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MiFi vs WiFi | Difference between MiFi and WiFi

This page compares MiFi vs WiFi describes basic difference between MiFi and WiFi technologies. It covers basics of MiFi vs WiFi including routers, working operation in order to derive difference between Mifi and wifi.

• Both MiFi and WiFi networks are used for providing internet connectivity to mobile and fixed devices.
• WiFi uses wifi router or access point (AP) where as MiFi uses MiFi router to provide the internet service for data communication.
• WiFi range is limited to home/office premises where as MiFi extends range through cellular connection (2G/3G/4G) with existing cellular networks.
• Unlike WiFi which provides internet connectivity to wireless devices through fixed wifi hotspots, MiFi provides connectivity when devices are on the move through mobile hotspots (i.e. MiFi router).

What is MiFi?

The MiFi is the brand name for Novatel Wireless portable devices which provides mobile WiFi connection.

MiFi router consists of two main parts viz. modem and wifi router. Modem part composed of 3G or 4G or LTE based on different wireless standards and takes care of providing connectivity with next generation wireless devices. Wifi router part takes care of providing wifi connectivity.

There are different versions of MiFi to support different cellular standards such as EVDO, HSPA, LTE etc.

To connect a MiFi with the cellular network needs connection with service provider. With MiFi one can connect about 5 wifi devices simultaneously.Connection speed depends on capacity of cellular network standards implemented in the MiFi router.

Popular service providers providing MiFi packages include Orange, vodafone and T-Mobile. Figure-1 depicts mifi device model 4510L from Novatel Wireless developed for verizon wireless. The features are mentioned in the table below.

What is WiFi?

WiFi internet architecture

Following are the features of WiFi as shown in the figure-2.
• WiFi AP (Access Point) is required to be installed which is connected with broadband internet connection using wires. The connection between mobile/fixed devices and WLAN AP is done using radio frequency wirelessly.
• There are different wlan standards for wifi viz. IEEE 802.11a/11b/11g/11n/11ac etc. Each defines different PHY/MAC specifications to achieve different data rates and coverages.
• It operates at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
• WiFi devices operate in two modes viz. adhoc (i.e. BSS-Basic Service Set) and infrastructure (i.e. ESS-Extended Service Set).
• Refer WLAN tutorial >> for more information.

MiFi vs WiFi | Difference between mifi and wifi

mifi hotspot device from novatel wireless

➨ As mentioned MiFi devices provide wireless internet connectivity using mobile wifi hotspots. The devices used for the purpose are called as MiFi routers.
➨WiFi devices provide wireless internet connection using fixed wifi hotspots. The devices used for the purpose are called as WiFi routers.
➨The major difference is that mifi devices support cellular connectivity in addition to WLAN connectivity. WiFi devices does not support cellular connectivity. It only supports wifi connectivity with wlan AP (Access Point) or router.

Following table compares mifi vs wifi and summarize difference between MiFi and WiFi technologies with respect to various features.

MiFi vs WiFi,difference-between MiFi and WiFi

Mifi Router manufacturers

Following table mentions few of the popular mifi hotspots also referred as mifi routers. As mentioned they have wifi as well as cellular connectivity.

Mifi Router manufacturer with model number Features
Novatel Wireless for verizon, MiFi™ 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot Supports mobile broadband with CDMA, EVDO Rev.0 and EVDO Rev.A
Supports 600 kbps to 1.4 Mbps download speed and 500-800 Kbps upload speed
Supports 802.11b (2.4GHz,11Mbps) and 802.11g (2.4 GHz,54Mbps)
Supports security types-WEP 64bit and 128bit, WPA Personal/PSK (TKIP) and WPA2 Personal/PSK (AES)
Novatel Wireless for verizon, MiFi®4510L Verizon Jetpack mobile hotspot Supports LTE with 700MHz bandwidth, 3G EVDO Rev.A, GSM with HSPA+, WCDMA, EDGE, GPRS and Wifi 802.11b,11g,11n
Supports all the security types as mentioned above
Novatel Wireless , MiFi®500 LTE Supports LTE bandwidth(800,1900,2500MHz), 3G EVDO Rev.A, WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Supports GPS over Wi-Fi
MAXIS , MiFi MODEM, MF60 Supports 2G, 3G and WiFi(WLAN connectivity)

Conclusion: From the table we can compare Mifi vs Wifi and following difference between mifi and wifi can be derived. Mifi supports mobile hotspots and hence mobile internet connection. WiFi supports fixed hotspots and hence mobile internet connection is not possible. In order to achieve this cellular functionalities are incorporated in mifi device where as wifi device houses wlan functionalities.

How to setup MiFi 2200 Router

This page describes how to setup mifi router 2200. This device acts as portable wifi hotspot to provide mifi internet services,

WiFi Radio Frequency Bands

Refer WiFi RF Channels➤.

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