that love to travel and need a mobile broadband connection.

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You will also find a Getting Started guide, rechargeable 1,530mAh battery, a USB to microUSB cable, and of course the MiFi device itself. The MiFi 2352 will support various connection speeds, in theory these can give you 5.76Mbps upload and 7.2Mbps download rates.

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The MiFi 2352 could not be any easier to get started with, no drivers are needed as standard and setting up is simple. You just pop a SIM in, hold down the single button, and when the light blinks take your finger off the button and wait for a broadband connection via WiFi. To get connected just look for SSID “MiFi_2352″ on your laptop, iPhone, or other wireless capable device.

Visit “http://www.mifi” in your web browser to view the MiFi 2352 homepage, which is hosted on the device. Here you can view battery status, connection details, and also how many of the 5 possible clients have been used.

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As with all wireless connections, you will want to think about security and encrypting your wireless connection. This task is fairly simple thanks to MiFi’s User Interface. On the admin pages you will find options for MAC filtering and WPA2, WPA, and WEP encryption.

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If power management is something you want, then the MiFi 2352 makes this easy with an optional setting to have the MiFi shut down after idle time, which can be between 2 or 60 minutes. All settings can be stored on a computer that’s connected to the MiFI.

The MiFi device is very sleek and comes without many buttons, which is a good thing. The blinking colored lights are used to represent different things. The power button light will flash various colors to indicate the type of connection – GPRS/EDGE, EDGE/WCDMA, HSPA – and will also show the battery level in a basic way. For more detailed battery information, you will need to access the MiFi control panel.

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The HSPA MiFi 2352 has a few improvements on the U.S. versions; one of these includes the microSD slot in this version. According to the specs, you should be able to put cards in up to 16GB. This feature can be used as a portable NAS, which is ideal for UMPCs and netbooks.

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Battery life will depend on how strong 3G signal is, but you can expect 40hrs standby and 4hrs while being used. This is impressive considering the Verizon and Sprint MiFi 2200 units have a bigger 1,530mAh battery, but same battery life. You may find the 2352 gets pretty hot after being used for a while, especially when struggling to get a connection.

It’s hard to find faults with the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2352, although it is a little thicker than the EVDO versions but this is due to the app processor included in the 2352 version. Sadly there is not a lot of 3rd party support for this app processor at the time of writing. If we’re picky, then the microSD functionality is limited thanks to NAS not being too flexible.

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Putting that aside, the MiFi 2352 really shines at what it was designed to do, sharing a single mobile broadband connection with up to five devices. You can see the main benefits and features below, or visit novatelwireless.com to view more photos and information.

Features

  • Connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • 10M (30 ft) range of network coverage
  • Auto-install and auto-connectivity
  • NovaSpeed capable
  • Advanced internal antenna system
  • GPS- enabled
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
  • Computers, PDA’s, cameras, music players, personal and game players and more

Benefits

  • Lasts up to 4 hours on a single charge so you can be anywhere and have connectivity (when connected to one Wi-Fi device)
  • Enhanced performance and less connectivity interruptions with NovaSpeed
  • Easy installation with MobiLink Connection Manager- no CD required
  • Perfect for the mobile professional – creates a virtual office wherever you go for your and your co-workers
  • Great for travel – family, friends and colleagues can connect
  • Portable and convenient – smaller than a deck of cards
  • Wireless and secure Internet connectivity from virtually anywhere

More Hands-on Photos

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